The Simpsons Ride is a simulator ride featured at the Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks. The ride is based on the animated television series The Simpsons. It was first announced in 2007 and replaced the Back to the Future: The Ride at both locations. The ride at Universal Studios Florida soft opened on April 23, 2008, and the official ceremonies took place on May 15. The ride at Universal Studios Hollywood opened on May 19, 2008. The Simpsons Ride was collaborated on by the producers of The Simpsons, and uses computer generated 3D animation, which was provided by Blur Studio and Reel FX. 2D animation was provided by Film Roman. The ride uses state of the art technology, including a new projection system and new hydraulics.
Entrance to the Simpsons ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Simpsons ride is a simulator ride which replaced the Back to the Future ride.
The ride itself is four and a half minutes long but original footage for the ride can be seen in the queue, and there is also a pre-show video. In the ride, patrons are introduced to a cartoon theme park called Krustyland built by Krusty the Clown. Sideshow Bob, however, is loose from prison to get revenge on Krusty and the Simpson family. At least 24 regular characters from the series make an appearance, all voiced by their original actors. Along with the attraction is a gift shop modeled after the Kwik-E-Mart, which opened in late 2007.
On June 1, 2013, Universal Studios began selling a real version of Duff Beer at the expanded Duff Beer Garden in the new Springfield section of the park.
The ride features more than 24 regular characters from The Simpsons and features the voices of the regular cast members, as well as Pamela Hayden, Russi Taylor and Kelsey Grammer. Harry Shearer, however, decided not to participate in the ride, so none of his characters have vocal parts and many do not appear in the ride at all. In homage to the Back to the Future ride that it has replaced, The Simpsons Ride's queue video features a brief animated cameo from Doc Brown who is voiced by Christopher Lloyd.
Nancy Cartwright - Bart Simpson, Maggie Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, and The Happy Little Elves
Dan Castellaneta - Homer Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Grampa Simpson, Groundskeeper Willie, Squeaky Voiced Teen, Hans Moleman, Barney Gumble, Kodos, Repo man, and Mr. Freidman
Julie Kavner - Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier and Selma Bouvier
Yeardley Smith - Lisa Simpson
Hank Azaria - Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Professor Frink, Cletus Spuckler, Officer Lou, the Sarcarstic Man, Snake Jailbird and Pants-Off Johnson
Kelsey Grammer - Sideshow Bob
Pamela Hayden - Milhouse Van Houten
Russi Taylor - Martin Prince
Christopher Lloyd - Doc Brown
In October 2007, gift shops modeled after the Kwik-E-Mart were built, replacing the Back To The Future: The Store gift shop at Universal Studios Florida and the Time Travelers Depot gift shop at Universal Studios Hollywood. The stores sell Simpsons-related merchandise.Carts were opened near the stores which sell Squishees, (which are The Simpsons' parody of 7-Eleven's Slurpees.)
At Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, the park converted much of the World Expo and some of the Upper Lot in Universal Studios Hollywood into one based on Springfield. The new area includes some iconic landmarks from The Simpsons such as Krusty Burger, Frying Dutchman, Luigi's Pizza, Lard Lad Donuts, Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck, Moe's Tavern, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop and a Duff Brewery. The park also added one amusement ride named "'Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl".
Planning for The Simpsons Ride started two years prior to its opening. The Simpsons creators James L. Brooks and Matt Groening, as well as executive producer Al Jean, collaborated with the Universal Studios creative team, Universal Creative, to help develop the ride. Music for the ride was composed by Jim Dooley, who worked with composer Hans Zimmer on the feature film The Simpsons Movie. The ride is located at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood in the former Back to the Future: The Ride buildings at both locations. The Back to the Future opened in Florida in 1991 and closed March 30, 2007, while the Hollywood version opened in 1993 and closed on September 3, 2007.
The construction began at Universal Studios Florida in May 2007, and the original concrete on the ground from Back to the Future: The Ride was dismantled and replaced by a red and blue ground holding trees and benches. The building was given a complete overhaul; the cars were changed and the original Intamin mechanics system was updated by Oceaneering International.The construction began at Universal Studios Hollywood in mid-September 2007, with the disposal of the building's Back to the Future insignia. Outdoor painting on the building began in January 2008