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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Springfield comes to life on Wednesday with the opening of a replica of the town from the hit animated television series "The Simpsons".
Set within Universal Studios Hollywood, the life-sized "Springfield" plays host to many of the show's landmarks such as the cooling towers of the Springfield nuclear power plant, convenience store Kwik-E-Mart, Moe's tavern and Krusty Burger.
Actors Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright and Joe Mantegna, the voices behind some of the characters, walked the "yellow carpet" on Tuesday at the park, which expands on "The Simpsons" ride at Universal Studios.
Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, said the three-dimensional park was a departure from the imagined two-dimensional world of the wayward Simpsons and their friends.
"It's very strange ... I feel very much a part of Lisa Simpson and she feels like she is in me but the world feels very two-dimensional to me so this is actually all very new," she said.
The long-running Fox series about bumbling Homer Simpson, his wife Marge and their children Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie has won fans around the world in its 26 seasons.
"Bart never ages and yet ... if they had really hired a 10-year-old kid, they'd be ... 35, 36 years old right now," said Cartwright, who plays Bart Simpson.
"Nowhere but the Simpsons could we do something like that."
Reporting By Reuters Television in Los Angeles; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London; Editing by Crispian Balmer