20 November, 2013

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Our final stop on the trip around the World is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When it first opened, it was actually used as an animation studio, but any movie production has long since been moved to other locations. 
turn around, you are in San Francisco!

At Hollywood Studios, you are immersed in all things movies. There is a street set that you can walk down where if you look one direction, you are clearly in Manhattan, but when you turn around, you are transported to San Francisco.

As you walk around the park, you will run into mini-scenes. You will have a movie diva talking about the ‘little people that helped make it all possible’, or you will have a prop master chasing someone who just stole a prop,  or a director scolding the ‘extras’ (park visitors) for getting in the shot.

There aren’t many rides in this park, but the ones they have are some of the most popular at all of Disney World. One I haven’t  ridden (and don’t plan on..), one I have (and may or may not ride again) and the 3rd we couldn’t get on last year, but I was able to ride 2x this year.  

These rides (in order) are the Rocken’ Roller Coaster with Aerosmith. I love the technology and planning that they put into creating this ride, but it is not my bag, so I probably won’t ever actually experience it. It is a roller coaster that doesn’t have a giant main hill to start. It starts off with magnets thrusting the car forward to 60mph right off the bat, all with Steven Tyler singing in your ears. 

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Next is the Tower of Terror. This is an hotel that was struck by lightning one Halloween night and all the guests mysteriously vanished, now the elevators are out of control. The engineering that went into this ride is great as well. It is a different ride every time. Basically the ride is, you are on this possessed elevator that will rise and drop at random. The amount of drops, and the distance of the drops are randomly generated each ride, so one time you will have several smaller drops, then the next you will have fewer longer drops. They left no detail out. It was more fun than I expected it to be, but as I said, this isn’t my kind of ride, so not sure I will brave it again.

The 3rd of the big popular rides it the Toy Story Midway Mania. When we went last year, we only spent part of a day there, and the Fast Passes were closed for the night. This year, the first day we went to the park, we went straight there to get FP, but they were already giving out fast passes for 4.30p, and our dinner reservation was at 5, not at that park, so that wouldn’t work out. When we passed by about an hour or so later, they had all the FP machines covered. They had given out all the FP they were going to for that day.  on our 2nd visit to the park, we got there earlier, and were able to get the fast passes and were able to ride that day. It was a much lighter crowd day, so I was actually able to get FP for another ride later that day! On this ride, it is a 3D ride that you play a few different carnival midway type games with a virtual shooter on your car. You play a ring toss game.. throw baseballs at plates.. throw darts.. etc.. it keeps score and gives you a virtual prize at the end. It is a lot of fun, and ranks as a ‘must do’ at Hollywood studios.

Some of the other rides are the Great Movie Ride, which takes you through some of the most iconic scenes from some of the most famous movies of all time. Another is the Backlot Tour, where you watch a scene of a boat being attacked by an unseen plane that is being produced including explosions and other special effects, you then go through a prop warehouse with props from all sorts of movies, you then board a tram which takes you through a bone yard of vehicles, through a prop shop, a wardrobe shop, past the greenhouses, and through a set that shows special effects of fire bursts and a flash flood. 

Another favorite is the Star Tours. This is a motion simulator that takes you all over the Star Wars universe. It is a different trip every time. you will get 3 of 9 possible scenes. It is in 3D and there is movement, and it feels pretty real. I enjoyed it when I rode it last year, but this year it was too much for me (I know.. I'm old and boring..).  

Fountain outside of the Muppet Show
There are several shows to watch at the park as well, with something for everyone. For the kids, there is Disney Jr, and the Little Mermaid. For the action junkie, there is Lights! Motors! Action! (a car stunt show), and the Indiana Jones stunt show (they show how movies like Raiders was made) and the American Idol Experience, a version of the show. And for everyone, there is a 3D Muppet movie! A museum of the history of Walt, including where he grew up, what he did and the things he developed is a very interesting stop.

Overall, this would rank as my 4th favorite of the Disneyworld parks. I enjoy the park, but wouldn’t be super disappointed if we didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time there on trips. There are a few good photo-ops and character meet and greets, and it is all about movies.

One of these years, we will get to the water parks and golf courses, but I haven’t been yet. As always, if there is something Disneyworld that you would like to share, please do, and I would love to answer any questions you have (to the best of my ability).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good review---I son't think I would be going on the haunted elevator--I have enough of a thrill on a regular one!! :-)

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