Crossroads of the World at Disney's Hollywood Studios

In each park at Walt Disney World, I seem to have a “standard” photo spot. One of those places where I always take a photo. Or two. Or three. And actually, I probably have more than one standard photo spot in each park, too.

Anyway, one of my standard spots in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Crossroads of the World.

Crossroads of the World at Walt Disney World

Crossroads of the World, seen here from our December 2016 visit, stands just inside the main entrance to the park, at one end of Hollywood Boulevard. It serves as an information stand and gift shop, but it is also a focal point for that area, helping to give a sense of place with an immediately recognizable symbol.

The actual Crossroads of the World was considered to be the first outdoor shopping mall, located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. These days, the actual Crossroads is an office complex instead of a shopping center, in case you were wondering, but the main Crossroads structure is still there.

However, there is one major difference between the actual Crossroads of the World and the Disney version:

Crossroads of the World at Walt Disney World

Standing on top of the world in the Walt Disney World version is Mickey Mouse, looking as he did in the mid 1930s, with his classic solid black eyes and white face. He even appears to be waving to us as we make our way inside the park. Obviously, Mickey is not there on the real-life version. But then this is not real life, after all. However, Mickey really does not look all that out of place here, for whatever reason. He perfectly fits in with the fanciful version of Hollywood, but then he was one of the kings of the real Hollywood at the time it was portrayed here.

Also, if you look close, you can see security cameras right underneath the globe. Although they are discrete, they are a reminder that this is actually a theme park in the 21st Century. Those are the times that we live in.

Crossroads of the World at Walt Disney World

While the first view was from just inside the park looking up Hollywood Boulevard toward the Chinese Theater and the rest of the park, this view is from the middle of Hollywood Boulevard looking back toward the park entrance. Mickey is facing away from us, by the way, if you can’t tell. But even though this might be considered the “back” of Crossroads of the World, if a circular structure can have a front and a back, I like this centered view. Yes, it would be nice if Mickey were turned around facing us, but I can live with his back here.

This photo (as with many of the photos around here these days) was taken with a fisheye lens to be able to get the whole Crossroads spire in the frame. I like how the buildings seem to curve in toward the Crossroads here. Sometimes I try to correct for that bending in processing, but I left it here because I liked it. The curved lines help to draw your eyes to the center of the photo even more, I think.

Crossroads of the World at Walt Disney World

Because Crossroads of the World is at the entrance to the park, that means that you also pass by it on your way out. So of course I had to get one more photo of it as we were leaving, and this was a nighttime photo, since it was after dark when we left. By the way, if that looks like snow in the air, that is because it is. Not real snow, however, but instead snow on Hollywood Boulevard as part of the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! nighttime show that had ended not long before. So while it might have been cool enough for a jacket, which you can see many people wearing, it still was nowhere near cold enough for snow. For which we were all thankful.

Mickey was still up there (he never moves, you know), but this time he was waving goodbye to us, bidding us a fond farewell until we return again, whenever that may be.

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. - Psalm 90:12

About the photo:

As was mentioned above, all of these photos except for the closeup photo of Mickey and the globe were taken with a fisheye lens, in case that was not obvious. That seems to be the look that I prefer for most photos these days.

I did particularly like how the first photo turned out, with its warm, sunny feeling, with the sun hiding behind one of the palm trees. However, this one took a good bit of work to get it to look like it does in the final version. Take a look at this before-and-after comparison to see for yourself:

Crossroads of the World at Walt Disney World - before and after

Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens and Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: December 22, 2016
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Florida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.