Universal Orlando unveils big changes

Despicable Me attraction being added to park

ORLANDO, Fla. - Universal Orlando made an announcement Wednesday morning, with the entertainment giant shedding more light on new rides at the park.

IMAGES: Sneak previews of Universal's new additions

Universal is hoping its yet-to-be-opened Despicable Me attraction will bring more tourists to Orlando.  The new 3-D ride, called "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" will feature characters from the movie, turning riders into minions.

"We're working hand in hand. to bring (the movie) to life," said Universal Orlando spokesman Mark Woodbury.

VIDEO: Check out the new Spider-Man ride

The attraction will be built in the same location as the old Jimmy Neutron ride and will debut in summer 2012.

Universal is also updating the Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure. Park officials said Spider-Man will be reanimated and new 3-D projectors will be installed, displaying new graphics. The Spider-Man ride's renovations will be finished in March 2012.

Universal has not yet said what ride will replace Jaws, which was closed earlier this year.  Jaws opened with the park in 1990.

In addition to the new rides, Universal officials announced they will add a new Blue Man Group show in February that will have a new environment and more technology to interact with the audience.

A "100 Years of Movie Memories"  nighttime lagoon show at Universal Studios will also open later this spring. The "cinematic spectacular" will be narrated by Morgan Freeman and feature the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures' most iconic films.

The new show runs all summer and then on select nights throughout the year.

A Superstar Parade will begin to be hosted daily at Universal Studios in the spring. The floats will feature characters from Despicable Me, Hop, Nickelodeon's Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants. Guests will be able to meet and greet the characters at various locations in the park throughout the day.

Universal said they are also adding a new Nickelodeon store themed SpongeBob SquarePants and a Hollywood Drive-in Golf course at CityWalk. The miniature golf course will be 36-holes and set in the classic drive-thru era.

Watch Local 6 for more information.

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