Universal Orlando announces details, dates for new lagoon show, daytime parade, Despicable Me ride, mini golf, and Spider-Man upgrade

in Entertainment, Featured, Islands of Adventure, Movies, Theme Parks, Universal CityWalk, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

This morning Universal Orlando revealed details for several new experiences that will debut in 2012, beginning as early as next month, including new attraction names plenty of artwork. The experiences being unveiled include a new lagoon show, parade, updates to popular attractions and a few surprises.

Jim Timon, Senior Vice President of Entertainment, and Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, were on hand to reveal all the details, which we’re sharing below.

Here’s a video of the full announcement webcast, followed by details:

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories

Opening Spring 2012

A new lagoon show will be opening later this year at Universal Studios Florida that from the artwork revealed today appears to be rivaling Disney’s World of Color show at the Disneyland Resort. Universal describes their new Cinematic Spectacular nighttime water show as:

Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe – Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new nighttime show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, will celebrate the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films – all on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics. The experience will take guests on a journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show opens this spring, runs all summer and then on select nights through the end of the year.

Announcement video:

Artwork for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, featuring fountains, projections, and plenty of dazzling colors:

Click here for a more in-depth look at the Cinematic Spectacular.

Universal’s Superstar Parade

Opening Spring 2012

Debuting around the same time as the lagoon show, the new Superstar Parade will feature familiar animated characters with all-new floats through the streets of Universal Studios Florida:

Some of today’s most beloved characters and stories will bring new adventure to the streets of Universal Studios during Universal’s Superstar Parade – an all-new daily parade that features larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers. Guests will sing and dance along with characters like the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from the hit comedy, Hop, Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants during the interactive experience. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy performances and character meet and greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

The new parade will be “more than a parade” featuring show stops and interactive dance numbers. Characters include SpongeBob, Squidward, Patrick, Dora, Diego, Minions, Gru, E.B., and more.

Announcement video:

Artwork of some of the new floats, including Despicable Me and Hop:

Along with the parade, a new immersive retail entertainment experience will become home to SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters from the animated TV series, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. The meet-and-greet will open inside Universal Studios this year.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Opening Summer 2012

Speaking of Despicable Me, the ride replacing Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast has an official name: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Universal has a new description and pre-show artwork:

Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, will take guests on an unforgettable 3-D adventure with their favorite characters from the hit film – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the mischievous minions. The experience begins when guests enter Gru’s home, where they learn that they’re being recruited to become minions and undergo “minion training.” Things don’t go as planned, and guests find themselves on a wildly hysterical journey with Gru and his daughters. Once guests make it through training, they join an interactive, minion-inspired dance party where they can show off their best moves.

Universal’s Creative team is working closely with Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment to bring this all-new adventure to life in the most authentic way possible. In fact, the beloved characters in the attraction will be voiced by the film’s original cast: Steve Carell (Gru), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (Agnes). The ride’s experience is being developed by the same creative team that brought you the award-winning film, Despicable Me. The motion-picture event Despicable Me 2 arrives in theaters on July 3, 2013.

Announcement video:

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Re-opening March 2012

Over at Islands of Adventure, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is being upgraded to larger-than-HD re-rendered sequences, including a special new cameo:

Universal Orlando is transforming what is already one of the most amazing attraction experiences ever created into what will feel like an all-new adventure. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will soon feature all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems. The re-animation of the ride film will include an entirely new level of detail for guests to discover, including a cameo by legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee.

Announcement video:

Re-rendered scene 1:

Artwork of villains re-rendered with new textures and detail:

Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf

Opening February 2012

Universal Orlando’s mini-golf course at Universal CityWalk has been under construction for a while and is now revealed to be opening next month.

It’s mini golf as you’ve NEVER played it before! Enjoy 36 holes across two courses elaborately themed to remind you of classic 1950s drive-in movies. Choose your adventure: The Haunting of Ghostly Greens or Invaders From Planet Putt!

Blue Man Group

Grand Re-opening February 2012

The popular Blue Man Group show at Universal CityWalk will be getting retooled to feature new elements:

Universal Orlando’s Blue Man Group show is taking their unique and captivating mash-up of high energy music, comedy, audience participation and collective exhilaration to another level. Featuring a new show environment, new music, new technology and new experiences, the show will allow audiences to join the Blue Men as they discover, engage and explore the world’s obsession with cutting-edge technology. Signature Blue Man Group moments combine with breathtakingly fun new pieces for an explosive evening of entertainment. New show elements include the curious Blue Men interacting with enormous “GiPads,” a funny and insightful look at contemporary communication vehicles, and a pulsating new finale with an original Blue Man Group music score that will have guests jumping to their feet. Look closely – you may even see the Blue Men take a spin on one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions.

New show overview video:

Wet ‘n’ Wild

The popular Wet ‘n Wild water park close by Universal Orlando’s theme parks will open its first interactive family water play area, this summer – allowing everyone in the family to splash and swim together. Amidst tropical landscaping, the new area will feature 15 water slides and more than 100 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons – making it the largest interactive water play experience in Florida.


  1. Steffers

    I’m feeling the most overwhelming case of deja vu….I swear I’ve experienced these “New and exciting” experiences before, I just can’t put my finger on it……*Cue Twilight Zone music.

  2. CW

    Looking forward to the updated BMG show. Going back in March.

  3. Tyler

    I swear, I just watched they are adding their versions of Block Party Bash and World of Color

  4. Heather

    Wow, I thought after Harry Potter, Universal would be able to come up with their own ideas. Guess not.

  5. Tyler you forgot to mention that they aren’t only copying Block Party Bash, and World of Color they are also copying Star Tours with their Despicable Me ride. Look at that one concept piece that shows the people in line to board the vehicle, it looks just about exactly like your star speeder waiting area. I rest my case. Go Disney!

  6. Leulah

    Really, Despicable Me dancers? Single pirouettes? I can do a quad, and I’m not even one of the better ones in my dance classes.

    1. Asia

      I think the choreography is pretty stupid but…theyre dancing in BOOTS, its really not probable that anyone would be able to do more than a single in those shoes. It’s not like theyre wearing jazz shoes like you would in dance class.

  7. frostysnowman

    I thought the same as many of you. I’ve seen these “new” attractions before and done better by “you-know-who”.

  8. Chris

    Leulah, I’m no dancer but i too thought the Despicable Me dancers were a joke. Gave me a good laugh.

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