Consistent with a company-wide initiative, creative teams at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have employed a variety of technological innovations in the design and construction of The Simpsons Ride -- opening at both parks in May 2008 -- and are ushering in a new era of environmentally conscious theme park ride construction.
The Simpsons Ride is a new mega-attraction based on the blockbuster movie and TV series.
Dramatic savings in energy consumption will be achieved through the use of new lighting technologies, new technologies in electric motor drives and through cutting-edge software designed to control hydraulic systems for maximum efficiency. Through this "green" conversion process, The Simpsons Ride will achieve a power savings of over 55,233 watts per hour and cumulative power savings of 662,796 a day during the busy summer months of operation compared to average usage by the simulator-based attraction that previously occupied the new ride's site.
The newly minted, environmentally conscious The Simpsons Ride represents the largest lighting installation of LED lamps in theme park ride history. The attraction will be illuminated with 2,582 LED lights, expending just 27,675 watts per hour as compared to 82,909 watts consumed per hour by standard incandescent lighting.
Energy conservation also extends to Variable Frequency Drives installed within the attraction to efficiently control the electrical power supplied to the ride's many motor-driven components. This system will ultimately reap a power saving in excess of 50 percent by incrementally increasing the necessary motor speeds used in controlling the ride's countless behind-the-scenes technical controls.
A custom-written software program designed to oversee the Ride's master control system will reconfigure power usage supplied to the ride's hydraulics system resulting in significant energy consumption.
Universal Studios embarked on a company-wide "Green is Universal" initiative last year to heighten environmental consciousness through all the company's operations. Newly instituted programs have included higher recycling ratios to reduce solid waste streams, switches to alternative fuels, conservation of energy to reduce carbon footprints, printing on recycled paper, conservation of water and adoption of the principle of sustainability as a core business value.
The Simpsons Ride is a collaboration between Universal Parks and Resorts and THE SIMPSONS creators, Executive Producer, Matt Groening; Executive Producer, James L. Brooks; and Executive Producer, Al Jean. "The Simpsons Ride" is the first-ever mega-attraction based on the blockbuster TV series.