Ride / The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride
"Are we there yet?"
is an animated simulator attraction that can be found at the Universal Studios
parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
Based directly off of the famed cartoon series
, the attraction spent many years in Development Hell
, with the idea of it going all the way back to the early 90's with plans to have it at the then-still under construction Islands of Adventure park, though it all fell through due to Fox
not feeling ready to license out the property. It would not be until the late 2000's that Fox finally agreed to allow Universal to create a theme park attraction for the series.
The backstory of the attraction focuses on Krusty the Clown opening his own amusement park, known as "Krustyland". The park features a variety of unusual attractions which attracts the attention of all of Springfield, including the Simpsons family themselves.
The main plot of the ride follows the Simpsons and their visit to the park, particularly their excitement to experience the grand opening of the park's latest attraction, "The All-New Thrilltacular Upsy-Downsy Spins-Aroundsy Teen-Operated Thrill Ride". Things take a turn for the worst when Sideshow Bob, thirsty for vengeance once again, plots to kill the Simpsons and destroy Krusty's theme park. Disguising himself, he manages to break in and hijack the entire park, transforming it into his own personal death trap. As a result, the Simpsons along with the riders themselves are sent on the ultimate trip through this re-designed theme park.
After a little over a year of construction, the attraction opened in both parks on May of 2008. The attraction gained a bit of infamy among many old-school fans for replacing Back to the Future: The Ride
, although over the years the backlash appears to have faded and the ride is now considered one of Universal's most memorable attractions.
Tropes shown in The Simpsons Ride include:
- Absentee Actor: Harry Shearer decided not to participate in the attraction, and as such, his characters either don't speak or don't show up at all.
- Affectionate Parody: Krustyland, which parodies not only the Disney Theme Parks but SeaWorld, Six Flags and Universal themselves.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Krustyland becomes this once Sideshow Bob takes over.
- Anvil on Head: At the end of the ride, Sideshow Bob gets crushed by "Death Drop" ride vehicle with the Simpsons on it.
- Are We There Yet?: The commercial for the attraction has Bart and Lisa constantly saying this while Homer is driving them to Krustyland, much to his annoyance.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Maggie is exposed to radiation, she grows to gigantic size and terrorizes Springfield under Sideshow Bob's manipulation.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: In this brief exchange:
Homer: We're the first people ever to ride this thing! We're like that space guy!
Lisa: Neil Armstrong?
Homer: No, Chewbacca! *wookiee noise*
- Barely Missed Cushion: A clip of Sideshow Bob's prison escape shows him about to jump into a truck full of pillows, but when he jumps the truck drives away and he instead lands in a truck filled with barbed wire.
- Big Bad: Sideshow Bob.
- Big Damn Heroes: Professor Frink shows up to prevent the riders from dropping down into hell.
- Big "Shut Up!": Sideshow Bob does one when he gets annoyed by all the constant singing in the "Happy Little Elves in Panda Land".
- Blatant Lies: When Abraham Simpson is not allowed on the ride due to his medical conditions, he claims that he's in the best shape of his life whilst suffering both a heart attack and a stroke.
- Body Horror: Professor Frink mentions that if a human were to enter the nuclear reactor room, they could grow an extra arm or a third eye where their nose should be.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Right at the ride's end, Sideshow Bob acknowledges the fact that he only has "five seconds to kill somebody".
- Call Back: The gift shop for The Simpsons Ride sells "BORT" keychains.
- Captain Obvious: At the water stadium, Homer remarks, "Maybe that exit sign leads to an exit!"
- Cave Behind the Falls: A portion of the "Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off" ride is set inside one.
- Chainsaw Good: Sideshow Bob at one point wields a giant sawblade against the Simpsons.
- Comically Missing the Point: At the beginning:
Sideshow Bob: There's nothing you can do! You're about to die!
Homer: You sound like my doctor!
- Creator Cameo: In most of the pre-show rooms, there's a picture of Krusty having a drink with Matt Groening.
- Cutting Corners: The queue video has Cletus giving people instructions on how to save money when visiting Krustyland: by sneaking your own food into the park via disguising it as your own clothing or even another child.
- Disaster Dominoes: When Homer tries to take a mug of beer away from one of the animatronics in "Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off", it creates a chain reaction that destroys the entire ride around them.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The "Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off" attraction is filled with, well, pirate dinosaurs.
- Expansion Pack: In 2013 at the Florida park, an entire Springfield area that includes eateries such as Krusty Burger and Moe's Tavern was added on to complement the attraction. The Hollywood park received an even bigger version of the area in 2015.
- Flaying Alive: Played for Laughs in the safety video when Itchy nails Scratchy's tail to the floor; and when he tries to run to the ride vehicle, his fur and skin are torn off as a result.
- Gainax Ending: Just as Maggie is rampaging, we suddenly get a Simpsons Couch Gag, before Kang & Kodos suddenly appear, and it turns out that they're on a Space High Drop Tower. To be honest, for the Attraction, It Runs on Nonsensoleum!
- Haunted House: Krustyland has a Haunted Mansion parody called, "Haunted Condo".
- Hope Spot: The Simpsons attempt to head to the labeled "Exit" in the water stadium as a means of escaping, only for it to actually be a bomb that explodes on them.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the queue line video, Krusty talks about how much he loves and is inspired by children, but when Ralph drops his ice cream on Krusty's shoes, he angrily shouts, "You stupid kid!" and chases him while threatening to rip his head off.
- Indy Escape: At one point, Homer runs away from a detached wrecking ball that's rolling after him.
- Just in Time: When Sideshow Bob starts shooting at the Simpsons inside a water stadium, a whale pops up for Lisa to grapple onto and lead the boat away.
- Losing Your Head: In the ride's safety video, Scratchy ends up decapitating himself while trying to lift the lap bar.
- Mondegreen: When Sideshow Bob shouts, "You've foiled my plans for the last time!", Bart mishears this as, "I've soiled my pants for the last time!"
- Mugged for Disguise: Sideshow Bob knocks out a drunk performer so he can wear his Scratchy costume as a disguise.
- Mythology Gag: The queue movie for The Simpsons Ride features an animated Doc Brown trying to save the Institute of Future Technology from Back to the Future: The Ride.
- No Talking or Phones Warning: The ride features a safety spiel in the form of an Itchy and Scratchy short.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Scratchy gets one of his arms chopped off by the vehicle door in the attraction's safety video.
- Pistol-Whipping: Sideshow Bob knocks Krusty out by hitting him with his pistol.
- Ramp Jump: Two of them occur in the water stadium scene, with one being enough to send the Simpsons and the riders into the stadium bleachers.
- Schmuck Bait: When the ride vehicles are being lifted up onto the roller coaster, it passes by a series of signs that say (in order), "DO NOT ENTER", "SERIOUSLY", "IT'S YOUR FUNERAL".
- Self-Deprecation/Shameless Self-Promotion: Near the end of The Simpsons Ride, the vehicle crashes into a wall reading "SEND MONEY TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS", which pokes fun at the severe financial issues that plagued the company up until recently.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: Abraham Simpsons falls asleep when he's supposed to be watching Maggie, which results in her wandering into the nuclear reactor room.
- Sickly Green Glow: Maggie gets one around her when she is affected by the radiation.
- Souvenir Land: Krustyland. Attractions include the Hall of Secretaries of the Interior, Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off, and a log flume that is currently closed for a wedding.
- Stripped to the Bone: Happens to Scratchy in the safety video when he violates the no-photography rule and is blasted by a bunch of missiles as a result.
- Tempting Fate:
- When Bart bemoans the fact that he and Lisa landed inside a kiddie ride, Lisa mentions, "At least we're safe..." The two get attacked by Sideshow Bob a mere second later.
- While Homer tries to take beer away from an animatronic, he says, "How could beer hurt anybody?", shortly before an entire ride falls apart because of this.
- Title: The Adaptation: Though in this case "the" is in front.
- Updated Re Release: Over the years, some of the dialogue in the attraction has been changed repeatedly for reasons unknown.
- What Does This Button Do?: Right at the end of the ride, Krusty asks this when he sees a mysterious button next to him. He pushes it, which makes the ride vehicle vibrate violently.
- You Already Changed the Past: Featured in one of queue line to humorously pay tribute to its predecessor, Back to the Future: The Ride, complete with voiceover work from Christopher Lloyd. Professor Frink arrives looking for Doc Brown's Institute of Future Technology (the setting of that ride), only to find it replaced by the Krustyland theme park. He decides to stop it, so he "must go back to the future! By which I mean the past." He gets into a Delorean and accelerates into a time jump. Two years ago, a broker is telling Doc Brown that he'll be able to keep the Institute open for years to come. At that point, the Delorean materializes and runs over the broker! Frink jumps out and Brown yells at him "You ruined everything! Now I'll have to sell the Institute of Future Technology to that mercenary clown!" Krusty promptly pastes a Krustyland logo over the IFT logo on the front sign. Brown then shows Krusty to his limo, and Krusty tells him to tear tickets at the front gate after he gets a haircut (Brown's fine with this, as his Einstein Hair requires a lot of upkeep).
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The climax of the ride has most of the family back on the couch at Evergreen Terrace — only for Kang and Kodos to reveal the couch is the ride vehicle of a climactic "Death Drop"!