Universal Studios Florida: Opened May 15 2008 – present (soft opening April 23 2008)
Universal Studios Hollywood: Opened May 17 2008 – present
Official website: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/attractions/the-simpsons-ride/
This brand-new $40-million attraction has replaced the Back to the Future attractions in Florida and Hollywood.
FROM THE SIMPSONS RIDE WEBSITE
The Simpsons are visiting fabulous Krustyland, Krusty The Clown’s Krusty-themed theme park that Krusty guarantees* is not a shameless rip-off of other, better theme parks in Florida and California!
Line up alongside Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, then enter through Krustyland’s carnival midway, where you’ll come face to face with Apu, Patty, Selma, Groundskeeper Willie, and other favorite Simpsons characters manning the classic carny booths including the Milk Bottle Toss Game, the Snack Stand and Lost and Found.
Once you board your ride vehicle, get ready to do what was once thought physically impossible: scream and laugh at the same time. It’s one hilarious surprise after another as you’re swept away with the Simpsons on a wild ride through Krustyland… flying, bumping, floating and crashing your way through Krusty’s thrilltacular attractions.
The ride features all-new animation starring the voices of the show’s Emmy-winning original cast, projected onto a towering 80 foot dome. The ride vehicles tilt, pitch, dip and twist with the mad-capped action on the screen!
*Krusty’s guarantee is neither legally binding nor uttered in good-faith.
- $40 million investment
- Two 90-foot tall domed screens (one in each wing of the show building)
- Almost 2000 guests per hour
- 4 Sony digital movie projectors at 60 frames per second per dome
You enter the building through a 26-foot-tall Krusty head, along a squishy tongue carpet. The first thing you see is a colorful 10-foot-wide map of the Krustyland theme park.
Along the queue line you can see posters advertising the Krustyland rides and shows, some of which are featured in the Krustyland we explore during the main ride. In the final part of the queue, you can even see five characters manning various attractions at the theme park; Patty and Selma, Apu, Hans Moleman and Groundskeeper Willie.
When Krusty’s teen-ride-operator gives the signal, groups of 8 riders enter a funhouse holding room. Krusty the Clown tells us about the ‘Upsy-downsy, spins-aroundsy, teen-operated ride thrilltacular’ dark ride that will astound the world, and we see an Itchy & Scratchy safety video warning what will happen if you don’t keep your legs and arms inside the ride vehicle.
We also see some key plot points that will help the story along. Sideshow Bob is loose in Krustyland, and is out for revenge.
The following fictional rides or shows may ring a few bells amongst theme park fans. These are all mentioned or advertised in the queue area.
* Traumanator Roller Coaster
* Tooth Chipper Roller Coaster
* The Sea Captain’s Queasy Time Lagoon Adventure
* Radioactive Man – the Ride
* Captain Dinosaur’s Pirate Rip Off
* Screamatorium of Dr. Frightmarestein (starring Milhouse, Ralph and Cletus)
* Happy Little Elves in Panda Land
* Krusty’s Balloon Parade
* Death Drop
* Yard Work Simulator
* Krusty’s Wet & Smokey Stunt Show
* The Isotop-ettes Musical Spectacular (starring twin sisters Patty and Selma)
* Sideshow Mel & Mr. Teeny’s Musical revue
* Impervo the Painless (starring Groundskeeper Willie)
* Madame Manjuala: The Future Looker-Atter (starring Apu’s wife)
As the ‘Prepare to be thrilled’ door opens in front of guests, the new Krustymobile ride vehicle is revealed, with a huge Krusty the Clown head at the back and a red/gold/blue paint job with white stars. The ride vehicle is covered in LED lighting and the paintjob glows under the ultraviolet light in the room. Just as you’re prepared for a typical dark ride through the swinging doors in front of your vehicle, you’re lifted 10 feet in the air on an unseen scissor lift and you’re plunged, along with The Simpsons, into Krusty’s newest attraction.
The 6 minute ride film (nearly 2 minutes longer than Back to the Future: The Ride) features 29 characters from the animated TV show.
Sample Attraction Footage
Digital animation studio Blur created the 3d ride film
Featured characters (with voice actors in brackets):
– Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta)
– Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner)
– Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright)
– Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith)
– Maggie Simpson
– Krusty the Clown (Castellaneta)
– Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer)
– Grampa Abraham Simpson (Castellaneta)
– Selma Bouvier (Kavner)
– Patty Bouvier (Kavner)
– Milhouse Van Houten (Pamela Hayden)
– Martin Prince (Russi Taylor)
– Ralph Wiggum (Cartwright)
– Police Chief Wiggum (Hank Azaria)
– Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (Azaria)
– Moe Szyslak (Azaria)
– Groundskeeper Willie (Castellaneta)
– Professor Frink (Azaria)
– Cletus Spuckler (Azaria)
– Snake Jailbird (Azaria)
– Squeaky Voice Teen (Castellaneta)
– Hans Moleman (Castellaneta)
– Barney Gumble (Castellaneta)
– Louie the Hitman (Castellaneta)
– Itchy (Castellaneta)
– Scratchy (Harry Shearer)
– Kang (Shearer)
– Kodos (Castellaneta)
– Happy Little Elves
(Information from the LA Times Travel Blog)
The basic shape and operation of the Back to the Future building is unchanged, but the technology has been replaced and updated – instead of a 70mm IMAX projector, there are 4 state of the art high resolution (4k) Sony digital projectors showing 60 frames per second to ensure a perfectly reproduced high-quality projected image on every ride, accompanied by Dolby cinema-quality multi-channel digital sound. The high frame-rate will ensure a flicker-free movie, which looks as real as it’s possible for the inhabitants of Springfield to look. The scissor lifts (that lift the ride vehicles out of the ‘garage’ loading area) and the motion bases on which each vehicle sits have all been refurbished and renewed as necessary, and Universal has even installed new 80-foot screens in the domes to suit the new digital projectors (it’s now a slightly grey colour to improve the contrast ratio, and is less reflective than the BTTF screen).
Approximate costs for each projector: $120,000 (there are four of these in each dome)
Each lens is in the region of $50,000, each server (which plays the movie footage) $160,000.
As a tribute to the much-loved Back to the Future ride, an animated Doc Brown character appears in the preshow queueline video, and the ride vehicle has a gull-wing door, just like the 8 passenger DeLorean time vehicles from the past/future.
Simpsons characters have been added to the Streetmosphere of live characters around the park, and there’s lots of Simpsons merchandise on sale in the closed former Time Depot store next to the attraction, which has been rethemed as a Kwik-E-Mart.
Creative Director: Christian Lauren
APRIL 24 2007
“Woo Hoo!” Universal’s theme parks add animated fun and excitement to their roster as FOX’s blockbuster hit series, The Simpsons, becomes the inspiration for the world’s most highly anticipated new theme park ride.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson – stars of TV’s longest running series – will ride along with guests in a new mega-attraction opening at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in Spring 2008.
Guests will be rocketed along with the Simpson family on a hysterical, almost unimaginable adventure. They’ll experience a side of Springfield previously unexplored as they enjoy the new ride’s interpretation of thrill rides, dark rides and “live” shows that make up a new fantasy amusement park dreamed up by the show’s cantankerous Krusty the Clown.
Universal’s award-winning creative team is collaborating with The Simpsons Creator and Executive Producer Matt Groening and Executive Producer James L. Brooks to create and open the first-ever mega-attraction based on the blockbuster TV series. It will feature the show’s classic humor and many of its instantly recognizable characters – all voiced by the original actors.
“The ride is designed to duplicate the Simpsons home-viewing experience, only at high speed and with lots of screaming,” stated Matt Groening.
“I am particularly thrilled since, like most people, I’m forever looking for a way to cut the line at Universal Theme Parks,” added James L. Brooks.
“Universal takes the most popular characters in blockbuster movies and hit TV shows and creates fun, exhilarating entertainment experiences,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts. “With its unique sense of humor and enormous popularity, The Simpsons is a perfect complement to our brand of entertainment.”
“The Simpsons is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon and nearly 400 episodes in, the multiple Emmy-Award winning show continues to be as hilarious and inspired as ever,” commented 20th Century Fox Television Presidents Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Creating an attraction based on this landmark series is a fantastic opportunity for our viewers to experience The Simpsons in a whole new way, as well as potentially expose it to an even wider audience.”
About The Simpsons:
Currently the longest-running sitcom on television, The Simpsons will air their historic 400th episode in May 2007. The critically acclaimed series features Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson, who take traditional family life and turn it upside down. Exploding into a cultural phenomenon in 1990, The Simpsons has remained one of the most visible and marketable properties domestically and internationally. The Simpsons is noted for famous celebrity guest voices (such as Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Kiefer Sutherland, Natalie Portman, Simon Cowell, Gore Vidal, U2, Mick Jagger and Aerosmith) and received a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in January of 2000.
This multi-Emmy-Award-winning series is airing its 18th season and is in production on its 19th Season. The Simpsons is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the current Executive Producers. Film Roman is the animation studio.
APRIL 1 2008
For the first time, Universal theme parks are offering Simpsons fans the chance to become part of a theme park attraction.
The Simpsons franchise expands: Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood today launch www.SimpsonsRide.com, and kick off a global sweepstakes for the ultimate Simpsons fan to take on the famous Simpsons animated look and have a chance to be immortalized within The Simpsons Ride, the new thrill ride opening this spring at both theme parks.
The website visitors can create illustrated versions of themselves, known as Avatars, that bear uncanny resemblances to the populace of Springfield – home of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson.
The winner of the Simpsons sweepstakes will have their Avatar on display at The Simpsons Ride attractions in both Orlando and Hollywood.
Visitors to the website also will be able to learn more about the Simpsons attraction, have a chance to win a VIP vacation, theme park tickets, and play a Simpsons game that provides “hours of mindless fun” as they catapult their Avatars over the gates of Universal Studios to get a sneak peak at “Krustyland,” the fantasy amusement park dreamed up by the cantankerous Krusty the Clown, before it opens.
As another fun option, fans can choose to catapult the Avatars of their favorite Presidential candidates.
More content and surprises are in the works for the website as the promotional activities for the new attractions ramp up this spring.
This May, Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood will host a Simpsons fan extravaganza – the first bicoastal event for the show’s enthusiasts. There will be loads of fun activities for Simpsons seekers along with rides on the new attractions, special celebrity guests and more.
APRIL 22 2008
GREEN TECHNOLOGY IN THE NEW “THE SIMPSONS RIDE” AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD AND UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT REFLECTS THEME PARKS’ COMMITMENT TO ENVIRONMENT
Universal City, California and Orlando, Florida – Consistent with a company-wide initiative, creative teams at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have employed a variety of technological innovations in the design and construction of “The Simpsons Ride” –opening at both parks in May 2008 — and are ushering in a new era of environmentally conscious theme park ride construction.
“The Simpsons Ride” is a new mega-attraction based on the blockbuster movie and TV series.
Dramatic savings in energy consumption will be achieved through the use of new lighting technologies, new technologies in electric motor drives and through cutting-edge software designed to control hydraulic systems for maximum efficiency.
Through this “green” conversion process, “The Simpsons Ride” will achieve a power savings of over 55,233 watts per hour and cumulative power savings of 662,796 a day during the busy summer months of operation compared to average usage by the simulator-based attraction that previously occupied the new ride’s site.
The newly minted, environmentally conscious “The Simpsons Ride” represents the largest lighting installation of LED lamps in theme park ride history. The attraction will be illuminated with 2,582 LED lights, expending just 27,675 watts per hour as compared to 82,909 watts consumed per hour by standard incandescent lighting.
Energy conservation also extends to Variable Frequency Drives installed within the attraction to efficiently control the electrical power supplied to the ride’s many motor-driven components. This system will ultimately reap a power saving in excess 50 percent by incrementally increasing the necessary motor speeds used in controlling the ride’s countless behind-the-scenes technical controls.
A custom-written software program designed to oversee the Ride’s master control system will reconfigure power usage supplied to the ride’s hydraulics system resulting in significant energy consumption.
Universal Studios embarked on a company-wide “Green is Universal” initiative last year to heighten environmental consciousness through all the company’s operations. Newly instituted programs have included higher recycling ratios to reduce solid waste streams, switches to alternative fuels, conservation of energy to reduce carbon footprints, printing on recycled paper, conservation of water and adoption of the principle of sustainability as a core business value.
The Simpsons Ride” is a collaboration between Universal Parks & Resorts and “The Simpsons” creators, Executive Producer, Matt Groening; Executive Producer, James L. Brooks; and Executive Producer, Al Jean. “The Simpsons Ride” is the first-ever mega-attraction based on the blockbuster TV series.
Universal Studios Hollywood (www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com <http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/> ), The Entertainment Capital of L.A., includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex; the Universal CityWalk Cinemas; and the Gibson Amphitheatre concert and special event venue. Universal CityWalk features over 60 entertainment-themed restaurants, nightclubs, shops and dynamic entertainment options. Universal CityWalk Cinemas, offering the best movie-going experience in Los Angeles, features 19 screens including one of Southern California’s largest IMAX® venues and newly renovated stadium-style seating. The theme park features such groundbreaking attractions as “Revenge of the Mummy™ – The Ride,” “Shrek 4-D™,” “Jurassic Park® – The Ride,” the world-renowned Studio Tour, which takes guests behind-the-scenes of such landmark TV and movie locations and sets as Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” and the upcoming Spring 2008 new mega-attraction, “The Simpsons Ride,” based on the blockbuster hit movie and TV series.
Universal Orlando Resort (www.universalorlando.com <http://www.universalorlando.com/> ). With Steven Spielberg as creative consultant, Universal Orlando has created some of the world’s most innovative theme park attractions based on pop culture’s most compelling films and stories.
Families will experience two world-class theme parks – Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – a nighttime entertainment complex and magnificently themed on-site hotels. Universal Studios is a working film and TV production studio as well as a highly acclaimed motion picture and television theme park featuring attractions such as “Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” and “Shrek 4-D.” Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the world’s most technologically advanced theme park and features five uniquely themed islands that include Seuss Landing, Marvel Super Hero Island and Jurassic Park. Its marquee attractions include “Jurassic Park River Adventure” and “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.”
In addition to its theme parks, Universal Orlando Resort also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre nighttime entertainment complex that features restaurants, shops, clubs, a 20-screen cineplex and live-entertainment. The destination’s three on-site Loews hotels include the Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Royal Pacific Resort.
About Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising: A recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, one of the top suppliers of primetime entertainment programming to the broadcast networks.
JULY 4 2008
The Verdict Is In! – The Simpsons Ride at Universal Voted World’s ‘Best New Theme Park Attraction’
Accolades continue rolling in for Universal Park & Resorts’ new Simpsons Ride. Already the subject of rave reviews by guests at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, Theme Park Insider.com has now voted The Simpsons Ride as the “Best New Theme Park Attraction” worldwide for 2008. Theme Park Insider.com is a leading consumers’ guide to the world’s most popular theme and amusement parks, written by consumers themselves.
The Simpsons Ride showcases everything the popular television series has made famous and that Simpsons fans love … a great story, humor and irreverence that are pure Simpsons, with original animation starring cast members Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and guest star Kelsey Grammer. Guests are swept into Krustyland, a theme park created by the show’s cantankerous, cash-hungry clown. Meanwhile, maniacal Sideshow Bob has escaped from prison and has taken control of the park to get his revenge on Krusty and the Simpson family. Hand-picked by Krusty to be the first to ride his newest attraction, guests are thrust into the middle of the action and soar through Krustyland and Springfield on a ride that features the world’s first-ever cork screw that’s animated.
“The Simpsons Ride represents what Universal does best — which is to take pop culture’s blockbuster entertainment concepts and bring them to life in wildly entertaining theme park experiences,” said Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, designers of The Simpsons Ride. “We appreciate the recognition and share it with our partners at Fox Licensing and Gracie Films, who helped us create a truly authentic Simpsons experience.”
About Universal Parks & Resorts Universal Parks & Resorts
(Universal) (http://www.nbcuni.com) consists of three worldwide entertainment destinations with four dramatically distinct theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. Universal is part of NBC Universal, which is 80% owned by General Electric. Universal Orlando Resort (http://www.universalorlando.com) is home to the Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks, as well as Universal CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping and entertainment venue and three premier on-site Loews hotels. Universal Studios Hollywood (http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com) combines an authentic working movie and television studio with cutting-edge thrill rides and attractions, offering guests a uniquely immersive entertainment experience that employs the latest in state-of-the-art technologies.
The show building is (mostly) the same as it was built, for Back to the Future: The Ride. During construction, some work was done to upgrade the insulation and ventilation services, as well as giving the whole building (inside and out) a fresh coat of paint.
Variety.com article (April 24 2007)