(Thomas Hawk on Flickr)
Universal Parks News Today reports that construction walls have been put up outside The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida. The ride itself is still open, but a statue featuring the Simpson family inside a ride vehicle that stood near the attraction’s entrance has been removed.
What’s going on??? What could this mean??? I have multiple theories:
- They’re adding a new Simpson
- The statue was abducted in a brazen heist by notorious crimethief Carmen Sandiego
- They’re refurbishing it
- It turns out that for the past 15 years they didn’t actually have a license to use the Simpsons IP, and Disney sent them a cease & desist
- In the actual ride’s storyline, Maggie does not ride along with the rest of the family, so maybe they’re finally rectifying this glaring continuity error
- A 10 year old boy cut off Bart Simpson’s head to impress three older kids, and Universal removed the whole thing so young children wouldn’t be traumatized
- Whoever stole the Buzzy animatronic from EPCOT is back to their old tricks
- Something involving wokeness
- The statue is being held for ransom by an extremist group demanding the return of the Back to the Future ride
Whatever the case may be, let’s hope it returns soon. Having the Simpsons near the sign that says The Simpsons Ride is essential to the ride’s environmental storytelling, in that people need to know who the Simpsons are before they ride their eponymous ride.
Howdy pard’ners, this here’s a roundup of Simpsons news items from all over yonder.
- Former Simpsons composer Alf Clausen has dropped his wrongful termination lawsuit against the show, from which he was fired via email in 2017. Clausen, who was passed over for The Simpsons Movie in favor of Hans Zimmer, was replaced by Zimmer’s “Bleeding Fingers” composing collective, and the orchestra he led for decades was replaced with a more budget-friendly synthesizer. Simpsons producers claimed they let him go because “they didn’t think the classical- and jazz-inclined Clausen was up to the challenges of more contemporary tunes.” You know, like a parody of “America” from the 1957 musical West Side Story or “Tonight (Quintet),” also from West Side Story. [Deadline]
- Way back in 2006, I wrote a quick post about fashion designer Ivy Supersonic accusing Simpsons producer Sam Simon of stealing her idea for a squirrel/rat character and putting it in the Ice Age movies, which he had nothing to do with. Recently, there were some viral tweets claiming Disney no longer owns the character Scrat as a result of her long legal crusade, which doesn’t appear to be, uh, true. Charles Kenny of The Animation Anomaly did some digging and cleared some things up. [The Animation Anomaly]
- Holy shit you guys…. there was a thing about trucks in Canada, and wouldn’t you know it… The Simpsons featured a truck once!!!! [Reuters]
- What happens when Universal Studios’s Simpsons contract expires in 2028? Will Disney try to do their own version of Springfield? Podcast: The Ride discussed that and more in an episode all about The Simpsons Ride. Here’s my proposal: a version of CityWalk called Hulu Highway featuring businesses from Disney’s more “adult” properties: Moe’s Tavern from The Simpsons, Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Drunken Clam from Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers from Allen Gregory, ISIS Headquarters from Archer, etc. [Podcast: The Ride]
The Simpsons live show is over now, with far less casualties than the usual Hollywood Bowl event. In defiance of the rules, some audience members recorded it with their cell phones and cameras. Here’s a video of the Friday show, which could be taken down at any time:
Dead Homer Society has some more videos of the Saturday and Sunday shows, but I’m not going to bother watching them.
- “Unlike Seth MacFarlane, Matt [Groening] will not force you to listen to him sing”
- Whoever recorded this decided to leave it on for part of the intermission, but ran out of battery during Jon Lovitz singing the Planet of the Apes musical, and then somehow regained power immediately after. Okay…
- Jon Lovitz is basically a more likable version of Ricky Gervais.
- Host Hank Azaria got to live his greatest nightmare onstage because nobody told him a clip he was setting up was cut.
- The Alf Clausen tribute seemed abrupt and a little at odds with the rest of the show’s tone. Still, nice to see the Sideshow Bob motif get its due…
- Conan O’Brien seemed energetic, but “The Monorail Song” isn’t really much of a song, come to think of it.
- “Do The Bartman” was really disappointing. Granted, it’s hard to do the Bart voice while singing in front of hundreds of people with limited stage experience, while also trying to make sure you don’t fall off the stage, but still…
- Here’s the weirdest thing: Harry Shearer (who generally doesn’t agree to anything that’s not in his contract because he feels cheated by Fox) apparently didn’t give permission for his voice to be used in clips. So, twice they had to replace him with a “scratch” voice that’s REALLY OBVIOUS AND WEIRD. Shearer also declined to do The Simpsons Ride, but his voice is still present in episode clips that play while you’re waiting in line, so I don’t know what the deal is.
Universal Studios Florida – sorry, Universal Orlando Resort, officially announced the addition of a Springfield-themed area next to The Simpsons Ride, thus confirming the rumors from back in November.
Here’s what their Facebook page says about it:
It will be the only place in the world where you can walk the streets of Springfield, grab a Krusty-certified meat sandwich at Krusty Burger, go nuts for donuts at Lard Lad, imbibe at Moe’s Tavern and more! Plus there will be Duff Beer – brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando – and a new attraction called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl that will take you “foolish humans” on an intergalactic spin designed to send you into orbit!
By “streets” they must mean “street,” singular, if the artwork is anything to go by. Also there’s something called “Cletus’ Chicken Shack” which is NOT CANON and should be boycotted at all costs.
In related news, Universal just jacked up the price of admission to $92, thus becoming the first Orlando theme park to go over $90.
[Inside the Magic]
Well, that guy in Springfield, Oregon may have failed in his attempt to create a “Simpsonsville”, but it looks like Universal Studios Florida (which I think is different from Universal Studios Islands of Adventure but I’m not totally sure) might be getting a Simpsons Land around its Simpsons Ride attraction, if “one ride surrounded by a bunch of price-gouging gift shops and restaurants” even counts as a theme park land these days. Some theme park blog called Screamscape (which I don’t think is even a “blog” since it appears to just be a static web page that gets updated when new rumors come in) has been on the case since September, when they posted this:
According to Screamscape sources, we can expect to see the International Food Festival food court eatery next to The Qwik-E-Mart [sic.] closed in the next few weeks in order to undergo a major transformation to become Simpsons themed. Rumor has it that we will see the addition of a true Krusty Burger and Moe’s Tavern appear here in time for late Spring 2013. I can only assume that we will see Universal take what they learned about adding custom food and beverage items from the Wizarding World [of Harry Potter] and bring some tasty edible Simpsons items to life. Who else is up for a Flaming Moe?
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Lest you think The Simpsons Archive, the holy grail of Simpsons nerdery, has been slacking (it is currently seven years behind on its encyclopedic episode capsules), contributor Tim Reardon [?!] has written an incredibly thorough 18,719- word summary, transcript, and review of The Simpsons Ride, including every line in the queue videos, the pictures on the walls, and a list of every character who appears in it. Why pay $50 to go on the ride when you can read this instead? [The Simpsons Archive]
Guests aboard one vehicle of The Simpsons Ride at Universal Orlando on Friday were sprayed with a nontoxic oil.
Park officials told Local 6 News that they know where the oil came from but do not what caused the incident.
Well that narrows it down [local6.com]