Honest Review of Villain-Con Minion Blast at Universal Studios Florida

Shannen Ace

Updated on:

Honest Review of Villain-Con Minion Blast at Universal Studios Florida

Shannen Ace

Updated on:

Honest Review of Villain-Con Minion Blast at Universal Studios Florida

Villain-Con Minion Blast has opened for technical rehearsals at Universal Studios Florida. Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, set in Minion Land, is not fully operational yet, but guests are now able to experience Villain-Con intermittently ahead of the grand opening later this summer. At this time, guests are asked not to take photos or videos of the queue or on the ride, but we can give you our honest review of the attraction. What exactly is Villain-Con Minion Blast, and what did we think of it? Read our review here or scroll down to watch our full review.

Villain-Con Minion Blast Review

villain con minion blast soft opening 5155

Villain-Con took over the location of Shrek 4D at the front of Universal Studios Florida. While we know that many were big fans of Shrek 4D, and may be biased against Villain-Con Minion Blast, we think this is a huge upgrade. We really like this new attraction and think it’s a worthy replacement. In fact, we really think this attraction is better in many ways. (Click here for a final look at Shrek 4D.)

villain con walls down 4893

Villain-Con Minion Blast is a moving walkway attraction — one step above a show like Shrek 4D, but also one step below what most would consider a ride. Villain-Con is a shooting attraction akin to Men in Black: Alien Attack. Think of it more as a game or experience. One of the highlights of this new attraction is the fact that there is no height requirement, a rarity at Universal Orlando. As long as children are able to stand on their own, they may ride. The ride is something everyone in the family can enjoy together. The attraction also seems to have a high capacity, which is another perk. The ride is continually loading, which reduces your time spent waiting in the queue. There is no time spent loading and unloading ride vehicles since guests are just stepping on and off a moving walkway. The walkway snakes around just like any other ride track, but you are basically the ride vehicle being moved from scene to scene.

villain con minion blast soft opening 5161

The majority of the queue is outdoors, similar to Shrek 4D. While outside, there are two short pre-show videos — maybe five minutes long. Without giving away the jokes, we will just say we had a lot of laughs at the pre-show. It gives the background of Villain-Con, which first appeared in the “Minions” film as a villain convention in Orlando in 1968. If you aren’t very familiar with the Minions universe, the first pre-show video will fill you in.

minion blaster 6

Just before entering the indoor portion of the queue, another short pre-show video plays as you move closer to the scanner at the entrance to the convention. It introduces you to the E-Liminator X, the blaster you’ll be using. It’s by a company called Rotten, a parody of Apple made obvious by its apple core logo. The video explains that the new gun will be available from Unlawful Outfitters, one of the booths at Villain-Con.

The interior queue is only one room, but it’s phenomenally themed. It’s a detailed vendor room featuring several convention booths offering a variety of wicked items. Everything a villain could want can be found here. You’ll also see the E-Liminator X on display here, and you can buy your own in the Evil Stuff Gift Shop.

Before you get to the moving walkway, you’ll pick up your blaster. These differ from most shooting attractions since the gun is not attached to a ride vehicle. The blasters are large and heavy, and Team Members are there to make sure you grab a fully charged blaster. They scroll by on a slow-moving conveyor belt that doubles as a gun rack and charger. There are three tiers of blasters, and guests will want to grab one with either a blue or yellow light. If a blaster has a red light on the rack, it’s still charging. Team Members are there to assist you, too. In the future, this will be the time when you want to pair the Universal Orlando app to your blaster.

minion blaster 5

Before getting too close to the belt, make sure you look down at your blaster to identify your emblem for shooting. It will disappear from the screen when you’re about to get on the walkway, so if you don’t look, you’ll have to figure out which icon is yours in the training room. The guns are pretty heavy, and they have two triggers. When “loading” the ride, you are told to stand on a specific dot. If you move off this dot, your gun will disconnect and stop working, so it’s imperative to stay in place. This helps keep guests from moving forward or backward to try to keep blasting for more points. If you think someone in your party may need assistance standing in one place or holding the blaster, two guests may share a blaster and stand in one place.

Eventually, you’ll be able to sync your score with the Universal Orlando Resort app and access more features at the attraction. This isn’t set up yet, unfortunately, but when it is working, you’ll sync the app with your gun. Looking at the signage in the queue, it looks like you’ll be tapping your phone to the light on the gun. We think you’ll be able to collect virtual items through the app, too. It feels like a similar system to the Power-Up Bands at Super Nintendo World.

minion blaster 8

A small screen at the top of the gun displays your points and power-ups throughout the ride. As we mentioned, it’s important to look at this before the ride, though — it will show you an emblem and color. This is what you’ll see when pointing the blaster at the screens, so remembering what it looks like helps you distinguish your aim from someone else’s.

There are two triggers on the E-Liminator X. The one at the bottom, where a trigger would typically be, is for normal unlimited shooting. The trigger at the front of the handle is for power-ups. You start with 5 banana power-ups, then can collect more power-ups in each room.

minion blaster 3

There are 4 types of unlimited ammo: freeze ray, force blast, lightning bolt, and fire ball. The screen will show which type of ammo you’re using, and you can change ammo types by shooting the respective icon on screen. Different types of ammo have different benefits — like the freeze ray can freeze a villain in place. Then you can use a power-up to take the villain down.

In each room, there are physical props as well as screens. You can shoot cubes, boxes, random items, henchmen, and main villains. There are also Minions, but nothing really seems to happen when you shoot them. Read our breakdown of the individual scenes.

The ride experience is probably about 3-5 minutes, and it feels like the perfect length. It’s a long ride, so at least you get a lengthy experience after waiting in line. It’s a bit chaotic and kind of a workout, too.

There have been a few issues during technical rehearsals, but the ride is working relatively well. We noticed a few glitches in the animation, but everything else seemed to be running smoothly.

Even though we are tired of screen-based attractions, Villain-Con Minion Blast isn’t the worst offender. We rank this below The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash at Universal Studios Hollywood, which also uses screens, but has a better balance with physical sets and animatronics.

One of our reporters rode with her young kids, who loved the ride. There is no height requirement, although all guests do need to be able to stand and stay on the dot. It’s much more kid-friendly than many Universal Orlando Resort rides, and will also appeal to adults. This is also one of the few Universal Orlando Resort attractions that guests can experience while pregnant. Read the full list of warnings. It’s not a life-changing ride, but it’s a solid win.

Villain-Con Minion Blast is very different from other Universal rides, and it fulfills a need for Universal Studios Florida. A high capacity, family friendly attraction that has repeat value is a welcome new addition.

An official opening date for Villain-Con Minion Blast has not been announced, but stay tuned for more details. Be sure to watch our video review below.

For more Universal Studios news from around the world, follow Universal Parks News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news, visit WDWNT.

2 thoughts on “Honest Review of Villain-Con Minion Blast at Universal Studios Florida”

  1. After riding twice, I believe on the same day as Annie and Tom, I agree with this assessment. The biggest problem I foresee is with parents/adults having to set their blasters down in the middle of the experience to help smaller children who can no longer handle theirs. Thanks for all the game play explanation…even after two rides I didn’t catch all of the nuances. I think it will be fun for first-time riders who can just blast away (I actually got a higher score doing this) and repeat riders who can try all the different game play options. I personally wouldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for the experience…but definitely worth doing at least once if for nothing else than the awesome queue.

  2. Mediocre, if another park opened this it would be the worst attraction ever. Not gonna praise this lazy replacement

Comments are closed.