Simpsons Ride Opens at Universal Studios

Allan Beglarian

Grab hold of the safety bars and hold on for dear life while Sideshow Bob tries to kill America’s favorite animated family. That is the theme behind the new $40-million mega-attraction “The Simpsons Ride,” which opened at Hollywood’s Universal Studios, on May 17.


Slideshow: To officially launch the new ride a Human Cannonball was fired 70′ over the heads of the assembled media and invited guests.(Slideshow Media credit: Richard Kontas).

The ride showcases everything that is popular with the Simpsons family, from Homer and his love for donuts, Bart’s enthusiastic hollers, the pessimistic Lisa and the forgetful grandfather and the rest of the cast of this popular series that takes traditional family life and transforms it into a satire.

Guests will be ushered into Krustyland, a theme park created by the show’s profit-chasing crazy clown, Krusty, while the sadistic Sideshow Bob, an escaped convict, takes control of the theme park to exact revenge on Krusty and the Simpsons for a previously foiled robbery.

“Totally fun. Like you’re in a rollercoaster and you have to shut your eyes and scream,” said Anthony Manalastas, 34, of Santa Clarita.

A 32-foot-tall Krusty welcomes the patrons as they walk through Krusty’s mouth on his extended tongue to the giant dome that houses the wrap-around cinematic show. It is pure multimedia. The guests will be seated in a rather boxy side-car reminiscent of the old-time carnivals, but that is where the old stops and high tech begins in the form of animation, vibrations, sound, splatters of water, fog and computer-controlled twists and turns, manifesting into the world’s first-ever animated cork screw that is bound to wake up the dead.

“It was great,” said Fred Brager, 30, of Long Beach, accompanied by his family.”It was a bit of a wait, but it was well worth it. Quite a bit of fun. We’ve been to the “Back to The Future” ride in Orlando, but this was lot better.”

“For 20 years I’ve been dreaming about this, and there it is – a wild, thrilling Simpsons Ride put together by a huge number of talented artists and amusement-park maniacs,” said Matt Groening, the creator of the original series.

Normal, non-peak, operating hours are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Universal Studios 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. Prices vary. For more information visit: www.universalstudioshollywood.com.