Dinosaur Gertie in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction is found at Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction is found at Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

As you may guess from the name, the main purpose of Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction is to sell ice cream. But actually, I have never gotten any ice cream from Dinosaur Gertie. Instead, I just get photos, such as this cool photo taken during the early evening hours from our December trip to Walt Disney World.

Dinosaur Gertie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was actually inspired by two different things. The first was the interesting architecture found throughout California of buildings that don’t look like buildings at all. A dinosaur-shaped ice cream stand? Sure, why not?

But perhaps more importantly, Dinosaur Gertie was inspired by Gertie the Dinosaur, created by a fellow named Windsor McKay way back in 1914 and considered to be among the earliest animated films. As part of McKay’s Vaudeville act, Gertie would be projected onto the screen behind him and would seemingly respond to his commands. It all seems rather simple now, but it was a big hit back then. There isn’t a direct connection between Disney and the original Gertie, although Walt Disney included a segment about Gertie in one of the early Disneyland television show episodes about the history of animation. While Gertie may not be a Disney creation, she definitely had an effect on Hollywood, as well as on the future of a young Walt Disney.

Dinosaur Gertie in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Here is a daytime photo of Gertie, with some cool sun flare as a bonus. It is always cool to me how Gertie blows smoke from her nostrils. Maybe she is a prehistoric heat pump, pumping the heat away from the ice cream and out through her nose. For whatever reason, it is a cool touch, one of those unnecessary things that add just a bit more to something already cool. You can also see our young friend Katie reading the plaque giving a bit of history about Gertie the Dinosaur. I suppose that is for those who walk by and think, “I don’t remember that dinosaur from any Disney movies!”

While the nighttime photo at the top of this page is really neat, Gertie looks pretty good in the sunlight, too. You can see the smoke from her nostrils better in the daylight, and you can see her glowing eyes better at night.

Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

In this photo of Echo Lake, you can see Gertie at the left, and Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner on the right (more about that one another time). Here, you can also see the snow on Gertie’s back, partially blocked by the sign in the above photos. Maybe the snow helps keep the ice cream cold, too. And here, her glowing eye looks just a little creepy, almost as though she is an undead zombie dinosaur or something. But don’t worry, she is harmless.

After all, zombie dinosaurs wouldn’t serve ice cream, would they?

I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures of the field are Mine. - Psalm 50:11

About the photos:

I can’t seem to walk by Dinosaur Gertie without getting a photo of her. After all, you don’t see a big dinosaur like that every day. That explains why I have daytime and nighttime photos of her.

For the nighttime photos, as you can probably tell I took these right after the sun had gone down. There was still some color in the sky, and there was enough light to make taking the photos relatively easy. That is just about the best time of the day to take photos. Too bad it doesn’t last longer.

I was particularly impressed with how the Echo Lake photo above turned out. Here is a before-and-after comparison showing how colorless the original was compared to how much color I was able to bring out using the Raw file:

Dinosaur Gertie in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World before and after

Photo: 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
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 Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.