ORLANDO, Fla. – Hide the bananas and brush up on your bellos – Universal Orlando is opening its all-new Minion Land at Universal Studios Florida.
After years of development, the new land will further expand the “Despicable Me” world that was first created by Illumination Entertainment back in 2010.
When guests step foot onto the newly-created “Illumination Avenue” they will find the highly interactive all-new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. Additionally, they will find the mischievous Minions Café, the Bake My Day dessert and gift shop and a brand-new meet-and-greet location, the Illumination Theater. Guests will also find new quick service stands including the Freeze Ray Pop stand, which features fun and tasty popsicles, and the Pop-A-Nana stand including a new flavor of popcorn, banana.
The new experiences join “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” an attraction that has been entertaining guests at Universal Orlando since 2012.
Take a look at each of the new experiences below.
In the new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, guests will try and blast their way to supervillain stardom with the hopes of joining the Vicious 6 – a notorious group of supervillains. The story takes us to Villain-Con, a fictional convention that was portrayed in the film “Minions,” which just so happened to take place in Orlando.
The convention is back – but this time at Universal Studios Florida – and guests are invited to attend and put their skills to the test.
As guests snake through the ride queue, they will see Villain-Con banners hanging and posters featuring some of the characters and products that will be making appearances at this year’s convention. Guests will also see roughly 30 minutes of brand-new animated content on the TV screens above the queue.
“Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast tells the other side of the ‘Despicable Me’ minions’ universe,” said Carson Luter, associate project manager with Universal Creative. “It’s the supervillain side, it’s the wacky gadgets, vehicles and secret lairs and stuff like that.”
Inside, on the trade show floor, guests will find the latest villain gadgets including malicious vehicles, corrupt companions (pets and their foods) and wickedly good fashion.
“The process of creating Villain-Con was really fulfilling, we really worked with our Illumination partners,” said Jon Craine, creative director at Universal Creative. “We wanted to take the opportunity to create new characters and locations to show what Villain-Con would look like today.”
Following a short stint on the trade show floor, guests will move into a short hallway where they will be equipped with an “E-Liminator X” blaster, your tool for creating mayhem and racking up points. Each of the blasters are equipped to connect to the Official Universal Orlando Mobile App. A special section within the app creates a user profile and shows just how many points a guest collects along with any secret items they collected within the attraction.
“We wanted to create connected gameplay to this experience – it really drove a lot of what we were doing. We also wanted to deliver a world-class attraction in a new setting, to really expand on that Villain-Con location that we first saw in the first ‘Minions’ films,” Craine explained.
Universal Orlando said the connected gameplay allows guests to come back, again and again, to collect new items and take on new challenges and missions. Leaders said some of the tools used to blast targets may even change based on the season. During the Mardi Gras season, guests may see Mardi Gras beads and during the fall months, guests may see exploding pumpkins and turkey legs.
The attraction exits into “Evil Stuff,” an all-new gift shop that sells items like the E-Liminator X blasters, Villain-Con T-shirts, pins, mugs, hats and so much more.
After working to become a supervillain, guests may strike up an appetite for something savory and delicious.
Over at the Minion Café, guests of all ages can enjoy inventive, family-friendly fare.
“It was really fun playing and creating the food, the whole creative concept here is that we’re standing in the Minion’s kitchen,” said Robert Martinez, executive chef of shared services.“They’re the ones actually cooking the food, and creating mischief, and coming up with the dishes that are not normal. It’s been one of the most fun projects that I have worked on here at Universal Orlando.”
The new dining location features nearly 20 items inspired by memorable characters and staples from the Minions franchise. Some food includes Otto’s noodle bowl, Agnes’ honeymoon soup, steak and “Cheese Ray” sandwich, Mini Boss’ mega melt, Bob’s teddy bear chocolate cream puff, Uncle Dru’s belly fillin’ pork sandwich and Carl’s crispy cauliflower.
Guests can dine in a number of locations that are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. In the kitchen area of the restaurant, guests will get a glimpse of the equipment, gear and tons of bananas that the Minions are using to whip up the cafe’s specialty menu items.
Just off from the kitchen, guests can dine in the Minion breakroom, which includes a vending machine stocked with bananas, coconuties cookies and mischievous items like a fart gun.
The final room is the dining room, which Universal Orlando described as a vibrant space adorned with pet rocks and colorful artwork courtesy of the Minions and more. Guests can also enjoy their meal on an outdoor patio that overlooks the fun of Minion Land.
Near the Minon Café is the whimsical sweet treat retail location and bakery, Bake My Day.
Topped with a massive pink cupcake, the location has a selection of Minion-themed sweet treats, including cupcakes, cake pops, macarons, s’mores and more. This shop also has exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise like apparel, plush, drinkware, accessories, keychains and more.
Just outside of the Bake My Day shop are the walk-up food locations, including Pop-A-Nana and Freeze Ray Pops, which sells fun items like banana-flavored popcorn and colorful popsicles that are inspired by the “Despicable Me” films. Guests can get popsicles that come as a Minion, Gru or even the evil villain Vector.
Around the corner from the Bake My Day dessert shop, guests will find the Illumination Theater, an all-new meet-and-greet location.
Guests can meet characters like the Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes, plus new additions from the hit film “Sing,” including Rosita, Gunter and Johnny. Guests can meet a variety of characters with an impressive art deco theater façade in the background. Characters dance and appear at certain times during the day.
“We have a catalog of characters that provide Minion Land with that personal touch,” said Michael Aiello, senior director of entertainment at Universal Orlando. “Our guests want to engage with these characters, they want to hug them, get an autograph and be near them and that’s what this offers.”
Guests can also discover murals, photo ops and more throughout Minion Land that celebrate additional characters from popular Illumination films.
Click here to learn more about Universal Orlando and its all-new Minion Land.
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