I write a great deal about planning affordable Disney vacations. I love finding ways to save money on a trip to Disney World. But even more, I love when I can find things – hidden “treasures”, experiences, little details — that can enhance a Disney vacation, and provide even more value for the money that I do spend.
Fortunately, Walt Disney World provides lots of these types of experiences, if you only take the time to look!
One of my favorite places to explore is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where there is a wealth of unexpected fun. Transporting you to Hollywood circa 1940’s, the “Studios” offers many details that can easily be missed unless you take a few minutes to stop and look around. Here are 3 treasures that I truly love to explore there:
- Sunset Blvd., the street leading to the Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, is a fascinating place to wander around. I have always loved how each of the stores has a very unique “personality”: it is fun to browse around in each because you will find some items that you may not find elsewhere. Love the Disney villains? Visit the Villians in Vogue store for things to commemorate your favorite anti-heroes, as well as Fantasmic items. Are you a big movie buff? Check out the Legends of Hollywood store or the Planet Hollywood Super Store for things related to all kinds of movie-related (including Disney themed) items. Be sure to check out the architecture and details all up and down the street that will absolutely convince you that you are in 1940’s Hollywood: movie theatre, signage, old cars, and even a Victory Garden. Just go along with it and pretend you have been transported in time, it’s more fun that way. As a bonus, don’t miss the Beverly Sunset sweet shop with fudge and your favorite Disney-themed candy. 🙂
- I love to people watch! And by people watch, I am referring to the “residents” of Hollywood who are Disney Cast Members who will just spontaneously start a conversation with each other, bringing guests into it, and just having a merry old time in the process. Stop and watch: I once spent close to 30 minutes enjoying the Hollywood Police Officer as he stopped various guests, questioning them to make sure they were obeying the “law”. Of course, his “laws” were a bit, um, unusual, which made it even more fun to see people’s reactions to being cited for, of all things, “wearing a shirt from an Unapproved Theme Park” 🙂 (Yes, watch your attire at Hollywood Studios!) Other times you will find filmmakers in search of aspiring actors: Be careful, or you might find yourself auditioning for a role, whether you want to or not! It’s all in good fun, and a fantastic way to spend some time!
- My new favorite place is the Writer’s Stop, which is on the other side of the park, over on the Streets of America. It was here that I went in search of the renowned Carrot Cake Cookie, and while I found the cookie, I also found a lovely, quaint, and honestly hidden little coffee/book shop where you can find all kinds of Disney-related books. You can get a latte or coffee here as well, and curl up in a cozy chair to read, relax, and rejuvenate for a bit. Add in the Carrot Cake Cookie and its pure heaven.
There are, of course, lots of other fun things to see and do at Hollywood Studios, and all over the Walt Disney World resort for that matter. Make the most of your Disney vacation and discover as many as you can!
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that special brand of Disney magic that you can’t find anywhere else.
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