With much construction and changes occurring at Hollywood Studios, some of our favorite hidden gems (RIP Writer’s Shop) had disappeared, but that doesn’t mean that the park is completely devoid of fun and amazing hidden gems! We love visiting Hollywood Studios with the park completely awash in neon, street entertainment, and a variety of food. On your next trip there, be sure to check out these hidden gems to heighten your experience!
6. Tune-In Lounge – this lounge which is attached to the 50s Prime Time Café is a wonderful place to take a break, relax, and grab a wonderful drink! We love the theming of the entire restaurant, but the theming in the lounge area is even better! We have to be careful visiting the Tune-In Lounge, however, because we can easily camp out there and miss out on the rest of the fun that Hollywood Studios has to offer!
5. Mama Melrose’s Italian Ristorante – we have eaten at this restaurant before, but it wasn’t until our most recent trip that we ate here again and repeatedly asked ourself during the meal and during the walk back to the car why we don’t eat there more often. Guests have a diverse menu of favorite Italian dishes – we had a tough time deciding between penne a la vodka and the spaghetti and meatballs. One in our group had a flame-broiled steak served atop macaroni and cheese. We all left happy after the meal – coupled with this amazing menu, the theming in the restaurant is top-notch. It feels like a classic Italian restaurant with head shots of all the celebrities who have visited and had a meal. Lastly, we love the restaurants location – it is isolated in the corner of the Muppets Courtyard area and because of that there isn’t much foot traffic and the restaurant doesn’t feel crowded.
4. It’s a Wonderful Christmas Shop – located right next to Mama Melrose’s, this little (and we mean little) shop is open year round, but only sells Christmas decorations. It isn’t as grand as Ye Olde Christmas Shop in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, but they sell a variety of decorations, ornaments, and anything else that you would want to festoon your house with. We were just a tad disappointed on our recent trip after getting out of Mama Melrose’s to see that the store closed early and we weren’t able to go shopping for something new for our Christmas tree!
3. One Man’s Dream/Preview Center – One Man’s Dream is a great attraction located on Pixar Place between Toy Story Midway Mania and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Guests can take their time exploring exhibits from the past and learning more about the life of Walt Disney, the creation and expansion of Walt Disney Studios, as well as the parks! We love getting lost in the attraction and taking our time absorbing the information. There used to be an end video about Walt Disney, but it has been replaced with an extended preview of upcoming Disney films.
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2. Hollywood Scoops – located at the end of Sunset Boulevard before you make the decision to drop on Tower of Terror or take a ride on Rock and Roller Coaster, this counter-service restaurant serves non-traditional Disney ice cream. We sometimes forget it is there, but are always happy when we stop by – you can enjoy your ice cream in a cone or a dish and choose between myriad flavors and toppings!
1. Brown Derby Outdoor Lounge – if you don’t have the time, budget, or appetite for a full meal at the Hollywood Brown Derby, consider stopping by the outdoor lounge at the Brown Derby. It is positioned perfectly for you to people watch guests entering the central area of the park. There is plenty of shade and umbrellas, so you can relax and spend some time enjoying wonderful offerings of both food and drink!
We are eager to see the completed expansion of Hollywood Studios with the addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land and to be able to take the time to explore the hidden gems that we are confident the Imagineers will include! What is your favorite hidden gem in Hollywood Studios?
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