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!
TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE 3D
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.
HARRY POTTER – DIAGON ALLEY
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).
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!
ENTER THE WORLD OF SPRINGFIELD LIKE NEVER BEFORE –
ONLY AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
SPONGEBOB FLOAT REPAIRED
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.
JURASSIC PARK REOPENS
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.
DOCTOR WHO MERCH!
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!