As you walk through, the look and feel is unmistakable. Bright colors with familiar settings immerse you in a world that has existed on television for the past 26 years. The smell is what you imaged. So is the taste.
Welcome to Springfield.
Guests at Universal Studios Hollywood can rejoice that the long wait is finally over to try a Lard Lad donut or the famed Krusty Burger. Step into Luigiâ€™s for delicious pizza and pasta or have a taste of that wonderful Duff beer.Â And if you feel up to it, try a Flaming Moe at the infamous Moeâ€™s Tavern.
The designers and crew at Universal Studios Hollywood have done a tremendous job of bringing a cartoon, television world to life. Â As guests walk through Springfield towards The Simpsons Ride, they are surrounded by iconic locations and landscapes that delight the senses. While food offerings are certainly an important focus of Springfield, it is the atmosphere Â that each of the establishments create to immerse guests into a fictional cartoon universe that has become a pop culture phenomena.
â€œThe most important part of working with any IP (intellectual property) is maintaining the integrity of that IP. And thatâ€™s why the association with Gracie and Matt Groening and all the folks at Fox was so essential,â€ explained John Corfino, project director and executive show producer for Springfield. â€œWe need to make sure that the integrity is always there on the smallest detail from the brickwork to the wood trim to whatever you see.â€
Clearly, Corfino and his team put a lot of planning and effort into Springfield.
â€œThere is whole team of crazy talented people that work with me that really bring this place to life,â€ added Corfino.
As you walk inside The Krusty Burger or Moeâ€™s Tavern, guests can help but feel the immersive experience. Details from the show are translated directly into the look and feel of all the restaurants and buildings. Televisions placed throughout the food establishments and the upstairs dining rooms play clips of popular Simpsonsâ€™ moments while guests dine on food and beverages that has so far only existed on television.
M.U.S.E. had a chance to see and taste the various food offerings that will be made available to guests. Aside from Krusty Burger and Lard Lad Donuts, Luigiâ€™s Italian Restaurant, Cleetusâ€™s Chicken Shack, and a Bumble Bee Man inspired taco truck give guests a wide variety options. There is even a Duff Beer Garden for adults to relax on those hot summer days with a Duff Beer in their hands. Or check out Moeâ€™s Tavern, where the Flaming Moe is brought to life.
â€œIt all started with taking a look at certain offerings that had been done at Florida, having our chefs kind of play around a bit, and doing tasting with Fox, Gracie, and our senior management here,â€ said Corfino.
The tasty offerings are certain to please Simpsonâ€™s fans and foodies alike. After all, who can resist a giant donut or chili cheese dog? From pizza to chicken and waffles, the food both looks and tastes good.
Walking through the rest of the area, guests can see Springfield Police Station or the Springfield DMV. As the tour of the area continued, Corfino explained that there was a likely possibility that those areas would be developed further to allow fans a more immersive experience.
However, the road to Springfield presented unique challenges. The logistics of carrying out construction did not come easy, Corfino explained. â€œYou have to walk through Springfield to get to the rest of the park. When you think about the construction of how we had to build this on both sides of the street and the street in the middle of a fully operational theme park. That presented some very interesting challenges in terms of sequencing of work, and barricading, and how we still provide access for guests to get around us.â€
But the effort was well worth it. Springfield looks beautiful and will be an exciting draw for guests in the coming summer months. So be sure to check out Springfield at Universal Studios Hollywood for your immersive Simpsons experience and bite of that elusive Ribwich.
And when you stop in at Moeâ€™s, be sure to say hi to Barney.
For more photos of Springfield, check out our Facebook page for an entire gallery of the sights (and tastes!) that Springfield has to offer.