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Disney's Hollywood Studios: Crossroads Of The World

Disney's Hollywood Studios is Disney World's tribute to Hollywood.  Many of the buildings that you see in Disney's Hollywood Studios are patterned after actual buildings and landmarks from Hollywood, California.

Today we take a look at the Crossroads Of The World.

One of the first landmarks that catches your eye as you approach and enter Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Crossroads of the World.  Its placement at the front of the park with its tower extending into the sky certainly gets your attention.  On top of the tower is a globe and perched on that globe you will find Mickey Mouse himself joyfully greeting all park guests.

At Disney World the Crossroads Of The World is a functional gift shop and information station for Hollywood Studios (pictured below).  Its bigger purpose is to serve as a weenie (Disney term) to catch your attention as you enter the park.  You see it from a distance and you are automatically drawn to it.  You want to get closer to see what it is.
When you get close you see the welcoming Mickey Mouse at the top of the art deco styled structure.  Many people do not realize that this structure is a near identical copy of the structure of the same name in Hollywood(Pictured below).

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith

Crossroads Of The World
The original Crossroads Of The World is recognized as America's first outdoor shopping mall built in 1936 and designed by Robert V. Derrah.  It is located at 6671 Sunset Boulevard. The tower structure that Disney World copied was 55 feet tall with an 8 foot diameter revolving globe on top.  The shopping center followed Derrah's Streamline Moderne Style which was a branch of Art Deco.   The main building of the shopping center was actually shaped line an ocean liner and the surrounding buildings were designed to look like cottages taking architectural styles from various ports of call like: Spanish, English, Oriental, French, and Cape Cod styles.
The era of the 1930s was considered the "Golden Age of Travel."  During this time traveling by ocean liner was the ultimate travel experience and evoked thoughts of far away, beautiful places to explore.  This influenced the art and architecture of that time.

Unfortunately nothing stays in its idealized state.  Although the Crossroads Of The World still exisits, the shopping and dining that it was known for has been replaced with office space.  During the 1970's the complex became run down and dilapidated.  Fortunately new owners have revived the complex and rejuvinated it.  Perhaps not the same as its hey day, it still makes for a photogenic tourist attraction which is a testiment to its bold architecture and styling.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney Imagineers sought out classic images and structures throughout Hollywood's history to bring to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Many of the buildings that Disney has duplicated do not exist in the "real" Hollywood today.  Over time Only WDWorld will continue to show you the Disney Version compared to the Hollywood originals.  For many people this will be the only way for them to experience the classic era of Hollywood.

Make a point during your next Hollywood Studios visit to look closer at the Crossroads Of The World and tell your family of the story of the original structure in Hollywood.

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