04 November 2015

Company Hiatus

Once upon a time, everything inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios was considered to be a production set. Either it was on stage, in areas such as Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, or it backstage and could show off its inner workings, a la the Streets of America. Without security gates to demark these areas any longer, the line between stage and screen has become a bit blurred. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any Hollywood magic to uncover. Take the Writer’s Stop for example.

Originally, this sitcom set turned bookstore and bakery was dressed like Buy the Book, from the show Ellen. After the show had run its course, the bookstore and coffee shop façade was kept intact, spruced up, and renamed Writer’s Stop. Overhead you can see the lights ready to switch on and illuminate our stars on set, and you can even see the wooden backs and spray-painted set names on the walls in some corners of the shop. Look closely enough and you can discover that they are currently shooting a show called Kelly.

I say currently, but the call sheet actually states that the filming is occurring the week of September 30 through October 4, 1996. It also turns out that the show is on hiatus this week, so we have run of the set ourselves. It would have been nice to catch up with the cast of Kelly: Edina Santiago as Kelly, Cory Hachmeister as Greg, and Theron Skees as Jeff.

If you seem to have no memory of this show or the actors, that’s with good reason; they never actually existed. Well, at least not in the realm of an actual show. Edina, Cory, and Theron were in reality the Imagineers who worked on the redesign of the Writer’s Stop. In fact, Theron Skees is currently the project leader on the Disney Springs project!

A name isn’t always a clue to the larger world of Disney out there, but more often than not there is a story to unravel if you give yourself the time to discover it. As for me, I’ll grab a carrot cake cookie, a comfy chair, and have an Imagineering daydream. You never know when they may need a script man for Kelly!