Got A Light? – Part One – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In my never ending crusade to get people to notice the details at Walt Disney World, I recently wrote a series of blogs about the benches in the four theme parks. Although I thought the subject matter was interesting, I really wasn’t sure if anyone else would find these articles worthy of note. Boy, was I surprised. I received over eighty comments thanking me for coming up with the idea.

One of my readers suggested I do a follow-up piece about the trashcans and how they are themed. With this in mind, I looked around at the waste receptacles with a critical eye. But to be honest, the trashcans really aren’t that different between lands and parks. For the most part, the same style receptacle is used over and over again. The only real variation is a slightly different paint job as you transition from land to land. But I liked the idea of doing a second series so I kept an eye out for another concept. It wasn’t long before I noticed the lampposts and how much they play a part in the theming of a given area. I also discovered that there is a tremendous amount of variation between posts, sometimes within the same land.

So for the next four days, I’m going to give you a sampling of these illuminating towers. For the most part, I will be concentrating on lamp”posts.” There are so many other lighting fixtures that it would be impossible to cover them all. But for variety sake, I will throw in an occasional non-post just to make sure you’re paying attention. Since the article is about the lampposts, not the light they emit, I took the pictures in the daytime so I could actually capture the “fixture” in my photograph.

I’m beginning this series at Disney’s Hollywood Studios simply because that was the first park I photographed. Let’s start in the parking lot. These lights are utilitarian. They serve their purpose and brightly light the cars below. Disney has tried to spruce these guys up by adding banners. Also, they serve a double function by displaying the parking section.

Parking Lot Lamp Post

Surrounding the small lake that connects with the waterway between the Studio and Epcot we find a rather modern looking fixture. Once again, banners have been added to liven things up.

Lake Lamp Posts

Near the ticket booths is this simple, double light fixture.

Entrance Area Lamp Posts

The lampposts on Hollywood Boulevard are far more elaborate than their counterparts outside the gate and are reminiscent of a bygone era. Similar posts can still be found in many cities and towns to this day. This same design extends into the courtyard in and around Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat.

Hollywood Blvd Lamp Post

Even though Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards have similar architecture, the streetlamps are different. The first half of Sunset sees intricate fixtures while further down the street we find a more utilitarian light. Notice that these simpler posts also do double duty with an armature to support the electric cable for the Red Car.

Ornate Sunset Blvd Lamp Post

Simple Sunset Blvd Lamp

Here we see a lamppost at Sunset Ranch Market. In Part 4 of this series you’ll see this same fixture in Dinoland U.S.A.

Sunset Ranch Market Lamp Post

Although not streetlamps, this clock and old traffic signal can also be found on Sunset Boulevard. I selected these two fixtures because they are both tall and slender and light up.

Sunset Blvd Clock

Sunset Blvd Signal

There are two different, but similar lampposts near the Tower of Terror. The first can be found in the queue and the second near the exit.

Twilight Zone Lamp Post

Twilight Zone Lamp Post

A number of tall and slender street lamps are located in the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster courtyard.

Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Lamp Post

The Hollywood Brown Derby sports its own, unique lamps. These have a stylized Asian design to complement the nearby Chinese Theater. In addition, Chinese designs and styles were popular in the 20’s through the 40’s.

Brown Derby Lamp Post

The light posts in Animation Courtyard always display banners for a new or recent Disney animated feature. Here we see a banner for “The Princess and the Frog.”

Animation Courtyard Lamp Post

As we know, Disney does a fantastic job at landscaping their parks. And their efforts don’t stop at ground level. This next, art deco styled lamp, complete with hanging baskets, can be found outside the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” attraction.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid Lamp Post

Flanking both sides of Pixar Place is another art deco beauty. This lamppost was selected because it blends in well with the nearby soundstages.

Mickey Ave Lamp Post

Mickey Ave Lamp Post

Perhaps the most stark lamppost of all can be found within Pixar Place. It’s simple design does not compete with the busy brickwork and array of toys strewn around the area.

Pixar Place Lamp Post

As we approach the “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show” streetlamps typical of a city park line the roadway.

Lights, Motors, Action! Lamp Post

At the end of New York Street is a traffic signal that might have been found in the Big Apple around the 1940’s. Once again, I threw this fixture in because it was tall and lights up.

New York Street Signal

I was expecting the lampposts on New York Street to be elaborate like those found on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. But to my surprise, they were really quite simple.

New York Street Lamp Post

However, around the corner on San Francisco Street, the streetlamps are far more decorative. Also, take a look at the large backdrop. The artists were careful to recreate the same fixtures in their painting. While on the Streets of America, be sure to read the various signs attached to the posts. They help tell the story of your surroundings.

San Francisco Street Lamp Post

San Francisco Street Backdrop

In the plaza outside of “MuppetVision 3D” the lampposts are typical of those that would be found in any city park.

MuppetVision 3D Lamp Post

The areas around “Star Tours” and “Backlot Express” resemble a working outdoor movie set. Once again, the lamps found here are utilitarian and are typical of those found in many of the studios of the 30’s and 40’s.

Star Wars

Echo Lake is lined with another Asian-themed light fixture. Once again, this design helps tie the area in with the nearby Chinese Theater. Remember, in the early years, Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat was not there and there was a more cohesive feel between this famous landmark and the surrounding area.

Echo Lake Lamp Post

Finally, another park-like fixture can be found outside the Hollywood & Vine Restaurant.

Hollywood & Vine Lamp Post

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Epcot.

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23 Replies to “Got A Light? – Part One – Disney’s Hollywood Studios”

  1. This attention to detail is why so many of us are Disneyholics!!! No other theme parks go to the trouble to design such a wide variety of lamp posts to complement their surroundings. It is just another example of how Disney strives to immerse you in a magical place. Thank you for this series. It is most enjoyable!

  2. The use of berms around the “World” would be interesting to me, in regards to landscape architecture. They seem to be very strategically located in regards to the attractions.

  3. Hey Jack!

    Once again, you are writing a fabulous article! I love the different lampposts EVERYWHERE at the World. It’s a theme that I take photos of every trip. Thank you for bringing it to attention!

  4. This article is a riot and it’s amazing how many different lampposts there are in HS. I can say that the ones on NY street aren’t much different than they are today. In some places, those lampposts still exist in NYC.

  5. So cool!! I have always noticed the lightposts in the World! We lived in a condo community for a very long time and walking the grounds at night always reminds me of Disney because of the lampposts! Love your articles, brings a piece of the magic until a return trip is possible!!!

  6. Great blogs, Jack. Thanks for pointing out the details such as that paintings of lampposts match actual lampposts. Disney is truly amazing!

  7. Now you’re making us all think…
    Next time I visit Disney, which happens to be in one day, I want to see if the posts on the San Fran street match any posts that may be on the huge mural at the end of the street. If the mural has lighting on the street going up the hill that matches the street lighting in Disney THAT would be real attention to detail…

  8. Jack –
    This cracked me up! I thought I was the only one who notices the light fixtures! lol. There are some beautiful ones in DHS. Thanks for a fun post!

  9. This is pretty darn neat, who knew there were that many different lamp posts! Amazing detail. I love reading your blog posts as you bring attention to all sorts of different details one might just otherwise walk right past! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  10. Jack, I LOVE your blogs and was so excited to see you write another one like the bench blogs! It is amazing to see the attention to detail on everything in the parks.
    And thanks for the disney fix! Don’t know what we’d do without you.

  11. Jack,
    You are my favorite blogger at AllEars. You make reading about benches and lamp posts exciting. You should really write some books about each park that point at all the details.

    I am going to Disneyland in May and I know that I will be checking out all the details more than I ever have because of your great blogs.

    Keep up the great work of entertaining us with you Disney knowledge.

  12. Brilliant idea for a blog! 🙂

    I’ve read every single one of your wonderfully insightful blogs, and when first reading your series about the benches it reminded my of my trip to Disneyland Paris last year;

    We went for 5 days and spent one of them basically wondering around, soaking in the atmosphere, and we happened to notice all the amazing details in all the different style lamps, and how they fitted in with each area beautifully! As soon as I saw your blog it made me hope you’d post one about the lampposts and you did! 🙂

    A big thankyou and keep up the good work!

  13. Hi Jack- Thanks for not just this most “illuminating” article, but for all of your posts. You obviously spend a great deal of time researching and writing your articles, and I really appreciate the in-depth treatment of so many aspects of Disney World. Moreover, you do it in a way that never fails to elicit excitement- and, of course, a certain sense of anxiety to be back at Disney!

    I also appreciate your complete lack of cynicism, a trait found all too often on other Disney World sites I frequent. Thank you for choosing to see the magic, instead of nitpicking and finding fault! And thanks for all of your effort- look forward to reading more great posts in the future!

  14. Great blog, Jack! Who knew there were so many different types of light posts at the Studios?!? Can’t wait to see them in person.

  15. Well I’ll be…!! I didn’t think you would pull it off! I anxiously await your articles cause they give me my disney fix but this time I thought you had lost me…..WRONG. I enjoyed your lamp posts! Most of all because they reminded me of how I had noticed some of them but of course they don’t stick in our disney memories. So, seeing the ones at tower of terror and how I had told my hubby that I wanted some like that, your article just brought back wonderful flashbacks. And I love the thought that you’ll be giving me my fix 4 days in a row! thx!

  16. Thank you for doing this. It makes me feel better about the scrapbooking pages I have devoted to the internal lights I have found.

  17. Jack,

    this is just flat out neat!!!!!!
    i would have never even thought to look at theming for lamp posts.
    i cant wait to see the rest of this series!!!

    Eric

  18. Oooo Jack that was such fun! I love these elaborate fixtures, like the ones at the Hollywood Brown Derby. Thanks for the mini tour of the Studios. Can’t wait to read the other three parts!

  19. I think light fixtures should be next. Unbelievable ones, especially the brown derbys inside “Brown Derby” and at Wilderness Lodge. in fact, at all of the resorts. Attention to detail is Disney’s forte.

  20. hey jack
    thanks for the interesting blog on the lightposts in HS. I never noticed how different they are compared to each other. can’t wait til the next one. I as always say keep up the great work.