Survivalist guide to “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” at Universal Studios

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New to Universal Studios, Hollywood comes their latest 3-D motion ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.   It is located at the end of the block after making a left at the House of Horrors.  Come inside, stand in line and we’ll walk you through until showtime.

The attraction is staffed by those wearing white lab coats paying homage to Dr. Nefario.  As you near the front entrance you’ll see the approximate wait time.  On weekends, be prepared to wait 50 minutes.   It may be as low as 20 during the final minutes before the park closes.   For the general public, not wearing Front of the Line passes, you’ll make a left hand turn.

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If you see this you are that far away.

With clever deception, you will be unable to see the end of the line’s end.   Marching straight in front of the queue maze,  then a sharp right hand turn, you’ll end up at rear lot.  You’ll feel very minimized and humbled when you stand in line near the outer perimeter of Universal Studios.

You can start gauging your wait by looking up.  Do you see the skies?  If so, you’re over 40 minutes away.  Once the canopies cover you in shade will you begin to see hope.

As I praised the great queuing at the Simpsons Ride, Minion Madness isn’t so entertaining.  There are many Minion posters to entertain you with propaganda.  It’s clever, cute, and ever so self-serving.  Like the Simpsons, there are television monitors giving you a little background about Gru and his girls, just in case you never heard of the movies.

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If you start near the back, you’ll run parallel with the back lot.  Slowly you’ll make your way inward passing a couple water station along the way.   Mind the signs reading “YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE”.    You will not get away carrying a toddler into the attraction.  Dr. Nefario wannabees will escort you away literally steps from entering the ride.

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Three-quarters through your wait you’ll rotate going across rather up and down the queue lines.  You will see a ramp leading into Gru’s laboratory and a few lab assistants are there to greet you.  The attraction has two theaters.  After receiving your glasses you’ll be directed into one of those theaters, left or right.

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Just as The Simpsons Ride, you’ll ask to wait in a bay themed after Gru’s living room.   You’ll stand in one of six lines as television monitors entertain you.  There are interesting props here along all four walls.  Expect to be here for about 5 minutes.  When the doors open, you’ll be corralled into yet another waiting bay.  Here, you’ll get more intimate entertainment as a bank of monitors play a little skit starring Gru, the girls, and some minions. Expect to be poked fun at while experiencing some interesting smells.  Gru will open the doors and you’ll be wowed by a large theater.  Each of the six rows will have a number of stations, each seating four.   The simultaneous entry and evacuation routine is very similar to Shrek 4-D.

Having experienced the attraction three times during our most recent stay, I will say it does matter where you sit.  Second row and center is noticeably more enjoyable than fourth row end.   However, you’re stuck with what the minders have chosen for you.   The “ride” is formula with roller coaster rails, free fall, and its share of child endangerment.  Once the ride is over, you’re hurried out.  But wait, there’s more!  Really, there is.

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The attraction invests in a little discotheque celebrating your experience.   Okay, there really isn’t all that many volunteering to dance.  But its a nice presentation,   As you exit you’ll be guided through – the gift shoppe!  If you’re lucky, you can pose with a minion at the back corner of the shop.

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Stepping out into the sun, you’ll get a good look at another minion-themed ride and a water park where little children can run through sprinklers and crawl on their bellies through pools of chlorinated water.  If you knock yourself for not bringing a swim suit for your little ones, Universal Studios has a solution for you.

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Since you came unprepared, we’re sure the swimwear prices are fair.