The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! (coming 2020)

Dates: Originally due to open March 27 2020, this was delayed after theme parks closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Official website: https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/the-secret-life-of-pets

New attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood based on the movie series by Illumination Entertainment (distributed by Universal Pictures).

The attraction has been built on the site of the former Globe Theatre, which was an event space.

A Variety article (April 2019) confirmed that the attraction will be opening in 2020, and mentioned visitors on ride vehicles. There are a total of 64 animatronic figures in the attraction, which is a welcome move away from the digital projection-based attractions of the last few years.

From the Universal Studios Hollywood website:
“Get ready for your favorite movie to become a spectacular new ride. Join your favorite characters from The Secret Life of Pets – Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, along with a host of other animal friends – when The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash opens in 2020 at Universal Studios Hollywood™.”

Timeline:

2016 June – The Secret Life of Pets released in movie theatres
2018 July – Construction started on the attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood
2019 April – The attraction title was confirmed by Universal
2019 May – The Secret Life of Pets 2 released in movie theatres
2020 – “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” attraction opens (originally due to open March 27 2020, delayed due to Coronavirus pandemic)

2016 – The Secret Life of Pets movie trailer

Press Release – 20 February 2020

Exciting All-New “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” Ride Opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 27, 2020 Enhanced with Virtual Line Technology

Innovative Ride Debuts 64 Animatronics Inspired by Illumination’s blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets films

Universal City, CA, February 20, 2020 – “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 27, bringing an astounding 64 animated figures to this all-new tech-savvy ride based on Illumination’s blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets films, which answer the question, “What are your pets reallydoing when you’re not at home?”

The entertaining new ride features original voice talent from The Secret Life of Petsfilms who will unleash their animal instincts to reprise their roles for this exciting theme park attraction. The talent and their alter egos include Patton Oswalt as Max, Kevin Hart as Snowball, Eric Stonestreet as Duke, Jenny Slate as Gidget, Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, Lake Bell as Chloe, Dana Carvey as Pops, Chris Renaud as Norman, Hannibal Buress as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan as Mel, and Jessica DiCicco as Princess.

“The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” is a heartfelt experience that transforms guests into stray puppies as they journey to become loved and adopted. After all, adoption day is the ultimate rite of passage for every domesticated animal and, as such, the perfect theme of this engaging new ride as these beloved puppies find their forever homes.

Combining 64 technologically-advanced animated figures, “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” invites guests to meet some of their favorite characters from the movies, who themselves have transformed into dimensional beings. From blinking eyes to eye and eyebrow movements, from head tilts to head nods, from moving mouths to smiles, from ear curls to lip curls, from full torso twists to physically walking, the depth of mobility and function programmed within each of these loveable characters creates an experience unlike any other theme park ride.

With the addition of hyper-realistic media and projection mapping, this impressive new ride is designed to fully immerse guests in a dynamic New York City landscape. Seated within ride vehicles that resemble cardboard boxes—reminiscent of where Katie first finds her beloved Max as a puppy—guests will travel along a track towards the Pet Adoption event and the ultimate happy ending: forever homes.

The ride will feature state-of-the-art optical enhanced gesture-tracking technology, which helps to identify each guest as a unique stray puppy for the duration of the ride. With an option to be transformed into one of 15 stray puppies, guests will enjoy a unique experience each time they ride “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!”

Virtual Line technology is another component of the experience, designed to help guests maximize their leisure time at the theme park. Guests can access Virtual Line via the official Universal Studios Hollywood app, available for free in the App Store and on Google Play or they can visit the Virtual Line kiosk located in the New York City subway station, situated adjacent to the ride. Both provide guests with options to experience the ride based on the next available times and will be available to guests within the theme park as needed.

Virtual Line complements the ride’s non-traditional queue which invites guests to explore the area at their leisure and freely roam the ride’s corridors—reminiscent of Katie’s NYC apartment building—explore dachshund Buddy’s apartment, Snowball owner Molly’s living room as well as Max and Duke’s apartment, until they reach the ride’s boarding station.

“The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” will be located on Pets Place, previously referred to as Baker Street, and adjacent to the popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” attractions. With the installation of store front facades, Pets Place will capture the charm of a busy New York City street, including an iconic NYC subway station, which serves as the in-park location for the Virtual Line.

Press Release – 10 April 2019

Universal Studios Hollywood Takes Guests on a Whirlwind Journey through New York City in an All-New “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” Ride Inspired by Illumination’s Worldwide Blockbuster Movie, Opening in 2020

Universal City, CA, April 10, 2019 – Adoption day is the ultimate rite of passage for every animal seeking a home, and it’s now the inspiration for Universal Studios Hollywood’s lively new ride, “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!,” opening in 2020 based on Illumination’s 2016 global blockbuster and upcoming sequel, which answers the question, “What do your pets do when you’re not at home?”

In this all-new fully immersive experience, guests will assume the roles of stray puppies as they join a familiar cast of leading characters from The Secret Life of Pets — Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, along with a host of other animal friends — on the ultimate quest of finding forever homes.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring another exciting Illumination movie-based ride to our guests,” said Karen Irwin, President and COO, Universal Studios Hollywood. “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!’ will capture the essence of the popular film and invite our guests to live vicariously through some of their favorite characters as they embark on a one-of-a-kind experience only available at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

The innovative adventure will blend live, dimensional and animated characters with hyper-realistic media as guests zip along a track aboard ride vehicles through bustling New York City streets towards the Pet Adoption event and the ultimate happy ending: forever homes. Along the way, guests will face an array of challenges and meet up with fellow animal pals eager to help guide them toward their destination.

“The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” will be located adjacent to the popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” attractions.

Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, the next chapter in the franchise, arrives in theaters June 7, 2019.