Just three months after Universal Orlando announced they were building “The Simpsons” famous town, the Springfield theme park expansion has officially completed with the debut of the Kang and Kodos Twirl n Hurl ride, along with a few finishing touches adding even more detail to the replicated animated world.
It all began with the opening of Fast Food Boulevard in June, commanding attention as Universal Orlando enabled guests to step into Moe’s Tavern, Krusty Burger, and other familiar food service favorites from “The Simpsons” all wrapped into one giant eatery. Within weeks, Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob started meeting and greeting in the park daily.
Then earlier this month the other half of Springfield was unveiled, featuring Duff Gardens, Lard Lad Doughnuts, and Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, among other photo opportunities including figures of Milhouse, Duffman, Chief Wiggum, and Jebediah Springfield.
Now, the final piece was completed with the debut of the Kang and Kodos Twirl n Hurl, a second ride based on “The Simpsons” to open at the park.
It’s a fairly standard spinner, but with an animated twist featuring the famous giant green aliens from the popular “Treehouse of Horrors” episodes. Under the thinly veiled guise of a simple ordinary amusement attraction, Kodos and Kang “fool” guests into boarding their ride only to
Video: Full ride on Kang and Kodos Twirl n Hurl
Kang and Kodos Twirl n Hurl is located in the middle of Springfield, impossible to miss from any neighboring area, including the massive Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley area across the lagoon, still under construction.
The ride’s queue signs are packed with “Simpsons” style jokes, setting the stage for the ride’s amusing dialogue that greatly enhances what’s otherwise a rather standard theme park staple.
Each spaceship ride vehicle sports its own pun-tastic name, like “Ronald Ray Gun” and “UFO-No!”
Riders control vertical movement of the spaceships with a joystick, aiming to pass by spinning icons representing “The Simpsons” characters to trigger plenty of audible reactions.
There are no points or actual guns to shoot at targets, just a little extra interaction while spinning in a circle for a couple minutes. It’s a short but amusing ride that completes the already vibrant area.
The entirety of this new Springfield expansion was floating around as an idea ever since The Simpsons Ride opened in 2008, according to Mike West, Executive Producer of Universal Creative. “We just kept thinking we want to do more. We want to expand it. We want to bring the reality of Springfield to the guests - and that’s what we did. We just kind of built Springfield just south of Krustyland,” said West.
In addition to two rides now open and plenty of photo opportunities, the open air Duff Gardens bar and indoor Moe’s Tavern and full food court are big draws to Springfield, featuring 28 food and drink items exclusive to this new area, all shown off during a Springfield opening press event.
From the Flaming Moe to Duff Beer to the Krusty Burger, guests can expect unique dining experiences when visiting.
It all draws on nostalgia and a fond affinity for “The Simpsons” for anyone who grew up watching the show as well as those who still tune in today to the longest-running prime-time TV show ever on the air. “‘The Simpsons’ is such a worldwide phenomenon that there’s fans all over the place,” explained West. “And so we wanted to create an environment that was great for those fans but also that maybe you weren’t as familiar with it - if you’ve lived on Pluto for the last 25 years - and it’s just that kind of an experience where you can come and enjoy as a family.”
And by completing it with an iconic new ride, Universal Orlando has elevated what’s normally a standard attraction to something a bit more fun. “We never just do rides,” affirmed West. “We always like to create an experience. And certainly working with the likes of ["The Simpsons" producer] Jim Brooks and ["The Simpsons" creator] Matt Groening you can never do something just simple. It’s just all out and fun and filled with comedy.”
Ever since The Simpsons Ride first opened five years ago, fans have been calling for “Treehouse of Horrors” elements to find their way into the annual Halloween Horror Nights events in the park, but it seems this year having Kang and Kodos there as part of a ride will be the extent of those hopes being realized. “I think at this point we’re just going to let fans and guests enjoy Springfield as it is right now,” concluded West.
As the Springfield project reached completion, several finishing touches were added, including water squirting from the fire hydrant that Chief Wiggum ran his police car into outside Lard Lad Doughnuts, new Duff Gardens posters, and labels for The Seven Duffs. Even the manhole covers sport “Springfield” on them.
To accomodate more diners on busier days in the park, outdoor seating has been added outside Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger, unfortunately blocking the establishments from clear view. But these tables can come and go as needed.
With the new area complete, take a full walking tour of Springfield at Universal Studios in the video below, shot on its official opening morning, followed by a photo gallery of some of the newly-added features.
Video: Full walking tour of the newly-completed “The Simpsons” Springfield area
More photos from “The Simpsons” Springfield expansion of Universal Studios Florida: