For the past few months, rumors have been circulating about a potential new attraction coming to Universal Studios. Amidst all of the projects arriving at Universal, it seems they aren’t quite done just yet. This summer’s Secret Life of Pets animated movie by Illumination (creators of Despicable Me and Minions), appears to be slated for a state-of-the-art family attraction at not one, but two Universal destinations in the near future, according to a trademark uncovered by the Orlando Tourism Report. While a recent demolition of a soundstage in Universal Studios Hollywood gives hints as to where this ride will be located in that park, Universal Orlando has several rumors for possible locations. We will break down these rumors and determine the pros and cons of each.
What is the Secret Life of Pets about?
Before discussing anything else, we must first understand what the film is about. According to a synopsis: Inside of a Manhattan apartment building, a Jack Russell Terrier named Max starts to get neglected as a favorite pet when his owner Katie presents a sloppy mongrel named Duke, who was rescued from the dog pound. But unfortunately, they have to put their quarrels behind when an adorable white rabbit named Snowball, and his army of abandoned pets who call themselves the “Flushed Pets” launch a criminal conspiracy to exact retaliation on all happily-owned pets and their owners.
The film follows in the same tone as Despicable Me and is sure to be a huge hit with families, making this a great choice for an IP (Intellectual Property) ride.
Possible Universal Orlando locations
The rumors surrounding this ride all seem to have one thing in common; the experience itself. This ride is supposedly unlike anything else in the resort, containing numerous audio animatronics and featuring a trackless ride system. A ride of this caliber is a benefit to the entire resort as it provides not only a great family oriented attraction but also one that doesn’t rely on the use of screens or 3D technology, which has been a feature of many new rides at the Universal parks. Conflicting rumors for a Secrets Life of Pets has this ride at either Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida. Let’s discuss these areas in depth.
Toon Lagoon Theater
Anyone who has visited Islands of Adventure before has probably passed by this ‘dead end’ area of the park―sandwiched between Marvel Super Hero Island and the start of Toon Lagoon. This amphitheater was once home to the BMX show as well as Matt Hoffman’s Aggro Circus; it has sat unused for many years, which makes it a perfect location for a new attraction. If a Secret Life of Pets attraction is to be placed in this location, Islands of Adventure would become more well rounded as it is a park that is more known for its thrill rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. This location also puts it out of the way of heavy guest traffic in the park. The only con in this plan would be theming; Toon Lagoon is based on older comic strips and cartoons making a modern animated movie based attraction seem somewhat out of place. Whether or not this may shift Toon Lagoon’s theme as a whole remains to be seen.
The other location that has been speculated is the aging Shrek 4D attraction in Universal Studios Florida. This attraction has been rumored to be on the chopping block countless times yet it remains in the park to this day. Having the ride in this spot presents some interesting opportunities. Both The Secret Life of Pets and Despicable Me were created by the same animation studio so having the rides being adjacent would create a great themed entrance to the park. Not only that but this ride would create a breakup in screen based dark rides that the park is known for [Gringotts, Fallon (opening in 2017), Fast and Furious (opening in 2017), and the Simpsons]. However, several issues arise from Shrek’s placement in the park. Minion Mayhem has arguably the longest wait times in the park, so if The Secret Life of Pets is a success in the box office as projected, then having two extremely popular rides next to each other may congest guest traffic right at the front entrance. The other issues are limited space and construction as Universal Orlando is in the middle of its largest expansion in its history. Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious have already begun construction and with Nintendo soon to follow, closing multiple rides at once leaves less ride options for guests to enjoy.
Either way, the park will receive a great new addition to its lineup of attractions. It’s just a matter of when and where.
DISCLAIMER: This article is tagged as a rumor. Please be aware that the information in this report can change or may not have been planned at all. Attraction Insight shall not be held accountable for the accuracy of any rumors.