Saturday SixUniversal Orlando Resort

The SATURDAY SIX Explores Universal’s SUMMER TRIBUTE STORE (The Amazing Details, Fun Easter Eggs, Photo-Ops and More!)

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX heads over to Universal Studios Florida to check out their latest TRIBUTE STORE. This one just may be loaded with the most Easter Eggs for Universal fans to date, so let’s check it out starting with…

# 6 – Bulletin Board Details

Before guests even enter the Tribute Store they will pass a bulletin board. I imagine many will just pass by this board quickly while at best giving it a quick glance.

Bulletin board at Tribute Store entrance. (photos by Hedgehogs Corner)

Upon further inspection though, they’d see this board has more references for theme park fans than your average D23 Expo. It is LOADED with references to the past, present, and future of the Universal Orlando Resort.

Bulletin Board. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

We’re going to check out some of my favorite references, including this ad below that is referencing our beloved Poseidon’s Fury in Islands of Adventure. The details are just fantastic, such as the “no fear of drowning” requirement, which is referencing the famous water vortex from the attraction along with the show closing battle between Poseidon and Lord Darkenon.

The bottom of the ad has a lot of type written in mostly ALL CAPS but if you put together the lower case letters it reveals a fun surprise for Poseidon’s Fury fans. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

The ad below features several clever references to the former T2:3D stunt show, including Cyberdyne, SKYNET, and the price of $19,840 (original Terminator film was released in 1984.)

T2-3D references.  (photo by @bioreconstruct)

This news clipping is referencing the former Earthquake: The Big One, an opening day attraction at USF.

Earthquake reference. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

There is a lot of stuff in the picture below. First up in the far left you see the newspaper clipping about a giant ape terrorizing a Roosevelt island train, which is referencing another former opening day attraction at USF, Kongfrontation. Next to that you have a door hanger for a yellow cab company. This is referencing a yellow cab that you can take photos with in USF. Next to that is an ad for Tribute Used Auto Sales and it has some really great stuff. The 1985 SR5 Extra Cab truck is referencing Back to the Future, the 1977 Trans Am is referencing Smokey and the Bandit (*cowboy hat extra) while the 1664 1/2 Koach is referencing The Munsters television show (*a great family car.) The others we will go through below…

Bulletin board ads. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

The 1932 Deuce Coupe is one of the vehicles which sits outside of Mel’s Drive-In Diner.

A note on the car lets us know it was used in the film American Graffiti and was chosen specifically by director George Lucas.

1932 Deuce Coupe info. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

George Lucas is more known for one of his other creations, Star Wars. In many of Lucas’ film work you will see the phrase “THX 138,” which is referencing the name of the very first film that Lucas directed. The 1932 Deuce Coupe in USF has THX 138 as its license plate number.

1974 Monaco Cruiser is referencing the film Blues Brothers, as that is the vehicle Jake and Elwood drove. You can see this car in USF when the guys are making their way to their live performance in the park.

Blues Brothers. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Before we leave our vehicle section, here’s a shot of the yellow cab you’ll see in USF.

Yellow Cab. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Here we have a version of the famous Ghostbusters ad from their first movie. This is one of several references to Ghostbusters on the bulletin board, including a number to “Ray’s Occult Books.” This is for the character of Raymond Stantz and how he is reached by a new generation of Ghostbusters in the film Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Below the Ghostbusters ad we have one for Chef Donkey’s Waffles, referencing the newest area in USF, DreamWorks Land.

We have several animal related references in this photo below. Starting on the left we have a Jaws reference with a seminar hosted by “Matthew Hooper,” one of the main characters in the film. The Pet Services ad is referencing the Animal Actors On Location show in USF. On the far right we have a “LOST DOG” paper featuring the dog from the movie Beethoven (who also is featured in the Animal Actors On Location show.)

A couple of extinct attractions featured here including Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies and Twister… RIDE IT OUT!

Extremely rare to see a Gardens of Allah Villas references. This is an area inside USF where guests can occasionally participate in screening television pilots.

When the 2024 Summer Tribute Store opened, this coaster for the Laguna Lounge was a mystery. Turns out it was referring to a re-theming of the All Hallows Eve Boutique in Islands of Adventure that recently opened its doors to the public.

Laguna Lounge coaster. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

# 5 – Mr. Tape

Before we talk about what’s inside this Summer’s Tribute Store, we need to spend a moment appreciating the character made for the store: Mr. Tape. An instant fan favorite, Mr. Tape is a cartoon VHS tape who is less passive-aggressive when it comes to customer service and instead is more aggressive-aggressive. Playing off the old expression “Be Kind, Rewind,” Mr. Tape has his own words of wisdom for customers returning video tapes…

Mr. Tape’s sage word of advice. (photos by Hedgehogs Corner)

Mr. Tape can also be seen in costume to advertise the various genres of movies in the Tribute Store, such as horror, action/adventure, drama, comedy and more.

Mr. Tape as Hamlet.
Mr. Tape holding a rubber chicken. (photo by @bioreconsruct)

Mr. Tape is wearing his security outfit for the “Smile. You’re on camera” signage.

# 4 – Mega Video

Okay, so this year’s Summer Tribute Store is themed to the Tribute Store Plaza, which contains three venues: Mega Video, Mega Arcade, and Tribute Theater. Just like Marty McFly we are going back in time because the overall feel of the Tribute Store is straight out of the 1980s. The first “store” we walk through in the Plaza is Mega Video, home of Mr. Tape.

Mr. Tape welcomes guests to Mega Video. (photos by Hedgehogs Corner)

Throughout Mega Video you will see racks of VHS tapes, just like you would back in the day when Blockbuster ruled home entertainment. Just like the bulletin board outside, eagle eyed guests will notice Easter Eggs hidden beside the real movies like E.T., John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Waterworld. Take for example the video in the center of the shelf below. It is referencing the Universal Studios Florida: Experience the Magic of Movies hosted by actor John Forsythe. This was a video tape sold inside the park back in the day and became a treasured piece of merchandise, beloved by Universal fans.

EPCOT fans have Horizons, the original Journey Into Imagination and The Living Seas as their nostalgia drug of choice, while Universal Studios Florida fans have this video tape.

Now, many of the movies you’ll see in the Mega Video section are real Universal films, such as An American Tale, Casper, and the live action Flintstones.

But you’ll also see others that aren’t actual “Real Movies,” such as Cult of the Beast Baby on the second row down in the picture below. This was a faux movie created for the Slaughter Sinema house at Halloween Horror Nights 28. In a related note, Slaughter Sinema 2 was recently announced as a house coming to this year’s HHN.

One of my favorite movie covers spotted on display was a 1961 horror film called The Curse of the Werewolf.

Mega Video. Curse of the Werewolf. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Because that is the same name as a ride coming to Dark Universe.

Curse of the Werewolf under construction. (aerial photo by @bioreconstruct)

Also among the many video tape boxes are the faux movies that feature guests. For many of the recent Tribute Stores, Universal has allowed guests the opportunity to be featured in the store. Regular readers of this fine blog series may remember that Your Humble Author took advantage of this offer for the Haunted Comic Book Tribute Store during HHN 32.

Guests could submit photos of themselves, or their pets, and be featured on the cover of a faux movie box.

Guests video boxes. (photo by @jodicab22)

Below we have another rarity, a reference to the Universal Great Movie Escape in CityWalk.

This is an ad for the actual new parade coming to USF next month. This is going to be great as it teases an 16-foot Stay Puft Marshmallow man on a Ghostbusters float, a Caterbus on the Trolls Float, and an actual JAWS FLOAT. I can’t believe this parade is real. Can’t wait!

Taking the time to read the various signs in any Tribute Store is usually worth it. Love stuff like “Don’t Not Rewind” on this Do’s and Don’ts of Video Tape Care signage.

The action figure in the middle of the photo below is The Collector, a featured character in the haunted comic book store Tribute Store from 2023.

Here we have the infamous Atari 2600 E.T. video game along with other Nintendo games featuring previous Universal attractions.

Major props for this poster below for the Wyld Stallions. This is referencing Bill & Ted, the hosts of the now retired Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, my all time favorite thing at Halloween Horror Nights.

As a fan of NBC’s The Office, I love this Michael Scott-like creation for the group photo of the Mega Video softball team (featuring people who were hands on in the creation of the Tribute Store.)

Even better though is it adds context to something seen in the bulletin board outside the Tribute Store. There we’ll see an ad for a softball game between Mega Video and the Legal Eagles. I’m imagining this is a clever way to describe what must be exhaustive behind-the-scenes battles of getting things approved for these Tribute Stores. The fact that these stores even exist is a miracle, but the fact they are actually great shows the work ethic and talent of everyone involved in bringing them to life.

Twin Pines Stadium a low key reference to Back to the Future.

My personal favorite reference in the entire Tribute Store can be found in Mega Video. It is this ad featured on a desk. Why does it mean so much to me?

Because it’s referencing the video game tournament in the 1980 movie The Wizard starring Fred Savage. The Wizard is one of my guilty pleasure films like Sylvester Stallone’s Over the Top that I could re-watch on a loop until the end of time.

The Wizard, 1989.

# 3 – Mega Arcade

The next room of the Tribute Store has us going into Mega Arcade, a throwback to the arcades which used to dominate America and now simply don’t exist thanks to the advancements of home gaming.

Mega Arcade. (photo by Hedgehogs Corner)

The flooring of the Mega Arcade is ON POINT.

Arcade carpet. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Inside the arcade you’ll see several faux video game cabinets, such as this one for a Halloween Horror Nights game.

Tribute Brawler IV is a fun take on the massively popular arcade game, Street Fighter II.

Some of the fighters featured in the game look suspiciously like some of the players on the Mega Video softball team…

Tribute Brawler IV. (photo by Alicia Stella)

Another game featured is Gerg’s Alien Adventure. The side of the cabinet features Gerg and Earl the Squirrel, two characters who have been seen in many Tribute Stores over the years.

Gerg’s Alien Adventure is next level bonkers because it is actually a savage take-down of the infamous Atari 2600 E.T. game we mentioned earlier in the article. The graphics are limited…

Gerg’s Alien Adventure (photo by @bioreconstruct)

…the storyline of the game is non-sensical…

Gerg’s Alien Adventure. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

..and the gameplay itself is exactly as boring as Atari’s E.T. game was. This is top level satire in a theme park gift shop.

The Universal Quest 5 game is a fun one for several reasons. To start off, it had a Tron-like feel overall (not today’s Tron, the popular Tron video game in the 1980s arcades.)

Mega Arcade. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

The game features a character who needs to jump over a vehicle that looks a lot like a Delorean from Back to the Future.

Universal Quest 5. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

But the best part is this, the game features a “kill screen” made popular by the documentary King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters (which I highly recommend you watch now.)

Universal Quest V. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Keep your eyes open for some jokes at video games which were mega popular in the 1980s, including Ms. Pac-Man.

A staple of many arcades was the prize area where you could redeem tickets you won at games like Skeeball.

Very similar to how Chuck E. Cheese works too, where you give kids $100 in game play so they can redeem their tickets for cheap toys you could have bought in bulk for one dollar.

When looking up in Mega Arcade you’ll see some neat banners, such as this one featuring (possibly) a reference to Sharknado (which had one of its sequels filmed at the Universal Orlando Resort) along with a ship on the far left that is straight out of E.T.

Arcade banner. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Here we have a banner featuring elements from a fan favorite movie franchise featuring a time traveling Delorean.

Back to the Future reference. (photo by @bioreconstruct)


But the banner you really want to see is the one for Lazer Dragon: Choose Thy Fate, a reference to Dueling Dragons!

E-Ticket banner. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

# 2 – Tribute Theater

Our last room of the Tribute Store is the Tribute Theater, which features some terrific displays and photo-ops.

Tribute Theater. (photos by Hedgehogs Corner)

As a super fan of the film Jaws, can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see a display of the Orca ship going down in the year 2024.

The details in these displays is just incredible. Let’s take a look at the Ghostbusters one…

Sky changes, lighting in the doorway changes, and energy periodically radiates on the surfaces. (photo by @bioreconstruct)


…and zoom in for more details.

This is actually BONKERS. Love it!

Ghostbusters. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

The scene with Elliot and E.T. looks a little creepy, but that’s exactly how Elliot looked at that point in the movie because he was dressed up for Halloween.

For fans of Back to the Future we got the clock tower.

Jaws photo-op.
E.T. photo-op.
Movie poster photo-ops.

You can’t leave before paying respects to the Earl the Squirrel “Hollywood Star.”

How great are the little paw prints?!

# 1 – Tribute Store Snack Case

Located in the Mega Arcade section of the Tribute Store you have the famous Snack Case. This is loaded up with various items themed to movies that you saw in the store.

Snack Case. (photos by Hedgehogs Corner)

These snacks includ cupcakes featuring a hoverboard from Back to the Future 2 and a Cookie Dough Cone with Pinocchio from Shrek.

Any S’mores snack at Universal is worth getting, including this one featuring Donkey and has waffle pieces mixed in.

Cake pops are an easy grab-and-go snack item.

One thing is very important for those who like to take pictures of their Tribute Store snacks and post them on social media. This is the SUMMER Tribute Store which means you’ll be taking these snacks out from an air conditioned store and straight into the Florida heat.

That gives you approximately 1 minute to get your photo before some of these beautiful snacks suffer effects from the overbearing Florida sun, such as our Amity Island Truffle Cake.

The safest best for photos is the sugar cookies as they always look great wherever you go.

Back to the Future BTTF sugar cookie.

The Pinocchio Cookie Dough Cone is a must get, and you get bonus points for hustling on over to DreamWorks Land to get an appropriate photo.

This might be a top 5 all time Universal snack in my book.

We saw a cheesecake onion snack last year in Seuss Landing for Grinchmas, and a new version of that snack is available featuring our lovable ogre Shrek.

Inside features Key Lime cheesecake.

Jaws Swiss Roll.

Honorable Mention – The Tribute Store Doesn’t Stop

The Tribute Store officially opened on May 28th, but guests arriving at the park on Friday, June 7th got a surprise as a whole bunch of stuff was added to the outside of the store. The main feature of these newly added items is a time traveling telephone booth from the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. When you look into the box you’ll see some more time traveling references as well, including a envelope that should resonate with fans of Back to the Future.

Telephone booth. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Directory in phone booth. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 1989.
IYKYK. (photo by @DreamfinderGuy)

Two new bulletin boards mean a whole slew of references.

Bulletin boards. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Including one for what I feel may be the most underrated attraction at Universal, the Horror Make-Up Show.

Horror Make-Up Show. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

These business cards reference people or businesses in Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Jaws, and Beetlejuice.

Business cards. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

This Tribute Store Plaza FAQ is a must read. So much snark. Note question on the usage of the phone in Mega Video…

“I accidentally ate my prize from the arcade.” (photo by @bioreconstruct)

…as it ties into the fine print on a notice posted on the telephone booth.

Fantastic. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Double Secret Honorable Mention:The Merchandise

Sometimes its hard to remember with so much TLC put into these Tribute Stores that we forget the reason they exist in the first place… to sell us stuff. The entire store is FILLED with merchandise from all the movies mentioned in the article. Everywhere you go is merchandise, including the arcade cabinets in Mega Arcade.

Triple Threat Honorable Mention – GET OUT

One fun gag in the Tribute Store is located in the Mega Video section. There is a small space located behind a bead curtain.

Inside you’ll find it is the storage room for Mr. Tape’s cleaning supplies, and he is dressed up in his best cleaning outfit and telling you in no uncertain terms to SCRAM.

So there you have it: The SATURDAY SIX Explores Universal’s 2024 Summer Tribute Store! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out the THEME PARK ENJOYMENT INDEX, giving a monthly recap of all the theme park news you need to know (and a lot more you don’t need to know, but we’re gonna tell you anyway). You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: 

The SATURDAY SIX Celebrates Ten Years with TouringPlans

SATURDAY SIX Presents: The Disney Merchandise Hall of Shame

SATURDAY SIX Presents: The Disney Signage Hall of Shame

SATURDAY SIX Presents: The Disney Food Hall of Shame

SATURDAY SIX: Tribute to Josh easyWDW

SATURDAY SIX: Tribute to Ian Barritt

Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, Digital Maestro Scott Walker, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, artist @SonderQuest, the mighty maven of merchandise Hedgehog’s Corner, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and “the Dadalorian” Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, charter member of the Universal Four @Nitro230, the permit princess Alicia Stella, master cartographer Tommy Hawkins, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Absolutely no help was added by SeaWorld Influencer @SuperWeenieHtJr. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.

Always be careful when you are transporting Tribute Store snacks for a photo-shoot.

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3 thoughts on “The SATURDAY SIX Explores Universal’s SUMMER TRIBUTE STORE (The Amazing Details, Fun Easter Eggs, Photo-Ops and More!)

  • Hmm, I was surprised to see that box sticker referencing Adray Appliance Photo and Sound, a long-defunct electronics store that was in Dearborn, Michigan. Mr. Tape uses only the highest-quality suppliers.

  • What an utter delight! I’m assuming this will all be gone before November? 🙁


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