Today, Universal Orlando invited select members of the media to get an early experience of their newest attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast.

Universal describes the ride as a first-of-its-kind blaster attraction, that blends immersive sets, interactive game-based technology, custom animation, and an original storyline to create a “one-of-a-kind” attraction.

The story goes that guests are entering Villain-Con – the largest convention for villains around the globe – where the headlining event is a challenge to see who has what it takes to become the newest member of the notorious supervillain group, the Vicious 6. As guests make their way through the convention, they’ll venture through the trade show floor, stocked with the latest gadgets, vehicles, and fashion.

The addition of Villain-Con also introduces an small-scale attraction to the Universal line-up that aims a bit more specifically to families with younger children. The ride system is a moving walkway, similar to a baggage conveyor belt that you find at the airport, which makes the attraction highly accessible to all ages.

With such a unique ride system, Villain-Con Minion Blast offers a unique ride experience. When stepping onto the moving walkway, guests will be assigned a colored dot that they must remain on during the duration of the ride – but are free to turn in any direction as they please.

Guests will pick up an “E-Liminator X” blaster to compete against their friends, loved ones, and fellow guests to earn points and see if they’re villainous enough to join the “Vicious 6”.

Each room is inspired by a member of the Vicious 6 and is mostly reliant on screens, but does have a fair amount of interactive physical sets.

Throughout the competition, guests will use their blasters to cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible to earn points. Each blaster has a unique color and icon to help distinguish your reticle from other competitors.

The “E-Liminator X” blaster is extremely impressive, featuring haptic feedback along with light and sound effects. There are two triggers to use for shooting  – a Regular Attack, which can shoot Ice Blasts, Force Waves, or Fireballs that offer unlimited ammo; and a Heavy Attack, which can shoot Freeze Rays, Banana Bombs, Metal Punching Gloves, and more – but at a limited rate. After accruing a certain amount of damage/points, a special powerup will be awarded for one-time use.

At the top of the blaster is a screen that lets you know your username and score. The blaster does have a bit of heft to it, so toddlers/younger children may struggle to hold it steady.

The major hook for the attraction is the interactivity. Unfortunately, as the attraction was in the initial stages of technical rehearsals, the smartphone-connected gameplay features were not active. However, Universal did explain how the gameplay experience will work once active.

Guests can sync up their blaster via the Official Universal Orlando Resort App with just a tap. By doing so, guests can keep track of their scores, embark on special missions within the attraction, unlock perks and powerups to help gain more points, and earn digital collectibles.

For example, if a guest rides the attraction during November – they may be able to customize their bomb from a “Banana Bomb” to a “Turkey Leg Bomb”. Guests can also stack up powerups that allow different perks, such as quicker access to special attacks or rapid fire. To unlock these perks, guests must complete quests – encouraging repeat visits.

And that’s where I think guests will enjoy the attraction the most – that each visit will offer different challenges and experiences; which makes Villain-Con Minion Blast a fun and interactive addition to the Universal Studios line-up.

Now that the ride is in technical rehearsals, what did you think? 

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