While procrastinating, I stumbled upon this essay:
Apparently, though I may be late to this party, Universal Orlando’s newest theme park is “Simpsons Land,” which is an immersive adaptation (adaptation?) of the show. As rendered by Universal, the Simpsons experience is: one ride, a fake Moe’s Tavern that serves real beer, a replica of a statue featured on the show, and several fast food-type eateries, some lifted from the show and some newly invented.
The essay makes the point that “The Simpsons” (and, the author seems to suggest, fiction in general) abstract the world to comment on it, and that it is deeply weird to then make the abstract version of reality real. “The Simpsons” made its mark largely by satirizing consumer culture; the new theme park adaptation exemplifies (earnestly) the same consumer culture.
If an Universal Orlando Simpsons Park, by virtue of being an Universal Orlando product, necessarily alters/ignores/overturns the defining spirit of the original, is it an adaptation at all? Does adaptive status require doing more than cashing in on a copied set of aesthetic choices? Is there a difference between a franchise and an adaptation?