Simpsons The Ride, Universal

Although Springfield still remains a popular land at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, there has been a question mark over its future for some time, due to a potential end date for the licensing agreement between Fox and Universal.

Back in July 2022, according to The Street, the twenty year licensing agreement is set to expire in 2028. This could mean in less than five years time, The Simpsons may have to be evicted from Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Simpsons, Universal
Image: Universal

According to Screamscape, it now appears that with the opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood that Springfield has disappeared from the Land page on its official website. The Simpsons Ride and all other attractions and restaurants remain on the website. With the Simpsons contract set to expire in 2028 and based on the rumors that it is unlikely that Universal will look to renew, time definitely seems to be running out for Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie.

In October, we heard that a permit had been filed for a potential new launched roller coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood based on the very popular IP, Fast and Furious. Early concept art for a potential "Fast and Furious Hollywood Drift" was sent to Screamscape, showing the basic feel, look and location of the coaster which will be in the upper lot at the top of the StarWay Escalator.

We assume with this new addition that Universal will look to re-theme the whole area, meaning Springfield will likely be no more. While there appears to be no imminent plans to get rid of the Simpsons at Universal Studios Hollywood, it definitely looks to be on firmly on the cards for the future.

Disney acquired Fox in March 2019 and therefore now owns the rights to The Simpsons. So, this poses the question even if Universal wanted to, would Disney extend the deal to allow Universal to continue to use The Simpsons in their parks? An extension would not be sensible if Disney were thinking about using The Simpsons at Walt Disney World or Disneyland in the near future. Whilst there doesn't currently seem to be any plans for the notorious family to come to Disney, it is an option.

Simpsons, Universal
Image: Universal

We published a recent featured article asking exactly that, Should The Simpsons Set Up Home At Walt Disney World? The Potential Journey From Fiction To Reality.

When you think of The Simpsons at Universal, your mind is likely to jump to The Simpsons Ride which is a simulator attraction that uses dome-shaped IMAX screens, During the ride, you'll learn that Sideshow Bob has escaped from prison and intends to get revenge on the clown and the Simpsons themselves.

Simpsons, Universal
Image: Universal

The Simpsons Ride is located at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood. It debuted in 2008 taking over from the iconic, Back To The Future: The Ride.

You have also got to think about whether Universal will want to extend the contract? The Simpsons may have lost some of popularity in recent years but the episodes still feature heavily on Disney+ and don't forget that The Simpsons will always have a special place in the heart of many 30-40 year olds who grew up with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

Simpsons, Universal
Image: Universal

I guess time will tell whether we will continue to be able to visit The Simpsons at Universal Studios Hollywood or whether the popular dysfunctional family will move into Mickey Mouse's pad or indeed whether we will just cease to be able to visit and see the Simpsons at any theme park in the future. Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll and leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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I sense the outlines of a future deal. Disney allows Universal to keep The Simpsons for a period of time IF Universal ends it's exclusive rights to Marvel on the East Coast. I don't have any insider information but having worked for the Mouse for 25 years, and knowing how it sometimes thinks, think this could be a likely scenario.

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