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Sometimes my Disney adventures take me beyond Anaheim and Disneyland; today we’re headed to Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in the heart of Hollywood.
Before we get into all the good stuff a little public service announcement.
Hollywood Safety from the LAPD
A little background info and safety advice for visiting Hollywood. If you’ve never been to Hollywood, close your eyes and imagine what it’s like. Limos, celebrities, posh boutiques, more celebrities? If you imagined any of those things, toss those ideas out the window. What you think about Hollywood is not really Hollywood. Hollywood itself is not really a place you want to hang out.
Sure, you’ve got premieres and red carpet and nightlife and dining options, but Hollywood isn’t really a place to hang out with the fam all day long. And sorry to break it to you, it’s not very likely you’ll bump into any celebrities there. 🙁
I contacted LA’s finest at the LAPD to gather some safety tips for you when you’re traveling to a new place—Hollywood included.
Here’s what our friends at the LAPD had so say:
- Parking – park in a secured structure (n/w/c of Hollywood and Highland, off Johnny Grant Way is the biggest one). If it’s too expensive or it’s full, always look for secured lots with someone manning it.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car, and if you have to, put them in the trunk so no one can see them.
- Stick with actual companies to do touristy stuff. Don’t go to the guy who’s on the corner offering tours in his personal van . . .lol.
- There are always officers assigned to that area, look for the police car or uniforms if you need something.
- Keep your purse, diaper bag, wallet, etc. on your person. Don’t leave [those items] in strollers or set [them] down.
- The street characters look cool and most of them are ok, but I personally advise to stay away. Some are criminals with lengthy rap sheets and will do anything to make a buck.
Feel free to call Hollywood Community Police Station if you have questions or need anything: (213) 972-2971
Disney’s El Capitan Tour
Now that we know how to stay safe when touring Hollywood, remember to go with a purpose and then get out of there. My kids have been there maybe two or three times and we thoroughly explain safety measures each time including holding hands and not talking to or taking anything from anyone.
Our most recent visit to Hollywood landed us at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre; if you want a Hollywood experience, this is it!
One of the main things that impressed me so much about the El Capitan was it is not a tourist trap. The money you pay for a guided tour behind-the-scenes is completely worth it. We spent well over an hour with our tour guides and it was just our group in the tour which made it super custom and unique.
Tours begin early each morning, be sure to call the theatre directly for updated information because the time listed online was not correct. The great thing about taking the tour early is you can be done and leave Hollywood before craziness wakes up, plus parking is more abundant in the morning hours.
At press time you do not need a reservation for a tour, just call when you arrive and let them know you’re ready for a tour so they can let you in.
El Capitan Theatre 818-845-3110.
When you take a tour at Disney’s El Capitan you’ll learn a little Hollywood history plus see backstage and the inner-working of this incredible theatre that still hosts live productions, premieres and movies.
I won’t go into every detail of our tour, because you will want to experience it yourself. And afterward you can catch the first showing of the day or head out for some more Disney fun around Los Angeles.
Disney’s El Capitan in Photos
Here’s only a little of what you’ll see on a guided tour at the El Cap.
Stunning architectural details of this classic Hollywood building right on Hollywood Blvd. and a perfect view of the famed Hollywood sign.
A huge collection of photos from Disney movie premieres and other historical events at The El Capitan.
My husband is a huge Tron fan, so had to snap this pic.
Imagine being right there during this fantastic UP photo shoot and premiere.
Backstage you’ll see the every detail from the backstage curtains to the dressing rooms.
Inside the Richard and Robert Sherman dressing room, sitting where countless stars including Elton John, the Sherman Brothers (of course!), more Disney legends like Dick Van Dyke and other celebrities have sat.
Speaking of Dick Van Dyke . . . a little selfie in the dressing room with our favorite chimney sweep in the background.
Backstage you’ll meet Ethel the organ. She’s one of only 5 in the world and boasts over 2,800 pipes (you’ll get to see those too!) She still plays on select nights as well.
A temporary aquarium inside the El Capitan during the Finding Dory premiere.
Disney’s El Capitan Movies & Premiers
Since Disney took over the theatre in 1988, The El Capitan has played host to numerous premieres and Disney events. Currently showing is a countdown to Moana, showcasing the films of Ron & Jon until October 16, 2016. Later on this month you can watch Disney Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus.
You can also see new releases and check out the many special events hosted at this stunning theatre year-round. And yes, live performances still happen here too. After our tour we got to sit front row for an awesome bubble magic show, perfectly themed for Finding Dory which was playing at the time.
When selecting your seats, know that almost every seat is guaranteed to be a great view. But if you’re looking for a little more leg room, choose seats GG or HH in the 100’s. Good to know info if your husband happens to be 6’5″ 🙂
Will you be visiting the El Capitan during your Disneyland vacation? Don’t forget to check out the Hollywood walk of fame stars in front of the theatre while you’re there.
Disneyland expert who also loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.