The Secret Life of Pets is Universal Studio’s newest ride at the Hollywood location. The Ride is a little out of the norm for Universal and is more akin to the dark Rides found at Disney parks. The Ride Tech is pretty low end and the ride relies more on intricate and detailed theming. It is geared directly toward younger audiences who are the Films Primary demographic. But is it any good? We take a ride to see in our The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash Ride Review.
- Location – Upper Lot, Universal Studios Hollywood
- Type – Dark Ride
- Duration – 5+ Mins
- Height Restriction – 34 In
- Average Queue time – 20 mins – 40 Mins
- Single Rider – No
- Additional Info – Very mild Kids Attraction
What is The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash
The Secret Life Of Pets is a much-loved Children’s Film Franchise and features a group of pets living in the highrises of New York City. Naturally, they go off on all sorts of zany adventures and run amok in the streets of Manhattan while their owners are at work or just not looking.
The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash, ride is a heavily themed Dark ride based on the Characters and goings-on of the films. It’s a really basic concept the Ride vehicle simply navigates the track at a very slow pace through a highly detailed and intricate set based on New York City.
Queue And Theme
No one likes to Queue but the honest truth here is the Queue line is absolutely fantastic. We think we actually prefer the queue to the Film. It is essentially a walk-through of the Pets apartment with a load f cool voiceovers and Character appearances. It really is like a mini ride all by itself and makes the queue really tolerable!
You will see Buddy the Dachshund, Norman the Guinea Pig, Duke, Max, and of course Snowball amongst others.
Here you are introduced to the idea that you are actually a Puppy…For some reason…and you are on your way to a Pet Store for Re-homing.
It really is a quaint and intricate set with loads of detail and easter eggs from the films!
The Basic ride experience is very very basic. You sit in a ride vehicle made out of various cardboard boxes, supposedly used as makeshift carry cases to take you to your new homes. But there is very little going on as far as ride tech goes as the vehicles simply follow the track and just rotate at certain locations to give you a direct view. It’s a dead-simple Dark-Ride experience, and very smooth and comfortable with no thrill elements at all.
The FUN comes in with the intricate sets you pass through as you go on a wild New York Adventure with the Cast of the Films. It starts off with a bit of nifty Augmented Reality as you have your Picture Taken but the image you get is of you as a Puppy which is pretty neat.
You then take to the Street of New York where you will find most of the Cast from the film in various humous situations, hiding in Hotdog Carts, Flying on Drones, and Just generally making an appearance.
The Next Section is a dark NYC Alley and here you meet the bad guys in the form of feral alley cats. This section can be a bit creepy for the youngest kids but it’s nothing worse than they would find in the film. However, some of the Film’s cast don’t fare so well against the Alley Cats.
The Pets then concoct a very ill-thought-out plan o get to the Pet Store faster using Fireworks. As you can imagine this goes very awry and they all nearly get blown to pieces. The effects in this section are really cool as the fireworks flash and sparkle.
However, despite the close call the plan actually works and the next section is the Pet Store where you are given a nice bath and blow-dry before the Humans arrive to adopt you, much to the happiness of the Pets who head back to the apartment for a giant Party (to celebrate getting rid of you?)
Overall if you include the Walk-through as part of the ride it’s a pretty decent attraction. From an adult point of view, it’s really only ok. If you are a big fan of the film then you probably will enjoy it, but if you are not then really there are probably better things to do with your time.
But let’s be honest. The attraction is for kids. And fans of the films will find the ride hilarious and really engrossing as there are tons of little nuggets and things to spot from the films as the Pets go on their mad-cap adventures.
But younger kids who have never seen the Film will still enjoy the experience as it’s just silly animals doing funny things and what Kid doesn’t like that.
While the Ride is really basic the detail and tech that has gone into the sets are anything but and it’s nice to see Universals going down the Disney route as there really isn’t that much for the younger audience at Universal Hollywood and they really have not half-arsed this.
It’s good fun and the set design, vibrancy, and detailed animated models will really appeal to younger audiences.
Have Yor Say
Let us know your thoughts on The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash, in the comments below, and more importantly, let us know your kid’s thoughts. After all, as adults, our opinion doesn’t really matter that much. It’s what the little ones think that counts and we are, shall we say, several years too old to make that call!