Echo Park Lake is a man made reservoir in the Echo Park neighborhood near the Silverlake and Hollywood districts. This area was actually the original hub of the film industry before it shifted to Hollywood. The park and the Disney reincarnation represent an idyllic setting in the midst of a bustling boom town. Both parks feature an island and banks populated with palm trees giving them the perfect Southern California look.
Take a look at the resemblence in the pictures below.
Echo Lake Park, Los Angeles
Echo Lake, Hollywood Studios
Echo Park Lake was converted into a city park in 1891 under orders from the Mayor to turn it into a park that would be the envy of any other city. A post World War 2 building explosion brought an abundance of Spanish style homes and apartments to the area. This is also recreated in the Hollywood Studios version with the addition of the Echo Lake apartments between the Hollywood And Vine restaurant and Tune In Lounge.
Echo Lake Apartments
The Echo Lake Apartments have some very interesting people that live there. Take a look at the mailboxes on the wall next to the gate.
Echo Lake Apartments Mailbox's
Apartment 101: Polk/Olson
Apartment 102: Hamilton/Gray
Apartment 103: Mr and Mrs Kilankowski
Apartment 104: Roberdeau – John Roberdeau Drury
Apartment 201: Beyer/Quinn
Apartment 203: Dietzel/Benson
Apartment 204: Empero/Zovich
Apartment 205: Mr and Mrs D. Yanchar
These residents are Imagineers who helped create Disney’s Hollywood Studios (or back then the MGM Studios).
Southern California is known for it’s architectural style referred to as “California Crazy”. The buildings are expressed in a playful and over the top way. There were doughnut shops shaped as doughnuts , factories shaped like ships and in Disney’s case an ice cream stand shaped like a dinosaur. This is not just any dinosaur though, this dinosaur is a celebrity.
Gertie the dinosaur was a short cartoon created by legendary animator Winsor McCay in1914. This cartoon is seen as one of the most significant animated films of all time. It features the first instance of “personality animation” in which an animated character’s emotions are expressed through their actions. McCay was a pioneer and an influence to Walt Disney.
Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream
On the other side of the lake lays another bit of “California Crazy”. This is Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner.
Min & Bill's Dockside Diner
This boat is a reference to the 1930 Academy Award winning film “Min and Bill”. Bill is a fishing boat captain and Min is the owner of the waterfront hotel where Bill lives. Make sure you film buffs check out the cargo crates that have to be loaded onto the ship and you will notice some interesting addresses.
From the film Citizen Kane
- From the film Casablanca
From the film It's A Wonderful Life
From the film Gone With The Wind
From the film The Producers
Next time you are at Hollywood Studios make sure you check out Echo Lake. There are lots of great hidden details and there are many more to find.
Follow Callum on Twitter at @detailsofdisney