They’re small, they’re round, they’re yellow, and when you set foot in Universal Orlando, they’re seemingly everywhere. The adorable, funny, and mischievous minions from the Despicable Me movies are about to get their own movie and Universal Studios Florida is awash in minion mania. Families and fans can get minionized in more ways than ever before, making this summer the perfect time to visit Universal Orlando and celebrate all things minions. Let’s take a look at all the ways you can get into the minion mania.
Minion Scavenger Hunt
New for this summer a fun, simple, and silly scavenger hunt takes place throughout all of the Universal Studios Florida theme park. It’s not elaborate and obviously temporary, but it adds an entertaining way to celebrate the new minion movie. Families and friends are sure to have a good time reading the clues and exploring the park together.
Simply pick up your scavenger hunt card at the minion merchandise store, Super Silly Stuff. The card will give you the instructions and contains 10 clues describing where to find each answer. It’s a scratch off card, so some of the clues are partially obstructed by the scratch off panels, which is kind of frustrating; I’m not sure why the scratch off panels aren’t just under each clue instead of on top off the clue, but I guess we’ll just say it adds to the mystery of the scavenger hunt. Each clue gives a description of where in the park you will find your answer. The answer is marked by a large decal or display of the minions with an answer indicating one of the three most famous minions: Bob, Stuart, and Kevin. Once you see which minion is the answer just scratch off the bubble for the appropriate minion.
After you’ve found the answer for all ten clues the scratch off will reveal the word “minion.” Once you’ve succeeded take your completed card back to Super Silly Stuff to collect your prize: an adorable mini minion magnet. Some critics have said that the scavenger hunt is “cheap and thrown together” however I feel it is a cute, fun way to engage the park in a new way and explore the park’s entirety with family and friends. And hey, it’s free and just one more way to have fun inside Universal Studios Florida.
Oh yes, movie character based merchandise, the wonderful revenue generator that keeps on giving. Truly one of the real tests of a movie’s success is in its residual merchandise sales. Simply walk a few hundred feet anywhere in Universal Orlando and not only will you see multiple stores and carts stocked with minion merchandise but you’ll see plenty of guests proudly displaying their minion goodies from t-shirts to toys. You can find minion merch throughout Universal Orlando, but of course the greatest concentration of it can be found at Super Silly Stuff, at the exit of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.
After the boy wizard and his wizarding world proved that themed food and beverage can be a huge money maker we saw the rise of Springfield USA and its long lineup of themed gastronomic pleasures. Next up in this collection we now have two minion themed snacks. First there is yellow and purple cotton candy, served in a clear plastic bag with the face of a minion or a mischevious purple minion from Despicable Me 2. On my most recent visit to the park the cotton candy was not yet available, but a few days later a few posts of Twitter showed that this sweetest of treats had made its debut.
A little more exciting is the Freeze-Ray Smoothie. You can find this bright orange and yellow, frosty treat at the concession stand at the corner of the lawn in front of Rip, Ride, Rock-It, across from the Twister merchandise shop. This Freeze-Ray Smoothie made its debut at Universal Studios Hollywood (which has a larger Despicable Me themed area than Universal Studios Florida). It is poured from a soft serve machine with banana soft serve on one side and tropical flavors like mango on the other. These flavors are swirl together and make for a sweet, refreshing combination. However, this concoction really is thick soft serve and not really a drinkable smoothie, unless you let the Florida heat work it’s magic melting powers. At $4.95 it is a little overpriced in my opinion, but would be good to be shared. All in all, it’s another good entry into the themed food and beverage catalog.
Meet the Minions
Universal has changed the character meet and greet game with the stunning Transformers meet and greet characters and the fear-inspiring raptors of the Raptor Encounter. But there is something adorable about the short, rotund minion meet and greet Minion characters. There are multiple opportunities to meet the characters from the Despicable Me movies, including Gru and the minions. Gru and the gang usually meet guests after their mini-parade performance around 3:15pm near Mel’s Drive-In. The line for this opportunity can get a little long. They can sometimes be found meeting guests in front of the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction as well.
Personally, I recommend checking out the Minion dance party / meet and greet at the exit of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. You don’t have to ride the ride to meet the minions; you can walk through Super Silly Stuff and the exit / meet and greet location are in the back corner of the shop. The minions make appearances usually starting at 9:30am every 30 minutes until about 30 minutes before park closing. It’s indoors, air conditioned, has a professional Universal photographer, and fun dance music.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attraction
The Minion Mayhem attraction is a bit of a hot topic among major theme park fans. On one hand, it’s got an entertaining pre-show, makes great use of the framework of it’s two predecessors, offers a stationary option for those sensitive to motion sickness, and is just thrilling enough for young kids and whimps like me (this is one of the very few attractions I can handle). But, on the other hand, it has a small hourly capacity and it is at the very front of the park, so it carries a hefty wait time.
I am actually a big fan of the attraction. I think it fits the story of the movies perfectly, makes great use of the characters, and is one of the few attractions that the whole family, even hard to please teenagers, can enjoy. Let’s face it, Universal’s bread and butter is making thrilling, innovative attractions, and some of them are a little too extreme for whimps like me and younger children. So it is nice to have an attraction that is funny, entertaining, and just a touch of thrill without being too much to handle. And if you are on a mission to get as much minion mania as possible, then there is no better way than to experience the attraction the turns you into a minion!
From great character experiences to a new scavenger hunt, and even themed treats, there are plenty of ways to get into the minion mania at Universal Studios Florida this summer. Whether you check out all these fun activities before you see the Minion Movie or after, you’re sure to have a fantastic time!