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P. 602: Universal Holidays & Velocicoaster photo report posted!

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^I know about the walk through in Hollywood, but does it have actors in it? I walked through it once on my only visit to the park and don't remember any live actors in it, but do remember it being pretty cool.

 

 

My post was directed at the poster that brought of the capacity issue. And your concept sounds amazing but you need to add a nacho cheese fountain (with seven different types of cheese) to go next to the salsa fountain.

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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My post was directed at the poster that brought of the capacity issue. And your concept sounds amazing but you need to add a nacho cheese fountain (with seven different types of cheese) to go next to the salsa fountain.

 

And a Styx cover band .

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Yeah, and I heard good things about Morey's Ghost Ship haunt, but I'm not sure if it's an upcharge or not.

 

At Morey Piers there is no entrance fee so you can either buy an all-ride wristband pay as you go. Ghost Ship the most expensive ride at Morey Pier, but is included on the all-ride wristband. However, you are only allowed to use your wristband twice to enter Ghost Ship.

Edited by larrygator
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It has actors, just not as many as a typical Haunt maze. It's been awhile since I've been in there, but I want to say there's a Mummy, Chucky, and Frankenstein at least. But my memory sucks.

It all depends on the crowd levels. There's supposed to be the Phantom of the Opera, Nosferatu, the Mummy, Chucky, Mother from Psycho, the Wolfman, Igor, Frankenstein, and the butcher. Sounds like you went in there when several monsters were on their breaks. I go to USH quite often, and rarely have I seen the full cast. There has always been at least one or two actors missing.

 

As amazing it would be for Orlando to put in a year-round haunt, I'm leaning more towards Transformers replacing the SS.

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I want to say there's been one time where we walked through and only saw the Mummy. But yeah, I've never seen it fully staffed with all the characters you mentioned.

I kinda wish they'd tear that building down and do something new there, but I'll save that for the USH discussion thread.

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So this week I had the opportunity to take part in a media preview leading up to today's Grand Opening of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida. Both events gave me a great chance to see the care and detail that has gone into creating this new attraction, taking it beyond the experiences in attractions previously occupying this studio.

 

Despicable Me is the perfect family attraction for Universal Studios, plain and simple. There's something about this attraction for everyone. If you loved the Despicable Me movie, or even chuckled during the trailers for the film(s), then I have no doubt that in the least, the minions will give you reason to enjoy the attraction. Unlike its predecessors, the ride and its connective experiences (queue, pre-shows, post show and exit gift shop) all share a certain heart that can't be found in any of the other attractions in the resort. The tone of the film is perfectly extended to this attraction and it really amplifies the enjoyment you'll have for the franchise as a whole.

 

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem stands alone as a unique story in the realm of the films. While it retains the characters from the first movie (and the upcoming second feature), it is not anchored by any story elements from either work, rather playing off of the story to give guests a unique adventure they can only experience by visiting the attraction. On the anniversary of the day in which Gru adopted Margo, Edith, Agnes, you as guests are to be transformed into minions and trained in an elaborate obstacle course of mayhem. When the girls decide to get involved in the training process, you accidentally fall into a restricted zone within Gru's evil lab, in a wildly amusing sequence of visual and motion acrobats that end on a high note. As the ride experience ends, the minions greet you at the exit with a Boogie Fever dance party that dumps into the Super Silly Stuff store, home to an insanely large and elaborate collection of infectiously irresistible merchandise. The franchise's cute factor definitely has something to do with it.

 

As I mentioned before, the genius behind this attraction is the obvious care that went into the development of this new story, and the addition of the smallest details to give the story greater depth. The outside queue is lined with real banana trees, a not so subtle nod to the minions' love for the yellow fruit. Animators of the second pre-show sequence went as far as to animate the reflection of Gru's symbolic logo as it is seen on the opposite wall, so as to appear as it is reflecting off of the lab's glass from behind which Gru addresses you. In every scene that minions appear (which is every single one), each minion has its own personality, and if you were to ride a hundred times, looking at a different minion each time, you'd find a different expression or visual gag in play each time. Guests even appear on the ride's main screen as they are transformed into minions (think rebel spy from Star Tours) in a seamless integration with the main film.

 

Today's grand opening ceremonies capped off a huge buildup for this attraction since the original announcement earlier this year. Universal Orlando has clearly shown its pride for the attraction, and they have much to be proud of. We've been told that guest satisfaction with the experience has been through the roof and the ride is drawing consistent wait times upwards of one hour.

 

Special thanks to the Universal Orlando Resort for hosting us twice this week. I can truly say how much I enjoy this new experience. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem has so many layers of detail, such a heartfelt story and a ton of wacky antics that all rope me in, and I can only imagine that I'm not alone. Come by and check out Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and see for yourself why I can't help but rave. This is a fantastic addition to a resort that continues to get better and better with each new experience added!

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Despicable_Me_Minion_Mayhem_Interviews_Web_g8wb[/coastertube]

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=DM_MM_Grand_Opening_Web_kozx[/coastertube]

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Minion_Mayhem_Preshows_o62e[/coastertube]

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Mike West, Executive Producer for Universal Creative Studio gave us a tour of the attraction and answered our questions earlier this week.

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Flash forward to today, we were at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem along the "yellow carpet" to witness the attraction's grand opening!

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Mike West was out and about talking to media while waiting for the festivities to begin.

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Chris Bailey, Director of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem was entrusted with leading the development of the attraction after the original film's director had to shift his focus to production of the second film. He too was out meeting guests during the pre-opening ceremonies!

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Gru is almost ready to welcome you to his home!

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Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher, the voices of Edith and Agnes in the films and ride walked the yellow carpet stopping for brief interviews along the way!

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Wait?!?! I get to walk the yellow carpet too???

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Miranda Cosgrove, the voice of Margo in the films and ride, also known for her Nickelodeon show iCarly was also here for the grand opening.

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Following the grand opening ceremonies, Gru, the girls and the minions all held a little dance party in front of the attraction's entrance.

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A future press photo in the making!

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The Despicable Me float from the Universal Superstar Parade also played a role in the grand opening ceremony.

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Now that the attraction was really open, it was time for us to ride (again)!

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Mike West told us that this was one of his favorite gags from the attraction's story development.

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If you saw Despicable Me, then you'll definitely recognize this...

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The queue is filled with little details that are presented with a humorous twist.

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Propaganda!

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This button as it is is better than the movie Watchmen in every way.

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The Gru family tree.

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Elevation changes included, you really are transported into Gru's home as it was seen in the film.

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Can you see the Minions in the pottery art?

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The attraction has two pre-show rooms, each with a very funny set of gags.

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The explanation given for your use of the "minion goggles" is fantastic!

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Again. If you love the minions, you will love this attraction!

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For such an evil villain, Gru does seem to have a soft spot for Margo, Edith and Agnes.

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The second pre-show continues the story in a humorous way.

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If you're a Halloween Horror Nights, you might recognize the guest on the right from a few of the last few years' event commercials.

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Minion transformation isn't always a uniformly successful process...

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Gru really loves this guy! He sure knows how to party!

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Time to scan for contaminants...

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Gru picks out some individuals who haven't showered in a week.

 

I'm not making this up, I promise.

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Fart gun? How about a banana smellitzer!

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"You are so doomed."

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Despicable Me Minion Mayhem sports new 4K digital projectors (the same ones used on the recently updated Spiderman attraction at Islands of Adventure). The screen was also replaced by a larger, curved screen.

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These may be most familiar aspect of the attraction when compared to its predecessors, but just about everything else is different now!

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The whole fleet of Minion transformation pods.

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The attraction continues into the post show with a Minion dance party set to "Boogie Fever." Infectious and awesome!

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Without ruining the attraction's full story, the Super Silly Stuff store continues the story as seen in the attraction film. And it works really, really well!

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"IT'S SOOO FLUFFY!!!"

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TPDave???

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Another awesome shirt!

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I think this is a pretty accurate representation of myself as a minion.

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WOAH.

 

WANT.

 

ALL.

 

MUST.

 

BUY!

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They have a Build A Minion toy!

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The attraction has so many awesome details, like these banana trees lining the queue.

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Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a fantastic addition to Universal Studios Florida and to the Universal Orlando Resort! Come check it out! You definitely won't regret it!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Thanks for the coverage of the events, Adam.

 

I really enjoyed riding it last week myself and was very pleased with the overall experience. It's definitely a very good addition to the park, so I have to say well done Universal. Now if we get that rumored Transformers ride next year, between the two it would definitely lessen the blow of losing Jaws.

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My daughter who is 8 said she loved the ride last week when we went, she also loves the giant fluffy she bought in the shop afterwards too. The Minions truly are taking over with the giant billboards on the building and being the first characters in the superstar parade. We had a great time at USO even though TS Debby rained on us off and on the entire day.

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When Despicable Me was first announced, I thought it would just be just another overlay for Neutron. While it was an overlay nonetheless, I'm surprised at how much they've changed it up. Also that screen....wow, it's huge! Well done Universal. Looks like a very nice ride.

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All video has been added to the original post, including interviews from the yellow carpet, a full video of the opening festivities, as well as footage from the two pre-shows and the post show Minion dance party!

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This looks better than I was expecting it to be. Between this, the new fountain/firework show, and parade it seems like this park is getting the attention it deserves once again.

 

Thanks for sharing the review and photos!

Edited by Intimidator305
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I'm not a big fan of the Minions (although I like Gru), but they've done a good job in redressing the old simulator ride.

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This ride looks absolutely awesome. I am a huge fan of the movie and this ride seems like a great representation of the movie. I hope I can go to Universal sometime in the future to ride this incredible attraction.

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This ride looks really impressive considering it is a rehash of a pre-existing structure and ride. I think the new display has greatly improved the quality of the attraction, and the post-show dance party looks epic!

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If they do build Transformers...it seems like it would have to be worked on very fast because the construction time at Hollywood was a lot longer but then again you never know! Also, if whatever it is opens next year, when is Harry Potter 2 supposed to open?

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^Whatever it is they are putting there, they are definitely working on it VERY quickly. They aren't waiting for trucks to access the lot in the evening, rather shuttling them through the park throughout the day. And a few days before the building was completely gone, I was able to see full TVs and light fixtures that weren't being stripped from the building before they tore it down. Very little from inside of the studio was salvaged as far as I could tell. And then you've got the issue of Horror Nights... This building was supposed to host a house, with construction reported to have already started in there before the axe came down on it. Why couldn't they wait until November to start demolition unless they were really, really in a hurry to get things going?

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT ANNOUNCES A NEW SPECTACULARLY THEMED ON-SITE HOTEL DEVELOPMENT

 

New Hotel Will Add 1,800 On-Site Suites and Standard Rooms

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 9, 2012) – Universal Parks & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts will build a new hotel development at Universal Orlando that will add high-quality, high-value options for families wanting an affordable on-site experience.

 

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer two distinct experiences within the development’s multiple buildings: 900 family suites, capable of sleeping six, that include kitchen areas and 900 standard guest rooms – offering both moderate- and value-priced accommodations. It will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts and is scheduled to open in 2014.

 

The hotel will be themed differently than anything else currently available at Universal Orlando. It will evoke the driving vacations so many Americans grew up enjoying with their families – spending time at sweeping motor courts just off the highway, where families relaxed and played after a long day’s drive. The new hotel’s hip, vintage look will be accented with bold design, dramatic, clean lines, bright, period colors and touches of neon. Inside areas including the lobby, dining areas and large, comfortable rooms will follow suit. The hotel will have two themed pool areas.

 

“Our new hotel will give guests an affordable, incredibly themed on-site hotel experience unlike anything else at our resort,” said Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer, Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our new family suites and family-value pricing will give our guests on-site options they’ve never had before.”

 

The hotel will be built on a 37-acre site within Universal Orlando Resort and adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure – just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road. Site work will begin soon. Pricing information, opening timeframes and room on-sale dates will be released over time.

 

The new hotel will allow families to choose between value pricing or the higher level of benefits and service that come with staying at other on-site Universal Orlando hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. It will provide early park admission, proximity to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios and resort-wide charging privileges – but will not offer complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Access.

 

“The Cabana Bay Beach Resort furthers our goal of operating special and distinct properties in important markets,” said Paul Whetsell, Loews Hotels & Resorts president and CEO. “This is another important step in our plan to expand the Loews system in major markets across the United States.”

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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Looks like an awesome new addition for the resort and a value hotel is really needed IMO. Unfortunately it's looking like 2014 may be the next time we'll make it out to FL so we may have to book a few nights at the new hotel when it opens.

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