Universal dropping hints to their new attraction – King Kong, Despicable Me or something else?

Last week Universal Orlando announced on their Facebook and Twitter pages that they’d be dropping weekly hints as to the name of their new attraction. Today, their first hint arrived and the obvious clue points to either King Kong or Despicable Me.

Universal announced that Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast ride at Universal Studios would be closing on Aug. 18, 2011 to make way for an “all-new experience based on an amazing concept”.

Their first hint is the photo above. It shows Thierry Coup, senior vice president of the creative studio, working in his office at Universal Creative. Most obvious is the banana next to him. A banana is an obvious reference to King Kong. Could King Kong be making a return to Universal Studios in some form.

But bananas are also a favorite treat of the Minions in the Despicable Me movie, and an attraction based on Despicable Me has been the most common rumor.

But wait, Universal also said this on their Facebook page:

To take advantage of these clues you must:
1. Remember, things may not always be as they seem
2. Pay close attention to every detail
3. Remember, we’ve taken some liberties in editing/enhancing the photos

So maybe it’s not either of those. Maybe it’s an attraction based on something else entirely. Could the tree or hard hat be a clue?

Here’s a closer and flipped look at the plans Thierry is working on:

What do you think? Post your guesses below and keep checking back as we add and analyze the new clues as they’re released.

UPDATE: Here’s hint number two from Universal:

The new attraction is being designed by the same team that has brought to life many of Universal Orlando’s great entertainment experiences – but it is based on a concept that is entirely different from what is now in our theme parks.

UPDATE 2: For the next hint, Universal has posted the below photo and asked:

We know which of these is our favorite color, but which is yours?

UPDATE 3: We’ve been invited to be a part of a media-only webcast on May 19 where they’ll finally reveal the name of the new attraction. In the invite, they’ve given another clue:

The exciting concept for Universal Orlando’s newest attraction will be based on a blockbuster film.

In a seperate announcement, they’ve said they’ll give…

Details about a major, high-tech enhancement to one of Universal Orlando’s single most popular attractions

UPDATE 4: Here’s Universal’s latest hint – or is it?

One of these creatures could be a UORHint, or could it?

UPDATE 5: Hungry for another hint:

UPDATE 6: What could this stand for?

UPDATE 7: The latest hint says, “Which one do you think is our favorite painting?”

UPDATE 8: Along with the below photo of an elephant entering the old Jimmy Neutron queue, is this hint:

What time is it? UORHint time! Only two left after this, so get your thinking caps on! As you can imagine, creating a new attraction involves testing several elements. Our UORHint wants to know what in the world our Creative team is testing here?

UPDATE 9: The latest hint is an audio hint and it seems to all but give it away. Here’s what Universal posted:

It’s… Almost… Time…. There’s only one more UORHint after this one! So let’s change it up a bit…does this UORHint sound familiar to anyone?

Now compare that sound with this full version of the Despicable Me title song:

Full Despicable Me Theme Song - Pharrell Williams

UPDATE 10: I believe this is the last hint. We think it shows Universal team members preparing for some sort of dance to be performed during the announcement.

We’re rehearsing for something big. No, not big, huge. Yep, even the best have to practice. We can’t wait for you to see it in a few hours!

FINAL UPDATE: Universal finally made the announcement on May 19. The new ride will be based on Despicable Me. Read all about it by Clicking Here.

A few days later Universal posted the answers to their clues. Here they are:

Most of you guessed it right…the banana was the clue! Did you know that minions go “bananas” for that fruit? By the way…there was nothing in the window.

The tutu, the “minion” yellow and the pastel pink from the fluffy unicorn were the hints in our album of colors.

You have a face… “como un burro,” said Gru to Ms. Hattie before adopting the girls, which means “like a donkey.”

The girls’ and the minions sure LOVE pizza (especially stuffed crust).

The answer is CGI. After all, Despicable Me is a CGI feature produced by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.

The (Mona Lisa) painting is featured in the girls’ room in Gru’s house.

Remember when the shrink gun was tested in East Asia before the minions stole it? Well, it was tested on an elephant. Which as you can see got back to its real size.

That mysterious sound was nothing but the very beginning of Pharrell William’s “Despicable Me” song.


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  1. They’ve already done King Kong, and I don’t think there was a huge uproar when it was replaced by “The Mummy.” Therefore, of the two suggestions, I would think “Despicable Me” to keep it kid themed based on the location in the park and what’s been there before.

  2. Let’s see there is the idea of course for King Kong because of the banana and the success of the attraction in Hollywood. The banana can also mean a Despicable Me attraction please see video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTIZ_QTPzGE&feature=related. Finally it could be a possible Harry Potter expansion with the Whopping Willow model in the background. I could see the Whopping Willow being a swing-type of ride or a possible Windseeker ride???

  3. I’ve heard a rumor from a team member that King Kong may be returning to Universal where Disaster is now. May be a nod for King Kong to go to Disaster and Despicable Me to Jimmy Neutron?

  4. I hope its King Kong. I like the idea of having all the kid rides in one location and this ride location isn’t near that at all. Plus I miss the old Kong and wish they would have Kong back in the park, its such a huge part of the Universal history!

    I just hope its not another stupid simulator and instead is a decent ride. We don’t need just another movie and those same uncomfortable seats in that huge room. Imagine Kong but with Harry Potter or Spider-man type of ride cars and theme-ing, it would be epic!

    I’m still hoping for Space Fantasy from USJ to be built stateside!

  5. Kieran: We don’t yet know if that will be enough time for the new attraction to open. My guess is it’s not.

    Michael: I sort of think I can see a Minion from Despicable Me on the left side. Is that what you see?

    Robert: He could also be working on a Wizard World expansion, but I don’t think that would go in the Jimmy neutron ride spot.

    A twitter follower (@Talonstruck) suggested the banana could represent a Curious George ride.

  6. I see an image of Kong on the right hand side. Furrowed eyebrows, eyes, nose. The eyes are above the right middle pain and the nose just below.

  7. Kong Is DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    NO DISPICABLE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. It is avatar because the tree stands for what the avatar people live in. The jungle outside the window is the jungle the avatar people live in. The banana is because monkeys like bananas and in the movie avatar the avatar people are referenced to blue monkeys.

  9. When universal said it will be designed by the same team did they mean Itec entrainment cooperation. Or maybe Steven spielberg.

  10. Kid Friendly Area right? Banana, Tree, Big Yellow Hat, not hard hat. Universal released Curious George a few years back. maybe?

  11. Could it be Planet Of The Apes?
    Could It Be Total Drama Island?
    Could It Be AVATAR?
    Could It be HELLBOY?
    Could It Be Star Trek?
    Could It Be Madagascar Coster?
    Could It Be Transformers?
    Could It Be Lord Of The Rings?
    Could it Be the Return of Hanna Barberra?
    Could it be G.I. JOE?
    Whatever it is they better tell us already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I think the clue is something in the photo that could have been digitally enhanced. I’m looking at the shadows on the page and desk. They don’t line up right, and with the way that light works in a photo shoot, I think this is the key.

  13. Is it just me, or does the shadow of his hand look alot like Steve Carell’s character, Gru, from Despicable Me. When I looked at the second zoomed in picture just now, I realized that it kind of looks like his short little head and boxy shoulders and he has one of his arms pointing straight out. The shadow also doesn’t seem to exactly match what his hands shadow should be to me, which makes me think it’s digitally enhanced a little bit to make it look more like Gru.

  14. It’s Despicable Me, the sequal is coming out. the movie was a hit. It’s the kids area. Kong would be cool, but only in the old theater w/ the exact same setup, and we know thats not gonna happen. Family guy is awesome , but too inappropriate. Avatar might be something too. But if they do Avatar it’ll be after the next film or two. It’s Despicable Me. It just makes sense.

  15. Ok, the seconed hint helped me out even more. Now, At first I thought it would be Despicable Me, Avatar, or King Kong. Now that they said an entirely new concept. So now for me its Despicable Me, Avatar, or Donkey Kong. Now I agree with the two people on a Family Guy ride, but its too inapropriate fr the area. Mabye in World Expo?

  16. For the World Expo for a Family Guy ride, they would either have to replace Men in Black (If they did that, they could just rename the land Fox TV Land), or they could make another building. I think that if they made one it should replace MIB, but still have it as a shooting ride. They could have the plot where Stewie accidently creates evil robots and creatures, and needs the guests help without the Griffins knowing (of course Brian would help 🙂 ).

  17. @Bruce, There is already a Curious George play area in WWKZ. Making a ride would be a waste, so the play area is just fine.

  18. Hey I just relized something. Universal said a weekly hint, but this happened about a day later! Could that mean Daily Hints? 😀

  19. I agree with ash the shadow looks just like gru. But I do not think he is pointing his hand out I think it is his pointy nose.

  20. The second picture definitely points to Despicable Me, considering Gru’s pointy nose as others have mentioned.. But what could this new concept be? Then again, the Whomping Willow is there. So they are probably just trying to throw us off by putting many different possible themes here. I’m guessing no WWoHP news for this, though.

  21. Might want to look at those pictures behind his desk.
    the tree is obvioulsy the womping willow,but why would they have a harry potter ride in universal when they have the whole land at IOA.I can’t see anything but palms in the window.the red sharpie might be a clue. and despicable me was a hit for universal,universal does stuff like the Hangover and SUperbad stuff thats rated R.

  22. If u take a look at http://www.screamscape.com and check out their updates on despicable me in Universal Orlando they have posted a picture of a “Minion” holding a rocket launcher/gun type of thing and if u take a look at the picture above that is zoomed in on his hand u can c a shadow of his hand which looks identical 2 the picture on screamscape!

  23. Cool I am a huge fan of the show and have watched every episode and I have the magazines. I love Orlando and ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to make audio animatronics for attractions in universal or Disney.

  24. It is obvious that it is Despicable Me, not just because of the banana, but also because you see someone drawing what seems to be some sort of construction sketch. In Despicable Me, weren’t the minions the designers and constructors?

  25. Oh, and also because of the construction hat. Is that a globe over there? If so, it could symbolize that Gru is a villian wanting to take over the WORLD, etc.

  26. Joseph if u look at the zoomed in picture of the man writing the plans the shadow of his hand looks like gru with his pointy nose

  27. Matt-
    That concept does not seem very different from other Universal rides (eg. Spiderman). They seem to be emphasizing that this will be a totally different ride concept, so I’m expecting something a little more different than that.

  28. I think its doing to be a despicable me attraction because as you can see not only is the banana their but also the helmets that the minions use as well

  29. Awww…

    I was hoping for a Kong return. I like Despicable Me, but again, not enough to see a simulator version of it. =.= Well, hopefully those blueprint plans represent something more than what I think it is. (Funny, I can somehow imagine animatronic Minions popping out of those square boxes….)

    I want a new indoor ride, Universal!

    I went to USH just to see the ol’ King Kong still roaring away out of nostalgic sense. And then, ironically, the actual Kong prop used in the movie was sitting there along the backlot tour road.


  30. as I looked at the picture, I noticed two little stones sitting on the floor! would that be of any help? Oh and they said a entirely different from what is now in there theme parks I’m not so sure it’s a simulator either!

  31. You can see iron man in the window…move the pic left and right to see the image better. Remember he said the pic was enhanced.

  32. We believe that Universal will want to keep this a “kid friendly” attraction, and think that Despicable Me is the best guess as the moment as well (the shadow as Gru was a good pick-up). I will say that the Beast and I would both love to see something with Kong back at USO, so the banana was fun to see, but we really don’t think that is happening.

  33. I see a big monster in the window. O.K., where the panes cross is where the chin is. Just abbove the crossing is the (frowning) mouth, a nose that looks like a baby foot, and two eyes. On the top right section in the bottom right you can see a hand. And in the same place on the top left. If you have a laptop, tilt it upward so the screen seems to go black, then tilt it back looking in the middle of the window. See it? I can see numerous creatures in the window.

    Dispicable Me is coming out with a second movie in 2013.

    How about a Harry’s law interactive attraction?

    Not to dim your hopefulness, but that building is way to small to put a roller coaster in.- Though it would be nice!

  34. ok….
    Terminator is most likely becoming Avatar 4-D
    Jimmy Neutron is most likely becoming Despicable Me
    Disaster is most likely becoming King Kong

  35. They also posted this hint just a little bit before the one about the colors:

    The next #UORHint is GOMNIC ONOS!”

    At first glance, I thought you could get MINIONS out of unscrambling this with a few extra letters left over, but there actually aren’t enough I’s to spell that. Anyone have any other guesses?

    Also, I saw a tweet posted by Inside the Magic that Universal is planning on announcing “major attraction news” on May 19th; so it looks like we will not be having to guess much longer if this is true.

  36. “The next #UORHint is GOMNIC ONOS!” stands for “Coming Soon”.
    Yes, they have invited us to a media webcast on May 19 where they will release “major attraction news.”

  37. Haha wow, I feel dumb for not noticing that obvious answer to the word scramble. Especially since it doesn’t really give any significant meaning/hint

  38. I think it’s “Dispicable me.”On the bookshelf behind him, there’s a white helmet on it. The helmet looks like what some of the minions wore in the movie.

  39. the other people were making it sound like you could see it. anyhow, i’ll just get a summary on screamscape of it. or on you tube.

  40. I feel very strongly about the new attraction being Despicable Me related…”Minion Madness” or something along those lines no doubt!

    Although I’d be ECSTATIC if they decide to turn Disaster into King Kong 360! I’ve seen footage and it looks absolutely AMAZING!!!

  41. If u copy and paste it to a word document, it looks like there is a pen cap next to the plans and then pen cap kinda looks like a rocket which is what Gru is trying to build to steal the moon in the despicable me movie

  42. I sure do miss the old Universal! Alfred Hitchcock, King Kong, Back to the Future, and Hannah Barbara. Is the Lucy Tribute still there?

  43. actually Becky could be right because the blue print looks either like a cloud or tree, but if a cloud then if u think about it, clouds, food falling from the sky, that could be the concept

  44. Screamscape reports that on May 19 they will anounce two (2!!!!!) New attractions. One two replace Jimmy N. And the other an upgrade to one of the major attractions.
    1.easily Dispicable Me (Kong 360 will go to disaster)
    2. Tricky. They said upgrade/one of the most popular attractions. DISASTER IS NOT AN UPGRADE TO KONG THREE SIXTY

  45. 2. Continued…
    Will not cange:
    1. Any marvel rides for Disney will use Marvel soon or later
    2. Forrbidden Journey
    3. Jurastic park
    4.Ripsaw falls
    5. Rip Ride Rock it
    6. Revenge of the Mummy
    7. Weird tornado thing (not that popular, as you can see I don’t even know the name 🙂 )
    8. Disaster

    Possbly change:
    1.Shrek 4-D. .intresting. As you know there will be a Puss inBoots movie in september and rumor has it that dream works plans to make sequels. The movie has some sort of shrek in it and that’s were I get the upgrade part of it. Maybe they could make those seats not so harsh also.

  46. 2. Continued…
    Possibly change:
    Men in black
    Dragon Challenge

    Think of any others?

  47. I am agreeing with Alec with his scenerio:

    Terminator is most likely becoming Avatar 4-D (clue is the tree like plant on top of his shelf and then the color blue looks like the Avatars skin)
    Jimmy Neutron is most likely becoming Despicable Me (clue is the shadow of his hand)
    Disaster is most likely becoming King Kong (clue in the color – it looks like the black has some fur like hair on it)

  48. all of those foods are what the minions ate
    Sign language because you can’t understand them!!!!!!

  49. The major enhancement is spiderman. They are switching the entire video system over to digital. They ride will be revamped with new video and ride elements being implemented. The ride is 12 years old and needs this upgrade badly.

  50. Insider- how do you know is and why should I belive you. As I said islands of adventure should take out marvel island because fans hink it is boring.

  51. Look at the image again with the banana…anyone else look at the window and see a Despicable Me minion?

  52. So some thoughts on the clues:

    Update 6 could read CGI. The hand being the sign for “G” in Sign Language. Not sure what the backwardness of the “c” would mean though. Possibly the reverse of CGI(image capture, live action)?

    The animals could be references to Transformers; Bumblebee, Barricade(who is a Ford Mustang in the movie).

    All Spark Cube in bottom left of the office photo?

    I know they’ve announced Transformers at other parks but Update 1 says that the concept is only different from what is “now in our theme parks.”

    Credit goes to my better half on the update 6 possibilities

  53. (thanks, love!)

    More on backwards cgi/motion capture…does anyone else think that the third color in on the colors hint is Avatar skin? From any of the posters?

  54. Update 2: The yellow color can relate to Despicable Me, but the furry color can relate to King Kong.

    Update 3: The top blockbuster films from Universal include King Kong, Despicable Me, and Transformers.

    Update 4: The bee can relate to that of Bumblebee from Transformers.

    Update 5: The bananas come from Despicable Me because in a special short film, the minions are madly in love with bananas.

    Update 6: I have no idea what that means.

    Update 7: If I am not mistaken, the Mona Lisa made a brief appearance in Despicable Me.

    ***Personally, I think that it is going to be a Despicable Me ride because why would they take a kids ride out to place a Transformers or King Kong ride in replace. Despicable Me has also been floating around in the rumor world for a while now, and more than likely thats what it is going to be although I would have preferred a Transformer ride.

  55. ITS NOT SOUTH PARK! That makes nooooooooo sense its a family park. Pretty much u can run around the park screaming curse words if u r talking bout south park

  56. NO DISPICABLE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If The Simpsons are there so why not SOUTH PARK THE RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Connor I understand that. Is simpson’s a family Ride in a family park?
    Bring south Park, M’KAY?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  58. What Else? I’ll Tell you it might be a DC Comics Superhero if you know that USO now has a contract with Warner Bros. Thanks to POTTER and Do Not Change it.
    if Not Futurama

  59. It will Not Be DISPICABLE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why the hell would it Be?
    Let it be South Park Experience for the animals trampling Kenny!!!!
    Terminator is for teens so have more teen stuff like Transformers!!!!
    Would star trek be there again?
    What About Family Guy?

  60. Hint: EARTH TO SEAN ITS A FAMILY PARK!!! THERE WILL BE NO SOUTH PARK OR FAMILY GUY! Transformers, planet of the apes, or star trek will be good but they said it will be a NEW ride from others so no transformers thats out

  61. they have simpsons already
    i understand srry i just saw the thing bout family park but they have simpsons and i guess simpsons is family since its PG

  62. that building iz way to small for a coaster. All it is a simultator being upgraded to 3d. the simpsons has inapropriate stuff, but the kids don’t know what there talking about. it is nothing that the parents are covering their kids ears for! Sean say one extremly inapropriate thing the simpsons say in the ride.

  63. How is Cartoon Violence on the simpsons pg.
    Its more of a PG-13 Ride.
    So Transformers or a Clash of the Titans.

  64. Here is one thing They Talk about Beer and how is tha kid related.
    That could Teach kids to become bad.
    Look At BART!

  65. I hope they have a king kong simulator like in Hollywood.
    What about that one?
    Will they put Conan The Barbarrian?

  66. Will it be cool if they make a DC COMIC HEROES EXPERIENCE? Like I Said the contract thanks to Harry Potter!
    So why Not?

  67. what about the A-TEAM?
    Mr.T will pity those fools who don’t put the ateam at Universal Stuidios FLorida!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. I think that the clues could point to a return of “”back to the future”” alot of people were disapointed when it closed down

  69. Kids hear adults talking about beer on tv all the time. That’s what the world is now. Beer is not bad it just how people use it and are responsible. It is nothing bad. Bart is bad because he was born that way. They would not have contracts w/ the two major comic companies in the world. The A-TEAM and Back to the future are completely out of question because it’s a family park and to old. Tonight we will find out Dispicable Me and most likely the incredable hulk being upgraded, for rumors say once disney has full control of marvel, universal will switch to DC and change the coaster to Batman.

  70. No it cant be DC, Six Flags is ALL DC and Looney Tunes, Examples at Six Flags Great Adventure where I have season passes to in NJ
    Batman, The Dark Knight (2nd Batman ride there), Superman Ultimate Flight, New this year, Green Lantern, and Bizarro, ALL DC
    and there are other Six Flags Theme Parks all over

  71. We don’t yet know what the announcement will be but I doubt it will be South Park. Although The Simpsons is more of an adult cartoon, it’s also OK for teens. South Park is much more of an adult cartoon. South Park has been rated TV-MA, while The Simpsons is TV-PG or TV-14.

  72. i saw a hint on facebook.
    The photo showed an elephant outside Jimmy Neutron.
    It Might be the Shrink Ray From Dispicable Me.
    i Bet it’ll br AVATAR.
    It’s official.

  73. There is a poster of king kong on the shelves behind his desk…

    Don’t get rid of disaster!! That was my first job back when it was still earthquake, spieling and running TD. It’s a classic!

  74. Well I think we can rule out south park with the elephant pic. I can think of two movies the could be a good replacement like Madagascar or The Bee Movie! lol just my opinion!

  75. I think that Hint 4 gives one of the rides away. My family and i think that it will be a ‘Dreamworks Animation’ ride. The pictures are of a donkey, (Shrek) A Bee (Bee Movie) A Lion (Alex the Lion from Madagascar)
    No idea about the Horse and Bird though!
    Hint 5 points to ‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs’
    Roll on Thursday when we find out!!!!! 🙂

  76. It’s despicable me b/c it was one scene that the elephant was shrunked by the shrink ray in a secret location(which by the way, the shrink ray was stolen by Gru and the minions). Eat your heart out ,Vector. OH YEAH!!!

  77. See Sean. I was right. except the part of being shrunk. this time you are shrunk as a minion. And just to be sure, i knew it was in 3D from the beginning because the film was released in 3D last year. And I didn’t say anything about T2-3D.

  78. The answer to Universal’s clues has been announced. It’s Despicable Me. Read all about it elsewhere on our site. But we’ve updated this post with Universal’s correct answers to all the clues.