Universal Orlando has released new details and concept art for the new Minion Land area of Universal Studios Florida. New information was released for the Minion Cafe taking over the former Monsters Cafe, as well as other new retail and snack locations, a new meet and greet space, and of course, the Shrek 4-D replacement, Villain-Con Minion Blast—but what we did not get, is an opening date.
Let’s look over the new info and recent construction, and try to figure out when all of this will be opening, in today’s news update. See the quick video below for additional views!
According to the official website, “the Minions have taken over.” That’s because a new Minions attraction is set to open this summer, replacing Shrek 4-D, and a new Minion Cafe is replacing the former Classic Universal Monsters Cafe.
But even though Universal has shared a sneak peak at how this area will look once complete, they are still only saying it will all open Summer 2023. Given that we’re already in the middle of May now, with the summer months fast approaching, many were hoping to get an actual opening day announcement for the new ride.
Despite rumors that it is testing now, it is beginning to sound like they may need some additional time to work out all the kinks over at Villain-Con Minion Blast.
In the meantime, work has been speeding up around the land areas of this new Minion Land, which is taking over a section of Production Central near the existing Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem ride.
Universal says visitors will be greeted by a photo-worthy “Minion Land” marquee featuring 22 Minions. Recent permits talked about a marquee being installed near this area, which may end up being placed near the Betty Boop store entry as seen in the aerial photo below.
The exterior for Minion Blast looks just about ready for guests, and supposedly even the queue videos are playing. The entry sign and other signage explains how Villain Con is taking place here at Universal Studios Florida. The building has been renamed from Soundstage 4-D to Soundstage V… for Villian.
And there are plenty of villains represented. It looks as though all of the villains from both the Minions spin-off films, as well as all of the Despicable Me films are represented on banners located on two sides of the building.
Over at the future Minion Cafe, located at the end of Illumination Ave, theming work has been ongoing along the exterior of the structure. Compare how the area looks now in the next photo, to the official concept art released today below it.
The backside of the Transformers ride building was painted aqua recently, and it appears that an Illumination sign will be added, according to the concept art.
For the Cafe itself, Universal has released some food photos and details, saying it will offer nearly 20 items inspired by the characters of the Minions and Despicable Me series, including Otto’s Noodle Bowl, Carl’s Crispy Cauliflower, Agnes’s Honeymoon Soup and the Steak & Cheese Ray Sandwich. A kids menu will include Mini Boss’ Mega Melt, and for dessert there will be the Bob’s Teddy Bear Chocolate Cream Puff.
Universal says the inside of the Minion Cafe will be split into three areas: the Kitchen – where guests will get a glimpse of the equipment the Minions have used to whip up the cafe’s menu; the Breakroom – where you dine in the Minions’ break space that includes everything from “Office Safety Tips” to a vending machine stocked with mischievous items; and the Dining Room – a vibrant space adorned with colorful artwork courtesy of the Minions and more. There will also be an outdoor patio.
Attached to the Minion Cafe building, they have confirmed that we will be getting the Bake My Day sweet shop. This is something we talked about in our past updates. Not only has it now been confirmed by Universal in a new piece of concept art, but the large cupcake has already been installed on the top of the building, complete with a Minion keeping an eye on things over at Villain Con next door.
Universal says Bake My Day will serve Minion-themed treats, including cupcakes, macarons, s’mores, and more.
On the left of Bake My Day will be Feeeze Ray Pops, which will be a small service window serving a variety of colorful popsicles inspired by Gru, the Minions, and Vector. The “Feeeze Ray Pops” term was first revealed in a recent trademark filed by the company.
Rounding out the food offerings will be the Pop-A-Nana popcorn kiosk. Concept art seems to show this snack stand located in front of the Minion Cafe. We first discovered this named kiosk in permits a few weeks ago. It has the same name as a stand in Universal Studios Japan that serves banana-flavored popcorn, and yes, Universal has confirmed that our location will be serving the banana-flavored popcorn as well!
The area will also feature the Illumination Theater meet and greet spot. This will be located pretty much where the original Donkey and Shrek meet and greet was, but now themed as a theater marquee.
In addition to becoming the new home to existing characters like the Minions, Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes, characters from Sing will be meeting at Universal Studios Florida for the first time here, including Rosita, Gunter, and Johnny.
While an opening date for Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast was not announced, they have revealed a new brief description for this new attraction, saying:
“Join Illumination’s Minions at Villain-Con and encounter Belle Bottom, Jean Clawed and the rest of the Vicious 6 as you blast your way to supervillain stardom. It’s all-new fun coming Summer 2023 to Universal Orlando. Afterward, guests exit through Evil Stuff, an all-new retail location where they can stock up on Villain-Con and Minions merchandise.”
The newly released concept art shows everything we’ve spoken about before in prior updates, including the look of the wireless blasters we will use on the attraction to earn points.
The artwork also seems to show the moving pathway that we will be standing on during the ride. If you look very closely, you can see the cut out rounded line of the segmented section of the moving pathway, similar to ones used in other venues like museums and aquariums.
Despite an opening date not being released, rumor has it that the attraction itself was completed, but is going to require additional testing and tweaking ahead of opening. While I was originally suggesting we could see Minion Blast open in June, many are saying they believe it will not open until August.
With wireless blasters that supposedly can be connected to your smartphone for keeping track of your scores, along with screen and mixed media, and a moving walkway, there certainly are a lot of moving parts to coordinate. Hopefully, if rumors are true, the extra time will help them to make the attraction the best it can be.
Now, a reminder that this is not the only kid-friendly project going on now at Universal Studios Florida. While still not announced, it does appear that Universal is creating a new DreamWorks themed land to replace KidZone on the other side of the park, (see the aerial look at the area below). Check out our last update for more details on what that could contain.
But that’s not all, as they just closed Poseidon’s Fury over at Islands of Adventure, something that everyone seems to think will be replaced with a new Zelda themed area, and they’re probably right.
And of course Epic Universe will be opening in 2025, a whole new theme park. There may be even more projects coming for Universal Orlando though, as there are still some weaker areas of the parks that could use some improvement. But we can talk more about that in a future update.
That’s all for now, but check out the video version of this story for additional visuals, and see our last update for more information on the KidZone replacement. Stay tuned for more details and construction updates for the Minion Land area as they happen!
Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official Images: Universal Orlando | Original Photos: Alicia Stella | Aerials and Construction Photos: Bioreconstruct | Other Images as Captioned