Aliens have invaded Springfield, and it’s about to get a bit crazy. Under the guise of a simple theme park attraction, Kang and Kodos have staged the perfect attack. It’s absolutely heinous. You would warn the citizens of Springfield if you could, but you can’t because you have just found out that you are being used as the primary weapon.
Boarding what is believed to be a simple aerial ride, guests board UFOs and prepare to circle a central alien centerpiece. However, once seated, it is announced that this is an alien abduction with Kang and Kodos as the alien captors. The only hope guests have of release is to attack Springfield with lasers that emit from the vehicles. By rising and falling as the ride rotates, the citizens take hits and exclaim their indignance.
I recently experienced this ride with all three of my children. It was about 15 minutes of our lives that we spared on its simplicity. This is our family’s take on one of Universal’s most basic attractions – Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl.
Elle is 11-years-old and a bit of a daredevil. With this type of personality, Kang and Kodos did not impress her. Being too young to really connect with The Simpsons franchise, she couldn’t appreciate the characters or the storyline. Likewise, she found merely rotating around a pillar a bit mind numbing. When asked what she thought about the experience, Elle said, “My opinion of the ride is that it is boring. You are going super slow, and all you are doing is moving your stick up and down.” Consequently, she didn’t express any desire to repeat the attraction in the future.
Miller is 13-years-old and takes most things in stride. He can appreciate a leisurely attraction just as much as a thrilling one. His strength is being content and going along with what makes everyone else happy. This was pretty much his approach to Kang and Kodos. It didn’t appeal to him personally, but he was fine with giving it a whirl anyway.
Calling the attraction “a simple twirly ride,” Miller didn’t find much interesting once he experienced it. Being elevated was the only aspect he could pinpoint as enjoyable. With that being said, he also felt like a lengthy line would completely negate any small virtues the ride actually had. When asked if he would ever want to go on the ride again, he had no objections to that as long as it didn’t require him to wait.
Margeaux is 15-years-old and is timid about frightening experiences. In general, she despises rides that put you in physically precarious situations. Margeaux was rather apathetic about this attraction, not caring one way or the other as she boarded and exited.
Even with having a basic understanding of The Simpsons franchise and the storyline behind the ride, Margeaux still couldn’t be bothered to care about this attraction. She struggled to find words when asked about things she liked or didn’t like as if the experience barely registered in her bank of emotion. Her final opinion about the ride was the definition of indifference. “I’d ride it again. It’s simple, so it’s not exactly thrilling or anything, but there is nothing that makes me hate it.”
I am the mom of this brood and a thrill seeker at heart. Scary things, fast things, and “bragging rights” have always appealed to me. As I have entered my fourth decade of life, though, my ability to handle certain thrills has diminished. I find myself more prone to nausea at times, and I’m not as likely to accept a challenge just to prove a point. The only point I had an interest in proving on this attraction was that I could incite enthusiasm within my lifeless offspring.
As I waited in line with my kids, I wanted them to connect with the attraction. To accomplish this, I attempted to explain the storyline. The difficulty was that I couldn’t clearly figure out the storyline myself. After watching the televisions in the queue for clues about the ride, I finally gave up and tapped a team member on the shoulder. At that point, the team member explained the concept and the goal of fully assaulting Springfield’s citizens. Armed with this information, I turned to my clan and laid out the plan of attack. The children barely blinked in response.
It was decided that I would ride in a UFO with Miller and the girls would ride together in a separate vehicle. Miller, being easy going, tried to muster a degree of enthusiasm for the sake of his mom. He reluctantly assured me he would do his best to level our flying saucer with the sensors that triggered reactions from the Simpsons cast.
As we circled around and around, the small amount of interest that Miller had summoned dissipated quickly. The goal of hitting every sensor proved to be impossible, and Miller couldn’t be bothered to keep trying for them. He looked at me with an empty smile while we flew at varied heights, and I realized I’d lost him. I could continue to fibrillate my flatliner, or I could release the situation and find closure. At that point I kicked back and just enjoyed the smooth flight for our last few rotations.
While I, personally, found this attraction relaxing with its smooth flight, its inability to interest my kids really dampened the experience. In the end, I had to agree with Margeaux that there isn’t anything to find fault with here, but there isn’t anything to latch onto either. It will probably be something that I do again at some point, but I won’t be queuing up to make it happen.