Villain-Con Minion Blast (Photos, Videos, & Reviews) | Inside Universal Forums

Villain-Con Minion Blast (Photos, Videos, & Reviews)

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Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2008
25,453
59,162
Orlando, FL
Please post all photos, videos and reviews here.

For general discussion, go to the following thread:


Here's our thoughts:

Villain-Con Minion Blast a is fun and interactive addition to the Universal Studios Florida line-up that will offer guests a unique experience with each visit.

 
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Well, it is certainly an attraction.

Right off the bat, let's get into some positives:
  • Like most have been saying, they did an excellent job turning a very limited space into a fun, long and, dare I say it, somewhat immersive attraction.

  • I really like that the attraction isn't really focused on the Minions. I was fully expecting the plot to turn into a goofy minion takeover and the villains just being the queue story, but nope, the villains are the the full spotlight here! Minions surprisingly act more as just extra points in the background.

  • PHYSICAL SETS! No animatronics unfortunately but I thought the physical sets we did get were done rather well and blended well with the screens.

  • The indoor queue is genuinely fantastic. Loved all the details and lil jokes sprinkled around, plus it really did feel like a convention floor hub! Also, a nice Shrek reference in the form of the Swamp Smasher.

  • The final scene being an epic battle in CityWalk with the villains of the mainline movies is a great and memorable way to end the attraction.

But now, the bad:
  • As many have said, the guns are surprisingly heavy. I like the design and it's really cool we get to use more unique weapons that genuinely feel like villain inventions, but did they have to be so heavy?

  • Granted, of course the attraction is still in technical rehearsal and I'm sure this will be fixed in the official opening, but YIKES the lag in some scenes, particularly the first few. Second half was much better, but yeah all around they definitely still need to do quite a bit of fine tuning with the blaster/screen synchronization.

  • It's very, very hard to tell what exactly you're supposed to be shooting at. The crates giving you upgrades is clear, but besides that, what does and doesn't give me points? Who or what am I supposed to be shooting at? The only scene where this was fully clear IMO was the final scene where the rival villains have big bad bots to shoot at.

  • This is my #1 issue: The blasters are not rapid fire. Unlike MIB, you cannot hold down the triggers, you will have to constantly be tapping both. Combine that with how heavy they are, I was struggling to keep playing at the end, and I came off with a shoulder in great pain.

Overall, I'd say it's currently about a 6/10 attraction. Not bad, not great, a nice break from the heat. A little bit of fine tuning and making the triggers rapid fire would definitely start skyrocketing the score though.
 
Well, it is certainly an attraction.

Right off the bat, let's get into some positives:
  • Like most have been saying, they did an excellent job turning a very limited space into a fun, long and, dare I say it, somewhat immersive attraction.

  • I really like that the attraction isn't really focused on the Minions. I was fully expecting the plot to turn into a goofy minion takeover and the villains just being the queue story, but nope, the villains are the the full spotlight here! Minions surprisingly act more as just extra points in the background.

  • PHYSICAL SETS! No animatronics unfortunately but I thought the physical sets we did get were done rather well and blended well with the screens.

  • The indoor queue is genuinely fantastic. Loved all the details and lil jokes sprinkled around, plus it really did feel like a convention floor hub! Also, a nice Shrek reference in the form of the Swamp Smasher.

  • The final scene being an epic battle in CityWalk with the villains of the mainline movies is a great and memorable way to end the attraction.

But now, the bad:
  • As many have said, the guns are surprisingly heavy. I like the design and it's really cool we get to use more unique weapons that genuinely feel like villain inventions, but did they have to be so heavy?

  • Granted, of course the attraction is still in technical rehearsal and I'm sure this will be fixed in the official opening, but YIKES the lag in some scenes, particularly the first few. Second half was much better, but yeah all around they definitely still need to do quite a bit of fine tuning with the blaster/screen synchronization.

  • It's very, very hard to tell what exactly you're supposed to be shooting at. The crates giving you upgrades is clear, but besides that, what does and doesn't give me points? Who or what am I supposed to be shooting at? The only scene where this was fully clear IMO was the final scene where the rival villains have big bad bots to shoot at.

  • This is my #1 issue: The blasters are not rapid fire. Unlike MIB, you cannot hold down the triggers, you will have to constantly be tapping both. Combine that with how heavy they are, I was struggling to keep playing at the end, and I came off with a shoulder in great pain.

Overall, I'd say it's currently about a 6/10 attraction. Not bad, not great, a nice break from the heat. A little bit of fine tuning and making the triggers rapid fire would definitely start skyrocketing the score though.
Rapid fire is a perk. I'm not saying they could fire a tad faster but... But maybe the slower fire rate helps try to combat the lag.
 
Well, it is certainly an attraction.

Right off the bat, let's get into some positives:
  • Like most have been saying, they did an excellent job turning a very limited space into a fun, long and, dare I say it, somewhat immersive attraction.

  • I really like that the attraction isn't really focused on the Minions. I was fully expecting the plot to turn into a goofy minion takeover and the villains just being the queue story, but nope, the villains are the the full spotlight here! Minions surprisingly act more as just extra points in the background.

  • PHYSICAL SETS! No animatronics unfortunately but I thought the physical sets we did get were done rather well and blended well with the screens.

  • The indoor queue is genuinely fantastic. Loved all the details and lil jokes sprinkled around, plus it really did feel like a convention floor hub! Also, a nice Shrek reference in the form of the Swamp Smasher.

  • The final scene being an epic battle in CityWalk with the villains of the mainline movies is a great and memorable way to end the attraction.

But now, the bad:
  • As many have said, the guns are surprisingly heavy. I like the design and it's really cool we get to use more unique weapons that genuinely feel like villain inventions, but did they have to be so heavy?

  • Granted, of course the attraction is still in technical rehearsal and I'm sure this will be fixed in the official opening, but YIKES the lag in some scenes, particularly the first few. Second half was much better, but yeah all around they definitely still need to do quite a bit of fine tuning with the blaster/screen synchronization.

  • It's very, very hard to tell what exactly you're supposed to be shooting at. The crates giving you upgrades is clear, but besides that, what does and doesn't give me points? Who or what am I supposed to be shooting at? The only scene where this was fully clear IMO was the final scene where the rival villains have big bad bots to shoot at.

  • This is my #1 issue: The blasters are not rapid fire. Unlike MIB, you cannot hold down the triggers, you will have to constantly be tapping both. Combine that with how heavy they are, I was struggling to keep playing at the end, and I came off with a shoulder in great pain.

Overall, I'd say it's currently about a 6/10 attraction. Not bad, not great, a nice break from the heat. A little bit of fine tuning and making the triggers rapid fire would definitely start skyrocketing the score though.

How do you think kids will do with the heavy guns?
 
Ten runs reporting in. Pretty lengthy review/loose organization of thoughts here. Some minor spoilers ahead.

The Good:
  • The gameplay is surprisingly complex, but also still relatively simple so anyone can just pick up and play. The fact that it has two modes of fire (one with limited ammo) AND a chargeable ultimate fire meter helps to set it apart from even it's closest ride comparison, Toy Story Mania (though it's closer to one of those Nerf arcade games imo). It'll be interesting to workshop strats to see which power-up is the most desirable.
  • The second room of the indoor queue is nice and spacious with lots of cool, fun details. I also liked the stylized pre-load video as well.
  • The rooms on the ride feel a lot more spacious than they actually are since you're focused on the screens. Stronghold, Jean Clawed, and Svengeance's rooms especially utilize their space really well and have a good mix of practicality in addition to their screens.
  • The attraction is very fun and rerideable, something that I'm thankful for because there are few attractions I can say that for at Studios (MIB, Mummy, Transformers to an extent, and formerly Fievel's Waterslide). Also aiding in that fact is the downplaying of the Minions, who are more background characters with their most prominence being in the third queue video; yes they're "cute," but they can get very annoying when overused.
  • I like that it actually canonically takes place at Universal and is fully set on that, especially with the penultimate room, rather than just name-dropping or alluding to the park (which is what Minion Mayhem does lol).
The Bad:
  • The first two queue videos are too short, clocking in around 7 minutes for each I think. There's only so many times I can see the funny Professor Flux scene before it gets old. In all fairness, it wasn't too bad today, but it will become an issue when Express is allowed for this ride. The third and pre-load videos have an inverse but less significant issue of being too long for the single screens they play on indoors.
  • It takes a bit of trial and error to find your reticle on the screen sometimes, not helped by the inevitable bit of lag as you move it around. Might be helped by the app connectivity but we'll put a pin in that for now.
  • I don't mind the firing speed but autofire would be nice, it gets a bit tiring on the fingers having to spam the trigger.
  • Other rooms in the ride feel boring and nowhere near as dynamic as the three I previously mentioned. Nunchuck and Belle Bottom's come to mind, with the former's also being very small.
and The [ETC.]:
  • Blasters were lighter than I thought they would be, had previously heard they would be heavy but they aren't that bad
    How do you think kids will do with the heavy guns?
    This is the more concerning part but I do know that they won't have any trouble firing through the walkway barrier.
  • Aside from the indoor portion, the queue kinda just... exists. It's nothing too special.
  • Near-certain that isn't Jason Segel voicing Vector. :neutral:
  • Not gonna talk about lag or blaster connection issues since the attraction is in technical rehearsal and these will very likely be sorted out by opening.
Overall, I'd say it's a fun ride that's an easy improvement over Shrek, which was previously the worst ride in the park. Is it exactly what Studios needed? I'm not entirely sure about that, but I will say that it's a more enjoyable screen ride than most of the other screen rides, and it's place in the attraction lineup would be much better with Supercharged, Simpsons, and Minion Mayhem out of the picture.
TLDR: 8/10. Has some issues, but is a fun addition with a good amount of effort put into it.
 
Obviously will give it more tries but I haven’t came out of a Universal attraction with that reaction since my first ride on F&F. Our group got a return time and were escorted straight to the show floor, so I’m not sure how much we missed but that made us going into the attraction knowing absolutely nothing about the guns and their abilities. It was kinda just grab a gun, step on the dot, and immediately start shooting at whatever you could see in between the random explosions. Managed to get hit in the face twice by the blaster from the guest behind while spending half the ride realizing that I never had a reticle in the first place, at that point I just gave up and just started spamming at the screen hoping it would end. Tech rehearsals so I won’t fault it, and I’m sure once express opens then AAPs will get the full experience but it was a big yikes for now.
 
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Finally got to ride and it was so good I did it another 3 times. There is some lag in the 2nd scene but besides that it was pretty smooth. Def a small learning curve but on the third time I was able to figure out what to hit to get the most points. It's already super fun and it's going to get even better when the app is enabled.
 
I was a little worried as I had spoken to a few people who really disliked the attraction.

The criticisms I agree with are the lag and the weight of the blaster. I enjoyed the length but my shoulders/arms felt like they needed a break before the last three scenes.

Not sure if it has been mentioned, but the AC is a big draw!! This thing is MiB single rider hallway kind of artic blast. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting an AC ride where you get to shoot and blow up stuff. Anyway, I found it a lot of fun, I think it is fine if you few it as a shooter attraction. The queue moved well (25 minutes on a 40 minute posted, 20 minutes on a 30 minute posted time),

We did have a pause in the attraction, they turned our guns off, when the belt started up again, we could not finish the room we were in as our guns did not reset until we were in the next room. When stopped, I joked w/ my daughter "you'll finally get your whish to be E-vacted, will they tell us to just walk?"

They left a spot between groups, so I doubt some kid will hit you w/ their blaster if they continue w/ that load process.

couple of pics:

vccp.jpg

vcuo_s.jpg
 
One thing this needs is a TM, possibly in the 2nd/3rd scene, to check if blasters are functioning or if someone has questions. It's happened twice now where the party behind us had a few blasters that weren't working and they pretty much had to stand there as there's no exit until the very end. There's a TM at the start checking but it seems like there's a glitch with blasters turning off after the first scene.
 
One thing this needs is a TM, possibly in the 2nd/3rd scene, to check if blasters are functioning or if someone has questions. It's happened twice now where the party behind us had a few blasters that weren't working and they pretty much had to stand there as there's no exit until the very end. There's a TM at the start checking but it seems like there's a glitch with blasters turning off after the first scene.
How would you make that work?

Easy fix is just to let them reride (although it is tech rehearsal so there’s a catch)
 
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How would you make that work?

Easy fix is just to let them reride (although it is tech rehearsal so there’s a catch)

They let the groups ride again, but that's only because they told the TM. If they hadn't told them they would have pretty much wasted their time.

There's no specific location built for a "blaster check" during the ride, but they could probably put a TM somewhere and maybe hand them another blaster or stop the conveyer for a few seconds in order for them to get off and get sent back to the start.
 
Got the email for the preview and thought it would be a good excuse to use an AP perk (not sure if any Epic previews will be included in the current AP benefits) and make a trip out to the park. The registration was surprisingly smooth with the time/date selection being infinitely more flexible than Disney’s.

That’s where the positives stop lol.

This is the worst addition to one of the major park chains since, I don’t know, probably Antarctica at Sea World. The fact that a multi-billion dollar IP (top 3? in the company’s portfolio) gets a 30-year-old reskinned simulator and…this is honestly kind of shocking.

I won’t get into the poor placemaking, lazy queue, bizarre storyline choice, moving walkway mechanism, etc. because the prevailing argument is that it’s just supposed to be fun.

But I didn’t have any fun. There are way too many people shooting at a screen at a time. Targets weren’t clear underneath the mess of competing guns on the screen and I had no idea what was actually getting me points. The rooms are also too cramped to really fully absorb what’s happening on each screen—the walkways need to be about 5-10 feet moved back in almost every room.

I will say, I thought the ending was a clever idea (although the execution was…strange) and I liked being able to shoot exploding bananas at the minions. That’s about all I can say.

I know that some of you are really into this ride…and that’s fine. Obviously this is my opinion. But this review isn’t for you; it’s for the casual lurkers or trip planners seriously considering taking an hour out of their $150+ day to do this. Seriously, any other experience at the park is more fulfilling than this…this is not the kind of product a park charging this much money should be producing.
 
I got to try this out over the weekend! The queue was enjoyable with fun little puns and references filled throughout. There's one that I found really funny right under Lost and Stolen:

IMG_0698.JPG

The blaster didn't feel heavy but it did feel slightly awkward to hold at first. Setting up the player profile in the Universal app was easy but the gamertag you pick has to be unique so keep that in mind if you're going to do that; there's an auto-generated name when you first launch it that you can change at any time. If you want a unique name before anyone else you could set that up before you get the park through the app.

The syncing was fast when it worked. I may have missed an instructional video somewhere but a TM had to point to a spot on the blaster to where I should have placed my phone. I was initially trying to scan close to where your see your score but the actual area is closer to you. If anyone's had trouble trying to sync that may be why.

The app for this is more fleshed out than I thought it would be, and you can have multiple profiles on one phone so not everyone has to have the app to sync a blaster with a game profile. There's also the ability to add friends for ranking.

I did experience subtle lag between the pointer and where my shots landed. It reminded me of Time Crisis in terms of an arcade feel rather than an FPS. It also felt like you had to lead your shots sometimes. There was a lot going on the screens and it was a little hard to follow at first but I got the hang of it. I had no idea what to do with the elemental abilities there but I'll work that out in future rides/walks/stands.

During one the turns I did one of my feet stuck on the sides because at one point you're in a room with screens on both sides and it's chaotic in there. I did not stay on my dot so that's on me. :(

I don't know why but I wasn't expecting them to use the walkways spiel from the parking garages and for a quick second I forgot where I was. lol

Overall it was a fun thing to do and I'll more than likely do it once or twice if the lines are ~40 minutes or less. I did finish my first playthrough with a score of 361,355 so I'm interested to see how much better I may get that in the future.