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You Haven’t Truly Done Disney’s Hollywood Studios Unless You’ve Done These 7 Things

Step into the golden era of a “Hollywood that never was and always will be”. The making of movie magic comes alive at the Studios. Originally built as a partial working studio, Disney’’s Hollywood Studios now pays tribute to the Hollywood of yesterday and tomorrow. Inside this movie town, you’ll find several distinct sections ranging from Sunset Boulevard to Mickey Avenue and Echo Lake to the Animation Courtyard. But, you haven’t truly done Hollywood Studios unless you’’ve done these seven things:

7. Ride The Great Movie Ride

“Hooray for Hollywood” greets guests as you step aboard your studio tram car on The Great Movie Ride. Travel through the most famous scenes of the most famous movies. From gangster films to classics and modern science fiction to westerns, you’’ll be immersed in a diverse array of movies that speaks to everyone in your group. Along the way be prepared for some Disney magic as your tram car narrator may or may not be who you think they are! No trip to Hollywood Studios is complete without this classic attraction. Do not be deterred with a posted wait time. The queue inside the Chinese Theater displays authentic movie memorabilia you won’t find anywhere else.

6. Stop at the Writer’’s Stop

Rarely crowded, the Writer’’s Stop is a little bakery serving snacks and fresh-brewed coffee. The Writer’’s Stop is also a bookshop where you can pick up other small household goods. Don’’t expect a fully stocked bookstore, but rather a small selection of mainly Disney related books. There is even a small area with Disney cartoons playing. Pick up an acclaimed carrot cake cookie with your favorite beverage and cozy up on the comfy furniture. It is a great opportunity to get refreshed and replenished before heading back out. The Writer’’s Stop is tucked in an out-of-the-way corner between the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater and the entrance to the Streets of America. Next time you are in this part of the park, stop at the Writer’’s Stop.

5. Pose for Pictures on the Boulevards

While many guests make a mad dash for the Rock ’’n’’ Roller Coaster or race to Pixar Place to ride Toy Story Midway Mania, slow down and enjoy what Hollywood Studios is meant to be, a throwback to the heyday of Hollywood yesterday. Upon entering the gate your eyes will naturally be drawn down Hollywood Boulevard where a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater proudly awaits. As you begin your stroll through the streets, turn right and pursue Sunset Boulevard where the Hollywood Tower Hotel looms over it’s would be guests. No matter which journey you choose, take advantage of the many photo-ops. PhotoPass photographers wait patiently and eagerly to capture the perfect shot.

4. Tremble at the Top of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Looming at the end of Sunset Boulevard, The Hollywood Tower Hotel “was a star in its own right. A beacon for the show business elite.” This iconic tower is one of the focal points in the entire park. Based on the famed Twilight Zone TV series, guests queue through overgrown gardens while listening to 1930’s jazz music. Upon entering the hotel lobby which appears frozen in time, hotel guests are directed into the library where a chilling video is viewed about the hotel’’s history. It’s not long before guests find themselves entering a maintenance service elevator that takes them straight into… The Twilight Zone. Guests tremble at the top of this tower before dropping 13 stories and getting back in line to do it all over again!

3. Hobnob with the Citizens of Hollywood

We had just arrived for the day and I was looking at my phone just inside the gates when I feel someone tap my shoulder. As I turn around, a lady dressed in 1920s attire, obnoxiously and enthusiastically asks me in reference to my blue plaid button up shirt “did your shirt used to be a tablecloth too?!” Not missing the opportunity, I replied “Yes! It was!” Though I wish I could remember all of the details of our bantering, I do remember those few moments as one of the highlights of my day. You just never know when these citizens will begin their improv with guests. Shows occur throughout the day and you never know when you might be called on to help with the action!

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2. Dine at the Hollywood Brown Derby

Dark woods, soaring ceilings and classic elegance serve as a satisfying oasis in the middle of a busy theme park. Disney’’s Hollywood Brown Derby is a replica of the original Brown Derby in California. Patrons are served some of the finest food in the park while admiring sketches of stars from years gone by. The original Brown Derby is the birthplace of the famed Cobb Salad and Disney’s version does not disappoint. Servers in tuxedoes offer the finest service. The food and atmosphere can’t be beat. While dining you’ll feel like one of the stars among your fellow patrons. If you find yourself pursuing the dessert menu, be sure to try the grapefruit cake, one of their signature items. Reservations are strongly recommended.

1. Fit your Footprints in the Forecourt of the Chinese Theater 

The exterior of the Chinese Theater at Disney’’s Hollywood Studios is an exact replica of the exterior of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood California that opened in 1927. The theater invited celebrities to make their handprints and footprints impressions in cement to be displayed in the forecourt. Decades later, it is still tradition for guests to compare their hands and feet with that of their favorite celebrities. Disney’’s Hollywood Studios has continued that tradition with over 100 signatures and prints ranging from classic stars such as June Allyson and Bob Hope to more modern day celebrities and timeless characters such as Mickey & Minnie Mouse and Kermit the Frog. Have fun spending time fitting your footprints in the forecourt of the Chinese Theater. Until you do, you haven’t truly done Hollywood Studios!

Have you done all 7 experiences listed? Which are your favorites? Tell your stories in the comments below!

About Tim Forgette

I grew up in southeast Michigan. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986 when I was just three years old. I am blessed to be the husband of 14 years to my beautiful wife, Rachel and father of four precious children, Lily (10), Elijah (8), Grace (6) and Josiah (5). We have always enjoyed doing things as a family which is why, when we moved to Florida, one of the first things we did was buy Disney annual passes. I enjoy everything Florida has to offer, but absolutely love watching my kids light up when it's time to go to Disney! We visit the Disney parks on average about once a week. When not at Disney, I enjoy participating with my church and community, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.