From a new name to new lands, Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has gotten its fair share of changes over its lifetime.
While we remember some of the good ole’ days with the Backlot Tour and celebrate the new gems with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios has SO many details that you might not know about.
We’re testing your Disney Parks knowledge to see if YOU know these fun facts about Disney World’s Hollywood Studios!
Crossroads of the World
This first area you see in Hollywood Studios might look like a spot to grab some pins, a map of the park, and more when you first enter — but it has a bit of real Hollywood history to it! The Crossroads of the World is inspired by the real location of the same name with an…interesting past!
The real Crossroads of the World in Hollywood was built as part open-air shopping center/part memorial for a gangster by the name of Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Crawford. He was shot dead in his office at the original Los Angeles location, and his wife erected the shopping center at the site in his memory in 1936. It was deemed “America’s First Outdoor Shopping Mall” when it opened.
The Crossroads of the World statue in Hollywood Studios mirrors that same design as the real Hollywood location. While Mickey is a little magical addition to the top of the globe, unlike the actual version in Los Angeles, he also serves a purpose as a lightning rod, too! (Oh, Disney, you think of everything.)
Send Mail to Some Famous Hollywood Characters
Ever wanted to be a pen pal with some of the biggest names in Hollywood? If you check out the names on the crates outside of Dockside Diner, you can actually spot the “mailing addresses” of the greatest Hollywood characters that have ever graced the big screen!
We’ve spotted George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, Rick Blaine from Casablanca, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, and more!
Sometimes they’ll actually change these crates out, so keep an eye out for new characters and names!
Click HERE to check out some Disney World Menu WINS They Should Bring Back — Including One at Dockside Diner!
Hollywood Brown Derby’s Famous Treats
The Hollywood Brown Derby was THE spot for Hollywood glitz and glamour. Hollywood stars from all over the industry would visit the restaurant to wine and dine.
And, since the Disney World location is based on the ACTUAL Hollywood Brown Derby, the menu includes some of its most infamous items!
The Cobb Salad
The Cobb Salad is a wildly popular menu item at the restaurant, but did you know it originated by coincidence in the real Brown Derby? There are many versions of the origin story for the salad but the most common is that owner Robert Cobb developed the salad…
…and later shared it with his pal Sid Grauman, the namesake of Hollywood’s famous Chinese Theatre (also recreated in Hollywood Studios!), who loved it so much he came back to the restaurant the next day asking for that “Cobb Salad” again!
The official Cobb Salad is made with finely chopped greens, turkey, bacon, egg, tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese, avocado, chives, and Cobb dressing.
Back in the day in REAL Hollywood, popular gossip columnist Louella Parsons frequented the Brown Derby. One day, she let owner Robert Cobb know she thought all his dessert options were far too fattening and asked if he could offer something lighter for guests.
The story goes that Cobb told his head chef to “put grapefruit on something” since the citrus was widely considered to be “slimming” at the time. The result was a (not so) slimming dessert with heaps of cream cheese frosting and grapefruit flavors between layers of chiffon cake!
The Shirley Temple
Not every star who visited the Hollywood Brown Derby was a grown-up! Shirley Temple was one of the biggest Hollywood stars in the late 1930s. Since she was obviously too young to drink any alcohol at the parties or dinners she attended, a bartender came up with a “grown-up” drink just for her.
Traditionally, the drink combined grenadine and ginger ale with a bit of lime (and of course a maraschino cherry or two!). Some versions use lemon-lime soda. (But those versions would be wrong.)
Multiple restaurants, including the Brown Derby, claim to have invented the drink for her, but a Hollywood restaurant called Chasen’s is widely regarded as the true originator. Temple dined frequently at the Brown Derby and stated that it was the spot that made the drink popular.
Oddly enough, while it’s become a fan-favorite, Temple actually said that it was too sweet for her to drink!
You can get ALL of these iconic treats at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios still! And, now they’re even better since you know the stories behind them!!
Fashion Icons, Adrian and Edith!
While you can easily spot Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe shop in the park, you might not know that the names on the store are actual Hollywood costume designers’ names. Adrian Greenburg (who just went by “Adrian“) was best known for creating the costumes in The Wizard of Oz (including the famous Ruby Slippers!), which was referenced in the late Great Movie Ride (we miss you).
Edith Head, on the other hand, received the most Academy Awards ever (8!!) for costume design (out of 35 nominations!!). Although you might recognize her work in Roman Holiday, Rear Window, and more, Edith is better known to the Disney community as the inspiration behind Edna Mode in The Incredibles.
You might recognize her signature black bob and round glasses on top of that acute sense for FASHION, dahling!
And sorry Edna, but Edith Head TOTALLY used capes in her designs (and LOADS of shoulder pads!). 😉
Alright, Disney trivia buffs! This one’s for you! The Carthay Circle might be one of the most famous theaters in Los Angeles, but it was also the home to the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
In honor of the place that showed Walt’s first feature film, both Disneyland and Disney World have their own version of the theater as a nod to Walt.
While Disneyland has a restaurant version in Disney California Adventure, Disney World has a store in Hollywood Studios instead! We think it’s kind of a Disney pilgrimage to visit both spots on the coasts, don’t you??
Can You Find A113?
While we are all big fans of the “2319” situation in Monsters, Inc. (it even got its own ice cream cone in Disney World!), the filmmakers at Pixar actually hide the sequence “A113” in all of their movies.
What’s the significance of this, you ask? Well, A113 (actually, A1-13) happens to be the number of the Cal Arts’ classroom where the original Pixar artists and animators studied (Tim Burton and many others also graced room A1-13 around that time!).
You can actually spot the numbers A113 if you look REAL close in Toy Story Land! Outside of Woody’s Lunch Box, you can see some dominoes and blocks in a grass strip. The dominoes have a 1, 1, and a 3, while the letter A is the only one visible on the building blocks!
You can visit A113 in real life without having to travel to Cal Arts! 😉
A Net Full of Jello??
Muppet Vision 3-D is FILLED with wacky tidbits and little details that are super fun to find. However, one of the most unique (and well-thought-out) puns in the ride is something that most people don’t realize is a joke.
In the waiting area before you enter the theater, look up and you will see a net full of green and orange jello hanging from the ceiling.
While this might seem super random and weird (perfect for the Muppets), it’s actually a play on words! If you put them together or say them quickly, it’s “Anet Fullofjello…” OR “Annette Funicello,” who is the most famous Mouseketeer of them all! Whoever thought of that one is a GENIUS.
You Could Have STAYED in the Tower of Terror?!
Okay, so we’re still holding up for this dream somehow and some way…but, when the Tower of Terror started to get built, Michael Eisner (who was the CEO at the time) thought it would be cool to have rooms built into the attraction! Ummm, excuse us??
That means, if things had turned out a little differently for the Hollywood Tower Hotel, you could have had a spooky night sleeping in The Twilight Zone-themed resort (maybe we would have had to take the stairs?).
However AWESOME that may seem, it would have literally been a nightmare to try and work out the logistics of guests staying inside the resort at night. Instead, they scrapped the Haunted Hotel idea and they just kept the Tower of Terror as an attraction.
A Tale (Er, Show) as Old as Time
When Beauty and the Beast was released in theaters on November 22nd, 1991, the live stage show in Hollywood Studios also debuted in the park on the same day! It was meant to get guests even more excited for the movie. And, it obviously did its job!
People fell so in love with the stage show (and the film) that it’s stuck around in Hollywood Studios for almost THREE decades!
It’s still a fun way to pass the time in the park whether you’re looking for fun entertainment or a way to get out of the heat for a short bit of time. Plus, who doesn’t love singing along to “Be Our Guest??”
An Entire PLANET Full of Star Wars Easter Eggs
Honestly, there are so many details in Galaxy’s Edge, it would take HOURS for us to point them all out to you around Batuu! Some of our favorites happen to be the Dionaga (or trash compactor monster) in the water fountain…
…Queen Amidala’s head wrap and the Mandalorian’s helmet in Dok Ondar’s…
And of course, we can’t forget our old trusty StarSpeeder 3000 pilot from the OG Star Tours, R-3X! Did you know this little droid has always been voiced by Pee Wee Herman, Paul Reubens?!
He’s one of the more obvious Easter Eggs in Galaxy’s Edge, having retired from piloting (he was replaced by C-3PO on the current Star Tours) and taking up DJing over in Oga’s Cantina. “Light speed to Endor!”
If you want to know even more, you can check out some of the awesome Easter eggs in Galaxy’s Edge here!
Although Hollywood Studios may be three decades old, it’s still as timeless as ever! We can’t help but feel like the park always deserves a “HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!” from us! 😉
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What are some of your favorite hidden gems in Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments below!