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Just How Well Do You REALLY Know Disney World’s Hollywood Studios?

Can you believe that Disney’s Hollywood Studios just turned 31 years old?!

Buzz Lightyear in Mickey’s Cavalcade at Hollywood Studios

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!

Crossroads of the World

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.

Welcome to the Crossroads!

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!

Dockside Diner

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!

Casablanca Cargo

Sometimes they’ll actually change these crates out, so keep an eye out for new characters and names!

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.

Hollywood Brown Derby

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…

Famous Cobb 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!

Cobb Salad

The official Cobb Salad is made with finely chopped greens, turkey, bacon, egg, tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese, avocado, chives, and Cobb dressing.

Grapefruit Cake

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.

Grapefruit Cake at Hollywood Brown Derby

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.)

Shirley Temple

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! 

Cobb Salad, Shirley Temple, Grapefruit Cake

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).

Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe

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!

Edna Mode

And sorry Edna, but Edith Head TOTALLY used capes in her designs (and LOADS of shoulder pads!). 😉

Carthay Circle

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.

Once Upon a Time (and the Carthay Circle Building!)

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 last year 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!).

Toy Story Land

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!

Woody’s Lunch Box area

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.

Muppet Vision 3-D

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?? 

Tower of Terror Sign

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?).

Tower of Terror

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

Regular water fountains?

Dianoga’s Lurk!

Queen Amidala’s head wrap and the Mandalorian’s helmet in Dok Ondar’s

Mandalorian Helmet

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!

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! 😉

What are some of your favorite hidden gems in Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments below!

From our friends at
Filed Under: disney dining tips, Disney Entertainment, disney parks, disney’s hollywood studios, Featured, Walt Disney World, a net full of jello, a113, adrian and edith’s head to toe, annette funicello, beauty and the beast- live on stage, carthay circle, Cobb Salad, crossroads of the world, dionaga, Disney, disney dining, disney news, disney restaurants, Disney World, dockside diner, Dok Ondar’s, Galaxy’s Edge, Grapefruit Cake, Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios, hollywood tower hotel, muppets vision 3-D, queen amidala’s head wrap, shirley temple, smugglers run, Star Wars Land, the mandalorian helmet, tower of terror, Toy Story Land

Disney Food Disney Parks

Disney World Foods That Are SO GOOD They’ve Been Around Since Opening Day (And Where to Get ‘Em)

We here at DFB talk a lot about what the BEST food items are in Disney World.

Sunshine Tree Terrace

We have lots of favorites — some are classic and some are brand-new — but there are some Disney foods that are undeniably good. How? They’ve stood the test of time!

We’re taking a look at some of the dishes in Disney that have been around since OPENING DAY of their park or restaurant. You KNOW how often menus change in Disney, so that’s quite a feat!

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli at California Grill

First up, we’re taking a look at a classic dish from California Grill, the signature restaurant on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. California Grill is always an experience thanks to the sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom and nearby resorts, and, if you’re there at the right time, the perfect view of the Happily Ever After fireworks show in Magic Kingdom.

View from California Grill

Like most of the signature restaurants in Disney World, California Grill has a rotating menu that changes based on market-inspired and seasonal ingredients and decisions from the chef. It’s also gone through several different executive chefs since 1995, so you can imagine that not many original menu items have stuck around.

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli at Disney’s California Grill — the best appetizer in the World!

That is, except for the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. This appetizer was introduced on the first California Grill menu when the restaurant replaced Top of the World in 1995. It’s seen very minor adjustments over the years, but it’s still a single, large ravioli stuffed with goat cheese in a tomato broth topped with crispy mushrooms.

The ravioli was a hit then and it remains a hit today. In fact, we consider it one of the best things we’ve ever eaten in Disney World!

Cobb Salad at The Hollywood Brown Derby

Cruising on over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we’re headed to a classic Disney World dining location — The Hollywood Brown Derby. This location is a replica of the famous Brown Derby restaurant in the real Hollywood, and it features the iconic Cobb Salad to boot!

Cobb Salad

For those who don’t know, the Cobb Salad was supposedly invented by (original) Brown Derby owner Robert Howard Cobb (there are actually a few versions of the story of the origination of the Cobb Salad!). In nearly all cases, the salad is comprised of finely chopped Greens, Turkey Breast, Bacon, Egg, Tomatoes, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Avocado, Chives, and Cobb Dressing (similar to French dressing).

The dish has been a staple of the restaurant in Tinseltown just like it has been at the Disney World iteration. To truly represent the original restaurant, The Hollywood Brown Derby opened with Disney MGM Studios in 1989 with a Cobb Salad on the menu.

Brown Derby Lounge

And it’s still there to this day! Seriously, you gotta try this Cobb at least once. There’s a reason it’s lasted so long!

Grapefruit Cake at The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Cobb Salad isn’t the ONLY dish at The Hollywood Brown Derby that’s stood the test of time. Once you’re done feasting on your greens, you can wrap up your meal with the DELICIOUS Grapefruit Cake. Ever wondered how this treat came to be?

Grapefruit Cake at Hollywood Brown Derby

Rumor has it that famed Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons told the REAL Brown Derby’s owner, Robert Howard Cobb, that all of his desserts were way too fattening and he should offer something healthier.

Cobb’s response was to tell his chef to make a dessert that had grapefruit in it because, at the time, a grapefruit was popular around Hollywood for its “slimming abilities.”  The grapefruit cake — with all it’s NOT so slimming cream cheese frosting — was born!

Grapefruit Cake from The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Like the Cobb Salad, the Grapefruit Cake debuted on the menu when MGM Studios opened in 1989 and it remains the most popular dessert to this day. If you can’t get to Hollywood Studios soon, we recommend making one for yourself at home. This cake is THAT good.

Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace

You might think that the arguably MORE famous Dole Whip is the treat that’s been around from Disney World’s Magic Kingdom’s opening day, but it’s actually a different frozen and fruity delight! We’re talking ’bout that Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace!

Citrus Swirl and Orange Bird cup

So, why was the Citrus Swirl around on the opening day of Magic Kingdom? Well, it all comes back to some of the sponsorships of Adventureland at the time!

Sunshine Tree Terrace (and The Enchanted Tiki Room [then called the Tropical Serenade], FYI) were both sponsored by the Florida Citrus Commission back in the ’70s. Disney ended up using OJ from Florida orange growers in the Orange Swirl and even created a mascot to go with the sponsored locations — the Orange Bird!

This Little Orange Bird Has Quite a History!

Now this special treat is a little bit different because it HAS disappeared from the menu a few times (once for a LONG time only to reappear in 2012!).

Recently, Disney even tried to replace it with the VERY different Orange Swirl made with Orange Dole Whip, only to bring back the original. The OG Citrus Swirl is a combo of frozen orange juice and vanilla soft serve.

Sunshine Tree Terrace

It’s a really unique treat with the tangy real orange juice that we think every Disney World fan should try at least once! Now, you can get Orange Swirl OR the OG Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace (plus a bunch of other Dole Whip flavors!). So, despite some hiccups, Citrus Swirl has been delighting guests since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.

Safari Amber Beer in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Next up, we’re checking out a drink that’s been in Disney’s Animal Kingdom since it opened in 1998. The Safari Amber Beer was developed by Anheuser-Busch for the new theme park and it’s still available in restaurants around the park to this day!

Safari Amber on Draft at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa at Kidani Village

Recently, we’ve spotted it at Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue, Harambe Market, Restaurantosaurus, The Smiling Crocodile, Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Yak & Yeti Quality Beverages, Yak & Yeti Restaurant and the Dawa Bar — it seems like it’s everywhere! You can also spot the Safari Amber at Epcot’s Refreshment Outpost and occasionally at dining locations around Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

If you’re a beer lover, you gotta try the Safari Amber at least once. After all, it’s EXCLUSIVELY available in Disney World!

Fish and Chips at Rose & Crown Dining Room

We’re wrapping up our tour of iconic opening day foods with a visit to the United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot! This was one of the original nine World Showcase pavilions that opened with Epcot in 1982 and Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room has been around since the beginning!

Rose & Crown Fish & Chips

Of course, the most iconic item on the menu at Rose & Crown is the Fish and Chips — and they’re tasty too! The fish always has the CRUNCHIEST batter and the chips (fries, FYI!) are usually perfectly cooked — crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This meal is super representative of UK culture and eats and we’re so glad it’s stuck around.

Pro tip: If you’re looking to snag your Fish & Chips QUICK, you can buy a similar meal from Yorkshire County Fish Shop just next door to the Rose & Crown.

Rose & Crown Fish & Chips Interior

YES these Disney eats should be on your bucket list. After all, they’re practically historic! Any dishes and drinks that can stand the test of time quite like these goodies must have something pretty magical going for them!

Have you tried these opening day foods? Tell us in the comments! 

From our friends at
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Cult Favorites, disney parks, disney resorts, disney’s hollywood studios, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, Walt Disney World, California Grill, Citrus Swirl, Cobb Salad, dining, Disney World, disney world dining, Fish and Chips, Grapefruit Cake, opening day, Opening Day Foods, Rose & Crown Dining Room, Safari Amber, sonoma goat cheese ravioli, Sunshine Tree Terrace, The Hollywood Brown Derby