This is your List of the Best 65 Disney Hollywood Studios Secrets
I love the Hollywood Studios park. Even before the renovations started and before the plans began for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge I adored this smallest of the four parks for its charm, character, and silver screen vibe. So of course when I head there I make it a mission to uncover Hollywood Studios secrets, Hidden Mickey’s, extra quirks, etc. I also try to tweak my attention to detail so that the efforts made by Disney’s incredible imagineers don’t fall on blind eyes looking through the Disney mesmerized goggles. So after a couple of trips, I decided to compile my list of 65 such secrets to share with you to find on your next trip to this awesome Disney park.
65 Disney Hollywood Studios Secrets to Uncover
1 – Hollywood Blvd Shops – The shops on Hollywood Blvd are replicas of real shops in Hollywood. For example, Mickey’s of Hollywood is designed to reflect the famous lingerie shop “Fredrick’s of Hollywood.”
2 – The Hollywood Brown Derby – This nostalgic restaurant is an exact replica of the original restaurant located in Hollywood. Sadly after the earthquake that struck LA in the 1990’s, the Brown Derby never recovered, Walt Disney World salvaged the original caricatures and created a restaurant that looked the same and served the same classic menu items. To read more about this restaurant, check out our review here.
3 – Hollywood Studios Secrets Name Change – There are rumours floating around of possible name changes for this beloved park. It was already changed from MGM Studios to its current name Hollywood Studios, but more changes are being considered. I personally hope it stays as Hollywood Studios even with the expansion.
4 – The Gigantic Fantasia Sorcerer’s Apprentice Hat – The beloved hat was removed in 2015. It was added in 2001 as a celebration of 100 years of magic, but really didn’t fit the Silver screen 1930’s-1940’s Hollywood eras that were intended for the park’s theme. Personally, I think the hat was a magical inclusion and hope they bring it back in some sort of capacity.
5 – The Second Floor Window at Hollywood and Vine– It is a reference to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
6 – Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular Secrets – When you head to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, check out the tripod that reads “Warning do not pull rope.” If you are daring, try pulling the rope and see what happens 😉 As well, check out what happens when you open the crates that say “don’t open…”
7- Hidden Mickeys Revealed: Around the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular see if you can spot 2 Hidden Mickeys nearby!
8- The gas pump near the front entrance- check out the number on it: 2008 – the year the park opened!
9- The Muppets 3D Vision Key Under the Mat – So let’s talk Muppets. They are some of my favourite BFFs. They go hand in hand with the Fraggles really. Anyway, one of my favourite areas of the park is Muppets 3D Vision! The attraction could use a face lift, but that’s beside the point. The humour is still there. While heading to the 3D film, make sure you check out the mat that says “Key under the mat.” Lift the mat. There’s a key really there! Whoa…..
10 – The Muppets Hot Air Balloon – This one hurt. The amazing Hot air balloon that dawned the wonderful and beloved Kermit upon it has been TAKEN. DOWN. Why? Well, to make room for the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. I was saddened by this change as it was an iconic landmark in the park. But at least I have photos of it!
11 – A Net Full of Jello – So this may sound like a weird one, but this is actually one of the many 100 Hollywood Studios secrets to uncover. If you say the phrase “A Net full of Jello” and look up to the ceiling in the Muppet 3D pre-show area, you will find the jiggly green stuff. It is a nod to the beautiful former Mousekateer Annette Funicello.
12 – Muppets 3D Vision Fire Hydrant- So just like the camels in the Magic Kingdom in Adventureland, if you approach the red fire hydrant in the courtyard near the Muppet Vision 3D it just may spray you!
13 – Hidden Mickey Revealed – See if you can find the Hidden Mickey in the Miss Piggy Fountain 🙂
14 – New York Street – When you pass the staircase leading down below the ground, have a listen. Do you hear voices planning a heist?
15 – Fantasmic Maleficent – The Dragon animatronic in the Fantasmic! production weighs (wait for it…) over 30,000 lbs!
16 – The Fantasmic Moat – Although a mere 1.5 feet deep, it holds nearly 2 million gallons of water! Whoa….
17 – The Hanging Umbrella – Now, are you a Singing in the Rain fan? Oh come on! You better have said yes as Gene Kelly is probably tied for first in being the best tap dancer of all time with Fred Astaire. Anyway, wouldn’t it be fun to relive the moments from that film? Well you can! Head to the hanging umbrella near the Studios backlot tour and pose with it like Gene! This is one of my favourite Hollywood Studios secrets…
18 – The Rockin Roller coaster ride is going through a change- Rumour has it that Aerosmith will be departing the ride and the theme will be converting to Marvel’s Iron Man! Stay tuned for official confirmation…
19 – Check out the Trading Pins at the Rockin’ Roller Coaster Store – head here for some pin trading! Another fun spot to check for rare ones outside of cast member’s lanyards.
20 – Hidden Mickey Revealed – Be sure to get to the Rockin Roller Coaster before it converts to Iron Man and during the pre-ride presentation in the recording studio with Aerosmith have a look at the way the equipment wiring is on display on the floor….
21- The Safety signs – See those guitar shaped signs within the waiting area of the Rockin’ Roller Coaster ride? The guitar shape is actually an homage and tribute to the incredible and iconic Elvis Presley.
22 – The Ride Limos – This is one of my FAVOURITE Hollywood Studios secrets! Each of the limos plays a different Aerosmith song! I noticed this when I rode the ride 3 times in one day. Each time we heard a different hit – Sweet Emotion, Dude Looks like a Lady, and my favourite “Love in an Elevator.” Why is the last one my favourite? Well, if you listen hard, you will hear that they changed the lyrics to “Love in a Roller Coaster…”
23 – The Tower of Terror Twilight Zone intro Footage – So Rod Sterling footage was actually restored for the ride! I must admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the show, but the ride really does do it justice.
24 – The Tower of Terror Inspection certificate – When you board the ride, check out the inspection certificate! it is date October 31, 1939 (how appropriate) and signed by “Cadwallader,” a character from the original Twilight Zone series.
25 – Check out the Tower of Terror Stitch- check him out in the Tower of Terror gift shop upon exiting the ride. He even has his own hashtag #bellhopstitch.
26 – Hidden Mickey Revealed – When you go and ride the Tower of Terror, check out the sheet music framed in the library…what do you see?
27 – the Alligator Luggage – So the luggage in the lobby is made with alligator skin. This is an authentic set imagineered by the company who made an original set from the 1930’s. Disney contacted the company and they agreed to create an authentic replica for the attraction.
28 – The Mah Jong Set – Did you know that Mah Jong champions were summoned to set up the display in the Tower of Terror ride to ensure it was done correctly and authentically should an avid player see the display?
29 – Hidden Mickey Revealed – When you arrive in the Tower of Terror Gift shop, after taking selfies with #bellhopstitch, check out the floor tiles in the back corner. Do they resemble anything?
30 – The AAA Rating certificate – The creepiness continues! When hotels are rated by AAA they are given a Diamond rating of up to 5 just like stars on Trip Advisor and other sites. If you have a look at the one in the Tower of Terror attraction lobby, you will see theirs has 13 diamonds! eerie or what!?
31 – The colour of the Tower of Terror building – As I mentioned in my Magic Kingdom secrets, Walt Disney created the Utilidors to avoid different lands mixing in transit. Well, a similar situation occurred in the building of the Tower of Terror attraction. Did you ever wonder why it was built in a pinky colour? This was because from Epcot World Showcase in Morocco, you can see the Tower of Terror – the parks are that close together. So to keep the look from being tarnished, they painted Tower of Terror the same colour as the Morocco buildings.
32 – The Tower of Terror Wait Times – If you get to the Tower and the sign says it’s a 13-minute wait, this is code for there not being any wait at all! Go figure…
33 – The Clock in The Man Behind the Magic – The time that is displayed on the clock is the time that Walt Disney officially died. (weep)
34 – Pixar Place Archway – The Pixar archway is an exact duplicate of the Pixar office in California.
35 – The Green Army Colonel – While in Pixar Place, you can meet Woody and Buzz Lightyear on a regular basis. But! If you time it right, you can get the rare opportunity to meet the Army Colonel! With the opening of Toy Story Land at the end of June 2018, he will be more prominent as well as Jessie.
36 – Characterpalooza
So this is one of the best Hollywood Studios secrets ever. It’s a random meet and greet that brings out rarer characters who mingle and sign autographs with guests for roughly 20 mins! Some of the elusive characters you just may get to visit with have included Pinocchio, Gepetto, Belle in her blue dress, Bert from Mary Poppins, and Robin Hood!
37- Egroeg Sacul – Sounds odd doesn’t it? Well, that is George Lucas spelled backwards and is sometimes announced on the Star Tours ride.
38 – R2D2 Ears – Check out when R2D2 glides by! Now and then he is sporting Mickey ears…
39 – Gertie – Did you ever wonder who the giant Dinosaur is in the heart of the park? Well that is Gertie. Gertie is famous because she is the character from the first EVER animated film. Walt Disney was quite inspired by the film and therefore an homage to the historic and revolutionary animated flick had to be included in the park.
40 – Biggest Hidden Mickey Reveal – So have you stopped to wonder how the construction of the parks and design is done? Well, aerial footage shows one of the biggest Hollywood Studios secrets with the fact that the entire park is shaped like a giant Mickey Mouse face! Through time, the Mickey isn’t as obvious with expansions in the park, but you can still see the remnants of the Mickey shape. One way you can see this for yourself is taking a scenic balloon flight available from Disney Springs.
41 – Citizens of Hollywood Improv on Hollywood Blvd.- So not so much one of my Hollywood Studios secrets, but more of a tip. These hilarious actors will just start doing random improv and talk to you as you walk down Hollywood Blvd! Such a cool thing! Just don’t be alarmed if they begin a conversation with you that just may not make sense haha!
42 – The Wonderful Shop – Not exactly confirmed, but the font used in the title “It’s a Wonderful Shop” one would assume it was an homage to the classic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
43 – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre – The one in Disney Hollywood Studios is an exact replica built with the same measurements and blueprints! Check out the footprints there. Many are of favourite characters as well as actors who have graced the screen in many a Disney film.
44 – RIP to the Great Movie Ride- So this was really an incredible ride. But unfortunately, Disney decided to revamp it and make it a Mickey Mouse focused attraction. It will be reopening soon, but in my mind this ride truly reflected the theme of the park.
45 – Andy’s Coming – So unfortunately this fun secret had to be retired for the wellbeing of the characters. But, in Pixar Place, if a guest yelled “Andy’s coming!” The toys would fall to the ground and not move. Too many people were doing it over and over again that it spoiled it for everyone. It’s always the way isn’t it!
46 – For the First Time in Forever Frozen Sing along – Make sure you stay until the end to hear a special surprise from Queen Elsa!
47 – Olaf – Not so much one of my Hollywood Studios secrets, but if you are an Olaf fan from Frozen, this is the only place to meet him! He does not sign autographs due to his twig arms, but does give you a sticker for your book. The Memory maker photographers are also on site to take those awesome photos.
48 – Toy Story Mania! – Make sure you nab a Fast Pass for this one. Similar to the game in Magic Kingdom this carnival style attraction will have you competing against other guests. See who can nab a high score!
49 – Toy Story Mania Barcode – check out the barcode in the loading area. It is dated Dec 2006. This is when the attraction opened in the park!
50 – Toy Story Mania strategy – Just like the ride in Magic Kingdom, there are strategies to score big! Many of the biggest targets are either lower or on the sides of each game.
51 – Mr Potato Head Animatronic at Toy Story Mania – So this was one of the most complex and interactive character animatronics in the entire Walt Disney World Complex! Mr Potato Head would talk to guests and sometimes even pull off his ear. He is off stage right now (much to the dismay of guests), but rumour has it that we will see him resurface possibly in Toy Story Land.
52 – Sci-Fi Restaurant – So, I LOVED this restaurant! You are seated at a table shaped like a car and are at a Drive-in movie! Book this one ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Review coming soon!
53 – The Prime Time Cafe – This 50’s style diner is awesome. The cast members truly get into character and each server is an Aunt who will tell you to eat your vegetables if you leave them on your plate! While we were there sadly we were a bit ill and didn’t eat too much, but the restaurant truly is a great choice when at the park. For more on our experience, check out our review here.
54 – Epcot Pavilion – Originally before all the ideas came to be for the Hollywood Studios park, there was talk that the entire park would be an Epcot pavilion! So glad that idea went out the window…
55 – Dine with an Imagineer Experience – a very hard experience to nab, you can get the rare opportunity to dine with one of the creative minds behind the Disney parks that we love. You MUST book well in advance and pay extra if you are on a Disney dining plan.
56 – Jedi Training – Every day you have the chance of getting your child involved in Jedi Training! On a first come first serve basis, register your child near the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show in the morning. Children under 12 qualify.
57 – Trading with Jawas – Depending on who you talk to or when you go, trading with Jawas is either a thing of today or a thing of the past. I couldn’t get a definite response to this perk, but perhaps with the opening of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge section in 2019, they may become a permanent fixture. They will trade most things like pins, trading cards, etc. and give you droid pieces and other pins in return. I hope they become a fun experience for good!
58- The Butterfinger Cupcake…. All I can say before I write about the best snacks to eat at the Hollywood Studios park, is to use a snack credit, or indulge and purchase the Butterfinger cupcake at the Starbucks in Hollywood Studios…You will know why when you try it!
59 – Hidden Mickey Revealed – The Hollywood Studios Map: While you are reading about the different areas of the park and deciding where to start, see if you can spot the Hidden Mickeys!
60 – Honey I shrunk the Kids Play area – So this fun playground where items were massive to make you feel like a minuscule being, was such fun! It closed in 2016 when the park’s construction began for the expansions of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s edge.
61 – Mortimer and Co. – Check out the corners of Sunset Blvd. If you see a sign that says “Mortimer and Co. This is a tribute to Mortimer Mouse – Mickey’s ultimate rival who makes it a mission to woo Minnie Mouse back (he is her ex-boyfriend ya know!)
62 – Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage – Check out the entrance to this performance! You will see handprints from all the celebrities who have visited and taken in the show.
63 – What happened to the Earfull Tower? – The awesome Water tower that was a massive landmark for Hollywood Studios is no longer. And boy do we miss it! It took a back seat to the Sorcerer’s hat even though the name change was implemented, but was permanently removed for the construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Just like my Muppet Balloon…tsk tsk.
64 – Walt Disney’s Personal Plane – Back when Hollywood Studios had the backlot tour, guests could see the private plane that was actually used by Walt Disney himself! It is still there, but not accessible to guests anymore.
65 – The Mickey Mouse atop the Crossroads at the entrance – The Mickey actually is a lightening rod! His ears have copper to deflect lightening! Too bad they didn’t have that in place for the Tower of Terror that got struck during construction! Whoa….
So there you have 65 of the coolest Disney Hollywood Studios secrets uncovered and shared with you my wonderful readers. How many of these did you know about?
Want to show off your fandom at the parks with adorable Disney outfits? Grab yours below!
Need help planning your trip to Disney World? Check out our itineraries, restaurant reviews, packing tips and more free things to do at Disney World here.
Book your Disney World tickets here!
Check out our incredible travel essentials for your next trip in our shop!
Travelling outside your home base? Don’t be a ninny and go without insurance!
We do not work for and are not affiliated with Disney in any way. All our opinions are our own and based on our own experience and/or extensive research.