The glitz and glamor of Hollywood attract more than 10 million annual visitors to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. However, this is one Hollywood attraction that disappoints many.
Keep reading if you have the Hollywood Walk of Fame on your travel itinerary. We don’t want you to waste your time or experience disappointment as many other visitors have.
Today, we’re sharing five reasons to avoid the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Let’s get started!
Where is the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is in the city of Hollywood near Los Angeles, California. The five-point stars dot the sidewalks for 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and an additional three blocks of Vine Street. It stretches 1.3 miles from Gower Street to La Brea Gateway.
Is the Hollywood Walk of Fame Free?
Visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame is technically free. However, you’ll have to pay to park, which can be expensive. Depending on how long you’re planning to visit, you’ll find spots ranging from $11 to $25 or more. If you’re visiting during an event or other busy time in the area, expect to pay a steeper premium for parking.
It’s crucial to remember that many people offering to take pictures will expect payment. Please don’t take a picture with one of these characters unless you’re willing to pay for it. While walking the street is free, plenty of souvenir shops and tour companies line both sides of the road and will be happy to take your money.
Who Got the First Hollywood Star?
The first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was Joanne Woodward. She received her star on February 9, 1960. She was an Academy Award winner for the 1957 movie The Three Faces of Eve.
However, it took 16 months to construct the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and by that time, an additional 1,500 actors, musicians, and filmmakers had also received stars. Currently, over 2,700 stars are lining both sides of Hollywood Boulevard.
Can Anyone Get A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame isn’t as easy or cheap as you think. Anyone can nominate their favorite celebrity, but the celebrity and their management must accept the nomination. A Hollywood Walk of Fame committee will select 30 of the most qualified nominees.
The nominees will then get approval from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Ultimately, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce makes the final decision, and the nominations, selection procedures, forms, and qualifications are a guide. However, those they select get a star and a hefty bill.
Currently, a Walk of Fame star ceremony costs $55,000. This fee covers the cost of the creation, installation, and maintenance of the Walk of Fame. Nominees, or their estate, typically pick up the tab for this fee.
5 Reasons to Avoid the Hollywood Walk of Fame
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Hollywood Walk of Fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Here are a handful of reasons we think you should pass on the entire experience.
Voted Worst Tourist Trap on Earth
Believe it or not, participants in a recent study voted the Hollywood Walk of Fame as the Worst Tourist Trap on Earth. While it may be exciting to see your favorite celebrity’s name on a star, the area is nothing more than a massive tourist trap. You’ll find expensive souvenir shops and pushy tour companies wanting to drive you around town to see celebrity homes.
This is about as low as it gets for tourist traps. There are plenty of better places to spend your time and money.
It’s Very Shady
If you want to picture the Hollywood Walk of fame, close your eyes and imagine a crowded sidewalk with many seedy behaviors. You’ll feel like a walking target for a scam. It can be overwhelming to have so much noise and activity, especially if you have small children.
There are estimates that Los Angeles County has between 45,000 to 66,000 homeless individuals. You’ll find a generous amount of homeless individuals lining the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While we empathize with these individuals, it’s likely not the scene that draws in tourists.
Pushy Character Photo-Ops
You’ll find plenty of people dressed in DIY character costumes that make their living snapping pictures with tourists. However, they can be rather pushy and charge outrageous prices. They often bank on tourists ignorantly taking a picture, thinking it’s free, but then pressure them to pay an outrageous price.
This can create an uncomfortable situation, especially if tourists think they are just being friendly. We can’t caution you enough; only take a picture with or of one of these characters if you’re willing to pay whatever they’re asking. It’s wise to agree on a price before snapping a picture.
Otherwise, you’re at their mercy.
It’s Not What You See on TV
The Hollywood Walk of Fame cleans up well when it’s time to make an appearance on TV. You also have special lighting and camera filters that make even the dumpiest locations look spectacular. Media professionals know the perfect angles for shooting to hide everything that may communicate anything other than glitz and glamor.
This is often what surprises most visitors to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It doesn’t look or feel like what you’ve seen on TV. Many are left feeling disappointed and thinking, “That’s it?!”
The Stars Aren’t That Special
The nomination committee receives over 200 nominees each year. Getting a star, much like other entertainment industry recognitions, is about who you know and how deep your pockets are. While you must have some credentials, anyone with experience, connections, and plenty of cash can get a star.
While the Walk of Fame makes the process and ceremony feel like an “award,” it’s more a public relations ceremony. Many stars strategically plan their star ceremonies to align with the release of a new project. A $50,000 ceremony is a drop in the bucket when considering the free publicity.
Your Time and Money Are Better Spent Elsewhere
If you have your heart set on visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you should lower your expectations. It can be exciting to see your favorite celebrity’s name on the ground, but the excitement quickly fades. The worries of keeping an eye on your wallet and that your children stay close will drown out any remaining enthusiasm you have to explore the area.
When it comes to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it will be a hard pass for us anytime soon. Are you considering visiting the Walk of Fame in the future?
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