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Universal Studios goes Green with the new The Simpsons Ride


Creative teams at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have employed a variety of technological innovations in the design and construction of the new “The Simpsons Ride” , opening at both parks in May 2008.


 “The Simpsons Ride” is a collaboration between Universal Parks & Resorts and “The Simpsons” creators, Executive Producer, Matt Groening; Executive Producer, James L. Brooks; and Executive Producer, Al Jean. It will be the first-ever mega-attraction based on the blockbuster movie and television series.


The design and construction of the new ride has seen a new era of environmental consciousness develop in the theme park industry.


Dramatic savings in energy consumption will be made in “The Simpsons Ride” 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” save over 55, 233 watts of power 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 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 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.  


Universal Studios Hollywood includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex; the Universal CityWalk Cinemas; and the Gibson Amphitheatre concert and special event venue. 


The theme park includes such groundbreaking attractions as “Revenge of the Mummy™ – The Ride, ” “Shrek 4-D™, ” “Jurassic Park® – The  Ride, ” and the world-renowned Studio Tour, which takes guests behind-the-scenes of such landmark TV and movie locations and sets as Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.”

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