In an invitation-only press webcast this morning, Universal Orlando Resort announced two new projects for 2012. For several weeks, they teased the reveal through social media, advertising that one would be a new ride, and the other an upgrade to an existing attraction.
In a move that surprised almost no one in the industry, the attractions were revealed today as “Despicable Me,” a family-friendly 3-D simulator that will replace Universal Studios Florida's current “Jimmy Neutron” ride, and a digital replacement of the original film projectors in Islands of Adventure's Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride.
Despicable Me, based on the recent hit Universal cartoon, was introduced by the film's producer Chris Meledandri, who is involved in the ride's production. The attraction will feature Gru and his daughter taking a trip to a theme park, and will “transform” guests into little yellow Minions, culminating in an interactive dance party. Expect the ride hardware to remain fundamentally unchanged from the attraction's Jimmy Neutron days, with the exception of new Infitec 3-D projectors.
The upgrade to the popular Spiderman ride is already in progress, with very sharp-looking digital projections already implemented in two of the ride's scenes. When complete, the ride will feature Infitec projectiors thoughout, displaying updated animations re-rendered at top-of-the-line 4K resolution. A sample frame from the new ride film reveals much more sophisticated lighting and texture effects, down to the stitching on Spidey's costume, with new scenic details visible in the background. Universal promises the refreshed ride will also feature set enhancements and new hidden details for guests to find.
Universal's heavily-hyped announcement was a clever way to pull some media focus away from Disney's imminent relaunch of the superb Star Tours ride, but die-hard fans may feel a bit disappointed by this less-than-shocking revelation. Rumors of more-ambitious additions like King Kong and Transformers continue to swirl unfulfilled online. And with both of these new attractions not coming online until next year, Universal will just have to continue to rely on their blockbuster Harry Potter attractions to turn the turnstiles this summer.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.