Welcome to Hollywood! Disney's Hollywood Studios, that is. With Toy Story Land's recent debut and the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge by the end of 2019, more people are headed to Hollywood Studios than ever before. That's why now is a great time to start exploring some Hollywood Studios hidden gems.
As you have no doubt realized by now, we frogs spend tons of times hopping around the Walt Disney World parks. While we love the main attractions at Hollywood Studios (Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror and Rock 'N' Rollercoaster being our FAVES), we like to take the time to appreciate the "little things" in the park, aka the Hollywood Studios hidden gems.
Here are our favorite Hollywood Studios hidden gems to save for a hot, rainy, busy or special day.
The Frog Family's Top Five Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems
Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #1: "Characterpalooza"
We're here to let you in on the secret of one of our favorite Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems. We put "Characterpalooza" in quotes, as this was the name more so when it took place in the Streets of America. Nowadays, around 6 p.m. on most days (if you're lucky), you can head just past the entrance to Rock 'N' Rollercoaster to a "backstage" area to meet a smorgasbord of fun Disney characters prior to their appearance in Fantasmic!
Lines are usually short. One day, we met Minnie Mouse, Pocahontas, Snow White, Mary Poppins, Bert and Princess Tiana all within 20 minutes! Since these meet-and-greets are hidden away, the characters are able to chat and play for a bit longer than they normally would.
Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #2: Walt Disney Presents
Cue the tears! OK, don't be scared off by how emotional momma and poppa frogs tend to get over Disney history. Walt Disney Presents (formerly One Man's Dream) is a self-guided tour through a gallery featuring tons of Disney artifacts sure to make your heart soar. Walk through Walt's journey via photos, storyboards, models and more . You'll even see the desk where he did much of his animation work! Walt Disney Presents is a true home to many Hollywood Studios hidden gems.
There's always something new at Walt Disney Presents, whether it's Emma Watson's dress from "Beauty and the Beast," or a model of the upcoming Star Wars Land. It's always so neat to explore as a Disney fan. The exhibit also includes "Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream," a 15-minute film hosted by Julie Andrews showing home movies and historic footage of Walt Disney and the parks.
Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #3: BaseLine Tap House
As a newer dining location, it's hard to believe that BaseLine Tap House qualifies as one of our Hollywood Studios hidden gems. This yummy little pub is located at the corner of the current Star Wars and Muppets areas, and is home to some of the best food and beverage fare in the whole park.
The $10 California Cheese and Charcuterie Plate is our favorite to share, and there are a few other delectable apps to choose from as well. It's the perfect place to stop for a mid-day snack, there are also tons of beers on tap, as well as a couple of wine and cocktail options. Since it's a bit tucked away, BaseLine Tap House usually isn't very crowded and is the perfect place to stop and relax. (There is plenty of seating too!)
Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #4: Citizens of Hollywood
This Hollywood Studios hidden gem actually comes straight from Hollywood! The Citizens of Hollywood is an improv acting group that graces you with its presence on Hollywood Boulevard. The gang brings the Golden Age of Hollywood to life with audience interaction, hilarious props and more.
Taking place intermittently throughout the day until around 5:30 p.m., you never know when you might stumble across this wild bunch. Singing, dancing, jokes and glamour are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what these characters have to offer. Cross your fingers you'll catch them putting on a show on your way to Tower of Terror or heading back from Rock 'N' Rollercoaster!
Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #5: It's a Wonderful Shop
Located on Grand Avenue, It's a Wonderful Shop makes our list of Hollywood Studios hidden gems for its cozy Disney feel. The Frog Family adores all things Christmas, and this shop is like a low-key version of Magic Kingdom's Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. There are tons of magical, glistening Christmas decorations to admire and purchase throughout! Is there anything better than visiting a place where it's Christmas year-round?
This is a must-stop store for us on every Disney trip so we can admire all of the adorable ornaments (there's always something new!) and bring home an annual customized ornament home to our Frog Pond tree. It's also the perfect place to pick up sweet souvenirs for your friends and family.
We're hoppin' to hear your favorites when it comes to Hollywood Studios hidden gems! Share in the comments and we might just add them to our post.
Related: Magic Kingdom Hidden Gems