• Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: May 17, 2024

Last Updated: May 21, 2024

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast
  • Year: 2023
  • Type: Shooting gallery
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: None
  • Ride Duration: 5min
  • Cool videogame elements
  • You can blast Minions
  • Way too chaotic
  • RIP your arms

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast Review

It’s time to grab your (plastic) gun and live your dream of blasting every Minion in your way

Isn't it interesting how many theme park rides lately are incorporating elements from video games? This trend makes sense, as both theme parks and video games are among the best forms of entertainment (source: me). We already have Universal Studios Hollywood with Super Nintendo World, a land which could very well be considered a huge videogame. Let’s also not forget about the upcoming Epic Universe with even more attractions reminiscent of the good times we have with a controller in hand.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain.webp

Villain-Con might be one of the rides that most reminds you of Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation. This shooting gallery is similar to Men in Black: Alien Attack and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, but the main difference is that you are standing on a moving platform and firing at large digital screens displaying various scenarios and set pieces. Instead of boarding a vehicle, you hold a large plastic gun to hit targets in front of you, and hope you blow up as many Minions as you can. Nice.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain ride 2.webp

The Good

I like that this ride feels very unique. I can't remember another attraction where you hold a big plastic gun and fire at targets in front of you like a soldier in Call of Duty. The interesting thing is that the gun isn’t attached to a vehicle, so you can point it anywhere you want, giving you more freedom of movement. This also means you have a full 360-degree range to aim at the targets you think will give you the most points.

So, how does it work? You stand on something resembling the moving walkways you see in airports and remain in your designated spot for the entire ride. You can't walk around or run, so no cheating and trying to go back to blast more Minions, okay? There are a total of five or six set pieces, all displayed on huge digital screens. Unfortunately, there aren't any animatronics to shoot at, which might be a disappointment for some guests. However, you will encounter boss fights and discover many secrets in each level, all of which can earn you massive points. There are even power-ups you can activate by pressing a secondary trigger on your gun, causing bigger explosions and different effects.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain gun.webp

I don’t consider this ride a big video game just because you're shooting at a virtual screen. There is a fun integration with the official Universal Orlando app that lets you link your gun to your account. Through the app, you can track your entire career as a villain in Minion Blast, accept new quests to complete during the ride, earn achievements, and view your all-time top scores.

This creative use of technology clearly has video game DNA, which makes me wonder: why don’t theme park apps have integrations like this for every ride? Imagine tracking your overall progression in the theme park, earning avatars and achievements by visiting every ride, or getting a special badge for rope-dropping the VelociCoaster at 7 am. These would definitely be cool achievements and lasting memories from your trip.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain ride.webp

The Bad

Let me also tell you that Minion Blast is primarily a ride made for kids. You won't find much depth here, so don't expect a game like Dark Souls or Baldur’s Gate 3. The frame rate sometimes becomes really weird, there is some lag, and the screen can be incredibly chaotic. Seriously, most of the time it’s even hard to see where your crosshair is, so my advice is to just start shooting at the corner of the screen as soon as the ride starts so you can keep track of your position.

I think the worst thing about Minion Blast is the overwhelming amount of explosions, chaos, and stuff happening in front of you. Since this is a screen-based ride with dozens of guests on the same moving platform firing at a single scene, there are several targets and a lot of explosions happening simultaneously. It’s honestly hard to keep track of what’s happening. Many people online even say they often lose track of their own targets and some couldn't find their targets until the end of the ride.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain screen.webp

Another issue is the fatigue that comes from constantly holding and firing your blaster. If you've been on Toy Story Mania, you'll understand what I'm talking about. These shooting galleries can really test your arm endurance. Even if you're someone who hits the gym regularly, there's a good chance your hands will be craving some rest after shooting down some Minions.

Universal Studios Minion Blast Villain.webp

Will Kids enjoy it?

Yep! There's a good chance that young children and teenagers will adore this ride. Its simplicity might be just what they're looking for. Even just holding a plastic blaster can be exciting for some kids, and shooting at a big screen to earn points can be the cherry on top of the cake. Teenagers might love the competitive aspect of this ride and keeping track of their points.

If you have young children in your party who have trouble holding the big blaster, cast members can even provide them with child-sized versions of the plastic gun! They look adorable, but they don't actually interact with the screen. Keep in mind that although this ride doesn't officially have a height requirement, your children need to be able to walk and stand up to participate.

You know what's also cool? At the end of the ride, a big panel displays the top 30 scores for the day along with the names of the players. It's always awesome to ride past it and see your name proudly represented there. Kids in particular love to see their names there (and uh... adults too, let's be honest).

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