We know what you’re doing this summer… Minion Mayhem, Universal Studios Hollywood’s newest ride, has just opened and now all your mini Despicable Me fans can turn into rascal-y little yellow dudes for a day. With a 3-D ride, games, treats and water play in the sunshine, your kids have found a new place to play, and it’s the perfect combination of scary and nice (like Santa*!).
*If you don’t recognize this quote, you may need to re-watch ‘Despicable Me’ before attending the park ,for maximum enjoyment.
Dr. Nefario is building out Gru’s army of cuddly little banana fiends, and the “conversion process” inside Gru’s lab is the centerpiece of the new attraction. Minion Mayhem is a immersive 3-D show and ride that’s fun for kids but has just enough lasers and jolts to be exciting for adults. (You have to be 40 inches tall to ride, and kids under 48 inches must have a companion 14 or older.)
Now, the ride itself is a blast, but for our money, the best thing going is the new Super Silly Fun Land attraction adjacent to the ride. You can – and should – spend all day there.
In case you’re a little fuzzy on the details of the Despicable Me saga, Super Silly Fun Land is the amusement park where Gru first really fell in love with his girls. There’s no giant roller coaster at this version, but they’ve swapped in a full-size playground, a kid-friendly spin ride and a water play area. There are changing rooms inside the water play zone, and your kids could easily spend hours splashing in the water (heck yes to that, as it’s hot in the San Fernando Valley in the summer!) while you lounge with a drink at the adjacent Gru’s Café.
Next to the café you can find carnival games like the Space Killer game from the movie – win your very own SO FLUFFY stuffed unicorn – and a grand, glorious gift shop for all your Gru Industries souvenir needs. Plus, even if your littles don’t meet the height requirements on most of the rides at the park, visitors of all ages (even babes in arms) can enjoy Super Swirly Fun Ride which also offers wonderful clear-day views over the Valley.
Full-size characters from the movie happily stop for pictures with kids – look for Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes. You can also see Gru’s car (“Why didn’t he park it in the parking garage, mom? Oh, maybe he really lives here!”) and “props” from the film like the freeze ray and the rhino chair. Fans of the films will find the experience totally rewarding (and delicious, see those tasty cupcakes eying you below) – although one little Despicable Me aficionado said with yearning in his voice: “I wished they had invited Lucy, too.”
Minion Mayhem will have your kids echoing Agnes in the first movie: “Cool, let’s go destroy some other rides!”
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, Ca 91608
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. most weekdays, weekend hours vary, check park calendar for specific dates
Tickets: $76, kids ages 3 to 9; $84 for visitors 10 and over. The park is currently running their “Buy a Day, Get 2014 Free” annual pass offer; black-out dates apply for return visits.
The Minion Mayhem ride is best for kids six and up; Super Silly Fun Land is appropriate for kids as young as two.
Do you have any little Spickledemi, er, Despicable Me fans at your house? What amusement parks do you plan to hit this summer? Tell us in the comments!
Copy and images by Jennifer Arrow