Springfield (Universal Parks & Resorts)

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Springfield
Springfield Sign at Universal Studios Florida.jpeg
Springfield sign at Universal Studios Florida
ThemeThe Simpsons
Universal Studios Florida
StatusOperating
OpenedJune 1, 2013
Universal Studios Hollywood
StatusOperating
OpenedMay 23, 2015

Springfield is a chain of themed areas at Universal Parks & Resorts in Florida and Hollywood, based on the town of the same name from the long-hit American television animated sitcom, The Simpsons.

History[edit]

On September 7, 2006, Universal Studios Florida announced that Back to the Future: The Ride would be closed around Spring 2007, while Universal Studios Hollywood announced on July 23, 2007 for the closure of its version on September 3, 2007.[1] On March 30, 2007, Universal Studios Florida officially closed the ride for good, while Universal Studios Hollywood closed its version exactly on September 3, 2007. On April 24, 2007, Universal Parks & Resorts announced that a new replacement would be built at both Universal parks based on the long-running animated television show, The Simpsons. In October 2007, Kwik-E-Mart-themed merchandise shops opened at both Florida and Hollywood and began selling a variety of items including Squishees (which are The Simpsons' parody of 7-Eleven's Slurpees).[2] The Simpsons Ride opened at both Florida and Hollywood on May 15 and 19, 2008 respectively.[3][4]

In 2012, Universal Studios Florida closed the International Food and Film Festival which was adjacent to The Simpsons Ride. The park later announced that they would be opening Springfield in Summer 2013. Fast Food Boulevard, which encompasses Krusty Burger, Moe's Tavern, The Frying Dutchman, Cletus' Chicken Shack, Flaming Moe's, Lisa's Teahouse Of Horror, and Luigi's Pizza, opened as the first phase of the expansion on June 1, 2013.[5][6] A second phase consisting of Lard Lad Donuts, Duff Gardens, Phineas Q. Butterfat's, and Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck, opened on August 2, 2013, while the last item Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl attraction opened on August 11.[7] On May 13, 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood opened its similar version with a special "meltdown" of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant display behind signaling the grand opening, complete with fireworks.

On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company (Universal's major theme park rival) announced it was intending to acquire 21st Century Fox, which included the film and TV studios of 20th Century Fox. At the cost of $71.3 billion in cash, the deal was fully completed on March 20, 2019.[8] Among the 21st Century Fox's assets, this gave Disney access to The Simpsons intellectual property, leaving many fans to question the future of the Springfield areas at the Universal theme parks, as Disney Parks, Experiences and Products would incorporate Fox properties in its parks. Universal issued a statement the same day the Disney/Fox deal was announced in 2017, which stated, "Today's headlines will have no impact on our ride or our guest experience."[9]

Parks[edit]

Universal Studios Florida[edit]

At Universal Studios Florida's Springfield area, it opened on June 1, 2013. In the area, it features The Simpsons Ride simulator attraction and fast-food outlets, including Krusty Burger outlet, Lard Lad Donuts, Duff Gardens, Moe's Tavern, The Frying Dutchman, and a Cletus' Chicken Shack that replaced the International Food Festival dining location. In addition to The Simpsons Ride, it also features Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl attraction, an aerial carousel ride for small children.

Universal Studios Hollywood[edit]

At Universal Studios Hollywood's Springfield area, it opened on May 23, 2015. As with its Florida counterpart, it features The Simpsons Ride

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Back to the Future: The Ride". theStudioTour.com. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (October 26, 2007). "Simpsons' Kwik-E-Mart gets the Universal seal of Apu-val". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Simpsons Ride (Universal Studios Florida)". Parkz. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Simpsons Ride (Universal Studios Hollywood)". Parkz. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. ^ Carchidi, Jim (June 4, 2013). "See inside: Springfield's Fast Food Boulevard". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Springfield comes to Orlando". Park World Magazine: 6. July 2013.
  7. ^ "The Simpsons Springfield expansion". Orlando Informer. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Securities and Exchange Commission Filing – Form 8-K Filing". Securities and Exchange Commission. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  9. ^ Martin, Hugo (December 15, 2017). "What would Disney theme parks do with Fox properties like 'X-Men' and 'Simpsons'?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2018.