On opening day, I was there. I don’t consider myself part of the “blogger elite” or the super theme park blogger army. But, as I conducted my morning social media check, it was just too much to bear, and so I decided I had to be there.
After completing a morning full of chores, and an angonizing afternoon waiting for my husband to get off from work, we met up at Universal Orlando and headed straight into Universal Studios. I couldn’t walk fast enough. We passed the theater home to the “Animal Actors” show, hung a left, and then there it was… Fast Food Blvd. Home to Krusty Burger, The Frying Dutchman, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, and more. But, since we were sans kids we made a bee line for Moe’s Tavern.
As we entered my eyes grew wide and I couldn’t help but giggle. A childhood dream was coming true. This is a childhood dream that most young girls don’t have. Sure, I had my normal Disney pixie dusted fantasies during my adolescence. Heck anytime I was in the ocean or in a pool I WAS Ariel! But, from the time I was nine years old, I have always watched “The Simpsons” and eventually I figured, when you become an adult, ready to escape the stresses of adult life, you went to Moe’s Tavern.
On opening day, the place was packed. I squeezed in between two male patrons and waited my turn. Time to sample, thus I ordered both a “Flaming Moe” and a regular Duff draft (as opposed to Duff Lite or Duff Dry).
The “Flaming Moe” is a non-alcoholic beverage that is in the same vein as “Butterbeer”, a continuation of the latest theme park trend: designer beverages. It comes in a specialty souvenir cup that is now a prize possession of mine. I was a little disappointed in the flavor. You see, in the actual “Flaming Moe’s” episode of The Simpsons, the beverage is purple and I would assume have a grape flavor to it. Instead, the real life “Flaming Moe” is citrus flavored, but it is full of fizz and fun.
Although I expected the real life version of Duff beer to resemble Budweiser, it goes over much richer than expected, yet light enough to be perfect for Florida. It is a great blend and I think it will satisfy both craft beer enthusiasts and good ol’ yellow beer drinkers. I have been to Moe’s twice now and have yet to try Duff Lite or Duff Dry, but it is definitely on the “to do” list.
After reveling in the glow of being there on opening day, among hundreds of other Simpsons geeks, I had to get my picture with Barney. Thank goodness I did, too! We returned to Moe’s Tavern a week later and sadly Barney had been removed. When I asked the bartender about Barney’s absence I was given a list of themed reasons, “Barney got lost in the park”, “Barney got stuck in the bathroom”, etc. I cleverly retorted “maybe he decided to try sobering up again”, to which the bartender asked “Barney was sober at one point?” Oy vey, so much Simpsons knowledge to share. But life is about give and take, so if Barney was taken then Universal gave back by adding much needed pictures and additional decoration to the walls since opening day.
Moe’s and Fast Food Blvd has received a little criticism as being flat and not as immersive as it should be. But let’s not forget that The Simpsons is not a complex world like let’s say… Harry Potter. It is bright, colorful, simple animation, a cartoon in every sense of the word. The new expansion at Universal Studios, rightfully called “Springfield USA” may not be as complex and detailed as Wizarding World of Harry Potter or New Fantasyland, but it perfectly represents the simple and silly world of The Simpsons.
As a lifelong fan of The Simpsons, I find myself craving a visit nearly every day. Today, my stepson and I took a break from cleaning and watched The Simpsons, our DVR is a storage house of episodes. I told him he could pick one out while I finished in the kitchen. As the episode began I squealed with delight,… he picked out the “Flaming Moe’s” episode! Tomorrow, for Father’s Day we will head to our favorite spots including Margaritaville Cafe to say hi to JD Spradlin and of course Moe’s, so my stepson can try his first Krusty Burger and wash it down with either a Buzz cola or a “Flaming Moe”. Either way, it will be an occasion to which to raise a toast!
- Krusty Burger, Moe’s Tavern Open at Universal Studios (fox8.com)
- Krusty Burger And Moe’s Tavern Open IRL (fastcocreate.com)