The Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed that it will open a new attraction based on the animated movie Despicable Me in 2012, in addition to overhauling The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride.
The addition of the Despicable Me attraction had been widely expected following the announcement that Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast will close at Universal Studios Florida in August. It is expected to reuse the simulator-style ride system employed by the Jimmy Neutron attraction.
Based on the $540-million grossing Universal Pictures movie, the Despicable Me ride will use a new Infitec 3-D projection system that the company claims will make the experience "sharper, clearer and more 'real' than ever before". It will be the first ride at any of Universal's theme parks to be based on a Universal-produced animated movie, with all-new scenes being worked on for the attraction.
Despicable Me will feature many of the leading characters from the movie, including soft-hearted super-villain Gru, adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and cute characters the minions. It will include scenes set in Gru's lair and secret lab, with the plot set to see the entire family accidentally transformed into minions.
Describing the new ride, Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said: "The ‘Despicable Me’ attraction is the latest example of how we tap into pop culture’s most compelling stories and turn them into extraordinary theme park entertainment. This is a perfect fit for Universal Orlando, and we can’t wait to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”
At neighboring Islands of Adventure, the massively popular Amazing Adventure of Spiderman will undergo a major refurbishment in time for the 2012 summer season. This will include adding the same Infitec 3-D projection system that is being used for the Despicable Me ride, as well enhancements to the ride's physical sets. Universal has promised that new details will be added to the ride, although it has not revealed what these will be.
Thierry Coup, senior vice president of the Universal Creative Studio, said of the plans to revamp the ride: "Guests will not believe their eyes when they experience the new Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. We are talking about a larger-than-life environment and the HD animation will make it even more remarkable than it has been. It will seem brand-new."
The move to update the Spiderman attraction indicates that Universal does not have any imminent plans to remove Marvel characters from its Orlando theme parks, despite rival Disney's 2009 deal to take over the comic book company.
The Despicable Me ride and updated Spiderman experience are the first major upgrades at the Universal Orlando Resort since the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. The resort recently announced that the Potter-themed land helped drive a 68% year-on-year attendance increase during the first quarter of 2011.
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