The Simpsons is the television franchise that keeps on giving and giving. The iconic television program has, over the years, sparked a merchandising revolution, inspired a movie, given birth to an extremely long-lasting comic book franchise, and matured into one of Fox’s most predictable revenue generators. This fall, Universal Studios Florida is opening a Springfield-themed park section to celebrate the television show’s 25th (!) anniversary. Although rides like Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl aren’t open yet, a statue of Jebediah Springfield has already gone up–and a real-life Krusty Burger has opened for business.
Ricky Brigante of theme park blog Inside the Magic attended the opening of Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger last week. Both restaurants are part of Universal Studios’ “Fast Food Boulevard,” which also includes Cletus’s Chicken Shack, the Frying Dutchman, Flaming Moe’s, and Luigi’s Pizza. There’s no word on whether the Frying Dutchman is still all-you-can-eat, but it’s been confirmed that the restaurants will have Duff Beer on tap.
Krusty Burger patrons will have a choice between a number of entrées, all accompanied by Kurly Fries and a pickle spear. They include the $9.99 Krusty Burger (a 6-ounce burger with secret sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, a giant tomato slice, iceberg lettuce, served on a specialty bun), the $12.99 Clogger Burger (two 6-ounce burger patties topped with applewood-smoked bacon, secret sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, a giant tomato slice, and iceberg lettuce, served on a specialty bun), and the $7.99 Heat Lamp Dog (6-inch Nathan’s Famous All-Beef hot dog). The restaurant’s seating area is a replica of the Simpsons fast food restaurant, but customers order in a standard food court.
While Krusty Burger is a standard theme park food court offering–albeit one tied to an iconic pop culture franchise–the real life Moe’s Tavern is a stand-alone building designed to look exactly like the cartoon bar. Guests can sit next to a giant Barney Gumbel statue nailed to a barstool, stare at the Springfield Isotopes pennants on the wall, use the working Love Tester machine, and drink an ice cold Duff Beer or an authentic Flaming Moe. Brigante reports that the Duff Beer tastes surprisingly similar to Budweiser and is offered in Light and Dry varieties.
There’s one downside for souvenir hunters, however: Duff is only served in tall disposable plastic cups or in glass bottles, which guests are forbidden from taking with them. However, Universal Studios will reportedly offer aluminum Duff bottles as takeaway gifts. While the liability concerns are understandable, it is still disappointing news.
A separate restaurant, Lisa’s Teahouse of Terror, serves guests authentic Lard Lad donuts. Fast Food Boulevard and The Simpsons ride are currently open, and the rest of Universal’s Springfield area is expected to open by the end of the summer.
[Image: Courtesy Ricky Brigante / Inside the Magic