×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Universal launches ‘Simpsons’ ride

Theme park attraction to open spring 2008

NBC Universal’s theme park division is looking to make some serious “d’oh,” pacting with News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox TV to launch a major ride tied to “The Simpsons.”

As-yet-untitled attraction will be built at both Universal Studios Hollywood and the Universal Orlando Resort; online reports had said the ride would be limited to Orlando. Both parks are set to open the ride — which will utilize motion simulator technology — in spring 2008.

Deal also includes provisions that will allow characters from “The Simpsons” to be integrated into the larger Universal theme park brand. Actors dressed like “Simpsons” characters will start roaming the grounds of both parks, while stores devoted to selling “Simpsons”-themed souvenirs will pop up.

Ride deal marks the second time in as many months that NBC U and News Corp. have teamed up; companies are preparing to launch a viral video portal this summer.

“Simpsons” creator Matt Groening and exec producer James L. Brooks collaborated with U’s ride design team on the concept, which will let parkgoers travel through a “Simpsons”-ized version of a theme park, as envisioned by Krusty the Clown.

“The ride is designed to duplicate the Simpsons home-viewing experience, only at high speed and with lots of screaming,” Groening said.

“The Simpsons” ride is replacing another Hollywood-themed attraction, the long-running “Back to the Future: The Ride.” Universal Hollywood will shutter the latter ride after Labor Day; Orlando’s version closed at the end of March.

U isn’t providing much info about the specifics of the ride, saying only that “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 the thrill rides, dark rides and ‘live’ shows that make up a new fantasy amusement park dreamed up by” Krusty.

U said the ride will feature a number of Simpsons characters, with voices supplied by the thesps heard on the series.

Universal Parks & Resorts chairman-CEO Tom Williams said “The Simpsons” ride is a good “complement to our brand of entertainment.”

Florida Today, which first reported news of the “Simpsons” ride on April 5, said the attraction is part of $120 million in upgrades U plans to its Orlando resort in the coming year.

Universal isn’t saying how much it paid 20th for the right to use “The Simpsons” brand, but a recent SEC filing obtained by Florida Today hints that a big chunk of the company’s capital expenditures in 2007 and 2008 would be reserved for “intellectual property rights” related to new attractions.

In addition to the “Simpsons” ride, insiders said U is expected to announce at least one or two other film/TV-themed attractions this year.

More TV

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring

    TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring Helen Mirren

    For some, “Dame Helen Mirren playing the Catherine the Great” is all the convincing they’ll need to watch this new biographical limited series, which is perfectly understandable. The casting of Mirren in the role, which follows the Russian empress in the embattled latter years of her life, is a smart choice that proves its worth [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Science Fair

    Disney Plus Fleshes Out Nonfiction Slate, Including 'Howard,' 'Science Fair,' Mickey Mouse Docu

    Disney Plus further fleshed out its nonfiction content slate at an International Documentary Association showcase event Friday, as the streamer, preparing for its Nov. 12 launch, continues to flesh out its programming strategy. Among the announcements: The streamer has acquired the global distribution rights to “Howard,” the Don Hahn-directed documentary about “Aladdin” and “Beauty and [...]

  • South Park Phone Destroyer

    Bidding War for 'South Park' U.S. Streaming Rights Could Hit $500 Million

    A bidding tussle for domestic streaming rights to Comedy Central’s long-running, irreverent animated series “South Park” may result in a deal as large as $500 million for cable parent Viacom and show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Bloomberg first reported news of the impending deal, pointing to a closing date as soon as this [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    AT&T's Ad-Tech Unit Xandr Buys Clypd To Help Place TV Commercials More Precisely

    Xandr, the AT&T ad-technology unit, has purchased a new company that helps advertisers use data to place commercials in front of the audiences most likely to want to watch them The AT&T division said Friday it had acquired clypd, a company that helps advertisers move forward in a growing desire by Madison Avenue to run [...]

  • HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE

    'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Renewed for Season 2 at Disney Plus

    It may not have even premiered yet, but Disney Plus has handed out a second season renewal for “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Inspired by the “High School Musical” movies, the series was created and is executive produced by Tim Federle, and stars Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content