Most of Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone is going to the great theme park in the sky, and we stopped by to take one last look. For all the good times and memories, here’s a photo and video tour of Curious George Goes to Town. The land has officially closed permanently at Universal Studios Florida.
Watch our full video farewell below and keep scrolling for photos of all the details.
Curious George Goes to Town
An archway led into the Curious George playground.
As you entered the play area, there were large books telling the story of “Curious George Goes to Town,” which is not a published book but rather a story created just for Universal.
“This is George,” the first book read. “He is a good little monkey, and always very curious.”
George’s footprints trailed from the book through the archway.
The next book read, “George is happy, because today he is going to town to visit his friend, the man in the yellow hat.”
There was an area dedicated to stroller parking behind this book.
The sign used the font from the book covers and featured George zooming somewhere in a purple stroller.
A splash pad was to the left immediately after stroller parking.
The explanation for the splash pad was that a workman left a hose running. The page read, “Along the way, George watches a man water the grass. But oh no! When the man left for lunch, he left the water running!”
George decided to stop the water, but ended up flooding the area, forming the splash pad.
The next pages read, “George will stop the water from running! George ties a knot in the hose and the water stops—but not for long!”
A hose stuck out of the pages of the book, shooting water over the ground.
Animal Show Playset
Across from the splash pad was the Animal Show playground.
On the page, the sign read “animal show today.” But the sign just to the right read, “animal show postponed.” The story continued, “What’s this? The big tent in the park makes George very curious. So…”
The next set of pages was in front of the clock tower in the city, which took guests out of their natural path in order to follow the story. “My! Inside there are so many fun things, George has to try them all!” read the page, referencing George’s adventures in the circus tent.
It led back around to this page, which read, “Look at all the animals! If only they could all meet his friend, the man in the yellow hat.”
The playset used to have a red and yellow circus tent over it, like the image in the book.
The area was encircled by cement barriers that also served as supports for the tent poles and handy benches for parents. The playset itself was your standard plastic climber found at playgrounds across the country.
In the back were the final pages of the story, which read, “At least, George and his new friends make it to town! Now it’s time to have fun!”
Around the circle on the tent poles were different animals.
Each animal image had a cartoon in the style of “Curious George” with a name banner held up by balloons. There was a speaker with a “press here” button. Each button triggered a sound made by the pictured animal.
The animals included a zebra, a seal, an ostrich, a lion, an elephant, and a pig.
While not based on a specific book, Curious George Goes to Town incorporated elements of existing books. George visited an animal show and released an ostrich in “Curious George Rides a Bike.”
The concrete barriers had medallions with George’s face on the endcaps.
There were also two photo stand-ins. At the pink one, guests could put their faces in for Daisy and Petal the elephants. On the blue one, guests could become Cecily G, the World’s Smartest Giraffe.
“Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys” was another book by H.A. Rey, in which Curious George made his first appearance.
Water Play Area
The main play area resembled a colorful town square.
Here we can see where the truck and animal transport trailer had crashed into the fountain. Some of the bars on the transport were bent, presumably from escaping animals.
Everything was a little smaller than it should be, so it was easier to access for kids.
It was also full of water effects.
George’s animal friends poked their heads out of the clock tower.
Behind the town square façade were various games, which we’ll show you below.
A bathtub hung from one building, and a fire hydrant was overflowing.
There were warnings throughout the soak zone about the water effects. They advised guests that “wear effects may be intense and you will get wet! Please remove all electronic equipment, phones, pagers, and cameras before entering this area.”
A newspaper featured the headline “Monkey Sets Animals Loose,” featuring a picture of George looking pleased with himself.
There was a post office, hardware store, and cafe. The balcony of the water department had water blasters.
There’s also a hedge sculpture of Curious George on a ball.
This was located at the far left of the town, near the hotel and dry cleaner façades.
Stay Dry Cleaners
Residents of the town could visit Stay Dry Cleaners with their laundry.
Curious George and his friends caused some havoc in the laundromat. A bucket of suds poured water onto the ground from above.
Kids could open and close the washing machines.
The façades were open inside, so you could easily walk through each “building.” We can tell a giraffe had checked into the hotel, based on a cutout above the door and hoof prints on the elevator.
Stairs led up to the second floor of the play area. The elevator in this corner was not real, but there was a ramp nearby for accessibility.
Next door was the fire department, though fire seemed to be the least of everyone’s concerns in town.
The fireman appeared to be the same one from the original “Curious George” book and “Curious George at the Fire Station.”
There were multiple water games back there.
A firefighter was depicted running to the phone.
Guests could take a picture as a firefighter at this wall.
If guests pushed on the silver handles, water would erupt from the yellow fire hydrant in the middle.
Around the corner was a closet full of supplies.
There were red pipes nearby with on and off levers.
There were more cutouts in the walls where animals had clearly run through.
Another cutout was on the wall of firefighting equipment.
The bank had a green façade and a cash flow window outside.
Inside, money floated across the walls.
Next door was an apartment building labeled “211.” The bottom level was decorated with painted-on furniture and wallpaper. Someone had apparently been in the middle of moving a bathtub in or out of the second story when the chaos broke out.
The second story of the play structure was not decorated but had a plain concrete floor, yellow metal fencing, and red pipes.
Guests could turn on faucets to shower those on the ground level with unexpected water.
One of the pipes would flow into the hanging bathtub, which did not have a drain plug. showering guests below.
A large animal had broken into the city water department, which explained the state of the town.
Paintings on the staircase showed the water pressure at high levels.
The space was shared by a hardware store.
Inside the water department were levers to control spouts outside.
One feature dumped a sheet of water for guests to run through.
There was also a multi-level trough with “dams.”
Another photo step-in spot let guests put their faces inside broken water pipes.
Water blasters were mounted on the balcony of the water department’s second story.
Water poured onto the second floor walkways as well.
The blasters were operated by hand pumps.
There was a small post office around the corner.
Above the post office boxes was a wanted poster with a photo of George, asking, “Have you seen this monkey?”
Two of the boxes could be opened, and it seemed three of the escaped animals may have set up boxes for their mail. Five of the labels are unintelligible scribbles, but three read, “L.E. Phant,” “P.G. Lett,” and “G. Raffe.”
There was a clerk booth where guests could pop their faces in to look, and a bell to ring for service.
Stamp-shaped signs decorated the walls. The one above read, “special delivery,” pointing to the mail slot below.
The bakery did not have a lot, but it did have a step-in photo op on the opposite side of the clerk’s booth.
Beauty Shop and Cafe du George
Cafe du George and the Beauty Shop shared space next to the water department.
Even these façades offered a chance to be splashed. One of the second story flower boxes was a sprinkler, as was the barber shop pole.
There was a valve to control the barber’s pole.
The flower box sprinkler was controlled by a lever.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t want to get wet, you could sneak around the outskirts of the town to head into The Ball Factory.
The Ball Factory was a two-story enclosed play area. It wasn’t air conditioned, and the windows were just screens with no glass. That didn’t stop it from being packed full of children for most of its lifetime.
The room was filled with machinery, mostly vacuum-operated, to transport balls from one place to another. The balls were soft foam and intended for throwing or shooting at other guests.
The second story was lined with blasters.
At the entrance were colorful cloth bags for gathering balls.
The pink and purple machines were for dumping balls in. The tubes carried the balls up to two large baskets at the top of the ceiling, which would dump out every 300 seconds.
Balls dumped into this machine would be sucked up into the clear dome. Pressing the buttons would fire the balls from the tube on top.
The Ball Factory wasn’t overtly Curious George themed, but the sign had the yellow hat belonging to The Man in the Yellow Hat.
Long vacuum tubes could be used to collect balls in the tall canisters, which could then be launched from the blaster on top by pressing the red button at the base. Turning the silver wheel turned the blaster.
This pile had a pulley with hooks so you could send bags filled with balls to someone on the second level.
The drums here pushed air out the various tubes, floating balls through the obstacles.
A blue tube slide descended from the second story.
Another side of the center framework has art from the first “Curious George” book, featuring the cruise ship used by The Man in the Yellow Hat to bring George to his home.
The large props featured targets and holes to aim for from the second level, which was the official intent of the blasters.
There was a large green cannon blaster that could be loaded with balls and fired at the second story.
Other smaller vacuum tubes were also stationed to fill the overhead baskets.
There were some fans on the second story to help with airflow.
In one corner was a purple climbing structure as an alternate way to the second floor. The platforms were covered with thick nets.
A few blue metal benches were set around the perimeter of the room.
This manual ball lift was another option for transporting balls to the second level.
Guests could dump balls in the container and then turn the wheel to move the slats upward, carrying the balls up.
Guests could exit the climber on the second floor or go a little higher and look out over the room.
The blasters stationed around the balcony were manually loaded and could be turned to aim at targets.
The second level gave a better look at the illustrated decorations. This side featured the rocket from “Curious George Gets a Medal.”
Balls transported via the manual lift would deposit into this bin.
Next to the slide entrance were more blasters that launched balls across the ceiling.
The last side of the decorations featured vehicles from the Curious George universe, including a firetruck.
These were the large metal baskets that would dump on the guests below.
Did you play at Curious George Goes to Town or The Ball Factory? Share your memories with us in the comments or on social media.