“Thhheeee Siimpsoooonnsss . . . ”
The Simpsons, the longest running sitcom and animation show on television, continues to grow and achieve greatness in any way possible! From the first episode in 1989, The Simpsons have brought laughter and joy to households across the world, and now with their 26th season renewed, where else have The Simpsons ventured to beyond television screen? Well, we have them on the big screen too with The Simpsons Movie; we have action figures, toys, plush; we have t-shirts and shoes and hats and glasses; we have the joy of trying Duff Beer and Lard-Lad donuts. And now, what has evolved to one of my utmost favorite outings, encompassing any and all things Simpsons, Universal Studios Hollywood has brought us Springfield! The town where it all began, where it all takes place, where you can find your three-eyed fish and sub-standard nuclear power plants! Where you can try a Krusty Burger and Flaming Moe’s. Run into friendly characters such as Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Cletus, Bumblebee Man, and of course, our favorite animated family: The Simpsons!
(PSA: My apologies for the photo gallery being in a separate link, my wordpress page is under construction and photos can not be uploaded now! The full article will be on Facebook as well!)
Upon entering the park, walking down to where the still Krustyland and Simpsons ride is located, you are immersed in the world of Springfield! Guests are welcomed by a “Welcome to Springfield” sign, featuring everybody’s favorite three-eyed fish!
You continue around and (you should) be in awe with your jaw-dropping face at how incredible and beautiful Universal Studios has created Springfield! Springfield Elementary, Krustylu Studios, Nuclear Power Plant, sit atop the main ground floor buildings with incredible real-life likeness from the show! As you move forward, to the right is a real life Android’s Dungeon, Lard Lad Donuts, and Krusty Burger! Though the Android’s Dungeon is not a “walk-in” store, the window display has all the comics, signage, and displays as in Springfield!
Lard Lad’s is a walk-up counter type of joint, with plenty of new donut options for your cravings! Previously, the Kwik-E-MArt in front of KrustyLand only had the option of the pink-frosted and sprinkles donut; now you have the original, bacon-maple, fruit loops, and more! There are also regular and jumbo sized donuts for whatever you feel like indulging in for the night!
Krusty Burger is the real deal too! You can get a Krusty Burger! A Clogger Burger! The RibWich! Mother Nature Burger! Sideshow Bob hot dog! and of course, Duff Beer! The interior is just like Krusty burger, with the matte-bright colors, same setup with furniture, and you go upstairs to see a full homage to Krusty the Clown! Upstairs is full of Clown school photos and certificates, props, pictures, and more! Connected next to KrustyBurger is Cletus’ restaurant, Cletus’ Chicken Shack! This is set up in a barnyard fashion, wooden floors and furniture, photos of Cletus’ family, moonshine and whiskey bottles, and if you don’t miss it, SpiderPig hanging on the ceiling!
The great thing about all the restaurants and stops, there are televisions playing The Simpsons clips non stop! Basically a meal and a show wherever you go! Chicken Shack is more of a bbq/southern staple with all the finger-lickin’ goodies from The Simpsons!
In Between Krusty Burger and Cletus’ there is the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant above with a window of Homer’s office on the ground level. The office is, again, an exact replica from the show! I have to keep repeating that because I am truly in ‘awe’ of how perfect Universal Studios has created this new attraction! At one point while we were waiting in line at the Duff Brewery, we see smoke rising from the nuclear reactors, lights flashing, alarms going off, guess Homer pressed the wrong button again!
Speaking of the Duff Brewery, it is located on the opposite side of the areas mentioned above, along with Sud McDuff’s Hot Dog House, Phineas Q. Butterfat’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck. All restaurants have great options and variety, from donut sundaes, hot dogs, nachos, tacos, and of course your Duff Beer needs! The Duff Brewery is surrounded by costumed figures in Duff Beer Bottles, the seven Duffs, and plenty of seating indoors and out to enjoy a nice pint of beer! You can get the Duff beer as draft or in bottles, and souvenir glasses are also available along with snacks to munch on. We tried the Duff Dry this visit, personally I did not like it but my girlfriend loved it! It is a strong lager with a nutty almost bitterness to it, but it is served ice cold and a great drink to have! Bumblebee man’s Taco truck is a huge sitting truck with yellow and black stripes, and occasionally you will hear some fun Mexican music played by the horns!
Heading back towards Krustyland, the front area is generally the same with Arcade games, the Simpsons ride entrance, Kwik-E-MArt, but around there you will now find Moe’s Tavern, which again, is an IDENTICAL REPLICA from the show!! The dark wooden furniture, pool tables, bar art and hangings, Barney enjoying a beer in the corner and the love machine lighting up too! Plenty of drink options here before heading back out to Stu’s Disco, the Aztec Theatre, Dr. Nick’s, Springfield police station, and Springfield DMV with Patty and Selma hanging out at the window! A small change, at least one I didn’t catch before, there are more costumed characters for photo ops and roaming the area, but I could be mistaken! We snagged photos with Sideshow Bob who came up behind me for a selfie, and Krusty the Clown! Homer and Bart were also around with the guests!
Once again, Universal Studios has blown me away with their innovative, creative, and absolutely joyful venues of amusement designs! The Simpsons ride has been here for a few years now, and it was only a matter of time television’s longest running animated-sitcom would get their own attraction! From seeing the “Welcome to Springfield” sign, hearing the Nuclear Power Plant about to explode, enjoying a cool Duff beer, smelling the indulgent Lard Lad donuts, hanging out in Moe’s Tavern, and enjoying The Simpsons Ride, every single moment of Universal Studios will bring you smiles and joys. Now what do you have to do? Get to Universal Studios Hollywood and take a walk through Springfield!
Also, apologies again for the separate link for the photos, you can find them here
While at Star Wars Celebration, Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar, Sy Snootles, Salacious Crumb) was amazed by my iON Camera and picked it up to start recording himself!
Be sure to like https://www.facebook.com/Earth2Geek and follow http://www.twitter.com/Jahilianaire for daily tips and updates throughout Celebration!!
1 – Plan plan plan! Be sure to look over the schedule of panels, signings, photo-ops, special events, off-site events, and anything else you may have! Also adjust for free time, relaxation, and most of all: SLEEP!
2 – Pack light but efficient!
-Poster tubes work wonders to hold posters of all sizes that can be rolled up and store safely, also the tubes can slide into a backpack!
-A backpack to be sure everything is stored safe, secure, and easy-to-access
-no need for big camera bags, get a strap to hold around your neck, a large memory card, and set! if bringing an action camera, I suggest a head/shoulder/body mount!
3 – Clothes: some say dress in layers, others say light others heavy…for me, I will be in cargo shorts or jeans, and a light shirt. Anaheim weather is beautiful and it will probably get more hot inside the convention center than out! put a light sweater in the backpack!
4 – getting photos, comics, prints, posters signed and afraid of it getting damaged? Look for booths selling clear-plastic cases! Items can be slid in through the top and closed at the bottom, and they will be perfect for the smaller items to slide in a backpack and stay free of bends tears or creases!
5 – Transportation! Southern California Traffic is…pretty bad! So be sure to check into local transportation such as buses and metro or the train if traveling afar; taxis, Uber or Lyft are also great alternatives, though fairs may be spiked for the event. Also consider walking; Disneyland is not TOO far but will get a good workout into you; there are shuttles that will take you from Disneyland/Downtown Disney to the convention center areas.
6 – Get Connected!! Be sure to join these Facebook groups for thousands others attending SWC!
The Force is Strong With This Group:<a>https://www.facebook.com/groups/tfiswtg/?fref=ts</a>
Star Wars Celebration Unlimited:
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim:
Star Wars Geeks Unite at Celebration <a>https://www.facebook.com/groups/274545639398808/?fref=ts</a>
7 – Blue milk may be nice, but quality H2O is better! Buy a large water bottle, reusable bottle, anything to keep you hydrated, concentrated, and focused for the weekend!
8 – Shoes: your feet will either love you or hate you this weekend. I always bring walking/gym/running (whatever you call them!) shoes to any convention. They saved me for San Diego Comic Con and I am sure they will save you and I for SWC!
9 – Budget: sometimes you just don’t think about the money! Though SWC is like Christmas in April for Star Wars fans, you always need to know how much you have left to enjoy what you want! My tip: portion or set your money in different envelopes or with different clips for specific spending: food, autographs, collectibles, and extra to be on hand!
10 – Make friends! Whether traveling solo or in a squadron, it is always fun and great to reach out. Standing in line will get pretty boring and long, so be sure to start a conversation with fellow line-standers. Or if you see a shirt you like, mention it to the wearer! Find a friendly vendor? Get their business card for future expenditures! Heading to breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Ask around and see if anyone would like to join or is headed in that direction! Anaheim restaurants will be full of Star Wars fans!
11 – Business Cards! this one might be too late to obtain, but business cards are great for ease of communication and exchanging info! I use them not only for my page but also a quick hand off when making new friends!
12 – for the out of towers, #12 will be all for you!
-In N Out: the place you have to try to at least say you have been there! plus it is pretty damn tasty . . .
-get ready for not so great public transits and terrible traffic!
-Starbucks anyone? you won’t miss one. at all.
-make sure to get enough cash, and make contact with your banks to avoid any unwanted card-denails due to out of state charges.
-meals are usually . . . big! be sure to check if anything is big enough and can be split between families
-Americans really are friendly and helpful! We (or most) are always happy to lend a helping hand with directions, clarification, understanding, etc
13 – Snacks! (and meals on the go!) When packing snacks, here is what I usually bring:
-mixed nuts, cashews, almonds, etc (or trail mixes)
-fruits; apples, bananas, oranges are best
-if I do not go to a coffee shop, then an iced-bottled coffee
-something light and easy like a donut, bagel, coffee-cake, etc for the morning
-also the best is peanut butter-jelly and/or nutella sandwiches in hawaiian bread! The bread is nice and thick, smear some spreads on their and you are good to go! For WonderCon I had one 4-roll sandwich in the morning (basically like two slices of bread) and it lasted me until 3pm!
14 – When camping out, or for general standing-in-lines, bring a small foldable chair. There are some pretty small, simple and light chairs that can be folded into the size of a folded tripod!
15 – Make a list! for packing, for food, budgeting, exclusives or wants, signings, schedules, and for each day. Making an old-school pen-and-paper list is a lot more fun and simpler than you think!
16 – Freshen up! take time to use the bathroom, return to your hotel, splash some water on your face, anything to keep you light, smiling, and fresh!
17 – Cash rules everything around Cons! Though many vendors do accept credit cards with the new square and smart-phone scanning devices, trust me . . . I have encountered and witnessed many who have issues with the internet and data connections, and many may charge fees for using cards! Though they say it can be saved for later, cash is always my friend and I save cards when purchasing from companies like Gentle Giant, Sideshow, etc
18 – Remember . . . Star Wars Celebration happens once but every so many years . . . splurge a little!
19 – Charging and batteries: bring extra batteries, packs, and think of purchasing external/portable chargers! I personally use a LEPOW and MyCharge and they work wonders! I will post links in the next day or so
20 – Cell Phones: make sure they have all the extras off like location services, wifi, blue tooth, brightness low, etc to save battery! and disabling or chaining from live and moving backgrounds will also save battery. Also turn on notifications from social media for those you want to stay up to the minute!
21 – Cameras! Bring anything and everything you like but careful for over packing! I bring my DSLR Canon, my iON Action Camera, and also my iPhone! You never know what you will want to catch!
22 – Tech Accessories: selfie sticks! camera bags! extended lenses! tripods!
23 – FREE STUFF! Be sure to look left right up down back forth in out of every aisle, table booth, exhibit everything! You never know what free swag you can snag!
24 – Bargaining: a lot of vendors tend to barter better on Sunday and also be sure to walk around to look at other vendors prices
25 – YELP!! Download Yelp, create an account, and it will be your best friend for restaurants
26 – Consent consent consent! Please by all the Force, be respectful, courteous, kind, and friendly with cosplayers, actors, actresses, and other fans!
26 – when taking pictures of and/or with cosplayers, be patient, be nice, and no harassment!
27 – Parking: hotel parking can get pretty expensive; convention center parking is just $15!
28 – Do your research! Whether on collecting, exclusives, guests, schedules, DO.YOUR.RESEARCH!
29 – use the map! The Celebration program guide has a map just for you to navigate the Kessel Run!
30 – Have Fun smile emoticon
My custom batarangs arrived from FFCreativeImagery on Etsy! Check him out on Instagram @ FO_Imagery! Each Batarang is laser engraved with an original design or a custom design at no extra cost! The original design is the TDK Trilogy with Batman, Bane, and the Joker; my custom order included my Favorite comic style Batman by Jim Lee, favorite animated Batman, Batman Beyond, and my favorite video game Batman, from Arkham Origins! Check out his store!
Video review is now up too!