Goodbye Lucy, Hello Kitty

August 17, 2015, 11:23 AM · The Lucille Ball tribute at Universal Studios Florida has closed, to make way for a new Hello Kitty-themed experience.

Hello Kitty

Universal Parks and Resorts announced in June that it had signed a deal with Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, to bring Hello Kitty and its family of characters to the Universal theme parks. At the same time, Universal Orlando had pulled permits for major interior renovations in the "Lucy: A Tribute" building, tempting fans to put two and two together.

Today's confirmation from Universal makes official that Lucy's now-former home in the Hollywood section of the park will be the new home for Hello Kitty. The new Hello Kitty location will offer an "enhanced interactive retail experience," according to a Sanrio press release. "Customers can shop for custom designed merchandise, enjoy photo opportunities with Sanrio properties, create souvenir versions of Hello Kitty's signature bow, and even meet Hello Kitty herself."

The new Hello Kitty store is expected to open before the end of the year.

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Replies (15)

August 17, 2015 at 12:17 PM · That kind of makes me sad, as that's one of the last attractions from the original park, along with ET...granted, I'm sure not many people will miss it, my wife and I actually stopped by everytime we were at the park.
August 17, 2015 at 12:42 PM · Hello Kitty is Universal's "Star Wars Swatter". Darth Vader never had a chance. ..LOL.....Seriously, though, I really enjoyed the Lucy area, especially the miniature recreations of her TV show sets. She will be missed, but they are retaining the Lucy character roaming the Hollywood streets..
August 17, 2015 at 3:21 PM · @Rob That comment was very funny. But you're right, after a weekend of big stories this snoozer doesn't register a blip. And honestly, I am not sure it ever would, regardless of the timing.
August 17, 2015 at 3:21 PM · Didn't they already replace Lucy with Betty Boop? Unless that was a temporary thing.
August 17, 2015 at 5:20 PM · So conflicted over this. I heart Hello Kitty, but Lucy was the last link back to why something like Universal Studios even exists. I was really hoping Garden of Allah was going to be a museum. I would love to see more tv/movie set memorabilia. It's sad to see this going away.
August 17, 2015 at 5:56 PM · My mom's gonna be heartbroken when I break this news to her. I Love Lucy is one of her favorite shows if not her most favorite show ever, and she geeked out when she first walked in.

Now, I'm not against giving Hello Kitty a presence in UOR. In fact, I support it! One thing that's always made me a loyal Disney fan was that Universal tries to appeal too much to thrill-seekers. But this is an entirely different demographic. Good job, Universal! But why couldn't it be in CityWalk? Why put it in the Hollywood section of all places when Hello Kitty has nothing to do with Hollywood?

August 17, 2015 at 6:03 PM · James T.; Lucy & Betty Boop shared that area. It was close to 50/50. Betty Boop also has a store in Toon Lagoon, plus a lot of hot babes dressed as her roaming both parks.
August 17, 2015 at 7:57 PM · Gotcha Rob, guess I must not have been paying much attention to the building (or regrettably the actresses playing her). So is she sharing space with Kitty, or will Betty be getting the Boot-Oop-a-Doop as well?
August 18, 2015 at 4:58 AM · In all honesty, I don't really care about the new store, although Lucy has been outdated for almost half a century.
August 18, 2015 at 5:27 AM · I went through the Lucy Tribute building once because I was in coaster recovery at that moment. The one thing I remember learning about the show was that the sets were actually painted in tones of grey so that they would look more defined on black and white tv sets. That to me was very fascinating to know.

I definitely see the economics at work with this change. Keep an aging, out of date display or bring in something that can increase the cash flow exponentially with kids.

I really wish they would have kept the Alfred Hitchcock show back in the day, oh how I would like to see that one again.

August 18, 2015 at 6:43 AM · Aw, as Lucy fan I'm disappointed. However, I can understand that not many people these days have heard of Lucille Ball before and the space needs to be repurposed.
August 18, 2015 at 7:23 AM · James: I have no info that they are sharing or not. My "guess" is that the whole store will be Hello Kitty.
August 18, 2015 at 8:54 PM · I Love Lucy, but that was 40 years ago and that was the only thing on television. I saw every episode at least 3 times. My mother watches it endlessly too. It is still on continuous run on some stations. It's so quaint. Sadly, I no longer have that warm fuzzy when I see it on the screen. I feel the same way about "The Love Boat".
August 19, 2015 at 5:26 AM · The strange thing is that when they've been running one of the old Christmas shows as a special in prime time during the past two years, it's been one of the highest rated shows of that week. I guess classic comedy tends to never get old.
August 21, 2015 at 6:44 AM · James:Betty Boop is temporarily moving to the Darkroom location on Hollywood Blvd. The stock is already in the building & window displays but it's not open yet.

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