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Woo Hoo ! "The Simpsons Ride" officially opens at Universal Studios Florida

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Woo Hoo ! "The Simpsons Ride" officially opens at Universal Studios Florida

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In God's Waiting Room (AKA Florida), you're bound to run into a few blue hairs over the course of your day. Though -- that said -- one wonders what the AARP would make of the bunch pictured below.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Believe it or not, the multiple Marges that you see above aren't actors. They were just were Universal Orlando guests who happened upon yesterday's official opening ceremony for "The Simpsons Ride."

Universal Studios Florida really spared no expense for the launch of its newest attraction. Even providing a Krusty clone to direct the live orchestra that provided music for yesterday's ceremony.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

As some Orlando area school children looked on, Bill Davis -- president and chief operating officer of the Universal Orlando Resort -- cut the (appropriately enough) bright yellow ribbon ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Then -- as confetti rained down from above and walkaround version of Marge, Bart, Lisa and Homer strolled down Krusty's 35-foot-long tongue, "The Simpsons Ride" officially opened for business.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

As the crowd then surged in to the clown's mouth, among the very first to ride yesterday were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and former *NSYNC member Joey Fatone.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Afterwards, members of the media got to sit down with Mike West, Executive Producer for the Universal Creative Studio. And this 25-year Walt Disney Imagineering vet said that he was extremely pleased with the way "The Simpsons Ride" had turned out. "We really enjoyed working with the folks at Gracie Films working to bring the Simpsons world to life."

Mike West, Executive Producer with the Universal Creative Group
Photo by Nancy Stadler

That's perhaps the most intriguing aspect of "The Simpsons Ride." In that Universal Creative didn't actually write this attraction. But -- rather -- the folks who actually write the scripts for "The Simpsons" television show did.

As a direct result ... "The Simpsons Ride" may be the meanest / funniest theme park attraction ever created. With the group at Gracie Films being equal opportunity offenders. In that they went out of their way to blast the Disney theme parks, Universal as well as SeaWorld.

Take -- for example -- this Krustyland attraction, which manages to spoof both Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well as Universal's "Jurassic Park River Adventure."

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Look for a full-blown feature on the creation of this new Universal Studios attraction next week on JHM.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

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  • Interesting article. I'm not a Simpsons fan but what I like the facade. It's a throw back to the old time amusement park fun house/dark ride Bally Hoo. Especially Crusty the Clown on the facade. It might as well me Laffing Sal. If you like that stuff see www.laffinthedark.com

  • Hey Hey!! That looks awesome. I havent been to Universal in years,but methinks a visit is in order once they open Harry Potter land.

  • Dear Jim:  Thanks for the update on the grand opening.  This ride looks great, and I'll be there in October to experience it.  My question is, what did you think about the ride itself?

  • Good point Lumen!  The ride just opened and we get a garbage, half-assed review?  Not cool, Jim!

  • The ride has elements that pokes fun at the major players in the theme park biz; most notablly those in Orlando....nothing "mean" or "blasting" going on there.  It's all in good fun...


  • I love, love, love the ride. As a huge BTTF it was a little bittersweet for me, but there are some fantastic BTTF references and cameos in the preshow. I would love to know if the Hollywood edition of the ride uses the same film, because I think some of those guests might be in the dark on some of the spoofs, specifically the ones referencing Islands of Adventure rides.

  • WOW! Mike West is at Universal now?  I worked with him when he was at Disney. Did NOT know this.

    How things change...

  • So, does this mean they removed that photo spot where you line up your camera with a photo still and it looked like the space shuttle was ready for launch from the top of the BTTF building?

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