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Secret Spots: Writer’s Stop

This is my favorite place in Disney World. (Well, this and the Carolwood Pacific Room at Wilderness Lodge, but since that doesn’t have any food, I have to defer to Writer’s Stop.) Food…books…writing…it’s everything that I love all tucked away into a corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

And I put it under the “Secret Spots” banner because so many folks have told me that they’ve never heard of or seen it — but I’m almost positive it’ll become one of your favorite places as soon as you spend a leisurely 30 minutes sipping coffee and reading books in this wonderful little store.

Atmosphere
This is essentially a Disney-fied coffee shop and bookstore. It was originally placed in Hollywood Studios (back when the park was still Disney-MGM Studios) to promote ABC’s Ellen sit-com, representing her book store in the show, “Buy the Book.” The ceiling is still covered with television studio lights as though the shop itself is a TV set, and for quite a while one could find remnants of Ellen strategically placed throughout the store (scripts, etc.). Check out this Studios Central link for an up-close look at these remaining set items! Once Ellen petered out in the late 90′s, the shop survived and took on its new name, “Writer’s Stop.”

Ceiling Lights Created the TV Studio Atmosphere

Today, it’s a cozy, relaxing, rarely busy shop that sells a variety of items including books, souvenirs, things for the kitchen, barista-made coffee and other hot drinks, and packaged and bakery food items.

Books and Souvenirs on Display at Writer's Stop

Alice Teapots and Cups for Sale at Writer's Stop

Books on Display at Writer's Stop

Amid the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are tables for reading and enjoying coffee and bakery items, couches and comfortable chairs for relaxing, and even a TV playing Disney cartoons for the little ones.

Book Shelf and Reading Chair

Seating Area and Bookshelves

Bookshelves, TV, and Couch

This is My Favorite Spot

Wall Decor

Speaking of little ones, don’t forget to point out the hidden Mickey on the studio lights above!

Hidden Mickey

Eats
Most people love this place for the energy-inducing barista-style coffee and hot drinks, but some know it primarily for its most famous confection — the Carrot Cake Cookie.

Writer's Stop Menu

Coffee Syrups

Carrot Cake Cookie

No matter why you stop in, you’re bound to find something on the drink list or in the bakery case to try. And even if you don’t, take a little break from park touring and check out the incredible selection of books in the store.

Chocolate Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Brownies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mickey Cookies and Yogurt

Display Case

Overall
Like I said, this is my favorite place in Disney World. It’s a perfect stop to relax a bit, grab a flavored coffee or an espresso, thumb through a recent Walt Disney biography, let the kids color in a coloring book or watch cartoons for a while while they share a peanut butter cookie, and — once you feel refreshed — start back on your way.

This is one of the spots in Disney World that I always hope escapes the wicked Disney Theme Park “renovation” chopping block, even though it seems like the kind of place that they’ll get around to gutting eventually. So, I guess my plea to the Disney gods is this — even though there’s no princess crown above the door or pirate flag hanging from the rafters, this is still a wonderful store that fills a purpose in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. My fingers are crossed that it sticks around for a while.

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40 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Just look at this place! I have walked past here so many times and we’ve never ever gone in – this is TOP of my list for our next visit – thanks so much for publishing all the lovely photos. Can’t wait.

  2. TJ says:

    It definitely looks like a place I’d like to check out next time I visit : )

  3. Cody says:

    the Writer’s Shop is fantastic. Its a great ‘break’ place, when walking around Disney’s Hollywood Studios, whether trying to hide from the cold, you can get Hot Chocolate, OR (most of the time) hide from the heat, you can get water, or other little bakery items (as was mentioned), its a gerat place!

  4. Marcy says:

    This is wonderful…I have NEVER seen this place…so busy rushing from one ride to the next and trying to hold down a spot at Fantasmic that I’ve missed this neat little nook…I plan to head straight to it this December trip. And a Carrot Cake Cookie??? GET OUT! And my kids would love one of those Mickey cookies with chocolate dipped ears. Thank you for your informative blog posts :)

  5. The Writer’s Stop is often overlooked, but I agree that it is a great place to visit. I love to stop in here and just sit down and enjoy the smells, grab something to eat and watch whatever DVD is playing in the TV across from the counter.

  6. Angelique says:

    It is my favorite place in Studios, such a nice place, with very sweet CM.
    But don’t tell to many people!! ;-)
    Nice to hear about the Ellen Show, I did not know that
    Love your site, I got a lot of great tips from it which we will try on our next visit may 2011
    Greatings from the Netherlands and keep up the good work, Angelique

  7. Steve says:

    My wife and I love the Writers Stop too. It’s tucked away, quiet, and a cool on a hot day. A great place to stop and spend a while.

  8. marci says:

    I love this place too! I was a big fan of the Ellen show and thought it was so cool back when it was supposed to be her book shop, but I still love it now and I agree with a previous poster, EVERY cast member I have encountered who works here is so sweet and lovely! It’s such a relaxing place, I could definitely spend a good amount of time here just having some coffee and browsing the books. Then again, I happen to love book stores, coffee, and Disney.. so it’s the perfect spot for me! ;)

  9. Allison says:

    Where exactly in MGM is this located?

  10. John Grigas says:

    I’ve loved it since “Buy the Book.”

    Last time, I bought a journal (on clearance!) and sat in the corner window to write and sketch. There are a couple of stools in front that seem to always be free. Great place to watch people through the wood window blinds and cool off.

    Carrotcake cookie helps the whole experience!

  11. Kelly says:

    My Dad is a coffee fiend, so we usually make a stop here. It’s also great for some A/C :)

  12. Billy says:

    No. Don’t tell anyone about this or it’ll be the next Le Cellier!

    But seriously, The Writer’s Spot is right near the top of my list of favorites at WDW. I really enjoyed today’s post!

  13. Liz says:

    I’ve actually never noticed this place and I’ve been to DHS several times. I’ll definitely have to stop there on my next visit and try that carrot cake cookie.

  14. Michele says:

    I always seem to miss Writer’s Stop on every trip. I see it, plan to go on and sometihng else takes over.

    I am in love with thi scarrot cookie; I want it, I need it! It is on the top of my list to visit in October!!!

    Thank you for the article!

    -michele

  15. Galloping Gourmand says:

    This is the best place outside of Epcot for a mid-day break if you don’t want to go back to the hotel room. Sit the kids in front of the TV (I’ve seen more than a few sleeping there) and hunker down next to the stroller with a coffee and a book. I promise that you will be refreshed and ready for the rest of the day within 45 minutes.

  16. Shayne says:

    We stumbled into the Writer’s Stop on our trip last January. We were seeking some shelter from the freezing cold and so we ducked into the first door we came upon. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small cafe inside where I could get a hot drink. We spent at least half an hour just browsing around and relaxing with a hot chocolate before we headed back into the cold and continued our touring. I couldn’t believe I had never noticed it before!

  17. Janet says:

    WOW I have never seen this place…and I was looking everywhere for an iced coffee drink at WDW!

    Think the hubby would say yes if I said I had to go back soon just to find this place?!?

  18. Joy4Tigger says:

    Yes! One of my absolute favorite places to sit and relax! Thanks for the history – I had no idea it was part of Ellen!

  19. Betty says:

    I stumbled across this place looking for a bathroom by the SciFi Theater,
    I have always come back ever since. It’s a great haven when you have cranky kids and want to sit and relax for a while, the TV helps alot!

  20. Here’s an article I wrote about the history of the Writer’s Stop that AJ touched upon: http://www.studioscentral.com/column/why-its-there/writers-stop

  21. Dana says:

    Just stopped in there last week—its always been one of my favorite places in WDW—very calm atmosphere. And I agree with the poster that said the CM’s in there are very nice—-there always seems to be the same two older women in there and they are sooooo sweet!

  22. jim says:

    You can put me down as another Disney fan who had no idea that place existed, though I admit Hollywood Studios is one of our least visited of the Florida parks. Definitely worth a stop early in the morning to help me get that coffee fix!

  23. DaGuru says:

    My wife and I love this spot… If possible, we like to just sit down for a little and rest, watch some old Disney cartoons and enjoy the wonderful smells!

  24. John Grigas says:

    Plus it’s one of 2 places in the Studios that are stocked with Marvel comics and trades. The Disney/Marvel connection emerges . . .

  25. Heather says:

    I “found” this spot for the first time in March and loved walking around. Very relaxing!

  26. Martha says:

    This is one of my favorite spots. We always make a point to spend some time there on each trip. Usually it’s not very crowded and a nice place to take a break.

  27. AJ says:

    Sue, TJ, and Marcy — You’re welcome! So glad I could share this spot with you! Be sure to drop me a line and let me know how you like it!

    Matt — Do they show things other than Disney cartoons on the TV? I think I’d feel a little jilted if they had a random movie playing — I’ve gotten used to the cartoons! ;-) Also, I looked on your site for a Buy the Book info page and just found the regular Writer’s Stop page. I should have looked harder!! Will add the link to the post! :-)

    Angelique and Marci — Great point that the CMs here are always wonderful!

    Steve — Thanks for your corroboration! :-)

    Allison — It’s near the Streets of America, Sci-Fi Dine-In and the ABC Commissary.

    John — I love that little spot! It always makes me fee like I really live in Disney World and this is my corner coffee shop. ;-) Thanks for the info on the Marvel comics!

    Kelly — It’s great for A/C, to be sure — cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter!

    Billy — Thanks for the kudos!

    Liz — Please do! Let me know what you think.

    Michele — You crazy! Get your bum over there!

    GG — Agreed. One of the few shops in WDW where you really can sit down and relax.

    Shayne — And now it’s on your must-do list, right? :-)

    Janet — Tell the hubby that you have to do some more photography for the DFB, too!

    Joy4Tigger — I know! Cool, eh?!?

    Betty — Good point with the cranky kids!

    Dana — I know! Aren’t they great! It’s always nice to see the same group of CMs over and over again :-) Feels like family.

    Jim — For sure! This is a great place for early morning coffee or a late-evening latte before Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights!

    DaGuru — It’s the perfect place to relax and decompress while you’re in the crazy go-go-go of the theme parks.

    Heather and Martha — Yay! Isn’t it great?

  28. marnie says:

    The Writers Stop is definitely a hidden gem. My son and I love this place. He loves the cookies. I love the books and quaint atmosphere. We make a point to stop by at least once during our trips. Next time I will have to try the carrot cake cookies.
    Everyone is right about the CMs, they are amazing!

  29. Josh says:

    I was first introduced to the Writer’s Stop when you wrote the Carrot Cake Cookie (which still looks amazing by the way). If they have comics I am definitely going to have to make a stop in here, but since they are probably just the newer ones it would be interesting to see what they actually have in terms of Marvel Comic Books.

    If they do indeed decide to start selling more teapots (such as a Ms. Potts teapot from Beauty and the Beast) then this would be the place for them to start.

    It’s a great idea to make more people aware about this place, so it then gets more foot traffic and with more business they are less likely to get rid of it. ;)

  30. AJ: They do show movies as well. Recently I’ve seen “Up” and “Disney Earth” playing. It seems it’s up to the CMs to watch something they can tolerate to see on loop all day :)

  31. Sandra Givens says:

    My husband keeps telling me not to promote this place as he doesn’t want it to get too popular! We love this shop, where you can get a variety of reasonably priced drinks and treats, sit for a few minutes to rest or cool off, plus pick up a souvenir or something to read. A must stop on each trip; I love, love, love the cranberry-orange seasonal muffins. Thanks for the Ellen info, which I didn’t know.

  32. Amy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this place! In addition to looking like a nice spot to relax for a bit, it sounds like they serve “real” coffee and not that bleeping Nescafe. Bonus!

  33. Maria says:

    This is one of our favorite spots to go take a break in and get a treat.

  34. Gaby says:

    Love this place. When I was on my college program and was scheduled to work studios I would often be found here before my shift started to have some breakfast :)

  35. Anna says:

    It’s where I hang out when the rest of the family rides the Star Wars ride. Not that I hate Star Wars, but I was told the ride might cause motion sickness.

  36. skyler says:

    GREAT place to relax with some java, and coffee-type-stuff! Cool and relaxing. A favorite rest stop for us!

  37. Joy says:

    My husband to be and I love the writers stop! Always seems to be quiet even in the busiest holidays. Love cooling down in here for an hour with a chocolate milk and macadamia nut cookie (or peanut butter cookie!) Have recently discovered your blog AJ and think it’s fantastic! Storing up food suggestions to try for our honeymoon in august!

  38. Darah says:

    Why can’t there be one of these in california? It totally sounds like a place that would be perfect for me

  39. Carolyn says:

    Is this place still around?

  40. AJ says:

    Carolyn — Yep! In fact, we just did a review again for it a couple of days ago! You can see it here: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2013/09/02/review-writers-stop-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

    Be sure to stop by and check it out. And have a carrot cake cookie for me! :-)

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