The Disney-MGM Studios wants to make guests feel that they are in the middle of where the movies are made. What better way to do that than to have guests enter through Hollywood Boulevard? The name alone brings up mental images of movie stars and glamorous movie premieres. For the park, the Imagineers created a fantasy version of Hollywood Boulevard from the 1930s and 1940s to help bring guests into the world of the movies. So let's take a look around the street. How many pictures can one person have of Hollywood Boulevard? You don't want to know. But here is a sampling to set the stage and perhaps bring back some fond memories for you.
As we approach the park, this is one of my favorite shots of the entrance to the Disney-MGM Studios, taken looking over the planter out front.
Moving on a little closer, we see the ticket booths and the main entrance to the park. Behind that, we see the towering palm trees and Mickey Mouse beckoning us to come inside. Even from the entrance, you can tell the park has a definite art-deco theme.
Upon entering, one of the first things we find is the Crossroads of the World. This landmark lets us know we are definitely in Hollywood, but Mickey on top of the globe reminds us that we are still in a Disney theme park. That lets us know that while this might look like Hollywood, it is really the Hollywood that never was, rather like the idealized Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
Because of the height, it is rather difficult to get a good picture of Mickey on top of the Crossroads of the World, but I still always try. This one was taken from just inside the entrance gates.
Here is a picture of Mickey's back along with some of the palm trees. Incidentally, Mickey's right ear is made of copper, so that it acts as a lightning rod. Because of the frequent lightning strikes in Florida, most everything in the parks has some sort of lightning protection. But it would not have looked good to have a lightning rod sticking up above Mickey, so they made one ear copper and grounded it. I wonder if a lightning strike blows the paint off of Mickey?
To the right as we enter the park is Oscar's Super Service. This gas station also has lockers and stroller rentals. How clever is it to have something named Oscar's inside a movie theme park? By the way, Oscar's carries Mojave Oil products. And the tanker truck in Catastrophe Canyon is also a Mojave Oil truck. Theming like that helps tie all parts of the park together.
Here is a look down Hollywood Boulevard. The art-deco styling, along with the tall palm trees, help to transport you to the Hollywood of days gone by. Most of the buildings along Hollywood Boulevard are based on actual buildings in the real Hollywood.
Taking a look around, here is a view of the Keystone Clothiers building, with a billboard on top for Kodak. Some of the billboards seen on the street are for actual companies that sponsor things at Disney, while some of them are for fictional things, such as Maroon Cartoons or the Stage Door Canteen.
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