Hello, friends! Welcome back to the world's only blog dedicated to reviewing a new Disney Parks & Resorts restroom each week! That's right: as far as we can tell, ours is your exclusive website for in-depth, painstakingly-detailed peeks into the cans at your favorite place on Earth!
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This week, we're journeying back through time's swirling mists to Hollywood's heyday and a trip to one of our favorite loos. Join us as we travel back to the mid-1920's and visit an iconic hangout for celebrities both well-established and newly-budding. Of course, the park for this trip is none other than Disney's Hollywood Studios!
Walking through the park's entrance, we head straight down Hollywood Boulevard, tossing but a quick glance down Sunset at the imposing Hollywood Tower Hotel as we make our way deeper into the Studios. We resist the temptation to visit Starring Rolls Cafe; though, admittedly, that carrot cake cookie (formerly of The Writer's Stop fame) may bring us back for dessert. Soon, to our right, we see our the Spanish facade of our destination: the only signature dining restaurant at DHS, and the only one which truly seems to embrace the Hollywood of yesteryear theme. That's right, folks: this week, we're heading to The Hollywood Brown Derby!
The original Derby (there were actually two of them in Hollywood, and one more in Beverly Hills) was found on Wilshire Boulevard; however, the Brown Derby where deals were struck and stars could often be found was located at Hollywood & Vine, near many of the major movie studios of the day. Decorated with celebrity caricatures, many of these same celebrities would frequent the Vine location, propelling the restaurant as the place where the famous could rub elbows.
Did you know the owner of The Brown Derby was Bob Cobb? Well, you do now, as do you now understand the namesake of the Derby's famous signature salad, still served at DHS.
As we stroll up the canopied walkway to the restaurant's entrance, we're suddenly struck with an urge which temporarily overpowers our hunger: we need to use the loo. Fortunately, one isn't far away. Once inside the Derby's lobby, we turn left and walk through an arched doorway. Check out the caricatures above!
Don't you just love the theming here? Spanish style arches, exposed wood beams beyond the doorway, classic black and white tile: it practically screams, "All right,Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup." Moving beyond this area, we quickly turn right to discover:
Wow! Brilliant wall sconces light the way to an elevator and to the adjacent stairs. Does anyone know where these lead? The stairway has been roped off every time the Loo Review Crew has visited The Brown Derby. We're dying to know what's hiding upstairs (but not badly enough to risk getting in trouble -- ed), so if you or someone you know has ever ventured beyond the rope, please let us know!
Just to the right of the elevator is another hallway, and, just inside -- to our right once again -- sits the foyer to the loo of the stars! Here's a view of the door leading to the men's loo:
Classy, and even more so when viewed up-close:
Very cool: the polished brass sign is adorned with a celebrity caricature perched near its peak, promising a classic Hollywood evacuation experience beyond! Let's push through the door and head on in, shall we?
Wow! Just ... wow! It's exactly what we wanted: a trip to the toilets of yesteryear! We halfway expected to find Clark Gable sitting in a stall, Groucho Marx using the urinal.
The tile work here is just crazy good. We love the inimitable style that can only come from a black and white pattern -- it just screams that this is the place where Hollywood's elite come to poop!
Here's a closer look:
Imagine just how much time it took to lay this pattern -- and it runs throughout the entire loo! The attention to detail here is really impressive -- what a feat! Say what you want about DHS, the tile work is truly top-notch throughout all of the loos in the park -- and this one may very well be the Studios' crown jewel. White tile, by the way, isn't very forgiving when it comes to showing dirt. Never fear, though: this loo was spotless. From the polished brass outside to the gleaming tile inside, the cast members responsible for keeping this loo clean deserve an Academy Award.
Four urinals line one wall of the loo. Nothing fancy -- each separated by a white composite divider to prevent celebrities from crossing the streams. How about the caricatures near the restroom's entrance, though? What a cool touch, and these are but the tip of the urinal wafer, folks. This loo is adorned with a veritable who's who of Hollywood's heyday.
Here's a view of the sink station. Three white porcelain basins are situated beneath the watchful visages of celebrities (mostly) long-gone. There's another sink, by the way, sitting all by its lonesome just to the left of this photo.
Let's take a closer look at the artwork:
Jack Bailey sends his regards to Brown Derby owner, Bob Cobb.
Ray Bradbury signed this Jack Lane original in 1978!
Harry Crocker sends his "Thanks!" to the original Derby:
Lloyd Corrigan has signed his original "Vitch"-drawn caricature, sending his regards to The Brown Derby as well.
These are but a few of the hundreds of caricatures lining the walls of not only the loo, but the entire restaurant as well. Artists Jack Lane, "Zed" and Eddie "Vitch" gained fame and notoriety for their spot-on drawings of celebrities, each capturing the essence of the actor/artist with but a few well-placed brush strokes. These works of art were proudly displayed in the original Brown Derby and have found a prominent home at the DHS location as well.
Here's a look inside one of the stalls. Check this out -- the Derby is one of the few locations on-property where the user must pull a handle to flush the toilet. We know, we know: it's considered unsanitary in this era of automatic flushing toilets and urinals. That said, it seems very fitting that this loo -- the one that is devoted to transporting us back in time nearly 90 years -- remains true to its roots. We love this little touch, and we sincerely hope the Department of Loo Imagineering never takes it away.
WDW Loo Review Recap of The Hollywood Brown Derby Loo at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios:
Capacity: Medium (4 urinals, 3 stalls -- one ADA compliant)
Changing Station: No
Companion Restroom: No
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5 urinal wafers
Summary: Wow! Here's another spectacular loo, certainly befitting an equally spectacular restaurant. Disney's Hollywood Studios has, thus far, done a memorable job transporting us back in time during our trips to the loo: first, it took us back to the 50's at Prime Time Cafe; and, now, we've traveled back to 1920s-40's Hollywood. Here's the great thing about this loo: you can spend quite a long time in here, admiring the tile work, staring at the caricatures (trust us, we gathered more than a few stares taking these photos -- ed) -- and you don't even have to have a dining reservation to do so! So, what are you waiting for? Make your way down the Boulevard posthaste and empty your bladder in this one. You won't be disappointed!
Thanks, again, for joining us for another week. Oh, if you haven't yet checked-out last week's review, you're truly missing out. Submitted by guest loo reviewer Josiah Bisceglia (of The WDW Big Q Podcast fame -- if you haven't checked this podcast out, do it now!), it's truly one of our best reviews yet. Check out Josiah's guest review here!
Have a wonderful week, everyone. Join us next week for another exclusive peek into another Disney Parks & Resorts Loo! Until then, bottoms down and thumbs up!