Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store
If you love-love anything Disney, you can get happy-happy over the fact that you don't have to be in Anaheim to have the Disney experience. Though you can't do the roller coasters and shake Mickey's hand here, one can indulge on Mickey and Minnie's favorite- soda and ice cream- and then can just go retail berserk over the latest, greatest Disney merchandise. Hey, you won't miss the overpriced goodies here like in D-Land Anaheim.
About the "dining" experience, it is completely geared for typical families-just sweet heaven for the kids. I mean overflowing floats (choice of soda with vanilla or chocolate ice cream) and similar as the main feature on a menu! This should be a sin but hey, it's all Disney (take that however you want it to mean :-) ! Just a heads-up about prices- These ice cream drinks and treats are not so cheap, running as much as $7.50 (the under is about $4.00). Of course, one serving is really two or three in America, so if so concern, try to split your order. This shouldn't be a problem to do so- your stomach will thank you later!
There is consideration here to actually serve food here. Healthier options are available including sandwiches but don't expect tofu with asparagus here. No one will come here specifically to eat lunch or dinner- just dessert! I shutter to think of this tip as a "culinary tip"- just a curious-something that has to be mentioned.
Unique Suggestions: Have a malt, root beer float and/or ice cream and worry about the calories later-well, if you can afford to do so! Appreciate the exterior building of the place- ornate Spanish style (as pictured)
Fun Alternatives: Head further down Hollywood Blvd and check out a small support the little mom and pop cafe or restaurant with some healthier dining options
...just from the car. It's not a major deal but look for it so that you can say that you did not miss it.
Unique Suggestions: Of course, if you're like me (if you like to look for murals), stop and look at the wall by Capitol Building. Here is yet another mural in the L.A. community- L.A. is the mural city of the world!
and go along the Walk of Fame. Pick out your favorite star, any star and place your hands and feet on theirs. But please don't be stupid and write your own name on a blank star or cross out someone else's name and write yours in its place, for that matter ! Defacing is purely asinine!
Here's Antonio, a bit of a Phil Collins look-alike posing by his famous resemblance's star!
DO NOT GO FOR THIS ONE! We got asked by a very nice well dressed man if we would like a free tour of the old screen actors guild building on Hollywood Blvd. He said it only took 5 minutes. So, we agreed. It turns out that yes, it used to be the building for the SAG, but now it's a trick to get you in to teach you about Scientology and we were in there for over an hour while he went on & on. When we finally got back outside it was dark & we had lost the last of the daylight in this sham of a tour. We felt very deceived.
Unique Suggestions: Do not go in! You'll walk out with a bunch of useless flyers and feel that you were totally misled.
Outdoor mall with retail, restaurants etc. Unless you want to visit the Kodak theater and see where the Academy Awards take place it is not worth the time or the parking fee. There is a decent view of the Hollywood sign but i'm sure that there are other places to take a picture.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to check out Hollywood and HIghland I suggest parking on a nearby side street and walking over.
Fun Alternatives: An alternative would be shopping along Hollywood Boulevard. Most the unsightly t-shirt and XXX shops have relocated. In addition you can experience Hollywood Boulevard in all its glory. The chamber of commerce has placed historical signs along the boulevard for a self guided walking tour.
This is not really a tourist trap but it can scare you if you don't expect it. As you walk down on Hollywood Boulevard, you see an open place with a very tall man inside and some large and weird things. This is the Guinness World of records place where you can see the tallest man alive, the guy who ate the most earth worms. The World's biggest motorcycle and so on. This guy acts like if he was a robot or a machine and when there are enough people around him staring and looking, he'll step down from his podium and shakes hands with you. It can scare the crap out of a person if not expected.
He doesn't look alive. It looks like a doll or a wax statue with a small motor inside. Believe me he is a very real person.
Unique Suggestions: Just expect him to step down at any minute.
Fun Alternatives: Give him a dollar or shake his hand if he stepps down. He is really good at this.
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