Often in this column, we focus on one minute detail in Disney's Hollywood Studios but today we're branching out and focusing on an entire portion of the park. Echo Lake is located in the heart of Disney's Hollywood Studios, yet the area is often overlooked as a central piece of theme and design. Just like Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards or the Streets of America, Echo Lake had a very specific design to it so that it would evoke a very distinct feeling. While it's overall theme may have been diminished over the years with attractions like American Idol Experience that have a different theme than what was originally there.
Echo Lake, is an idealized California. In the center is the cool, blue lake of the same name, an oasis fringed with trees and benches and ringed with landmarks: pink-and-aqua restaurants trimmed in chrome, presenting sassy waitresses and television sets at the tables. Around it you find more examples of the that idealized California style with "California Crazy" decor such as Min and Bill's Dockside Diner, which offers fast food in an oversized boat and Gertie, a dinosaur that dispenses ice cream, and the occasional puff of smoke in true magic-dragon fashion. There are even "foot prints" left by Gertie in the sidewalk near it. Also in the area is the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame where bronze busts of Hollywood's elite are present to pay homage to them.
Echo Lake also had the distinction of being part of the mega Hidden Mickey that the Studios formed back when the park first opened. The name Echo Lake is based on a real lake in Los Angeles, California with the same name.