Borrowing a page from its Harry Potter playbook, Universal Orlando said Thursday it will soon add a collection of shops and restaurants with a common theme drawn from the world of the long-running animated television show "The Simpsons."
The area, which will be named "Springfield" after the town in which "The Simpsons" is set, is being built alongside the existing Simpsons Ride in Universal Studios Florida. It will feature roughly a half-dozen settings from the famously satirical TV show.
Among them: Krusty Burger, a restaurant serving a "Krusty-certified meat sandwich," and Moe's Tavern, which will sell "Duff Beer," a fictional alcoholic brew that Universal says will be created exclusively for the theme park. Others will include Lard Lad's Donuts, The Frying Dutchman, Luigi's Pizza, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, and Duff Gardens.
Universal will also add a second Simpsons-themed ride: Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl, an outdoor spinner.
The complete area, which has been under construction for months and the subject of widespread fan speculation, will open this summer. Universal did not specify a precise date.
With Springfield, Universal is aiming to replicate some of the success it is had with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the neighboring Universal's Islands of Adventure. That "land," which includes a collection of shops and eateries based on locations from the Potter books and movies, has fueled enormous spending gains for Universal, as travelers snap up mugs of butterbeer and Hogwarts school robes.
Universal is also adding a second land based on Potter, in Universal Studios. That one will include a slate of new shops and restaurants selling exclusive food and merchandise.
Competing theme parks have tried to devise a similar formula. SeaWorld Orlando will sell an exclusive, vanilla-flavored soda dubbed "South Pole Chill" in its Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, a new land that formally opens Friday. Walt Disney World's New Fantasyland includes Gaston's Tavern, from "Beauty and the Beast," which sells a proprietary drink called "LeFou's Brew."
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