After all things Harry Potter, the next thing I was most looking forward to was visiting Springfield, home of the Simpsons, in Universal Studios. Jeff and I started watching Homer, Marge and the gang back in 1987, when they were on the Tracey Ullman show as one-minute shorts. It was my kind of humor - and my kids, as well...we probably let them begin watching The Simpsons at way too young of an age, but I credit that show with helping to develop their sense of humor, so it's all good.
While compact, Springfield had everything a Simpsons fan could want - the Kwik-E-Mart:
If you stood near the phone, it would ring and Apu would tell you to stop loitering outside of his store - it was fun to be insulted by a cartoon character, as you can see how Jeff is laughing as he listened.
Moe's Tavern, home of the Flaming Moe:
I thought it was funny to see a Bart doll lying on the bar counter. Jeff, Sam, and Allie tried a Flaming Moe - it's made in a special cup with dry ice to create the boiling effect. They coughed their way through drinking it - it's not easy to drink liquid and vapor at the same time, apparently. Still, an experience that had to happen.
Not the greatest burger I've ever had, but again, an experience - I got to eat at Krusty Burger!
Jeff and Allie had a Duff beer, while Sam had a Squishee with alcohol. I had a cup of ice water - and I should point out that Universal Parks were great about giving cups of water everywhere, at no charge. It was nice to get a cup of water (amidst all the butterbeer, LOL) without having to pay theme park prices for a bottle of water.
While in Springfield, you could visit Krustyland, a theme-park-within-a-theme-park, so to speak:
They had carnival games you could play (these cost extra), with stuffed Simpsons characters as prizes. To go on the Simpsons ride, you entered the line through Krusty's mouth. This ride was one of our favorites and we went on it many times - it was really fun, fast-moving, and again, in that theme-park-within-a-theme-park, you went on a roller-coaster ride with Bart, Lisa, Marge and Homer. So many things about that ride stayed with me, but my favorite was a quick glimpse of Ralph Wiggum being flown through the air, saying "I'm a baby bird!" - again, if you're a fan of The Simpsons, this ride would be totally IT for you.
There was the Lard Lad statue along with a donut shop in Springfield:
Allie and I trying to take a picture, with interloper Sam...
We meant to get one of their giant pink-frosted donuts to share, but never ended up doing so - I think we were usually sugared-out by all the butterbeer and that donut would have put us over the top...apparently we had limits to our indulgences!
My favorite moment was when we saw the Simpsons characters come out - we all ran over to meet them and get our picture taken:
They were great - we all were hugging them and it was ridiculously thrilling. What can I say, we LOVE The Simpsons!
A couple of days later, we got to meet Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob:
The lighting was a little funky so I put a cartoon filter on the picture. I'm so glad we got to meet all of the main characters from the show - I think you can tell by our smiles that this was a highlight of our trip.
I bought this pin, which sums up how we felt about our trip:
Yep, pretty much!