Villain con

When Universal shut down Shrek 4-D and the Monsters Cafe to build out what would become Minions Land, fan reaction was mixed. Though it did make sense to get some fresher IP into the front of the park, many wondered if multiple attractions and eateries inspired by the yellow little mascots that have probably taken over your grandma's Facebook page was really the right call. 

Fortunately, Illuination's Minions Land turned out to be pretty cute. With themed eateries serving everything from delicious "freeze ray" pops that come in mouth-watering flavors ranging from rich Nutella to sweet mango, to a bakery with an impressive array of sweet treats, and even a unique quick service eatery that features an eclectic menu that includes salmon, noodle bowls, braised beef and sandwiches, this new area quickly became a hot spot for dining in the park. And we haven't even mentioned the banana-flavored popcorn stand, which has drawn long lines this summer despite only having been open a few weeks. 

However, the most intriguing part of this new land is the Villain-Con Minion Blast attraction, which has taken over the space formerly occupied by Shrek 4-D. This new attraction recently soft opened, and trust us when we say, it's unlike anything else you've experienced at this park. 

Villain-Con: Minion Blast is not a ride

Image: Universal

When rumors first surfaced about this new attraction being powered by a moving walkway, many were skeptical about how something without a ride vehicle could translate to a fun, interactive attraction. And the truth is, it feels a little weird, at first. But let's back up a little bit and set the stage. 

As you might have guessed from the name, the ride takes place at Villain-Con, the largest convention for villains in the world of Despicable Me. This year's headlining event is a challenge to see who has what it takes to become the newest member of the Vicious 6 super-villain super-group.

The queue looks a lot like a convention floor, with guests able to look at booths featuring tricked-out villain cars, fun villain creature sidekicks, and of course the latest in evil gadgetry. Chief among these shiny new gadgets is the E-Liminator X, which, you guessed, it, will be used as the primary weapon once guests get to the attraction. 

Once guests wind their way through the queue, they'll be able to grab their very own E-Liminator X from a rotating weapons cabinet. The gun is completely wireless, and has a glowing bulb at the top to let you know it has activated, as well as a small screen on the back. The blaster weighs about 3 pounds, and is fairly easy for most adults and older kids to lift, but some younger guests may struggle to hold it up, so make sure to factor that into whether or not you want to experience this attraction. The gun also has two triggers, so guests will need to hold it with two hands. 

Gameplay is a blast 

After grabbing the blaster, guests will proceed to a moving walkway, and be directed to stand on a specific dot, where they'll be asked to stay during the duration of the attraction. There are no seatbelts, restraints or barriers in this attraction, but during our ride through everyone on the attraction was very good about staying on their dot. 

As you get moving, you'll move through several show scenes where you'll be prompted to shoot at targets both on a screen as well as physical targets in the room. Guests can use their E-Liminator X's primary blaster function an unlimited amount of times, continuing to fire continuously at targets.

However, clever guests will find power-ups hidden throughout the various show scenes that they can use to fire a secondary, more powerful blast, which can be enhanced by fire, ice, or gravity. Using this secondary blast not only helps guests knock out more targets at a time, but it also nets players a pretty hefty bonus as well. During the attraction, guests can see both their score and their available power-up shots on the screen on the back of the gun. 

Gameplay is action-packed and is squarely focused on fighting the Vicious Six. The addition of the power-ups for the weapon adds a fun dimension to the gameplay, giving it a strategic component missing in other shoot-em-up-style games like Men in Black or Walt Disney World's Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. The fact that the gun is also not connected to a vehicle and you have free range of motion makes the attraction feel more dynamic as well, as guests shoot at targets all around them, turning and pivoting as the action changes directions. 

What changes are we likely to see before the attraction officially opens?


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