You'd Have to Be a Clown to Visit Krustyland
Let’s take a look around Springfield, the hometown of The Simpsons that's been brought to three-dimensional life at Universal Studios Florida. The centerpiece of the land is The Simpsons Ride. It is located in the mythical theme park within a theme park, Krustyland (insert Krusty the Clown laugh here).
The festive, if slyly anarchic park is loaded with puns and references to the iconic animated TV show. The motion simulator ride (which was originally based on Back to the Future) is a clever riff on The Simpsons oeuvre. The clips and hilarious gags built into the queue while waiting to board the ride is almost as entertaining as the ride itself.
Watch Out for the Drool
The other ride in Springfield is Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl. It is a fairly standard spinning ride that is somewhat similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Instead of cute elephants, however, you board cheesy flying saucers. The ride is infused with the silly antics of the drooling space aliens who frequently appear in the Treehouse of Horror episodes on the animated show. As riders spin, they are treated to a steady barrage of one-liners from the creatures.
This Game Has a Familiar Ring to It
Lining the front of The Simpsons Ride are carnival games. While the games are fairly standard, the themes are decidedly Simpson-esque. The classic ring toss game, for example, is presented as "Mr. Burns' Radioactive Rings" and uses neon green-glowing green nuclear "rods" as targets. To the left is the Whac-A-Mole takeoff, Whac-A-Rat, featuring Itchy and Scratchy. There is also a knock-down-the-cans game with a sign blatantly warning customers, "You can't do it! Don't even try!." You gotta love The Simpsons.
Stop By for a Cold Duff
Beyond Krustyland, you can find familiar Springfield hangouts such as Moe's, the tavern that Homer Simpson frequents. The exterior of the barroom is a faithful reproduction of the downscale joint, complete with cartoonish, purple-hued molding.
You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Moe's Name
Inside the tavern, you'll find all kinds of Simpsons references such as the iconic phone that Moe answers to hear Bart's prank calls. Pick it up, and guess what you will hear? There’s also a larger-than-life statue of Barney Gumble, the one Springfield resident who loves beer more than Homer Simpson. And yes, you can order a Duff Beer (which tastes surprisingly good) and pose alongside Barney. You could also order a Flaming Moe (see below).
Where there Is Smoke, there Is Moe
In addition to Moe's bar, guests can purchase a Flaming Moe at a beverage stand in the Springfield food court. Unlike the TV show, the theme park version doesn't contain any alcohol (and has nothing to do with the band, Aerosmith). It does, however, smoke—but not flame, unfortunately—thanks to what we presume are dry ice capsules planted at the bottom of the special "souvenir" cup.
The drink tastes somewhat like Tang with a hint of carbonation. Is it worth the exorbitant price that Universal charges? Heck no. But hey, it's a Flaming Moe!
Hey Kids! Get a Clogger Burger or a Heat Lamp Dog!
While it appears from the outside that the park offers a standalone Krusty Burger restaurant, there is actually a food court with a number of Simpsons-themed food stands on the other side of the doors. There are all kinds of items to purchase at Springfield Fast Food Boulevard, which includes Cletus' Chicken Shack, Lisa's Treehouse of Horror (which actually offers healthy alternatives to all of the fried and greasy stuff at the other stands), The Frying Dutchman, and Luigi's Pizza.
The stands and the food items are somewhat similar to what used to be available in the nondescript international food court that originally occupied the building. But Universal has cleverly repackaged and themed the restaurants. And the food, while not even pretending to be gourmet, is actually not that bad. The standard Krusty Burger is particularly good.
Outside the food court is Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck; its south-of-the-border offerings are so good, the truck makes the list for the top 10 best Universal Orlando quick-service restaurants.
How about a Squishee?
Speaking of iconic beverages, you can purchase a Squishee frozen drink at Kwik-E-Mart. The convenience store has been at Universal Studios Florida since The Simpsons Ride debuted in 2008. The rest of Springfield, including the food court, opened in 2013.