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Hollywoodland Gates

Most folks who go on Tower of Terror just run, err...walk as fast as they can to the attraction and ride over and over again and some of the best details of this attraction are lost on them. One of these is really subtle but perhaps on your way to the bathrooms or to get a FASTPASS, you may have noticed two rather ominous stone structures.


The structures in the park serve as restrooms but the reason they're there is that they are almost exact replicas of the monuments that act as gates at the end of Hollywood's Beachwood Drive. In California, the mountains behidn the gates would become home to the famous "Hollywood" sign, which was originally built to advertise a real-estate development called Hollywoodland. The gates mark the entrance to this hillside collection of homes and cottages. A metal sign proclaims "Hollwoodland, Est. 1923". Regarding the design of the gates, stonemakers from Europe built several things for Hollywoodland besides these landmark gates, including retaining walls and stairways around Beachwood Canyon. The original plan had Hollywoodland a gated community, with a guard on duty for twelve hours beginning at 6:30 p.m., but that never materialized.


Disney-MGM Studios designers copied this Los Angeles landmark down to the last detail except for one thing. At the Studios, the metal sign reads "Hollywood Hills Estates" which is a fictional housing development. Disney also took the fictional name as the name of the theater that shows Fantasmic!, as the name of the theater is the "Hollywood Hills Ampitheater".

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About this column

Ever seen something in Hollywood Studios and wondered why it was placed there by Disney's Imagineers? Matt Hochberg leads you on a regular look at the hidden details in Hollywood Studios and explains why it's there.


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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007 by
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