Last month we took you through Fast Food Boulevard in Universal Studios Florida’s new Springfield area. This month we’ll give you a complete walk-through of this part of the park. Springfield is now complete, with construction walls removed and many exciting surprises for visitors. As you enter Springfield it’s clear that this is a completely immersive land meant to take you right inside the world of the Simpsons.
Entering Springfield, you’re greeted with an oversized postcard reading “Greetings from Springfield, Home of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.” Everything falls in line with the city’s theme, right down to the trash cans. Keep your eyes open because you’ll encounter many Springfield residents here, both statuary and costumed. This is one place where you’ll want to have your camera ready at all times.
Though Fast Food Boulevard gives you a plethora of dining options, you’ll find even more opportunities to gorge yourself out along the street as you stroll through Springfield. Bumblebee Man’s Tacos is a giant food truck serving up four different taco dishes. Simpsons fans will recognize Bumblebee Man as the slapstick star of a Spanish language sitcom. Though he doesn’t have a food truck on the show (as of yet), this is a fun way to incorporate the character into the town.
At the food truck you can choose from Korean Beef Tacos, Fish Tacos, Chicken Tacos, and Carne Asada Tacos. Each meal comes with two nice-sized tacos and a side of tortilla chips. This is easily a whole meal.
We tried the Korean Beef Tacos and Fish Tacos. The beef was extremely flavorful with lots of Asian spices. While the Fish Tacos featured plenty of toppings, it was difficult to taste anything but the fish itself. If you want to try something from the taco cart, you’ll need to grab an outdoor table to eat since these (like most foods in Springfield) are extremely messy. Trays aren’t available so get ready to stack your Styrofoam boxes while you look for a table.
If the tables lining the streets of Springfield are taken, try the tables just in front of the Animal Actors queue. They’re covered and set well to the side of the busy streets. Just a few steps from Springfield, this area often goes undiscovered.
Looking for dessert? Lard Lad Donuts is here to help. Finish off your Springfield meal with the classic pink sprinkled donuts. Choose from the giant donut that’s nearly as big as your head, or a four-pack of more reasonably-sized pastries. This location also serves an assortment of other donut flavors, Ice Cream Conans, Brain Freezin’ Sundaes, and Brain Freezin D’oh-Nut Sundaes, served atop the pink frosted donut.
Predictably, you’ll find Chief Wiggum outside the donut shop. His car has crashed into a fire hydrant, presumably in his rush to get his hands on a piping hot donut and coffee. Check out his license plate, which reads “#1DDOFUS.” This is one of several great photo ops available in Springfield. You may have to queue up to get a photo with the chief.
The centerpiece of Springfield is impossible to miss in the middle of this area. A looming statue of Jebediah Springfield sits in the center of the town, right along the waterfront. You’ll find him just as he appears in the fictional Springfield. Jebediah is the town’s founder. In his statue, he’s depicted atop a dead bear he supposedly killed with his bare hands. The back reads “A Noble Spirit Embiggens the Smallest Man.”
Continue through Springfield and you’ll come across Duff Gardens. This open-air bar serves up all of the area’s popular drinks including Duff beer, the (non-alcoholic) Flaming Moe, and Kwik-E-Mart Squishees.
Seven topiaries out front depict the seven Duff mascots: Tipsy, Surly, Queasy, Edgy, Sleazy, Remorseful, and Dizzy.
Beside the bar you’ll find a great gift shop filled with Duff and Simpsons memorabilia. For hilarious tees, hats, and other themed items, this is one of the best places to stop. Duff Man himself stands just outside, offering you yet another fantastic photo opportunity.
Across from the Duff gift shop is the Kwik-E-Mart. This has long been a staple of the area, but you’ll notice something new out front now. Milhouse sits forlornly on a bench, nursing a Buzz cola. Just try and resist the urge to plop down next to him for a picture.
Next to the Kwik-E-Mart is a small open area that’s used for character meet-and-greets. In addition to the Simpsons family of Bart, Lisa, Homer, and Marge, you can now meet Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob here as well.
The far end of Springfield is where you’ll find the area’s rides. Kang & Kodos' Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is the newest attraction in Springfield. This is your classic spinning ride (think Dumbo or Aladdin’s Magic Carpets from the Magic Kingdom at Disney World). The difference is in the theme. This ride features the famous Simpsons aliens Kang and Kodos, of Treehouse of Horror fame.
Surrounding this ride is the area’s midway with fun themed games and Simpsons prizes. In the center of the midway is The Simpsons Ride, which was the original installment in this area.
From this single attraction, Springfield has grown to become a distinctive area all its own. This part of the park is still known as World Expo and includes the Simpsons Ride, Men in Black Alien Attack, and Fear Factor Live. However, the International Food and Film Festival food court that was once a notable part of the area was closed to become Fast Food Boulevard, home of Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Moe’s Tavern, Luigi’s, and the Frying Dutchman. With the massive expansion of Springfield, it would make sense if this area got a rebranding in the near future.
This leaves Men in Black and Fear Factor as oddballs between the very clear boundaries of Springfield and what will soon be Diagon Alley in the second installment of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. How Universal will put these pieces together remains to be seen. One thing is certain: if you’re headed to Universal Studios Florida, this area is a must-see on your visit.