This week, two of the new major summer offerings at the Universal Orlando Resort began technical rehearsals (what Disney calls “soft openings”) and gave park guests the first glimpse of what Universal Creative has been working on.  We are thrilled to bring you a look at Transformers and the new custom dining options at Springfield USA.


This past weekend, with no fanfare, Universal Orlando opened the doors to their new quick service dining location which is sure to surprise and delight guests!  We are thrilled to share with you what you can expect in this new expansion, and we will be walking you through façade by façade, and delicious menu by menu, as we explore this inventive and immersive dining location.  


On the outside, you’ll find the fronts of several well-known Springfield establishments. Inside, there are additional restaurant facades that will allow everyone to find something they will enjoy, with an incredibly diverse menu of offerings unseen at Universal Orlando before now.








While this is just a façade that hides the bathrooms, it is a great improvement on the concrete that used to be there.  The shop window has not been completed yet, but the bathrooms are sparkling, and now sport a tile color scheme that matches the Comic Book Shop.


Over the years, Cletus the slack jawed yokel has gotten more airtime on The Simpsons. So it is with love that Universal has dedicated an entire façade to this character. The façade is fun and the food is delicious.





Chicken Shack Menu
The menus has items on it designed to delight, and also make you scratch your head, with entrees like Chicken and Waffle sandwich, Double Batter Chicken Platter, Chicken Arms, Chicken Thumbs, and the Thrilled to be Grilled Chicken Sandwich.   I was able to sample the Chicken and Waffle sandwich, and while it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found it delicious. I couldn’t help dipping my tater tots in the Maple Mayonnaise.








Everyone is going to want a “Flaming Moe.” And while the secret ingredient in the real life version is orange soda (not cough syrup!) and it isn’t actually flaming, it’s still a fun novelty drink with a smoke effect powered by dry ice!




This famous Seafood venue used to be “All you can eat” until Homer challenged that concept. Now it is just “you can eat,” with great offerings on the menu like Basket o’ Bait, Battered and Pattered Fish, Basket o’ Shrimp, Basket o’ Calamari, Clam Chowd-arr.




For months now, we have been looking at the Krusty Burger façade, wanting to see inside, and now we can!  We strolled into the Krusty Burger and were met with the intentional plastic bland look of an actual Krusty Burger from the series. But, in order to keep Krusty Burger from being too bland, Universal has installed 2 large murals. Fans of the Simpson’s will be able to recognize the items in the mural instantly, as they are filled with details from the show that will have your eyes visually occupied.






Krusty Burger Menu
Universal put together a menu for Krusty Burger that is guaranteed to delight Simpson’s lovers. Items include: Krusty Buger, Clogger Burger, Mother Nature Burger, The Ribwhich (though this one is actually made with meat), Sideshow Bob Foot Long, and the Heat Lamp Dog.

You want a Ribwich right now, don’t you?



For those wanting something light, fresh, healthy, and quick, Lisa’s Teahouse of Horrors offers such things as Caesar salad, Mediterranean salad, caprese salada, veggie sandwich, hummus, wraps, fruit plates and more.




Universal has truly created a dining venue where there is something for everyone.  After my dining experience there,  I found myself wanting to back for more.



Those wanting pizza can get their own Meat, Cheese or Vegetarian pie.




There are few locations as iconic as Moe’s Tavern in the Simpson’s universe. Now Universal has brought that location to life, with incredible detail and surprising offerings.  When you enter Moe’s Tavern, you instantly feel transported to the dive bar. You’ll find the lovable drunk, Barney, to your right, with the Love Tester machine behind him. There is Springfield memorabilia all over the walls and behind the counter.  In the center of the bar, you can drink around the Pool table, or sit up at the bar and enjoy some of the drinks from the Springfield universe that Universal has brought to life!











Clever table.


The Drinks at Moe’s Tavern
Behind the bar, you will not find Moe Szyslack, but a team of cheerful Universal team members who are eager to share these new drinks with you.

Duff Beer

Universal hired the Florida Beer Company to brew Duff Beer just for Universal Orlando. The result for beer aficionados, and adults looking for a mid-day beer, is a nice accessible beer that can be enjoyed by all those over 21 years of age.

You’d expect a Duff beer to taste like a Pabst Blue Ribbon, and it sort of does. You can get it regular or Light. The beer is served in either a plastic collectible cup or in a glass bottle, which you can’t take with you (for safety reasons), though a collectible aluminum bottle is in the works.




Buzz Cola
Universal also created a new Buzz Cola that is basically a Cherry Flavored Cola drink that is good, light and refreshing.


The Flaming Moe
The one drink that everyone wanted to see Universal bring to life is the Flaming Moe.  While most assumed that Universal would not offer the drink due to the fact that in the famous Simpson’s episode where the Flaming Moe is introduced, it is set on fire, it would make the drink a prohibitive theme park friendly beverage.  Universal found a way, and it is incredible and delicious.  Universal has created a non-alcoholic orange citrus-y drink that is sold only in a souvenir cup, that has a special dry ice compartment at the bottom, that when first poured billows smoke and creates the “flaming” illusion.  The drink is delicious and has me wondering what I like more… Butter beer or the Flaming Moe?  Only more of both will help me decide!




Outside, the restaurant venue construction continues on the Duff Gardens area, and where the new spinner ride is being installed (Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl).  Construction crews are moving fast to have this all done by the time 4th of July crowds mob the resort.

They are going to have to work fast!


Transformers: THE RIDE 3D

This past week, in the dark of the night, Universal installed a life sized Optimus Prime Statue that now guards the entrance to N.E.S.T., where guests will soon be able to experience Transformers the Ride: 3-D starting June 20th.











Technical Rehearsals

Universal has been opening Transformers the Ride: 3-D for technical rehearsals in the evening hours for the past 6 days. There have been some break downs, and some evacuations, of the ride during these technical rehearsals, which is to be expected. Guests catching wind of this pattern have begun to line the streets at all hours of the day, hoping that the gates will be flung open and invite them into N.E.S.T. to experience this new mega attraction.

As the date of the official grand opening on June 20th approaches, operation of the ride will become more frequent. We can expect the ride to be more or less open continuously very soon. For those familiar with the previous versions of Transformers at Universal Hollywood and Singapore, the ride and queue are essentially the same. Only the facade of the building differs.



Folks just standing around, hoping to be able to ride.



Transformers Meet & Greet Construction

Universal is preparing a permanent Meet & Greet location for your favorite Autobots and Decepticons.  We have heard that we can expect to see the interactive characters from Hollywood eventually make their way over here. However, we are unsure if it will be in time for the Grand Opening.








Just a brief update on Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley, construction. Front scaffolding is up and the Gringotts bank show building is now almost full enclosed in the back of the building.   Universal wants to begin ride system tests as soon as they can, with so much riding on summer 2014 opening, coupled with the incredible first time ever technology that will be used inside this attraction.




Checkout the latest episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast as they talk about Transformers, Springfield and more!

That wraps things up from Universal Orlando Resort this week.  Who’s excited to go try out all of the food in Springfield?  The Flaming Moe, Chicken Thumbs, Krusty Burger, Duff Beer, what will you try first?

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Eric

    I am in awe of USO’s Springfield area, it looks so good and I can’t wait to have a Flaming Moe! There is so much detail in the area and I love that they have created unique food items, not copies from the other resort, looking at you ‘New’ Fantasyland! Can’t wait to go and try what is on offer. I would eat at the Frying Dutchman, just to see what the fish is like. Maybe if this is popular, I would love to have a Futurama area, so I can visit the year 3000! They could have a Planet Express ride and lots of dining and shopping experiences!

    The statue of Optimus Prime is MASSIVE! You can see him anywhere around the park. Do you know if he has any movements? It would be good if he did and his eyes light up at night.

    Universal have so many new offerings at the moment, just makes me wish I could have a holiday over there soon, but 2014 would be the best year to visit, with the completed Potter Lands and Hogwarts Express (can’t wait for that).

    Thanks Again Eric


    • Eric Davis

      Thank you as always Trumpet for the great comment! Sadly you are doing what Universal was afraid of. You are delaying your trip for Harry Potter. lol

      I don’t blame you though, once all the construction walls are down, USF will be almost unrecognizable.

      Optimus Prime sadly does not have any movement, but his eyes do light up. So there is that. lol

  • fnord

    I was hoping that the flaming Moe’s in the bar itself would have an alcohol option for adults.
    Kids can’t drink a duff, why should the fm be different? Let ’em drink Butterbeer instead, it’s
    kid friendly in the books and movies.
    But at least they offer it at all.

    • Eric Davis

      While I understand this sentiment, and I do enjoy my fair share of adult beverages. It is great for families to be able to indulge in a fun drink like this together. Should Universal offer an adult version of the flaming moe? Maybe. But if they don’t I won’t be heartbroken.

  • Tielo

    Butter beer or the Flaming Moe? Only more of both will help me decide!
    Love this line! I’m glad Universal is doing these awesome things and almost everything they do they do right. It’s about time Disney wakes up and smells the competition. The most exciting thing they have done lately is making Magic Kingdom more expensive then the rest of their parks and that’s not something to be happy about.

    • Eric Davis

      Thank you! lol And I sincerely mean it. After I finished my Flaming Moe, I sat at the bar, like a bar fly pondering… what do I like more Butterbeer or the Flaming Moe. Butterbeer is sweet, and vanilla, cream deliciousness. The Flaming moe is an orange citrus bubbling delight… so hard to choose!

  • Chicken and waffles and a Flaming Moe. . . I’m sold!

    • Eric Davis

      October! Can’t wait to enjoy it with you!

  • ChrisNJ

    Disney must be wondering “what do we do now?” after all these Universal updates.

    Come on Disney get your act together already! We know you can do it – just put some of the profits back into the parks.

    • Eric Davis

      Universal is hitting their stride. They have learned what their audience loves, and they continue to deliver on that! I love what Universal is doing.

      • ChrisNJ

        Agree Eric. I used to make twice a year trips to WDW, but Universal’s Wizarding World addition changed that. Now I make at least one trip to Universal a year staying on property and not visiting anywhere else. I love the ability to walk everywhere and not feeling like I’m being ripped off by crappy resorts (sorry but Disney resorts are going downhill every year).

        I’m am hopeful that the Orlando competition sparks (Allsparks!) Disney to fix their parks fast.

  • DuckyDelite

    Great update! I was disappointed that I missed the Springfield opening by a few weeks when I was out there last month. Now I have an excuse to go back!

    • Eric Davis

      I love having reasons to go back, even as a local!

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    My plan is to keep my October trip simple, just stick with WDW, but seeing this makes me really really want to include Universal.

    And what would I have to give up? A day at the stale Disney Studios?

    Universal is outdoing Disney so badly it’s not even funny.

    • Eric Davis

      GIVE IN! lol you know you want to! Just think of all the fun adventures you could have at Universal!

      • ChrisNJ

        Seriously, skip Disney Studio and hit Universal. I’ve been going to the Disney Studio each year and somehow I convince myself ahead of time that it’s fun. Well, it just hasn’t changed enough to justify the day investment. I may hit up Legoland on my next visit (even without kids I gotta see it).

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    That’s great Universal teamed up with a in-state brewery to create Duff Beer. Florida Beer Co. is a good brewery from what I’ve heard. They’re located in Melbourne (south of Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral). I personally would have chosen Cigar City in Tampa, but I’m just biased. LOL!

    • Eric Davis

      The Florida Beer Co. also brews the Hogshead Beer for WWOHP (I believe)

  • jcruise86

    Thank you very much, Eric Davis!

    Yesterday I used a sugar packet I had picked up at Universal Hollywood with Universal globe emblem on it. It was just a sugar packet, but it was the best looking one I’ve ever seen. (Actually I don’t recall any others.) I showed it to my wife and thought how nice it is that Universal would make such a small thing look attractive.

  • Zorro825

    Must…visit..Springfield!! Thank you for the update!!!

  • Gregg Condon

    We need Springfield at USH!!! I want a Chicken and Waffle Sandwich and to wash it down with a Duff and Flaming Moe. Yes, both. 😀

  • Lee Mallaby

    Great update again Eric.
    As you and I have spoken recently, Springfield could be the surprise Orlando Theme Park hit this summer, it looks stunning and another great example of the theming that Universal is incorporating in to its parks.
    The Optimus Prime statue on top of the Transformers building looks stunning, although I am disappointed that it is not the Animatronic that the rumours were hinting at.
    Universal continue to bang out top class attractions while Disney is becoming very stale, not that I am not a Disney fan, but we have quite a list of thigs that are new since we last visited Universal, but the the list of things that are new at WDW is VERY short and not all that exciting.

  • Lost Boy

    I wish Universal Hollywood could somehow change the Transformer ride entrance and have a life-sized Optimus Prime statue installed here. I think it looks awesome. And i love the ride.

  • RD Sussmann

    Outstanding- simply outstanding. I think Universal has finally realized they will need an Anti-Potter series of attractions in the parks, and that the Simpsons are as far from it as they can get. Seeing the level of detail, attention & even down to color matching they’ve done is not only exciting, but also makes me want to visit the resorts next fall (if not sooner.)

    Now I wait to see if they really follow through with the concepts they’re working with- and take this to the next level. I would really love to see them go further than a spinner & a simulator, and blow this thing sky high with more attractions based on/around the Simpsons characters. (“THE BARREL ROLL! )

  • Rex Dopey24

    wow i wish i was there. mmm flaming moes lol. universal is have to have a good and better summer.