Like most adults my age, when I was a child I was obsessed with The Simpsons, I still love it now, so you can only imagine how much my inner child lost her shit when she realised she was finally going to visit Springfield on our visit to Universal Studios. Unfortunately, on the day we visited I was also sharing the dream come true with what seemed like every other 90s and 00s kid in Orlando as it was packed (thank Jeebus for Express passes), but that didn’t spoil the fun at all.
Despite replacing one of my all time favourite rides (Back to The Future), Springfield USA has been built around the Krustyland ride over the past few years, a virtual reality rollercoaster ride around Krusty’s low budget theme park. The ride itself is nothing to write home about in terms of thrill, however, the completely immersive queue line makes it worth it, the wonderfully bright and eccentric exterior also makes for Springfield’s centrepiece. The other ride in Springfield is Kang and Kodo’s Twirl and Hurl – think of Disney’s Flying Dumbos but with Aliens and lots of sound effects.
After hitting up the rides, it is time to check out the many food offerings in this area of Universal, and of course, no trip to Springfield would be complete without a trip Moe’s Tavern for a Duff beer, which has to be done. In this area, you will also find Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, The Frying Dutchman and Lisa’s Teahouse of horrors ( Strictly vegetarian of course!) to name a few, this area does get extremely busy but it is also very well organised, so try not to be put off by the initial queues, the Krusty Burger is worth the wait.
If you do decide to skip lunch in Springfield, for one of the other multiple options across the park, be sure to at least make a pit stop at Lard Lad’s Doughnuts for a humongous doughnut and a Squishee, Squishee’s are obviously also available from the Kwik-E-Mart as well, so head there as well for all your Simpson’s merch, including the token theme park ‘Bort’ pin.
With regards to character meet and greets, there are sporadic appearances throughout the day, and who appears does seem to be luck of the draw, due to a tight schedule (and a meeting with Mr Olivander) we did not stick around for any, but regulars tend to be Homer and Bart ( on occasion Lisa and Marge will appear too), less frequently Krusty and Sideshow Bob will show their faces. My top character to meet would be Hans Moleman, so if anyone ever does hear of an appearance please let me know and I will be on the first flight back.
On a whole, I love what Universal Studios have done with Springfield, USA, for a non-Simpsons Fan, it may not appear like too much, but for every kid who grew wanting to be Bart Simpson or for those like me who were much more of a Lisa than they would like to admit, it is a completely surreal nostalgic experience and I really do hope they expand it over the coming years.
But, for now, I am off to dust off my Simpson’s boxsets and relearn the words to the Stonecutter’s song.
We were guests of Universal Studios Orlando, but all opinions and Simpson’s fangirling is all my own.