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The Frog Family's Top 5 Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems

by Tad on March 10, 2022 2 Orlando

Hollywood Studios Hidden GemsWelcome to Hollywood! Disney's Hollywood Studios, that is. While this park has evolved the most over the years, its still a wonderful place to experience lots of different movies and live your own adventure. With such rich history, there are lots of hidden gems to discover.

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: 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.

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems - Walt Disney Presents

There's always something new at Walt Disney Presents, whether it's costumes from recent films or models of the Galactic Starcruiser. 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. Sometimes they even show short previews of upcoming movies!

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #2: Small Details and Hollywood References

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems - Filmmaker's statue

There's so many details and Easter eggs hidden throughout Hollywood Studios. Similar to Main Street U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, be sure to keep an eye on the names on various doors and windows, especially along Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and around Echo Lake. There are lots of references to uncover, like Roger Rabbit or even the Holly-Vermont Realty, a reference to the place where Walt and Roy Disney began their creative work that would lead to The Walt Disney Company.

Throughout the park, there are lots of details to uncover in ride queues, shops, themed areas and more. One of our favorites is at the entrance to Muppet Vision 3D (another worthy hidden gem). There is a fake ticket booth with a sign that says "Back in five minutes, key is under mat". Let's just say you'll want to check under the mat!

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems - Baseline Tap House

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #3: BaseLine Tap House

Having opened in 2017, it's hard to believe that BaseLine Tap House still qualifies as one of our Hollywood Studios hidden gems. This yummy little pub is located at the corner of Grand Avenue just before the entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and is home to some of the best food and beverage fare in the whole park. It blends in well with its surroundings, but you won't want to miss this gem!

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, like the large Bavarian Pretzel. It's the perfect place to stop for a mid-day snack. Plus, there are tons of alcoholic beverages to choose from with beers on tap, wine, cocktails and also some non-alcoholic 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: Lightning McQueen Racing Academy

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gems - Lightning McQueen Racing Academy

You may be surprised to see a show on here, but the newer Lightning McQueen Racing Academy is well, literally hidden in the park. Located at a small courtyard behind Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, it is very easy to never travel over to this tadpole friendly show. Learn more about racing and how to work as a team from the famous Lightning McQueen himself. The animatronic is very impressive and the show has a cute lesson. This show is indoors with seating, so the perfect way to beat the Florida heat. The runtime is ten minutes, so a fun but quick experience for families (plus, the most you'll wait is about ten minutes, score!)

Hollywood Studios Hidden Gem #5: Dinosaur Gertie

Dinosaur Gertie at Hollywood Studios

Saving the best for last, we must give a shoutout to Gertie. Gertie is the large dinosaur that has been at Echo Lake since the park's opening in 1989. Gertie was one of the first animated characters in history and the cartoon inspired a then-young Walt Disney. When constructing the park, Imagineers honored this historic dino for her role in movie history. Pretty neat! She also gets very festive during the holidays. Did you also know they serve ice cream from there? Though only open seasonally, we find this a fun, central location to grab some treats in the park. Thanks, Gertie!

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

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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Oct 22, 2019 at 12:07 p.m. Karie Bair Says...

Is character palooza still happening in about that same location this year? I'm reading other places that the location seems to shift.

Oct 25, 2019 at 9:22 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karie!

There's not a lot of "official" information released since it's a secret event, so it's been difficult to confirm. But we've heard that since the Tower of Terror area now includes a smoking area, that Character Palooza has been moved to the front entrance, to the right by the turnstiles. Frog Pond, have you seen Character Palooza lately?

Stay cool!


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