Monday, January 8, 2018

Sadie Sleeps through Hello Kitty Island

Alright, so Sadie has gotten to the point that she's not actually sleeping through a lot of this stuff anymore, but "Sadie is Nonplussed by Hello Kitty Island" just doesn't have the same alliterative fun, so we're sticking with the same series title.

Sadie dressed in her girliest outfit for this trip. 

So there are a bunch of brown tourist signs around the island that sometimes have attraction names that are so random that I just have to stop. Hello Kitty Island was one such place. Disappointingly, it is not an actual island (missed opportunity), but it is pretty great for a child of the '80s like me. I never really considered myself all that obsessed with Hello Kitty when I was a kid, but after a visit to her island, I realized I actually had a LOT of Sanrio products growing up!

The place was decorated for Christmas when we went. 

So festive! 

So essentially Hello Kitty Island is a three-story building with a little museum, Hello Kitty's "world," a play area, a cafe, and a theater. It was way over priced for admission, but if I had been a 3-5 year old little girl, it would have been freaking amazing! You really felt like you'd walked into Hello Kitty's world, and everything was designed to be eye level with a little kid. I could see how it would be a magical place for a miniature fan of Hello Kitty.

Who knew Hello Kitty was so obsessed with apples?!

I guess this is what the island was supposed to look like. You saw a little bit of all these characters throughout the building. 

There was a little museum when you first walked in, and it had all the iterations of Hello Kitty from over the years. I'm not gonna lie, there were several times that it would show the "differences" from one year to the other and I just didn't see it. But it was cool to see the characters and the Kitty from when I was a kid. I was a little disappointed that the whole place didn't smell like a Sanrio Surprise store. That would have really brought me back

Who knew Hello Kitty had such a large family?!

Sadie was overflowing with excitement. 

Mama Kitty (who I'm sure has a real name, I just didn't go to the effort of learning it), ready to cook up a meal in the VERY pink kitchen. 

Hello Kitty had the lunch table all ready for us! 

This translation sounded a little problematic. 

It was a door with a bunch of peep holes that had holograms behind them. It showed little scenes of Hello Kitty's life...cute, but a little weird. 

Her face seemed to say, "Are we done yet?"

 The hologram was a common theme on the Island. In addition to the holographic peep holes in Hello Kitty's living room, there was a Hello Kitty dance studio where you could learn a dance routine with Hello Kitty as your instructor. I couldn't decide if Sadie was terrified or just really interested in the giant dancing cat.

The translations kill me sometimes. 

There were also these little holographic scenes that introduced the interests of each of Hello Kitty's family members. 
The rest of the first floor was Hello Kitty's town. It was pretty cool, actually. There was a bus, a library, a farm, and a little school.

You stepped into the bus and watched the neighborhood go by through the "window."

Sadie was transfixed.

The library

The second floor was pretty much dedicated to instragram-worthy sets for you to take photos in with adult-sized Hello Kitty and various characters.

Infinite what!? I gotta know! (Pretty sure it was supposed to be infinity)

The Forest of Infinite was a little Alice in Wonderland scene

The Forest of Emotion, where lots of girls find themselves between the ages of 12 to 23.

This was the Forest of Emotion...I'm not sure they're using that word correctly. Maybe the forest of Nostalgia because they're all in fairy tale outfits?

So. many. collectables. 

It was a festive pirate ship. 
Just before the cafe was an art gallery, which had a few neat pieces. 

The stump village would have been the ultimate dream play set for any little girl! 

It was like the Smurf's village had been abandoned and re-inhabited by the Hello Kitty characters years later.

I had no idea Hello Kitty was so horticultural! 

This was a really cool print and I would totally want one in my house, if it didn't have Hello Kitty in the middle. Those are all a bunch of the grandfather stones from around Jeju, and it would have made an awesome addition to our collection of cheap art from the different places we have lived. 

For twelve bucks a pop, I won't be going back to Hello Kitty Island any time soon, but I'm glad I went to see it and picked up a couple funny souvenirs at the gift shop. 

Vicariously yours,

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