Inside Story: Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When you find yourself in the middle of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in need of something cold and creamy and delicious, I’m going to give you some odd advice: look for the big, green dinosaur.

Gertie's Head as She Chomps on Leaves

There, among the jungle trees, you’ll see a gentle giant, chomping on vegetation. And you know you’re in for a treat. (If Gertie’s is open for business, that is.)

Gertie's, Open for Business!

If you’re lucky, Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction will be open, and serving up wonderful spirals of chocolate and vanilla (or swirled!) soft serve in cups and cones, both sugar and waffle. You’ll also find some of your favorite premium ice cream bars, as well as other snacks, like fresh fruit and trail mix.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But the best part about Gertie’s isn’t the ice cream. You can get that anywhere. What’s awesome about this place is the animation history you can encounter!!

Many of you probably wonder who in the world Gertie is, and why is she serving ice cream out of her middle?

Gertie Peeks at You From the Trees

Gertie isn’t just any big, green, perpetually-grass-eating dinosaur, it turns out. She is the creation of Winsor McCay, the New York Times cartoonist who is widely considered to be the father of animation.

The Story of Gertie

When he created Gertie for his short way back in 1914, he used around 10,000 individual hand drawn images to bring his placid dinosaur to life.

While Gertie wasn’t the first cartoon, her likable personality and life-like movements made an enduring one. As a result, we know that McCay paved the way for Walt Disney. And the rest is, of course, history.

Soft Serve Swirl Waffle Cone

The biggest challenge when it comes to Gertie, though, is finding a time when the big green girl is actually serving!

But even if she isn’t, be sure to slow down, take notice, and appreciate this cool building in the shape of a “prehistoric” cartoon.

Gertie from the Other Side

Reminiscent of kitschy roadside stops on Route 66, Gertie celebrates the heritage that made Disney great in the first place: unparalleled animation.

Is Gertie’s one of your favorite stops for a cold treat? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. says

    Gertie is usually not open when we visit, but we always stop by anyway to enjoy the tribute to early animation. When I first got serious about researching and watching animated shorts, I sought out a lot of work from the early 1900s. ‘Gertie the Dinosaur’ was one of the most memorable. Not only is her animation remarkable for the time, but the cartoon was meant to be shown alongside a live performer who would “interact” with her on screen. In a way, Gertie paved the way for interactive animation like ‘Turtle Talk with Crush.’ Talk about innovation!

  2. Alivia says

    I’ve never been to Gertie’s but I’d love to go. It’s unfortunate when Disney has food establishments and doesn’t keep them manned. I know it’s usually for popularity reasons but some of the unmanned places have been my favorite. And other people I know as well. Disney has some really great ideas that they put out for the public to enjoy in the park, but it’s disappointing when they just turn around and have it closed the majority of the time.

  3. Gabriella B. says

    Thanks for the info AJ and Melissa!! We never made the connection between this cute ice-cream stand and Gertie’s history in animation. We once saw a movie showcasing Gertie at the dinosaur museum in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada and were also blown away by the animation of the early 1900’s, especially the interaction between a live performer and Gertie. We’ll have to stop by on our next trip but it’s usually closed when we visit too.

  4. Riley70 says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had ice cream from Gertie, but she is one of my favorite icons at DHS! I always pause to appreciate her great, green awesomeness. Thank you for featuring her.

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