Hidden Secrets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World has a lot of secrets. Every area on property — including theme parks, water parks, and resort hotels — is chock full of secret easter eggs and references that only eagle-eyed fans can spot.

Hollywood Studios

Well, eagle-eyed fans and our readers of course. Today we’ll be looking at the tinseltown references and movie-making secrets that are sprinkled throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, area-by-area.

Hollywood Boulevard & Sunset Boulevard

Since it opened as Disney/MGM Studios in 1989, Hollywood Boulevard has been the “main street” of Hollywood Studios, immediately engrossing guests in the grandeur of old Hollywood as they entered the park’s fanciful recreation of the real street. Sunset Boulevard opened just off of Hollywood Boulevard in 1994, and much in the same way created a somewhat fantastical Walt Disney World version of real California location.

One easter egg that carries through both Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards can be found at the base of both area’s traffic lights. All are marked with the faux-company name-stamp “Mortimer & Co 1928”, which contains references to Mortimer Mouse, the original name for the character who would become Mickey Mouse — thank you for saving us from that Lillian Disney — and 1928, the year Mickey Mouse debuted.

Hollywood Studios

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

At the end of Sunset Boulevard sits one of Hollywood Studios’ — and Walt Disney World overall’s — most famous attractions: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The iconic attraction is full of references and easter eggs to Hollywood history, and specifically (and unsurprisingly) the Twilight Zone television series.

The largest amount of references can be found in the library portion of the queue. A close inspection of the shelves around the room reveals numerous props from the series, including the cracked glasses from the episode “Time Enough to Last”, the book “To Serve Man” from the episode of the same name, a miniature spacesuit from “The Invaders”, and the fortune telling machine from “Nick of Time.”

Take a close look at the props in the library!

As guests move into the boiler room portion of the queue, they’d be wise to take a close look at the elevator inspection certificate hanging near the ride vehicles. The certificate is #10259, a reference to October 25, 1959, the date The Twilight Zone premiered.

Elevator Inspection Certificate

Furthermore, the certificate claims that the elevator was inspected on October 31, 1939 — the date when the Hollywood Tower Hotel was struck by lightning according to the attraction’s story — by Cadwallader, a character who was revealed to actually be the Devil in disguise on the Twilight Zone episode “The Escape Clause.”

Further Twilight Zone easter eggs can be seen at the end of the attraction, as Caesar the Dummy from the episode “Caesar and Me” and the sentient slot machine from “The Fever” can both be found in the basement, while the Tina doll from “Talky Tina” can be found in the gift shop.

Echo Lake

Across Hollywood Boulevard from Sunset Boulevard sits the Echo Lake section of the park. The area is dominated by a massive dinosaur-shaped building selling ice cream in the middle of the lake. What guests may not know about that dino is that it’s named “Gertie” — as a tribute to the trailblazing 1914 animated short Gertie the Dinosaur from animator and vaudeville performer Winsor McCay.

Gertie the Dinosaur

Another set of Hollywood easter eggs can be found on the crates scattered around Echo Lake. Each of them are emblazoned with names and shipping addresses linked to a classic Hollywood film, including one being sent to “George Bailey in NY”, a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life and another on its way to “Prof. Jones” care of Marshall College, an Indiana Jones reference not so coincidently located outside the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. In addition, other crates in the area reference Casablanca and Citizen Kane.

Echo Lake Crates

There was a period when Roger Rabbit was planned to be a major part of the Studios theme park. These days, one of the few remnants left of the once ubiquitous rabbit can be found in Echo Lake. Just above Hollywood & Vine, a window for the character Eddie Valiant’s Detective Agency with a Roger Rabbit-shaped hole through it can be seen.

Eddie Valiant’s Detective Agency window

Echo Lake also features references to The Rocketeer — slush stand Peevy’s Polar Pipeline is themed after a character from the film, and the iconic helmet and jetpack can be seen behind the counter.

The Rocketeer’s helmet and jetpack are on display at Peevy’s Polar Pipeline

Finally, Echo Lake contains a direct reference to Walt and Roy Disney themselves. Just next to Peevy’s is a facade door marked Holly Vermont Realty with a window above that shows a loft for rent. When the Disney brothers first settled in Hollywood, they actually did rent a loft above a business named Holly Vermont Realty.

Grand Avenue

The Grand Avenue section of Hollywood Studios is technically one of the park’s newest, though it’s mainly made up of preexisting attractions and buildings that were reconstituted into Grand Avenue prior to the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Muppet*Vision 3D Back in 5 Minutes Sign

The only attraction in Grand Avenue is Muppet*Vision 3-D. As one would expect from a Muppets-based experience, the attraction and its queue are full of inside-jokes and easter eggs. These include a security window with a sign reading “Back in 5 minutes — key is under the mat.” If you lift the mat, you’ll find a key embedded in the floor.

The Key is Under the Mat!

A more niche Disney in-joke can be found in the preshow area, where a net holding crates of Jell-O hangs above guests’ heads. “A net full of Jello” is a reference to legendary Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. Waka Waka, indeed.

Muppet*Vision’s queue also features a directory to Muppet Labs, which reads:

-Institute of Heckling & Browbeating — Statler & Walforf, Curmudgeons in Chief
-Muppet Kitchens & Pyrotechnic Research — Swedish Chef, Tippy TOp Cookie Guy
-Department of Poultry — Gonzo
-Department of Comedic Timing — Fozzie Bear
-Attitudinal Adjustment — Dr. Teeth (Chairman) & Floyd Pepper (otto)
-Division of Decibel — Animal, Pecussionist
-Patriotic Analysis — Sam Eagle

While we could probably write a whole article about MuppetVision 3D’s in-jokes and entertainment references, there is more to Grand Avenue than Jim Henson’s creations. There’s Mama Melrose restaurant, which features a window above it that reads “Geiger’s Rare Books 1st Editions”, a reference to Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Big Sleep. The area also features the Baseline Taphouse restaurant, which features books and other literary decorations as a reference to the former occupant of the space, The Writer’s Shop bakery and bookstore.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost — AKA Star Wars: Galaxy Edge — literally features thousands of easter eggs and references to the Star Wars saga. Some of the most notable include droid tracks in the land’s pavement that were made using the actual R2-D2’s tread tracks.

Another of our favorite Galaxy’s Edge secret easter eggs can be found in the Toydarian Toy Shop. If guests look above their heads, they’ll see toys hanging from the ceiling that are locked in reenactments of famous scenes from the franchise. These Include the Millennium Falcon escaping Imperial ships by hiding in an asteroid field, and Obi Wan Kenobi dueling Darth Vader on the Death Star.

Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land features a ton of easter eggs relating to the Pixar saga, as well as toys in general, thanks to its overall theming of every structure being made of boxes Andy has repurposed. For example, if one looks closer at the decor of the restrooms, they’ll notice they’re actually “made of” the boxes of a fictional game entitled “Cooties.”


The land also features a reference to Pixar’s larger culture. Outside Woody’s Lunch Box, guests can find block and dominoes that read out “A113” a nod to the classroom at Cal Arts where many Pixar artists took their animation classes  — which can been seen referenced in every Pixar film.

Hidden Secrets of Animal Kingdom in Disney World

These are just some ion the secret easter eggs spread throughout Hollywood Studios. Did we find your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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