While Orlando’s attention this past Friday was on the grand opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins at SeaWorld, Universal finally unveiled an extra treat for people planning to visit the parks this summer…SPRINGFIELD USA!  So sit back, relax, and get ready for a Universal Orlando Resort update infused with Simpson’s goodness!


The wall has come down, and closed technical rehearsals (soft-openings) have begun.  So far, only Team Members, invited guests, and a few lucky park guests, who were in the right place at the right time, have been able to ride.





Meet and Greet and Energon

The Transformers Meet and Greet is moving along nicely at this point. The Energon stand, which will serve the official “energy drink” of the Transformers, is also moving forward. Both should be ready to open with the Transformers attraction on June 20th.






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Elsewhere in the park, Diagon Alley is really taking shape and getting ready for its 2014 debut. We took to the skies in the MiceCopter in our last update to show you all the progress that is happening behind the scenes. If you missed it, take a moment to review (HERE).










Springfield Comes to Universal Orlando this Summer copy

This past Friday, when SeaWorld was holding its media day for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins, Universal sent an email out releasing the details of The Simpson’s Springfield USA. MiceChat readers have known for months about this expansion, but this is the first time we have gotten to see the official concept art up close. With signs now up in the park, we have a real look at what this expansion is going to look like!




ORLANDO, Fla. (May 23, 2013) – Woo Hoo! Springfield, hometown to America’s favorite animated family, The Simpsons, comes to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.

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.

“This will be a must-see experience for Simpsons fans all over the world,” said Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative. “For the first time ever, they’re going to be able to enter a world that they’ve only seen on television – and we’re really excited to bring that world to life.”

“This new expansion will broaden and deepen the already incredible experience at Universal, by bringing to life the iconic landmarks of Springfield that fans have grown to love,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President, Fox Consumer Products. “Fans will literally be able to live and breathe Springfield as they visit the statue of Jebediah, enjoy a Krusty Burger, and have a seat at Moe’s Tavern, which are just a few of the great experiences awaiting at Universal.”

“It has been an honor to bring the world of the Simpsons to life in such a letter-perfect way,” said Denise Sirkot, President, Worldwide Brand, Gracie Films. “Truly this is the Krustyest place on earth.”

Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

While not an “E-ticket” attraction, this spinner will be a solid addition to a park that is in need of some smaller attractions around their main draws.



Android’s Dungeon

These bathrooms that were once un-themed will now have an Android’s Dungeon theme and facade, making them the “worst bathrooms, ever.”



Cletus’ Chicken Shack

Guests will be treated to some great food when Springfield opens this summer. Who wouldn’t want fried chicken from America’s favorite slack-jawed yokel?



Duff Gardens

The water front area of Springfield will be transformed from the original, uninspired concrete jungle to a lush garden area. This will include outdoor seating and dining, which will be perfect for firework viewing, and the new custom-brewed Duff Beer, which will only be available at Universal Orlando.



Krusty Burger

Guests will soon be able to enjoy the Krustiest Burger around, when Krusty Burger opens!  Hopefully Universal will find lots of Squeaky-voiced teens to work in this new location!



Lard Lad’s Doughnuts

No Springfield would be complete without delicious pink-frosted doughnuts. Universal will be opening a Lard Lad’s doughnuts so that guests can dine just like Homer!

Lard Lads

Moe’s Tavern

And finally, how can you have Springfield without Moe’s Tavern, where guests can drink with the bar flies, and enjoy a cold Duff Beer.




A few weeks ago, we shared information about the structural issues that plagued the Spongebob Square Pants float, with broken and removed show elements. We are thrilled to report that the issues with the float has been addressed, with all of the elements returning.










Over at Islands of Adventure, Jurassic Park River Adventure has returned from its refurbishment with improved rock work, and fixed Animatronics.




The sidewalks in the Marvel section of the park have been repainted and look brand new.





Recently, Universal started carrying some Doctor Who merchandise.  While this is not an indication of a future development, it is a great opportunity to pick up some Doctor Who merchandise when you are in the parks!



That will do it for today’s update. We’re very excited about the impending opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D and Springfield USA, and look forward to updating you next week on all the latest progress at the Universal Orlando theme parks!

Take a moment to listen to the latest Unofficial Universal Podcast where they discuss the design process behind Islands of Adventure!

  • Lee Mallaby

    Great update Eric, can’t wait ride Transformers and try energon, my only hope is that the new meet and greet will be the same as that just debuted in Hollywood, it looks amazing.
    Springfield is looking great and will be a great addition to the park.
    I am happy to see that Jurassic park river adventure is back open and appears to be in full working order, we were very disappointed the last time we rode it, as a lit if the ride was in disrepair.
    All this is just making more excited for our trip in August, 73 days and counting.
    Thanks Eric

  • This is a great report. I’m really looking forward to Springfield! It’s nice to see Universal plusing an existing attraction area.

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Eric

    I am so excited for the Springfield USA area. It will make the park complete in my opinion, and I can’t wait to meet all of the characters and visit all of the shops.Just the idea that they are going to have a Duff Beer, which is unique to the park.

    Hopefully, there will be a Doctor Who ride in the future (or is that the past, or present), hich would be so cool. Maybe it could replac Men In Black?

    Thanks Again Eric


  • jcruise86

    Thank you, Eric!

    So my daughter can have a Butterbeer while I enjoy a Duff Beer!
    It’s be funny if Duff Beer were actually good.

    And Universal should have Springfield characters walking around in addition to the Simpsons family. It’d be hard to find someone thin enough to fit a Mr. Burns costume, but Comic Book Store Guy, Edna, Smithers, Grampa, Flanders, Todd & Rod, Selma & Patty, Nelson, Milhouse, Martin and other characters would all be fun to encounter at different times. (Make the kids shorter.) Adults would love posing for photos with them.

  • dsmith3373

    Great update as usual Eric, thanks. Things are moving along nicely, looks like Duff Gardens still has quite a way to go if its expected to open with Transformers!

    And what’s with Doctor Who merchandise in the parks! I’ve never really considered Dr Who being popular in the US (I’m a big fan of the show myself), but it is a long running franchise and that seems to be what Universal are going after. How about replacing the Lucy tribute with some of the Dr Who history.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Disney has been carrying Doctor Who merchandise at the UK pavilion at Epcot, but it’s only been a measly 3 t-shirt designs. Looks like Universal trumped them in that area too. I kind if like that Dalek shirt!

    • Jeff Heimbuch

      Agreed. The “vote no” is awesome!

  • Tielo

    That’s an awesome update. I’m so hyped on everything that is going on at Universal Orlando!
    Keep up the good work.
    I tried a few times to listen to the Unofficial Universal Podcast. Due to the heavy British accents (I’m Dutch) I have a hard time understanding what is said. Also the production value of the podcast is a bit low compared to some American podcasts I like to listen to.

    • Lee Mallaby

      Hi Tielo, I’m sorry you stuggle with our accents and as far as our production values I like to think that they are very high. We would welcome any constructive criticism you have for us. Please email us at [email protected]

  • Zorro825

    Can we get The 7 Duffs as walk around characters?? Cant wait to see Springfield in all its glory!!

  • Big D

    It’s interesting how much custom food Universal is now going to be offering. First it was the food from the Harry Potter movies, and now it’s the food from the Simpsons. I’ve heard they did an outstanding job on the food in Potterland, so here’s hoping for a repeat with the Simpsons! Although to be honest, I’ve never actually wanted to try a Krustyburger…

  • Not My Real Name

    I’m going to Uni just for the Dr. Who stuff!! When I’m rich, I mean….

  • themur

    I am really happy to see Universal continue to upgrade their parks Lots of great stuff going on.

    One downside – The Transformers building is just horrible looking and the one photo which also includes Rip, Ride, Rockit in the background shows part of the park which just doesn’t cut it. It will look even worse when Diagon Ally is completed.

  • Asylim

    Man…. January 2015 can’t come soon enough.

    Least I have my Alaskan Disney Cruise in August to tied me over. 🙂

  • animatronic

    Great Update. It’s great to see them going for a more immersive experience withe the creation of Springfield, USA. As a Simpson geek since the beginning I would love to see this in person as well as all the Harry Potter Hoopla.

  • Mike Madsen

    Great update as always Eric.

  • thpurplepanzy

    Good to know River Adventure is open… was bummed when we went a few weeks ago and it was closed.But yeah… Transformers can’t come soon enough.