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Brock

Universal Orlando closes Lucy: A Tribute, replaced with Hello Kitty store

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Well, this is outrageous.

 

From the Orlando Sentinel:

 

 


Lucy -- A Tribute, one of the original attractions at Universal Studios theme park, has been closed. It will be replaced by a new Hello Kitty interactive retail experience that will open this year, Universal confirmed Monday.

 

The Lucy attraction, centered on actress Lucille Ball, showcased props, costumes, scripts and other memorabilia from the 1950s classic TV comedy "I Love Lucy."

Also there were some of Ball's awards, a trivia game and Lucy-themed souvenirs for purchase.

 

Guests will still be able to meet and take photos with the Lucy character on the park's Hollywood Boulevard daily, Universal says.

 

MORE: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-blog/os-universal-studios-lucy-hello-kitty-20150817-post.html

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I’m particularly sad to read about this closure. Lucy: A Tribute at Universal Orlando was where I lost my Lucy virginity, so to speak, at the age of six or seven. Before that point, I really had no idea there was such a thing as a Lucy fandom, or so much out there just waiting to be explored, consumed and learned. After spending what seems like hours taking in each and every artefact and panel in the place, then came the horrible time when I was let loose in the gift shop, allowed to buy just one souvenir. Of course, I wanted to buy everything in the store but after such an agonizing time I finally settled on the book Loving Lucy by Tom Watson and Bart Andrews. That was a watershed moment, which set me on a path to meet some incredible people and make very close friends.

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I'm very sad about this too. It is so interesting reading Brock's post because I had exactly the same experience there at the same age. I was already a big Lucy fan at that young age when I visited, but it never occurred to me what a career Lucy had beyond playing Lucy Ricardo. I wouldn't leave until I answered every question correctly on the trivia game they had there. I left wanting to see and read everything I possibly could about Lucy.

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I’ll chime in here too with a similar experience. Mine was at the Universal Studios in Hollywood though. I think I was around 12 and spent 2 hours in that place. Read and watched everything. We had a camera with us and I took all the pictures I could on that roll of film then made my dad go buy more, which I’m sure he loved seeing how much film at an amusement park must have cost. I was fortunate though to be able to purchase more than one item, but got rushed through my time in the gift shop as my parents were beyond anxious to go do something else by that point. I returned to the one in Hollywood a few times in the 90s and took just as many pictures and bought more at the store. Still so nice to hang onto those Universal brand souvenirs. I would have forgotten I bought Keith T’s book there if I didn’t have the memory of him asking me where I got it while I had him sign it at Loving Lucy 97’.

 

I only made it to the one in Orlando once when I was 20. I warned my parents to go find a nice comfy seat as I would be awhile. I came armed with a lot of film this time. This experience is where I learned that some of the awards were duplicated as I was very confused when I say ones there I knew I had seen in Hollywood. Somewhere in the display I found a little plaque that stated this. So I still want to know if I ever saw the originals or if those in Hollywood were dups too and the real ones were stashed away in Lucie’s attic somewhere.

 

The gift shop in Orlando was a bit of a letdown for me as it seemed half Lucy and half Universal. The one in Hollywood I remember being mostly Lucy. I always envied the people who worked there as they could watch Lucy all day. I somehow think it was more like that scene in the Simpsons where in the parents section of Itchy and Scratchy Land at TGI McSratchy’s it’s New Year’s Eve every 15 mins. “Please kill me now”. “ I can only take that bread coming out of the oven so much longer.”

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Wow, that's so sad to hear... Especially considering that I was there just 3 days ago! I have to say that there was some odd feeling in the air. The exhibit was pretty empty, and most people weren't too interested. But I was in there for a bit over an hour. What really made me doubt its future was walking into the gift shop, which was no longer a Lucy gift shop. It entirely Betty Boop, the only Lucy thing in the gift store was a few DVDs that were on top of a Betty Boop rack. I was very disheartened when I saw that, because I was prepared to get a few (or more than a few) things. Everything just felt off, but I was glad to visit one last time. I have the same experience as all of you as well, I visited there when I was 8 years old and it really introduced me to the larger world of Lucy. It was heaven for me. I started my Lucy collection there too. :lucyblah:

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Wow, that's so sad to hear... Especially considering that I was there just 3 days ago! I have to say that there was some odd feeling in the air. The exhibit was pretty empty, and most people weren't too interested. But I was in there for a bit over an hour. What really made me doubt its future was walking into the gift shop, which was no longer a Lucy gift shop. It entirely Betty Boop, the only Lucy thing in the gift store was a few DVDs that were on top of a Betty Boop rack. I was very disheartened when I saw that, because I was prepared to get a few (or more than a few) things. Everything just felt off, but I was glad to visit one last time. I have the same experience as all of you as well, I visited there when I was 8 years old and it really introduced me to the larger world of Lucy. It was heaven for me. I started my Lucy collection there too. :lucyblah:

Actually, I wasn't there 3 days ago, it was the 12th. And from what I'm seeing on Twitter, it was its last day there. That's really odd.

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I've never been to any Lucy exhibit anywhere. I can only hope I make it to Jamestown one of these days.

You're going the scenic route from Maine to New York!

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You're going the scenic route from Maine to New York!

I'm determined to do that when I visit the states! I probably could've last summer. Why I didn't go is beyond me!

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I suppose it had to close sometime.  When it opened within the Universal Studios theme park, I was going to California and let my travel companions know that I needed a full day by myself and spent the whole time there....which I dutifully recorded with my new 8mm video camera.  I'm thinking the year was 1991.  (I uploaded video to Youtube and posted to group a few years ago)

The videos play on a loop.  I do remember seeing several crowds of people come through and watch the main video.  In the "Lucy & the Stars" segment, the clips started out with Lucy pounding the bottom of the catsup bottle and John Wayne getting it in the face.  That never failed to get a big laugh.  Several other videos were being run simultaneously.

I don't know who was the brains behind putting this together but they really did an excellent job., and Lucy-wise, I can be a bit hard to please.   Does anyone know who produced it or who the overseer was?

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I’m particularly sad to read about this closure. Lucy: A Tribute at Universal Orlando was where I lost my Lucy virginity, so to speak, at the age of six or seven. Before that point, I really had no idea there was such a thing as a Lucy fandom, or so much out there just waiting to be explored, consumed and learned. After spending what seems like hours taking in each and every artefact and panel in the place, then came the horrible time when I was let loose in the gift shop, allowed to buy just one souvenir. Of course, I wanted to buy everything in the store but after such an agonizing time I finally settled on the book Loving Lucy by Tom Watson and Bart Andrews. That was a watershed moment, which set me on a path to meet some incredible people and make very close friends.

 

I mourn with you, love; at the very least, Universal might have offered the 'for sale' artifacts to the Center!  'Outrageous' might not quite be the term I would use.    JK

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I'm more "outraged" at the fact Universal has seen fit to replace Lucy with a HELLO KITTY STORE. lol At least they replaced the exhibit at Universal Hollywood with another exhibit.

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I really don't understand WHY it had to pack up... it's not like she doesn't have a youthful following.. I guess her stuff wasn't generating substantial revenue. Hello Kitty? Let's see that CIRCLE AND TRIANGLES last 25 years. :)

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