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The History of Gertie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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If you love Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there’s a chance you know who Gertie is. She is one of my favorite landmarks at this park, especially when she wears a little Santa hat during the holidays. Guest can find her standing over Echo Lake; many of us look at her in awe. To many Disney World fans, she’s a Disney icon, but she actually has nothing to do with the company. Let’s dive into her history and why she’s at Hollywood Studios.



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Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction was built by Imagineers back in 1989 for the park, and it’s been open ever since. With that being said, her history goes way beyond 1989. “Gertie the Dinosaur” was one of the first well-known animated cartoon stars. She was created by Winsor McCay in 1913 and starred in a 12-minute film that was hand drawn. She amazed vaudeville audiences in 1914 when she was projected onto a screen, making her life-sized while sharing the stage with her creator.

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Walt enjoyed McCay’s performance so much that he recreated it in 1955 for The Story of the Animated Drawing, which aired on Disneyland television. That was the first time Disney and Gertie crossed paths. He truly believed that Gertie was a significant character in the history of animated films.



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When I was learning about her history, it made sense as to why Gertie now lives at Hollywood Studios. She greatly impacted the animated world, which Walt loved dearly. Imagineers believed this would be a beautiful way to honor Walt’s love for her, and I agree with them.

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Over by Gerie, there’s a stand that has some of her history for guests to read. On your next trip, be sure to stop and say hi to our favorite dinosaur and read her story. After that, I suggest jumping in line and grabbing some ice cream; it’s what Walt Disney would want.

Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.




















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