The Future of Springfield/Simpsons Ride | Inside Universal Forums
  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.

The Future of Springfield/Simpsons Ride

salismetho

Newcomer
Dec 7, 2021
35
Given that this ride is nearing on its fourteenth year of operation, and has one of the worst capacities of the park, what do you guys think the future for this ride holds? I know refurbs have been going on for a little while now, but will the park continue to put money into this ride after that? Will it go altogether when the contract expires? Will it go earlier? Will Universal try and renew? Will the ride close before the rest of Springfield?
I feel like a thread specifically about the future of this area of the park is suitable, if not then feel free to delete.
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
18,891
Arizona
In the short-term future? The Simpsons Ride isn't going anywhere for atleast a short bit. They've been updating the projectors in each theater (Which is more why they've been operating on reduced capacity); but we're still talking about a 25+ year old attraction ontop of a hillside in LA County.

When, The Simpsons Ride goes; my thought process is that it will be fully demolished. Why do I think that? Because Soundstage 28, Globe Theater, House of Horrors, and Cartooniversal would like to have words.

This structure will be one of, if not the oldest buildings in the park (save that of the Castle Theater) that has had only one major period of upgrading. The period when The Simpsons Ride was being transitioned into the building. USH has also proved that size does not equate the type of an attraction that has to be in the venue, so I think it's fair to say mostly anything can be on the table. The only things I think are going to be salvaged is the current restrooms, and the food establishments budding against Hogsmeade. The latter's case is a guarantee, due towards the fact that it should be connected with The Three Broomstick's kitchen (And the restrooms were put into place when Springfield USA was ongoing).

I'd see rethemes for those, while The Simpsons Ride, Castle Theater, Animal Actors, and Feature Presentations, alongside Duff Gardens/Luigi's gets torn down. Castle/AA/FP/Duff&Luigi alone gives them 1.3/4 acres if they use the hillside and roads next to it. It's practically on-par with Revenge of The Mummy's space size. More than enough to have an anchor attraction for that corner of the park if they decide to not use The Simpsons Ride's space as the land's replacement for an anchor attraction.

My spitballing anyways. Honestly, I do think The Simpsons will go eventually. Sooner more than later, I'd argue; but I do think once Springfield gets the changes--that I'll be shocked if they don't use all the land around it as they can. If they're going to self-cannibalize, start with something that could realistically have a time-limit.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Freak and TheUniC6

TheUniC6

Newcomer
Oct 10, 2021
38
In the short-term future? The Simpsons Ride isn't going anywhere for atleast a short bit. They've been updating the projectors in each theater (Which is more why they've been operating on reduced capacity); but we're still talking about a 25+ year old attraction ontop of a hillside in LA County.

When, The Simpsons Ride goes; my thought process is that it will be fully demolished. Why do I think that? Because Soundstage 28, Globe Theater, House of Horrors, and Cartooniversal would like to have words.

This structure will be one of, if not the oldest buildings in the park (save that of the Castle Theater) that has had only one major period of upgrading. The period when The Simpsons Ride was being transitioned into the building. USH has also proved that size does not equate the type of an attraction that has to be in the venue, so I think it's fair to say mostly anything can be on the table. The only things I think are going to be salvaged is the current restrooms, and the food establishments budding against Hogsmeade. The latter's case is a guarantee, due towards the fact that it should be connected with The Three Broomstick's kitchen (And the restrooms were put into place when Springfield USA was ongoing).

I'd see rethemes for those, while The Simpsons Ride, Castle Theater, Animal Actors, and Feature Presentations, alongside Duff Gardens/Luigi's gets torn down. Castle/AA/FP/Duff&Luigi alone gives them 1.3/4 acres if they use the hillside and roads next to it. It's practically on-par with Revenge of The Mummy's space size. More than enough to have an anchor attraction for that corner of the park if they decide to not use The Simpsons Ride's space as the land's replacement for an anchor attraction.

My spitballing anyways. Honestly, I do think The Simpsons will go eventually. Sooner more than later, I'd argue; but I do think once Springfield gets the changes--that I'll be shocked if they don't use all the land around it as they can. If they're going to self-cannibalize, start with something that could realistically have a time-limit.
I think that Animal actors will be demoed in the not too distant future and will be used for the now expanding Illumination Land in the upper lot. Maybe the Sing show from Japan and Beijing. I am more curious to what IP what will be used for when the Simpsons get the boot.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,832
No man's land: SoCal
In the short-term future? The Simpsons Ride isn't going anywhere for atleast a short bit. They've been updating the projectors in each theater (Which is more why they've been operating on reduced capacity); but we're still talking about a 25+ year old attraction ontop of a hillside in LA County.

When, The Simpsons Ride goes; my thought process is that it will be fully demolished. Why do I think that? Because Soundstage 28, Globe Theater, House of Horrors, and Cartooniversal would like to have words.

This structure will be one of, if not the oldest buildings in the park (save that of the Castle Theater) that has had only one major period of upgrading. The period when The Simpsons Ride was being transitioned into the building. USH has also proved that size does not equate the type of an attraction that has to be in the venue, so I think it's fair to say mostly anything can be on the table. The only things I think are going to be salvaged is the current restrooms, and the food establishments budding against Hogsmeade. The latter's case is a guarantee, due towards the fact that it should be connected with The Three Broomstick's kitchen (And the restrooms were put into place when Springfield USA was ongoing).

I'd see rethemes for those, while The Simpsons Ride, Castle Theater, Animal Actors, and Feature Presentations, alongside Duff Gardens/Luigi's gets torn down. Castle/AA/FP/Duff&Luigi alone gives them 1.3/4 acres if they use the hillside and roads next to it. It's practically on-par with Revenge of The Mummy's space size. More than enough to have an anchor attraction for that corner of the park if they decide to not use The Simpsons Ride's space as the land's replacement for an anchor attraction.

My spitballing anyways. Honestly, I do think The Simpsons will go eventually. Sooner more than later, I'd argue; but I do think once Springfield gets the changes--that I'll be shocked if they don't use all the land around it as they can. If they're going to self-cannibalize, start with something that could realistically have a time-limit.
I agree that the Simpsons Ride building will ultimately get torn down. I don't think it will be by the end of this decade, but I can see it happen around the early to mid 2030's. With the projections upgrades, I foresee just one more overlay for the short term before it goes (More on that shortly).

That being said, I really don't see Springfield or any Simpsons presence remaining in the park by the end of the decade. When you have a contract with Fox about to expire and you have a park that could use all of the expansion space it can get, you probably want to maximize that little space you have with as little IP restrictions as possible. That Simpsons Ride plot and AA/SES plot are ripe real estate for some decent-size attractions.

There's not a ton of natural space to allow for another IP land to be ported over from Orlando and you don't want a major project closing off a major crowd chokepoint. Not to mention, the infrastructure already put in place will only be about 13 years once 2028 rolls around. I can't imagine that they will want to renew the contract for an IP that's mainly driven by food sales when they could easily rebrand the food and be freed from the restrictions of the IP. Plus, Simpsons is insanely old now and owned by Disney.

With that in mind, like I said in the other threads, I think the longterm plan for Springfield will be a quick reskin into a generic NY street. Build a theater in place of AA to allow for shows during the day and for HHN, put a ride where SES is (Ghostbusters?), retheme the stores to a generic NY theme, and the Simpsons Ride plot can be open for anything. I think this is the most likely scenario being that there would be no IP restrictions and they would need a show space as WW won't be here for the long term. It's also the best way to reuse the infrastructure put in place from Springfield while not closing this off completely from crowd flow.

Now until they have a good idea of what they can put in the Simpsons ride plot, I also predict that they will do a cheap overlay of Simpsons into Fallon. It would fit with the NY aesthetic not to mention the Tour entrance would be right there. Plus, it would be a quick placeholder until they can think of something substantial to replace the BttF/Simpsons building. Not to mention the premise of the ride makes more sense using the Simpsons Ride format. That way they can throw all of their money into replacing AA, SES, and Springfield while using Fallon as a holdover.

So I said all of that to say I think we have one more overlay for Simpsons before they tear down the building and I think that overlay is going to be Fallon. It certainly won't last as long as Simpsons, but I don't see them tearing down the building just yet.

Oh, and here's a fun fact: That whole area of the left side of Springfield has to go eventually. The foundation for Butterfat's is sinking into the hill so....yeah, it's going to have to go sooner or later.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Chris Galindo

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
18,891
Arizona
Id be shocked if AA and SES don't go off at the same time. Together. Both make for a large plot of land, large enough for something of a larger scale.

It's really outside of the Maintenance Barn of the Studio Tour, the largest area of space for growth.
 

TheUniC6

Newcomer
Oct 10, 2021
38
Id be shocked if AA and SES don't go off at the same time. Together. Both make for a large plot of land, large enough for something of a larger scale.

It's really outside of the Maintenance Barn of the Studio Tour, the largest area of space for growth.
I already predict Animal actors will be removed around 2022-2023 for an Illumination attraction which would likely be Sing on Tour ported over from Japan and Beijing. It would be an ideal size for the AA spot and would nicely round out the Illumination land on the upper lot well with pets place, minion way, and sing street. Though I wonder if SES would also become an Illumination attraction or would it be something different?
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
18,891
Arizona
If they expand Illumination any further, why wouldn't they just opt and take out French Street/Parisian Courtyard for more? I do not get why people keep thinking Illumination is going to expand out of the left side. Plus, it's as @Freak mentioned:

Animal Actors, Castle Theater, Butterfat/Luigi/Duff Gardens; on the other hand, would have a far more likelier chance of being removed for one large investment due to it's geographical placement. I also think NY is out of the card, unless if Universal wants to have three completely different NewYork areas in one park (yes, they have two).

My bet is whatever SES/Animal Actors becomes, it'd become the anchor of a revamped Springfield. I do agree with Freak that TSR if it's prepared enough, could survive one more retheme. They'd probably have to upgrade more beefier elements with it though.

To give thoughts on plot sizes, this comes to mind IMO.

1642050832617.png

A would be able to house a show like Sing on Tour, near to it's size. It could even be extended a bit further into the hillside if need too, and if they need to expand the parking structure to increase it's weight.

B, is the far larger potentiality. It can house a Mummy level attraction rather well; and that's not without going closer to the road in the area itself. They could easily morph in Feature Presentation into the size, and it'd allow for more space. I'd be shocked if they wouldn't want to have a proper E-Ticket be the landmark of the land. More-so than anything.

Geographically, Castle Theater and Animal Actors have little options for growth. But I do not think the solution is splitting it in half, for Illumination and something else. My belief (And albeit hope) is that they would use it specifically for whatever happens to Springfield. Especially as outside of the cluster of soundstages next to Transformers, and the Studio Tour Plaza/Maintenance barn; this area would likely be the biggest potential chance to get another large attraction.

Heck, I don't even rule out what @Freak said, but I'd argue that they would put that to Pokemon more than doing something with a generic New York.
 
Last edited:

Chris Galindo

Veteran Member
Feb 22, 2015
2,629
LA
Oh, and here's a fun fact: That whole area of the left side of Springfield has to go eventually. The foundation for Butterfat's is sinking into the hill so....yeah, it's going to have to go sooner or later.
There is a plan for this. It also has to do with that snippet I mentioned in the HP VR thread.

I will also mention that as recently as 2018, there was a Blue Sky for expanding Springfield.

I do also agree Simpsons is leaving. But there are so many efforts to preserve this area of the park it kind of seems sad at this point.
 

viking_wizard_eyes

Contributing Member
Apr 26, 2019
653
L.A.
Unless Disney decides to be a-holes about it, I tend to think Universal and Disney will work something out to keep this IP in the Universal parks. There are ways to make it a win-win for both parties -- but I guess you can't rule out Disney taking some sort of action based on principal alone.

But reaching a deal and keeping The Simpsons long-term would mean Universal puts labor/production costs toward other areas. Expanding Nintendo/figuring out The Mummy/doing something with Potter VR/Illumination land expansion should all take precedent over putting a temporary re-skin on a popular and profitable land, let alone knocking it all down and rebuilding from scratch.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,832
No man's land: SoCal
Either way this plays out, I really don’t see them tearing down the Springfield buildings where Krusty and Lard Lad are as they’re still fairly new and Attatched to the Three Broomsticks kitchen.

I don’t see AA, SES, and Butterfats lasting by the end of this decade though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coolbfitz

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,632
Orlando
Unless Disney decides to be a-holes about it, I tend to think Universal and Disney will work something out to keep this IP in the Universal parks. There are ways to make it a win-win for both parties -- but I guess you can't rule out Disney taking some sort of action based on principal alone.

But reaching a deal and keeping The Simpsons long-term would mean Universal puts labor/production costs toward other areas. Expanding Nintendo/figuring out The Mummy/doing something with Potter VR/Illumination land expansion should all take precedent over putting a temporary re-skin on a popular and profitable land, let alone knocking it all down and rebuilding from scratch.
You really think that Disney isn’t loving the idea of shoving The Simpsons into a M&G in Hollywoodland next to a themed Donut cart, and a pop up shop and calling it a day?

Overall, The Simpsons are pretty tame compared to adult animated shows from today. It’s also the only one allowed on Disney+ in the US. They want people to associate Disney with The Simpsons for generations to come. By the time the contract ends, it’ll have been on D+ for almost NINE years.

There’s no way I see anything being worked out. We’ve seen no evidence Disney is willing to let them use their IP at HHN, so why would that change with Simpsons? I’d assume they want their properties in-house.
 
Last edited:

fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
3,158
Random musing, but how hard would it be to move the lower lot escalator? Maybe have the access be at the AA spot? If they could do that, then find a place for the tram tour station on the lower lot, that would open up quite a bit of area for an HP expansion or other more cohesive land. As is, they have to leave access through and tie up space for access to the escalators.
 

viking_wizard_eyes

Contributing Member
Apr 26, 2019
653
L.A.
You really think that Disney isn’t loving the idea of shoving The Simpsons into a M&G in Hollywoodland next to a themed Donut cart a day.

Overall, The Simpsons are pretty tame compared to adult animated shows from today. It’s also the only one allowed on Disney+ in the US. They want people to associate Disney with The Simpsons for generations to come. By the time the contract ends, it’ll have been on D+ for almost NINE years.
Maybe they are, but I mostly think that they're not really focused on much more than Star Wars, Marvel, or Pixar when it comes to the parks. The Simpsons is a very tame IP, sure, but that doesn't automatically mean it fits the framework of what they wanna do with the resorts.

I think Disney would sooner make Universal give them a cut rather than fully strip them of the IP so that they could maybe put something in Disney World someday; I also think Universal would very much prefer to keep The Simpsons -- sure, it'll have been on Disney+ for nine years, but it'll have been a part of Universal resorts for longer. Now, that obviously has zero bearing on a licensing agreement, but the point is there's a financial compromise out there that also would save both parties from having to devote any undue labor, development, or production resources. Less work for everyone, in other words.

Or, Disney will be jerks and end the contract and then do nothing with the property. That feels equally as plausible to me haha
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coolbfitz

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
18,891
Arizona
I do think @Nick is onto something. Especially as if Disney wanted to gain additional streams of income, they could have ample relationships with UPR for the sake of things like HHN. Especially as it has been since 2017 since Universal's HHN teams have gotten that chance to work with 21CP/FX IP's.

It's not about being jerks, it's about what makes sense logistically for a company that thrives on Nostalgia. The Simpsons; especially Legacy The Simpsons, is a money-based gold mine that has so much potential for use; however small. I believe we've even seen interest from those on 21Century Animation; like Al Jean, being interested of the idea.

The Simpsons has a lot of merchandising and marketing potential that it makes complete sense that Disney would want to opt to pull the license, so they can benefit off of it directly with no third party at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nick