'Secret Life Of Pets' Ride Officially Announced, Will Open At Universal Studios Hollywood In 2020

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke announced that a Secret Life of Pets ride was in development before the first movie even hit theaters, but years later, the news is finally official. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! is opening at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2020, and you can find out what's in store below.

Here's an excerpt from the press release, which explains the premise of the new attraction:

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.

The ride is described as an "innovative adventure" that  "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." The fact that live characters are going to be involved makes me wonder if this could end up being something like Disney's sadly-closed The Great Movie Ride, where cast members dressed as gangsters and cowboys interacted with guests during the ride. I'm sure this will be much more technologically advanced – the Great Movie Ride first opened back in the late 1980s and was in dire need of an update before it was shuttered forever – but frankly, I welcome the involvement of live characters if it means we don't have to spend that time concentrating on the Secret Life of Pets characters.

And while I'm not a fan of the first movie, the best thing about that film is its beautiful depiction of New York City as an even more larger-than-life metropolis than it is in real life, with its shiny skyscrapers towering comically high as if exaggerated from a pet's point of view. The city is gorgeously rendered, all bright colors and reflective surfaces without any of the pesky trash and grime of the real world. Going on a theme park ride through that world sounds super appealing, so I'm very curious to see what this is like when it opens next year. The attraction will be located on the upper platform of the California park, next to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 arrives in theaters on June 7, 2019.