The Hello Kitty Shop has gotten another update at Universal Studios Florida. Over time, we’ve watched the store slowly lose its theming, and now it’s happened again. The exterior of the Hello Kitty Shop has gotten new awnings, replacing the Hello Kitty themed ones with generic blue ones. Let’s take a look.
The front of the park underwent a lot of changes this year, transforming Production Central into the new Minion Land area. As the Minions took over, the Silver Screen Collectibles store at the front of the park would also change to match its surroundings. This store takes up a large area in the front of the park and is one of the first things guests see as they head into Minion Land. Earlier this year, the Betty Boop signs and details were removed from the entrance of Silver Screen Collectibles that’s located next to Villain-Con Minion Blast. The Betty Boop signs and awnings were replaced here as well to fit in better with the new surroundings and giant 22-Minion sign. The interior remains Betty Boop themed, but we expect that could also change over time. The window displays on the front of the building feature UNI VRS artwork now. The center of the store also transformed into the new UNI VRS store, rather than the standard Universal Studios brand merchandise previously offered. After debuting the new UNI VRS merchandise location, the entrance of the store received a makeover to match. JAWS, Felix the Cat, and more Universal characters are featured on the exterior.
Next to the UNI VRS store, you’ll find the Hello Kitty Shop, complete with Hello Kitty leaving her name and prints in the cement. The store was highly themed when it originally opened, but has been losing a lot of its unique charm over the last few years. The building was originally surrounded by red awnings with Hello Kitty detailing, but those have now been replaced with very basic blue ones. A single Hello Kitty awning remains over the main entrance to the Hello Kitty Shop now. The Hello Kitty bows and figures remain around the entrance at this time.
We had heard rumors the Hello Kitty Shop could be closing to get a retheme last year, but at this time, the store remains open and full of Hello Kitty and friends on the walls. You can even send mail from the Hello Kitty Shop and have your letter or postcard stamped with a special Hello Kitty ink stamp. A visit to the Hello Kitty Shop is a must for any Sanrio fan.
The store still offers a variety of Universal Studios Hello Kitty merchandise, including the new Hello Kitty Chucky collection, but other IPs have slowly started to infiltrate the shelves. Last year, we saw some retheming taking place when the Hello Kitty-shaped wall was removed overnight. Eventually, the flooring with bow designs would also be replaced for new, generic flooring. Now, a little more of the Hello Kitty theme has been taken away from this adorable shop.
Before they were all updated, we noticed a couple of the old awnings had been replaced with vibrant blue ones. Next to the fresh blue awning, the red Hello Kitty ones looked very faded. Eventually all of the themed awnings would be replaced, except the main one over the entrance. The window displays still feature Hello Kitty figures and merchandise, though.
The blue awnings really fit in better with the surroundings, but it is sad to see the unique theming taken away from the Hello Kitty Shop. How do you feel about the Hello Kitty Shop slowly losing its theming? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more updates.