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Universal Orlando confirms new Simpsons land for this summer

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Published: May 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Universal Orlando today confirmed that it's building a Simpsons-themed Springfield street to open this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

Springfield
Concept art of Universal Studios Florida's Springfield. Image courtesy Universal.

From the press release:

The expansive, new area within Universal Studios will be anchored by the mega-attraction, The Simpsons Ride, and will allow guests to enter the world of The Simpsons like never before. It will be the only place in the world where guests can walk the streets of Springfield. It will include a brand-new outdoor attraction, places and foods pulled right from the show and two new Simpsons characters who will make their debut with the new area – Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.

And yes – there will be Duff Beer, brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando.

For the first time ever – anywhere – fans will be able to walk down Fast Food Boulevard and visit the places that helped Springfield stake its claim as “Shelbyville by the Sea.” They will be able to grab a Krusty-certified meat sandwich at Krusty Burger, snatch the catch of the day at the Frying Dutchman, get a slice at Luigi’s Pizza, go nuts for donuts at Lard Lad, enjoy a “Taco Fresho” with Bumblebee Man and imbibe at Moe’s Tavern.

The new attraction – called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl – will take “foolish humans” on an intergalactic spin designed to send them into orbit.

So the big rival to Butterbeer turns out to be... Duff Beer? Universal's Springfield development illustrates the power that food can play in themed environments -- the various food brands in The Simpsons are as much a part of the narrative of Springfield as anything else in town, much as the food served as such an evocative element in Harry Potter. But how will Duff Beer and Krusty Burgers taste? We will have to wait until this summer to find out.

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Readers' Opinions

From Melissa Donahue on May 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Universal has posted a nice rendering of this themed area on Facebook. It looks like it will be a fun addition to the park!
From 99.254.60.108 on May 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM
really excited for this. The concept art looks great. This area of the park is going to feel so much more energized now!
From David L. on May 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM
The concept art looks great. However, the spinner looks like a dumbo style ride, but maybe the cars themselves spin which would be an awesome twist. This may even tempt me to give the Simpsons ride another go.
From James Rao on May 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Burgers, booze, and a carnival spinner. *Yawn* Springfield looks nice, but that's about it. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be a nice change to the area, but these days I expect more from Universal Creative.
From Sean Huckel on May 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Not everything can be an E-Ticket, James.

Universal needs these smaller experiences to round out both of their parks.

From James Rao on May 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Understood. However, Universal is in the big leagues now and we give them a lot of love most of the time. This effort is not worthy of that love. It is a "meh" addition at best.
From Russell Meyer on May 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
I'm with James...This is what should have been done when Back to the Future was converted to The Simpsons Ride 5 years ago. When the Simpsons Ride was launched, it wasn't even a new attraction, just a simple overlay, and by no means what I would call a "mega-attraction". It's nice to see Universal come around and do it right, but in my book it's 5 years too late. All the Duff and drunken spinning with Kang and Kodos won't change that.
From Dominick D on May 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM
(In Homer's voice) Woo Hoo! Sure, it's not an E ticket, but you'll be going imto Springfield!
From James Rao on May 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM
^Not me, I'll be at Gringott's, Mummy, or Transformers!
From Robert Niles on May 23, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Except that five years ago, Universal wasn't flush with cash from a new owner and a wildly popular Harry Potter land. This is the first step in what I believe will be a gradual remaking of all the Universal theme parks, elevating more of their lands to closer to the thematic level of the Wizarding World (and of all of Universal Studios Singapore, for that matter).
From Sean Huckel on May 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM
I'll be at everything. It's much more than a "meh" addition. It's taking a formerly crappy looking area of the park and making it very pretty. I'll take that every day of the week.
From James Rao on May 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM
Before this enhancement the feature attraction in the area was the Simpsons overlay to Back to the Future, and after this enhancement the feature attraction in the area will be the Simpsons overlay to Back to the Future. To be more than a "meh" addition, that fact would have to change.

Again, I praise Universal for recognizing the park needs to be prettied up, but I find this announcement to be a poster child for "meh".

From robert morris on May 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM
It seems on the artist rendering that the Kang & Kodos spinner is going to be closer to MIB than originally thought, almost over the bridge if not over it.

Therefore making a smoother transtion for MIB being less alone in World Expo

From Dominick D on May 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Same here Sean. Thankfully since I'm a local I can spread the restaurants over several visits and not stuff myself :P
From Rob Pastor on May 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM
It's a nice thematic addition to the park. Once Diagon Alley/London is done, the area around the lagoon will be a big improvement. This is probably being done, in part, to spread the crowd around the park once HP2 debuts. I'm looking forward to a flaming drink at Moe's or a Duff's beer at the lagoon bar. Universal has been pretty low key about this redo of the area. I believe they realize it's only a positive enhancement, not a "wow" factor.
From 85.150.173.168 on May 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Universal is changing a bland part of the park with an even blander restaurant into a very nice atmospheric environment. kudos to them and I'm looking forward to get a Duff beer, a Krusty burger and a spin on the ride. And above all see all the characters. It's a nice addition to their E-ticket Simpson ride.
From Michael Owen on May 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM
To shout down this addition for not adding new, world-class, attractions is neglecting the fact that, around the addition, Universal are adding a Transformers ride and a whole new Wizarding World.

The Springfield expansion complements what is a very enjoyable, and funny, ride well, and I think it's a great way to improve the area.

From Bryce McGibeny on May 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM
The concept art looks AWESOME!
From Andy Milito on May 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM
People are complaining about Universal adding midway rides when Disney has a ton of them...
From 209.156.160.90 on May 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM
I think this addition only further's what Universal has been doing to this park. instead of it being a bunch of rides on movie sets, instead they are taking you into the world of Universal. It's going to just make the whole experience much more immersive.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not HOLY AMAZBALLS! about it, but I think it is a very very positive step. also the new transformers building is amazing, but it kinda ruins the new york slums area (next to mummy, blue's brothers show, irish pub, etc)

From 99.254.60.108 on May 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM
This summer we are getting an extremely popular E-ticket (Transformers) and this very pretty new area. Next summer we are getting Potter Phase 2.(And the summer after that, from what I've been hearing, a major Jurassic Park expansion). That's pretty amazing.
From 108.254.214.130 on May 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Sounds like they need to add this to USH too.
From James Rao on May 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM
@Michael I didn't shout anything down. I applaud the effort. I just don't find the confirmation of this old news anything terribly exciting or awesome. It's like a getting a $10 Target gift card on your birthday - nice, but nothing to write home about.
From Anon Mouse on May 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM
One thing is clear, there is a lot of "hurl" at the Simpsons land. The rides are naseating. Not pleasant at all. The beer is nice, but I wonder if the Simpson's version is real beer. Perhaps they should give adults the option to purchase real beer. The new land is missing the Homer house, which should also be the meet and greet for Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart, and Lisa. Nothing's perfect.
From James Trexen on May 23, 2013 at 4:34 PM
While I agree that 5 years ago, this probably would have more of an impact, I am still enjoying that a previously dated area of the park will get refreshed. It's as if DCA only built Radiator Springs Racers and then decided to build the rest of Cars Land 3 years later. While no one will go "OMG! OMG!" it still marks a positive direction that helps immerse guests in a great world and can only be sign of things to come.
From N B on May 23, 2013 at 7:15 PM
All the negativity.... ugh. I don't think a lot of you people look into the big picture. Just think of all the photo ops that will be posted to social sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.... more free publicity for the park that will be become the crown jewel of UOR when Potter 2.0 opens next Summer.

Before, that area was just a single gaudily (is that a word?) painted building with a re-skinned ride that most people just walked right through. Now it will be a real mini version of Sprigfield. They will finally have a kids ride that isn't tucked into some dead end area of the park right near the lagoon.

I can't wait to see the next plans for expansion at IOA and what they are going to do with Fear Factor live at USF. Because you know it is coming...

Universal has managed to take the resort to a whole new level with the three latest projects and the new on-site hotel.

It seems they are doing everything right these days. When you look back at the original 1990 version and what UOR is today, it is simply amazing at what they have done.

I just booked our trip for July 24th through August 1st and I am looking forward to seeing the scale of the new London side of HP in person. It looks massive from the recent arial photos that TH posted.

From 174.94.3.18 on May 23, 2013 at 6:24 PM
I don't even like the Simpsons as a property and I *love* this entire concept. It enhances the density of attraction experiences, and the atmosphere is playful.
From Daniel Etcheberry on May 23, 2013 at 6:51 PM
Looks really nice.
From Phil B. on May 23, 2013 at 8:48 PM
I was so convinced this was the new Lord of the Rings area. Great swerve Universal, well played.
From Aaron McMahon on May 23, 2013 at 11:18 PM
From what I can gather:

1. Duff Beer will be alcoholic

2. It will probably be low quality park made beer

3. There will not be any real fire if they make Flaming Moes since Florida prohibits serving drinks with fire.

Also Universal serves most of it's alcoholic beverages in plastic so that guests in sandles can't cut themselves on broken glass. Plastic and fire do not go well together.

From 217.42.226.95 on May 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Maybe I'm being stupid here but what does the line "and two new Simpsons characters who will make their debut with the new area – Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob." mean?

They are both already in the Simpsons area... The main stars of the Simpsons ride? And I would not call them new characters... They have been around for ages?

Sorry if I'm missing something but if anyone could explain that would be great!

From Kelly Muggleton on May 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Have to agree that it's good to see this are of the park get some love - it was pretty 'pass by-able' before.

I wonder if this could tie in the Treehouse of Horror stories on Halloween Horror Nights...

From Robert Niles on May 24, 2013 at 2:27 AM
I believe that the release means the characters are new for Universal. They haven't appeared in the parks before, to my knowledge.
From 173.65.143.186 on May 24, 2013 at 4:28 AM
FINALLY! Placing an adult beverage station, Moe's, with A/C, on that side of the park! GREAT idea!
From Doug Jenkins on May 24, 2013 at 4:38 AM
FINALLY! This is going to be a beautiful addition to that side of the park. Placing an adult beverage station, Moe's, with A/C, on that side of the park! GREAT idea!
From 173.66.195.202 on May 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM
"1. Duff Beer will be alcoholic

2. It will probably be low quality park made beer

3. There will not be any real fire if they make Flaming Moes since Florida prohibits serving drinks with fire."

I cannot wait to get a Duff beer...even if it turns out to taste like Bud Light. that will suck, but I still look forward to the experience here. And to be honest, wouldn't you expect Duff to taste crappy?

Shame about the FM. Maybe you get a candle with it? Or maybe you will get a glow cube, like the drinks at WDW. LOL!

From Manny Rodriguez on May 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM
i agree with robert this will do good while mild expansion universal creative will branch from this it will be a great addition i assure you.
From 99.173.50.18 on May 25, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Well, I am happy about these changes. This area needed to be changed BADLY!
so it is cool that they decided to do it with the Simpsons, From the outside this will look great.

Now, From the inside is another matter. How will these stores look like on the inside? that is the thing that worries me the most.
How will they be decorated and how will they use the characters?
The Kwik-e-mart looks awful on the inside. It looks like just another store.
That's what I hate about doing stuff like this. They will make the outside of the store look great, but the inside would look bad.
It would be really cool if the new restaurants look like you stepped inside the cartoon. But I don't know how they could do that.

From 98.227.60.180 on May 25, 2013 at 2:49 AM
I have a suggestion for how to do a "Flaming Moe". Please send this to anyone at Universal and they may use my idea for free because I worked hard to think this up.

I know that Florida law prohibits serving any drinks that are lit on fire...but "fire" is what makes a Flaming Moe good in the cartoon world of the Simpsons family. Here is what a "Flaming Moe" should be...a frozen grape slushie type drink that is served in a collectible plastic cup that has FLAMES painted on the sides near the top. So you'd have this souvenir cup that looks like it is on fire at the top because of the printing of "flames" around the top.

That achieves a "Flaming Moe" in my mind. You can walk around with this cup with the cartoony fire at the top. It can be very inexpensive too...or it can be fancy, like with something that makes it glow around the top or orange and red sparkly glitter to make the flames. But I think a purple cup with painted on flames around the top would be just fine.

No one expects real fire. But the art on the cup could give you that feeling of a firey cup. I don't know if they are allowed to serve real liquor at Universal but if they are then I hope they are making a "Virgin Moe" because I distinctly remember little Lisa Simpson requesting one at the dinner table in the Flaming Moe episode. Homer became angry when she did that because she did not know that he was the inventor of the Flaming Moe, not Moe from Moe's Tavern.

From TH Creative on May 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM
J-Rao: "It's like a getting a $10 Target gift card on your birthday ..."

I Respond: That's funny.

From TH Creative on May 26, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Anon Mouse spits: "Nothing's perfect."

I Respond: As your posts demonstrate on a regular basis.

From James Rao on May 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Speaking of nothing being perfect, I just noticed the extra "a" in there, TH... Hope you thought the comment was funny on its own and not because of the typo! ;)

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