With more, and more of Hollywood Studios starting to shutter its doors to prepare way for the work to be done for the new Toy Story Land, and Star Wars Land, the park is starting to feel like a half day excursion. Hollywood Studios has always been an ‘attraction light’ park, which mainly relied on big ‘E ticket’ attractions like Toy Story Mania, and The Tower of Terror to draw the crowds. But without the many smaller, less known attractions to round out the park, it’s easy for bottlenecks of crowds to form, and the small park to feel abnormally busy, even when its not. The more attractions that close their doors to make room for Toy Story and Star Wars, the more this feeling grows. There are hidden gems in Hollywood Studios, places that David and I have come to love, and look forward to going to as much as any big name ride. Today, we’ve decided to share those with you, in hopes of making your time at Hollywood Studios even more enjoyable.
1. The Writers Stop
This little coffee shop and bakery is hidden away right before you get to the Streets of America. We love it not for their coffee and pastries (even though those are good to), but because they have an amazing collection of Disney books. Whether is biographies, theme park photography, or illustrated movie books – we love to peruse their collection.
2. The Tune-In Lounge
PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME. But really. Peanut Butter Jelly time, in a MILK SHAKE, is what you will find here. This mid-century modern lounge is attached to the very popular 50s Prime Time Cafe, and has a full bar, and the option of ordering any of the food from the restaurant next door. We love to stop in here for a milk shake, a beer, and some air-conditioning on a hot day.
3. The Starring Rolls Bakery
Starring Rolls is still relatively popular, but we’ve noticed a definite downturn since Hollywood Studios added a Starbucks on their main boulevard. This little bakery is still our choice for morning cappuccino and pastries though. We love their danishes, turnovers, and large outdoor patio. It’s a great place to sit-down and plan the rest of your day after accomplishing a few rides!
4. It’s a Wonderful Shop
This adorable, 365 days a year, Christmas shop is tucked into a back corner of the streets of New York. Its never a crowded store, unlike the other Christmas shops on property, and there’s been many times that we’ve been in, and been the only guests!
5. Mama Melrose Italian Restaurant
While not exactly hidden, this charming Italian restaurant always seems to have reservations available, and is one of our favorite, most relaxing dining establishments on property. Plus, Hollywood Studios is not known for having a ton of great dining options, unlike the other parks, so this tends to be your best bet.
BONUS: One Mans Dream
The only reason this is a bonus on our list, is it’s highly rumored to be closing soon to make way for more attractions. Until an official announcement is made, we will leave it on our list, because it is our favorite attraction at Hollywood Studios. One Mans Dream is a touching film, narrated by Julie Andrews, about the life and legacy of Walt. If you happen to be at Hollywood Studios before the rumored closing, this should be at the top of your list.
Even though Hollywood Studios might feel ‘attraction light’ right now, we have high hopes for the future of this park, and what the Disney company has planned for it. We still enjoy spending time there, and hope you enjoy our favorite hidden nooks and crannies of the park, as well as the big ‘E-ticket’ attractions.