Minions begin taking over Universal Studios Florida

Characters popping up ahead of new film’s release

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (Landon McReynolds, WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Before you head to Universal Orlando this summer, you might need to brush up on your minionese.

Don’t worry - it’s not an official language, but words like bello, poopaye, baboi and banana might get you by if you’re spotted by a minion.

Recently, Universal Orlando Resort has seen a wave of new things pop up that feature those lovable, goggle-wearing yellow henchmen.

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This summer, the minions will further expand their sizable empire when the new film “Minions: Rise of Gru” hits theaters on July 1. The film is one of several Universal Pictures films coming out in the next few weeks. It tells the story of how 12-year-old Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto, as they execute their first of many missions.

According to industry experts, the “Despicable Me” franchise and its “Minions” spinoffs already rank as the highest-grossing animated film franchise ever with more than $3.7 billion in tickets sold. “Rise of Gru” will only add to that after a two-year delay, mostly due in part to the coronavirus pandemic slowing the theater business.

At Universal Orlando Resort, the minions have already put a red target on that iconic archway. That’s where a mesmerizing medallion now hangs, showcasing the new film and its popular minion characters.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Universal also recently installed retro-looking pop-up photo opportunities around the park. One photo spot can be found in front of the Universal Music Plaza Stage while the other can be found just steps from the entrance of the Horror Makeup Show.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

During select times of day, the minions themselves also make appearances for photos. You can also find the minions during select times inside at the exit of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.

Just last week, something else caught fans of the film by surprise.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Following the closure of the Monsters Café, a number of blue construction walls were installed around the horror-themed restaurant. On the outside are minions shouting out “Bello!” and even hanging on some construction equipment, complete with hard hats.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Just feet from these construction walls are even more. When Shrek 4D closed, Universal installed construction walls that also had graffiti-like minion characters on the outside.

Construction walls around former Shrek 4D attraction at Universal Orlando, Jan. 12, 2022 (McReynolds)

Could multiple minion-themed attractions, or even a colorful café like the one in Universal Hollywood, be on the way to Orlando? Universal has not yet confirmed or said anything about future plans, but this could be a first hint of what is to come.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Further building on the excitement surrounding the new film, the theme park in recent months has rolled out new merchandise including a souvenir popcorn bucket.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

The most recent design includes three minions inside, hanging onto a car. The outside of the car is stamped with stickers that feature iconic moments from the “Despicable Me” series. The popcorn bucket retails for $38 and the first refill is free, according to signs near points of sale. Another popcorn bucket also debuted a few months ago.

While we wait for any future minion announcements, and the new film, guests can have some fun around the resort.

Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Of course, one of the first things you can do is take a ride on the popular family ride “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.” Recruited for Gru’s latest scheme, guests are zapped down to the size of a minion. But, things don’t go as planned, and guests are launched into an unforgettable trip through Gru’s super villain laboratory.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

After checking out some souvenirs in the Super Silly Stuff, head up to the front of the park and check out some of the sweet Minion treats at Studio Sweets. You won’t be disappointed.

Studio Sweets, Minions at Universal Orlando Resort, June 15, 2022 (WKMG)

Every villainous minion needs a place to sleep at night, right?

Guests might want to book a stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. While parents sleep in luxury, kids can bunk in an incredible suite approved by minions. The twin-sized beds are shaped like rockets, caution tape lines the walls and minion décor is located throughout the rooms.

Despicable Me Kids’ Suites located at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel (Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando)

The 650 square feet of space sleeps five.

Guests that book a stay also get exclusive theme park benefits including early park admission on select attractions.

Click here to learn more about Universal Orlando Resort and to book accommodations.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.