On March 14, 2011, Universal announced that the attraction would begin operating on a seasonal schedule starting on April 1, 2011, and would operate for limited amounts of time throughout the spring and summer seasons before it closed completely on August 18, 2011. Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast was replaced by Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem on July 2, 2012.
In spring 2003, Universal Studios Florida released this official synopsis:
After a Universal Studios crew member directs guests into a briefing room, Jimmy Neutron welcomes the guests and, with help from Carl, unveils his newest invention: the Mark IV rocket. Shortly afterwards, Ooblar breaks into the lab so he can return Carl's teddy bear. Then, he claims the Mark IV for his own, flying off through Nicktoons Studios. Quickly, Jimmy announces that he and Carl will follow Ooblar in their Mark II rocket, while the guests will follow in the original (and slightly unpredictable) Mark I rockets. He assures everyone that he will safely pilot the guests by remote, right before it shorts circuits and causes a black-out. The pre-show ends with the lab doors opening and a crew member ushering the guests into the rockets and delivering safety instructions.
Carl nervously counts down from 10 for the launch, but Jimmy interrupts him by starting the rockets and leaving the lab. They make chase for Ooblar, who leads them first through the Rugrats home, with the Mark I rockets almost capturing Angelica by accident. However, Goddard pulls her out of the way just in time using his robo-claw. They leave the soundstage and make way for Fairy World, where Cosmo offers Carl his wand as assistance. The dumbstruck Carl accidentally poofs the rockets (and their passengers) to the Yolkian planet, sending the rockets crashing through the planet's capital city. The chase ends with Jimmy, Carl, and the guests trapped in King Goobot's throne room, where they are confronted by Poultra. They barely escape a fried Ooblar when the engines fail, so Carl, using Cosmo's wand, poofs everyone (Yolkians excluded) back to Earth, where they plummet into Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob, mistaking the Mark II for a jellyfish, ensnares Jimmy in his jellyfishing net, blinding the pilot and sending everyone crashing through downtown, ending with the Mark II and Mark I rockets going through a drain pipe leading back to Jimmy's lab. Just when everyone thinks they're safe, King Goobot barges in, trapping Jimmy and using the pilot remote to make the ride vehicles do the chicken dance. Carl, realizing that he still has Cosmo's wand, sends out a laser blast that flies over the audience and cracks the king. The ride ends with Carl poofing up a bunch of llamas and Jimmy wishing everyone farewell.
The facility which used to house The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera is used for the same purpose as its predecessor. Enough changes were made to re-invent the ride as Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast, such as paint and a new movie, but it is essentially the same.
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was one of Universal Studios Florida's original attractions, opening with the park on June 7, 1990. In 1998, Universal officials noticed that the ride had lost a large percentage of its operating capacity, most likely because everybody, including children, were not interested in Hanna-Barbera cartoons anymore, and they secretly began work on a new attraction to replace it with which would be based on modern cartoons rather than older animation. Universal then brought up the idea of opening a Nickelodeon themed simulator ride.
In the early 2000s, a contract was granted with Viacom and Nickelodeon to replace "Hanna-Barbera" with a simulator ride titled "The Nicktoon Blast". In 2001, it was decided the newest Nicktoon character Jimmy Neutron would host the ride, and it was secretly greenlit as "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast". Production on the ride film and conceptual art of the new look for the ride was done in 2001 through very early 2003.
In July 2002, Universal officially confirmed that they would not renew their contract for the Hanna-Barbera ride and that it would be replaced by "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast" in 2003. They had also announced the replacement of Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies with Shrek 4-D on the same day.
Unlike the ride film of "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" which Universal had co-produced with Hanna-Barbera Productions, the ride film of Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast was created solely by Nickelodeon Animation Studios with Viacom Productions as the distributor, and the only involvement which Universal Studios had in production of the ride film was an appearance of the Universal logo on the character Ooblar's hat during the pre-show portion. However, Mario Kamberg, Allen Battino and Totally Fun Company's Trey Stokes, who designed the ride film for "Hanna-Barbera", also signed on to take part in the animation of the Nicktoon Blast ride film. The reason for which "Hanna-Barbera" needed a contract as well despite Universal still in ownership of the ride film was due to the fact that Universal did not own the characters and needed a license to use them at their theme parks. By the end of the run of Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast on August 18, 2011, Kamberg, Battino and Stokes will have had both their films playing in the same theater for over 20 years.
The rebuilding of "Hanna-Barbera" into "Jimmy Neutron" lasted 5 months and two weeks, currently the second shortest ride turn around in Universal Orlando Resort's history behind the change from Earthquake: The Big One to Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You!.
"The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" closed on October 20, 2002 and construction began almost immediately afterwards. The attraction started previews in late March 2003 known as "Technical Reheasals". The ride was officially opened by Universal Orlando on April 11.
The attraction has frequently been run at the Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Orlando Resort. It was run during Horror Nights the following years.HHN (2004)HHN: Sweet 16 (2006)HHN: Carnival of Carnage (2007)
On March 14, 2011, Universal Orlando released this statement via their Facebook page:
On April 1, we will close Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast and immediately begin work on an all-new experience based on an amazing concept. The new attraction is just one of many exciting things planned for the next couple of years. Meanwhile, Boy Genius fans will be excited to know that the attraction will re-open for limited periods during the spring and summer before closing permanently on August 18."
The attraction began operating only during peak seasons on April 1, 2011. It remained operating in the seasonal schedule until closing on August 18. On May 19, 2011, Universal Orlando officially announced that the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem would be based on the 2010 animated film Despicable Me and was opened in July 2012.
The ride received a mixed reception from guests and theme park fans.
Some received the ride positively. The website Orlando Rocks gave a positive review stating "Move over Hanna! This ride is wonderful". On IMDB, a user gave a positive review of 8 out of 10 stars stating that it was "simply fun" but that it "doesn't hold up to it's [sic] predecessor" a reviewer on Theme Park Insider said that "it is a fun little ride". One user said "I had a fun time on here, the dancing was the best part" and another called it "a memorable experience" but that it "is one of the most underrated attractions at Universal".
Others were more negative of the attraction. On IMDB, another user gave a lackluster review stating "It's basically the same exact ride, only there's a different movie and the ride vehicles have all been repainted" and also said "skip this one in favor of more innovative and exciting rides" Most reviews conducted on Theme Park Insider mention that the ride is nothing more than "Just O.K.", with one reviewer saying "it hurts your butt when it does the chicken dance". Another reviewer said that "This is probably not the ride for adults without kids, especially if you really like Hanna-Barbera cartoons. But hey, if there is nothing else to do, then go for it"
The ride received a 7 out of 10 rating on the website Theme Park Insider. On IMDB, it received a 6 out of 10 star rating. Comparingly, the Hanna-Barbera ride received an 8 out of 10 rating.Debi Derryberry - Jimmy NeutronFrank Welker - Goddard, PoultraRob Paulsen - Carl WheezerS. Scott Bullock - King Goobot, Elvis OoblarPaul Greenberg - OoblarCheryl Chase - Angelica PicklesDaran Norris - CosmoSusanne Blakeslee - WandaTom Kenny - SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the SnailBill Fagerbakke - Patrick StarRoger Bumpass - Squidward TentaclesClancy Brown - Mr. Krabs