Hollywood Boulevard is a palm-lined re-creation of Tinseltown's main drag during Los Angeles's Golden Age. Most service facilities are here, interspersed with eateries and shops. Merchandise includes Disney trademark items, Hollywood and movie-related souvenirs, and one-of-a-kind collectibles obtained from studio auctions and estate sales.
Hollywood characters and roving performers entertain on the boulevard, and daily parades and other happenings pass this way.
In 1989, Michael Eisner proclaimed that Walt Disney World's third park would be dedicated to Hollywood "not a place on a map, but a state of mind" and "a Hollywood that never was â€“ and always will be."
Inspired by early filmmakers who used Los Angeles as the background for their movies, Disney's Imagineers use real building facades and billboards to tell the story of the mythical Hollywood of our collective consciousness. For the architecture, the Imagineers apply a design trick called "shrink and edit" that takes a real building for inspiration and then changes the scale, color or detail to support the story. Hollywood Boulevard is filled with such examples.
You adventure starts at the park entrance as you pass through a reproduction of the Streamline Moderne Pan-Pacific Auditorium, Hollywood's primary convention center from 1935 to 1972. The entry plaza is at the intersection of Hollywood and Prospect Avenue. The central building is the Crossroad building (1936), which is a tribute to an early Los Angeles mini-mall. It is topped by a five-foot Mickey Mouse, with one of Mickey's ear's functioning as a lightning rod.
To the left of the park entrance is Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind shop, an example of the California Bungalow and inspired by the true story of the Janes House, in which a homeowner on Hollywood Boulevard held out against commercial development and a shopping mall just built around him. Other buildings include an electric substation (1907) from Culver City that is now a performance space, the Blaine Building (1926), a J.J. Newberry (1928), a bank on Wilshire Boulevard (1929), the Chapman Market (1929), Max Factor Building (1931), Owl Drug Store (1933), the Darkroom (1938), and many, many others. A highlight is The Hollywood Brown Derby (1929), which is a treasure inside and out.
The two billboards at the entrance establish the architectural timeframe for Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards as well as Echo Lake (1923-1945). The Hollywoodland billboard refers to a subdivision that opened in 1923, the same the year Walt Disney moved to Hollywood. Adjacent is a billboard for the 1945 Hollywood Canteen, a Hollywood oasis for soldiers fighting in World War II.