LA Times: Simpsons ride more than a BTTF clonehttp://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/?p=1649
Is the Simpsons ride at Universal Studios Hollywood nothing more than Back to the Future: the Ride 2.0?
Yes and no. Mostly no.
Set to open May 17, the new Simpsons ride uses the old Back to the Future show building and the same motion simulator concept.
But almost everything else is new.
Obviously the “Simpsons” television show (with a Krustyland theme park concept) replaces the “Back to the Future” movie (and the time travel theme). But Universal Studios spent $40 million installing new ride vehicles, scissor lifts, motion platforms, digital movie projectors and a pair of 90-foot-tall domed screens.
Simpsons ride creators even added a hommage to “Back to the Future” with a brief appearance by an animated Doc Brown, the mad inventor from the movie.
After winding through an intensely themed pre-show carnival midway queue, riders wait in groups of eight in funhouse holding rooms before boarding the Simpsons ride. (See my earlier hard-hat tour post with Simpsons ride creative director Christian Lauren.) Your host, Krusty the Clown, is just about to unveil the “Upsy-downsy, spins-aroundsy, teen-operated ride thrilltacular,” a dark ride that the proprietor of Krustyland knows little or nothing about.
A door emblazoned with “Prepare to be Thrilled” opens and a wild-eyed 3-D Krusty the Clown head peers out from the back of the red with gold- and blue-trimmed ride vehicle festooned with white stars.
Riders climb aboard the Krustymobile via a gull wing-style door — a nod to Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine. The ride vehicle glows with garish LED lights in the blacklight-lit room.
But rather than head through the swinging dark ride doors before you, an unseen scissor lift below the vehicle raises you 10 feet in the air. The motion-based platform tilts the vehicle forward, backward, up, down and side-to-side as you carom recklessly through all of Krustyland and eventually Springfield.
The chaotic scenes play out on the seamless domed screen before you in high-resolution imagery provided by four Sony digital projectors at 60 frames per second. Throughout the ride, hidden special effects spray air, water and other surprises in your face.
Capable of cycling through nearly 2,000 visitors per hour, the attraction actually features two giant domed screens, each with a dozen ride vehicles on tiered levels — three on the lower level, five on the middle level and four on the top level.