Does Universal Studios Have Minions? What’s Next for the Park

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Do you think back in 2010 when Universal Studios released “Despicable Me” – an animated comedy about a would-be supervillain whose heart is won by a trio of orphans he originally adopts as a cover – that they knew what they had? 

Certainly, Steve Carrell, the voice of the supervillain Gru, was a big star. Yes, the girls were cute and adorable. Also, Dr. Nefario, Gru’s mad scientist assistant, was voiced by Russell Brand, who at the time was a big name. 

Of course, all the pieces of the movie were a hit to varying levels. However, it was Gru’s army of jibberish-speaking little yellow guys that would become, arguably, the most valuable piece of multi-platform Intellectual Property (IP) in Universal’s arsenal.

Think about it. The most recent movie in the franchise – the fifth movie, if you’re scoring at home – is subtitled “The Rise of Gru”. The main title? “Minions”.


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Where are the Minions in Universal Studios?

Basically, the Minion ride at Universal is right at the entrance. Just walk straight in the park down the Plaza of the Stars and keep going forward.

You’ll pass the Today Cafe on your right and a big Universal Store on your left. The Minions are right there.

Minion Crossing at Universal Studios Florida
Minions may be the most valuable piece of Universal’s IP (photo by James Overholt/

Are the Minions the most valuable piece of Universal’s IP? 

It’s possible. 

I think Universal is betting big on its classic monsters IP. Specifically, that includes Invisible Man, Mummy, Dr Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. 

Universal reportedly backed that bet by dedicating basically a fifth of its under-construction park to monsters.

However, the first movie, Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy” tanked hard and the planned movie universe fell apart. 

Still, Monsters Land in Epic Universe is reportedly a go. Surely, based on the massive success of Halloween Horror Nights, it’s a safe bet that Monsters Land will be a huge hit.

But if I was guessing, I would say Harry Potter is the most valuable part of the Univeral IP. That is if you were only talking about the theme park aspect.

Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are wildly popular. Therefore, the expected third piece to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Epic Universe would likely be a massive success as well. 

In the movie world, however, the Fantastic Beasts franchise is currently floundering horribly. There do not appear to be more Harry Potter stories on the horizon that include Harry Potter in any significant fashion. And so, the vine that feeds the franchise is withering. 

Does that spell doom for the Wizarding World? Hardly.

But without the massive infusion of periodic box office, it’s hard to make the case that the Harry Potter franchise is Universal’s most popular.

Read Also: What’s new on the Revenge of the Mummy ride, is it scary?

Felonius Gru and Minions
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” raked in around a billion dollars (photo by WSY Imagens/

What about Jurassic Park? 

Now we’ve got a real contender. The Jurassic Park movies haven’t been critical darlings since, well, the first one. But they do reliably well at the box office. 

In addition, the Jurassic Park section of Islands of Adventure is well-loved. It has multiple good to great rides and has the raptor animatronic meet and greets that are amazing. 

There’s certainly room in the park for more growth, more rides and more animatronics. And there’s no reason that after taking a break from the most recent trilogy they can’t fire up more Jurassic Park movies. 

And that brings us to the Minions. Five movies strong, the animated films don’t cost a fortune to make. “Minions: Rise of Gru” cost about $80 million and raked in nearly a billion dollars. I’m no studio exec, but I think a $900 million profit give or take is fairly healthy. 

And the Minions have a strong presence in Universal Studios Florida. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is one of the park’s more popular rides.

Not to mention the fact that the Minions’ presence in park marketing shows them to be among the most popular characters in the park for children. There are tons of mischievous Minions all over the place.

Minion Mayhem Exterior Universal Studios, Fla
Minion Mayhem is a motion simulator (photo by James Overholt/

Is Minion Mayhem a motion simulator?

Yep. It is one of the seemingly dozens of motion simulators at the Universal Studios complex.

It’s a fun ride if you survive the wait queue. The good news is that according to an announcement by Universal in early December, a Minions ride with more practical effects is on the way. 

What do we know about the new Minions attraction at Universal? 

The Universal Orlando Resort is adding a new attraction and restaurant right there next to Minion Mayhem. They’re calling it a “Minion land” but to my mind, it will create a sort of mini-Minion area. 

In fact, I struggle to call it a “land” because it won’t be one of Universal’s immersive environments like the Wizarding World, the new lands in Epic Universe and possibly Jurassic Park, which may be an immersive land. Or it might just be Florida – nobody really knows for sure. 

It will be more akin to Springfield and all the Simpsons stuff. 

Read Also: Epic Universe: What we know so far, rumors and more

Construction of Minions Attraction at Universal Studios, Fla.
The former Shrek attraction construction walls display Minions (photo by Morgan Overholt/

What will the new Minion attraction be like?

Since the closure of Shrek 4-D and the Monsters Cafe, speculation has been running rampant that more Minions were on their way to the park. It didn’t really take Sherlock Holmes to figure it out. The construction walls all around the former Shrek attraction were plastered with Minions. 

The ride will be Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. It’s an interactive, blaster game experience – like Men In Black or Disney’s Toy Story rides.

Guests will put their villainous skills to the test as they compete against each other in a bid to join the ranks of the franchise’s most infamous supervillains.

Villain-Con Minion Blast will reportedly combine innovative screen technology, state-of-the-art gaming interactivity and elaborate physical sets to create a one-of-a-kind, game-based adventure where guests encounter immersive environments, nefarious villains and tons of mischievous Minions from the films.

The attraction is set in Villain-Con – the biggest criminal convention on the planet – to take part in an epic competition to see if they have what it takes to become the newest member of The Vicious 6, a group of supervillains that debuted in “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” 

According to the Universal media release, the ride will defer from Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story Midway Mania or Men in Black because there is no ride vehicle. 

Guests will grab an interactive blaster and step onto a motion-based pathway. They’ll wind and glide through various scenes where they earn points by blasting a variety of items and causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible. 

What about the new cafe? 

Other than the fact that it will exist, we don’t know much at this point.

Expect a lot of silly stuff. 

The attraction is set to open summer 2023. It isn’t clear if the cafe will open earlier or later. Or when the other changes that will turn the area into “Minions” land will be done. 

Does Universal Studios Hollywood have Minions?

Yes. Gru’s House – home of the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem ride is located in California as well.

Your little ones can choose to do their Minion training on the East or West coasts.

Are you looking forward to the new Minion attraction at Universal Studios? Let us know in the comments.

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

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