Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster
Climb aboard your nut crate!
A 1999 press release from Universal Studios indicated a change of epic proportions. Like a prophet come down from on high, the public relations copy assured us of a new day, one where children and adults alike could run around a new part of one of the monst famous theme parks in Orlando.
"Guess who?" the advertisement teased. "It's Woody Woodpecker, your host for kids and their families at Universal Studios Florida: Woody Woodpecker's KidZone!" A harbinger of fun, as advertised in the Miami Herald.
Among the spoils and riches promised by the press release was the all-new Curious George Goes to Town play area. Universal Studios was a theme park built on thrills: Most of their opening day attractions were aimed at a higher-octane 14+ demographic. But KidZone, and specifically the Curious George Goes to Town play area guaranteed guests with little ones some safe excitement out of the reach of King Kong and the shark from Jaws.
But even kids got a surge of adventure from this new KidZone, as the land included the state-of-the-art Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. Details were scarce at first; information was withheld to build anticipation.
"Enter Woody's factory, climb aboard your nut crate, and take a fun-filled ride through Woody's very own Nuthouse. It's the nuttiest ride you've ever seen."
As guests lined up in the queue, they were entertained by the zany antics of Woody's niece and nephew, Splinter and Knothead. Next, thrill-seekers young and old took their seats in the ride vehicle, as Woody's assistants lowered the lap bar. Slowly and steadily, the coaster climbed a hill. At the top, a sign read "Ready or nut... Here we go!" and Woody, as voiced by Billy West asked, "Guess who?" before laughing in his signature way that Woody Woodpecker laughs.
In 2006 a 4-year-old girl hurt her foot exiting the coaster, but an investigation revealed that nothing was wrong with the ride. As reported by Ultimaterollercoaster.com, the ride reopened the following day.