In March 2011, Universal Studios Florida announced that Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast would be closing to make way for a new attraction. The ride began seasonal operations on April 1, 2011, before officially closing on August 18, 2011. On April 14, 2011, Universal Orlando Resort began a teaser campaign on their Facebook page where weekly hints were released leading up to the announcement of their upcoming attraction. On May 19, 2011, the attraction was officially announced at a live webcast at Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Parks & Resorts also announced a major refurbishment of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure on the same day.
Construction for the Despicable Me attraction at Universal Studios Florida began in mid-August 2011, with the removal the former Jimmy Neutron ride. After a period of construction spanning several months, the attraction soft opened to the public on June 9, 2012. On July 2, 2012, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem officially opened to the public. The ride's gift shop, Super Silly Stuff, had opened prior to the ride in May 2012.
On March 11, 2013, Universal Studios Hollywood announced that they would open Despicable Me Minion Mayhem in 2014. The announcement followed a series of rumours stating the park would replace the recently closed T2 3-D: Battle Across Time attraction with a Despicable Me attraction. A later announcement revealed the surrounding area would be themed to Super Silly Fun Land. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood had its soft opening on March 20, 2014, and officially opened on April 12, 2014. The area surrounding the ride is themed to Super Silly Fun Land, featuring a rotating Zamperla Aero Top Jet ride, a water play area and a dry play area.
On June 20, 2016, Universal Studios Japan announced that they would open the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction, replacing the Back to the Future: The Ride attraction in 2017.
Universal Orlando Resort announced that the attraction is being designed by their Universal Creative company in association with Illumination Entertainment and Despicable Me film producer Chris Meledandri. The ride is a motion simulator and employs the use of high-definition 3-D Infitec projection systems, and features multiple characters from the film, including Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the Minions.
The attraction at Universal Studios Florida is located in Soundstage 42 in the Production Central area. The soundstage previously housed The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera from 1990 until 2002 and Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast from 2003 until 2011. The attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is located on the former site of T2 3-D: Battle Across Time on the Upper Lot.
When people are waiting in line for the ride, they get to learn about the recruitments of a Minion, the profiles of Gru, Dr. Nefario, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the Minions, filled with scenes from the first film and the Minion Mini Movies. The guests are also given a Minion-quiz, to let them test themselves to see if they are fully prepared to be a Minion. The Hollywood version has details to look more like Gru's house than the one in Florida. The answers in the quiz are always the last options except for one question where the answer is not listed as a choice.
First, the guests enter the room and receive Minion Goggles (3-D glasses; US version only). Then the pre-show starts with Gru, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, who welcome the guests to their house through a remote camera, and explain to them that they will be trained as minions. In the US version, the guests are informed about their Minion Goggles, the latest invention created by Gru's sidekick, Dr. Nefario. He tested them on Gru's very own Minions to see how they work, and what the guests should be doing during the demonstration. Gru explains to the audience that they have Nefario's guarantee. This means that the Minion Goggles will last five times longer than the person wearing them. He also explains the safety instructions for the goggles, like not putting them on until you're seated. In the Japan version, since this version of the ride is not in 3D, Gru instead tells guests what to expect during their time as Minions. Afterwards, Gru orders the guests to proceed to his lab just as the camera bettery runs out. Then a voice tells the guests safety intstructions (the Japan version also provides visual safety instructions on the monitors). Next, the doors open to Gru's laboratory with Gru saying what to do while walking in the room; the guests should stay in their row and not put on their Minion Goggles yet until they are told to do so by lab assistant.
In this pre-show room, just before the ride, Gru, along with some Minions, enter the room and explains the public are there for a reason: henching for the world's #1 supervillain. Gru explains his plan of turning everyday ordinary human beings into Minions using a kind of device, called the Minion Gun, created by Doctor Nefario. Next, the whole audience is given a routine body scan to make sure there are not any "human germs" in the lab by using high-density lasers. However, the scan ends up with a warning: Gru gets disappointed when that some of the guests "have not showered in like a week". Lucky for the audience, Gru is in a bit of a time crunch and warns for the rest of the audience that he will hit them with his "Pistola de pedo" (Spanish for "fart gun") if any are thinking on backing out. However, at the same moment, the girls show up, and Gru explains to the audience to ignore them. Agnes and Margo start to explain to the audience that they should not be scared of Gru by calling him "just a big, bald teddy bear". Afterwards, Agnes wants to give a present to Gru. He loves to accept it, but tells her to wait, explaining that he is going to be really behind schedule; also, he has to train the public who are on the verge of becoming Minions. Margo eagerly asks Gru if the trio can assist him by training the crowd: Gru thinks for a moment, but responds with: "I do not think so." However, as Edith starts begging, Gru says that the training is very technical. It all becomes clear when Edith explains that her foster father has been reluctant for a while, not wanting to accept his daughters' willings. When Margo and Edith finally explain to Gru, who is busy shooing the Minions holding fire-works away, that the Minion training is "not like it's rocket science, or even fourth grade science" and that "a training monkey can do it," he agrees irate, calmly explaining to the audience that he will leave his daughters in charge of the training. Once Edith hears this, she explains to the guests that they "are so doomed." Gru, however, orders the public to not listen to her, despite him saying that Edith might be right for once. He leaves the room and wishes the guests good luck, at exactly the same time Agnes attempts to catch up with him to give him her anniversary gift of the girls adoption. Edith, however, explains to her younger sibling that Gru already left, which made Agnes filled with sorrow, realizing that Gru may have forgotten the anniversary of their adoption. Margo says to her that he will not, and that also they have an important job to do: training the audience into Minions for Gru's bidding. Margo's determination to initiate the training causes Edith to be pumped up and say: "Let's do this!". After that, the doors to the ride are opened, the public is let through and Margo instructs to the audience to not put on their minion goggles until they are told to do so by a lab assistant.
Once the riders are ushered into a small room, the girls greet them and are amazed at how many people volunteered for "Minion Training". Gru tells the guests that being a minion is serious business, and if they make it through training in one piece, they can do something fun. Then he explains that because there's a high level of losses with previous recruits, he will have to show them a safety video. He hands it over to the girls who explain the safety rules, including not to eat or drink, secure all loose articles, etc. Afterwards, Agnes tells the guests to enjoy their new life as they enter the garage/boarding area.
Once the ride begins, riders see Gru's daughters on a hovercraft. Once Edith orders Kevin the Minion to zap the riders, he pulls a lever which activates the Minion Gun, transforming the riders into Minions. Next, the riders get pushed down a long tube to training by the girls. Margo welcomes the guests to the Minion Training Grounds. As the riders slide down and avoid the water sprayers, Margo instructs the guests: "This where we test your "strength, speed and ability to not die". As the riders attempt to dodge the water sprayers, mist is sprayed on the audience from the ceiling. The audience is also forced to dodge deadly security lasers, a huge cactus, and fly swatters along the way. Once some Minions, holding "Stop" signs, force them to stop running, two Minions are being punched towards a mattress by a huge boxing glove, then the riders are being punched down by another, among with two Minions, and unexpectedly stop at a chasm. This is where the girls put the recruits' problem solving and teamwork skills to the test; the latter are forced to create a huge, human hand-like Minion-chain to get across the other side. However, once Edith uses a huge banana as bait, the Minions suddenly get distracted by it, causing the Minion-chain to break apart and the riders to accidentally plummet down a long hole to the bomb transportation sector, which is a restricted area; Gru also warns that it might be dangerous. When the girls are helping us to get out of the sector, the worst happens: bombs start to explode in the bomb transportation room; when the girls get startled by the explosions, Agnes loses her gift and the guests attempt to retrieve it by dodging the bombs, also the huge machinery on the verge of crushing the riders and the girls into pieces, like huge razor sharp blades, with Agnes barely catching it. However, when the two Minions that the guests used to follow start to fall down, Gru arrives, attempting to catch them, but he falls down among with them, only to be nearly saved by grabbing hold to the hovering vehicle that Margo, Edith and Agnes are riding. However, as Agnes is about to give her present to Gru, her adoptive father, he gets unexpectedly knocked off the vehicle by a huge mallet unseen. The girls continue, but Gru gets hit straight at the riders. The riders then suddenly end up, among with Gru's daughters, get pushed off their vehicle, in another sector. Once off the conveyor belt, Margo, Edith and Agnes are starting to float, making the first realize that they are in the anti-gravity recycling room. To make matters worse, a huge robot arm rises from under and pushes the girls up, ending themselves up being surrounded by claws and other hazards, but they hold on to it. When this happens, Margo warns her younger siblings to just remain hold to the robot arm. However, one of the crushers nearby startles Gru's daughters, causing Agnes to lose her present. Seeing her present floating away, Agnes lets go of Margo's hand, much to the latter's concern, and attempts to float off to recover the gift, narrowly avoiding a bomb. However, once Agnes recovers her one-year present by barely avoiding a huge spiked crusher, she starts floating into a huge oscillating fan, when, all of a sudden, Gru arrives, blocking the crushers with an steel beam, then saves Agnes. Seeing each other, Gru and Agnes give themselves a hug when suddenly the smashers start moving again, leaving Gru no choice but to summon all of his strength to stop the huge crusher just in time, saving all of them, including himself, from being smashed. Because of Gru's strength and pressure that he used to both save Agnes and stop the huge crusher, the anti-gravity recycling room's power goes down, and the riders, along with Gru and his daughters, land safely on a crowd of Minions. Once both the Gru residence and the guests land safely on the Minions, Gru opens Agnes' present, revealing a doll replica of himself. Despite that Agnes says "it's a little squashed and burnt", Gru finds it "absolutely perfect", and gives his daughters a hug, also giving the trio "a little something": an amusement park-like anniversary party, asking if they really thought he would forget the most important day of his life, the day he adopted his girls. Once the huge doors open to the party, the riders follow the Gru residence, now riding on a hovering vehicle, avoiding the party decorations all the way to the stage. Once there, Gru congratulates us of being successful in their training. However, a stray rocket is fired at the Minion Gun, right next to Gru. He protects his daughters, however, the gun breaks and goes off on the riders, causing the effects to be reversed, transforming the guests into humans again. Once this happens, Gru gets disappointed, realizing the riders are "human again," orders someone off-screen for the next troop. In the Japanese version, the riders are lifted up through a hole into the theater to start the ride, and vice versa for the ending.
After the ride (in Florida and Hollywood), the doors open to a dance party with the public dancing to "Boogie Fever," along with a costumed Minion. In Japan, the exit corridors are fitted with rainbow lights and 'Fun, Fun, Fun' plays.
In May 2012, the ride's gift shop Super Silly Stuff opened at Universal Studios Florida, replacing the Nickstuff store. The Hollywood version opened in March 2014 replacing T2 Gear & Supply Co. The store sells Despicable Me-related merchandise. The store is themed to the theme park Gru, Margo, Edith, and Agnes visited in the first Despicable Me film, Super Silly Fun Land. At Universal Studios Japan, an alternate version called the Minion Mart opened in mid 2015, replacing the Back to the Future Gifts store. However, this was closed and replaced by multiple other shops with the opening of Minion Park and the ride.
As well as the entire ride being a motion simulator, other physical effects are used. Mist is sprayed from the ceiling on to the audience during key points of the show, wind blows in riders' faces throughout the ride, and light effects flash.Steve Carell as Gru
Miranda Cosgrove as Margo
Dana Gaier as Edith
Elsie Fisher as Agnes
Pierre Coffin as the Minions