Thursday, September 24, 2009

Disney Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World)

Our final park is Disney Hollywood Studios. When we visited this park we were focused on riding the two key rides, Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster. Consequently we missed out on some of the other attractions at this park. I will write about what we and visited and I will also highlight some of the things we missed.

To start we talked this park counter clockwise, because of the location of the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster. Both of these rides had fairly short lines upon arrival, so we got in line and once we were done with the ride we went and got Fast Passes for later in the day.

I'll start with the Rock 'n' Roller coaster. This is the BEST roller coaster in the Disney Park. You are catapulted through a loop and several spirals in the dark as you listen to Aerosmith. During the development of this ride the engineers worked tirelessly putting the music to the ride. They did a FABULOUS job and this ride definitely ROCKS!!

Next we went on the Tower of Terror, which my husband and I remembered from our visit to the Disney Park on our honeymoon. This ride is lots of fun and provides a nice story line as you get on the ride. The theme here is an elevator hit by lightning that crashes to the bottom of its shaft. You then get into your own elevator and are dropped down, then raised back up and then dropped again. This is a great thrill ride.

Note: Both Rock 'n' Roller coaster and Tower of Terror have height requirements.

After we finished these rides we went over to the Animation Courtyard. Here we participated in the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. This was great, because it includes a session where you work with a cartoonist to draw your own Disney character. The day we went the character was Jimmie Cricket. We spent a really long time at this attraction because we were fascinated with Walt Disney and the way the pictures are made. The attraction ends in a store (as most attractions do), but this one is particularly unique as there is an artist drawing in the store and they will draw a picture and personalize for you (for a fee of course). We thought this was a great souvenir and had one make for our daughter and one to commemorate our anniversary.

After we finished at the Animation Courtyard, we headed over to the Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show, because it was the last show of the day and this was a must see on our list. The show was very entertaining and showed some "movie magic" especially when cars are involved. I would highly recommend that you make sure not to miss this attraction.

Star Tours - The Ultimate Star Wars Thrill Ride was a fun ride. You are your own little compartment in which a crazy droid is in the cock pit. You have a number of near misses and make a wrong turn into a combat zone. This is fun for all, especially those Star Wars fans and kids!

To be honest that is about all we did a Disney Hollywood Studios. We went back and rode the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller coaster another time, and then the park was closing. We missed the following attractions and that was OK because we got to see what we wanted, and we just ran out of time. My suggestion would be to plan 2 days at this park and as always prioritize so that you can get in what you want to see.

The Backlot Tour is something that my husband and I took on our honeymoon trip in 1998. This was a lot of fun as it showed some of the houses that were used in a variety of sitcoms and also showed some "movie magic". This is a fun attraction and definitely worth the time.

Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3-D is a 3-D movie show. I have not seen this show, but I'm sure that it is quite entertaining. I'm sure it is a must for all Muppet fans.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is another stunt show with limited number of showings. If you want to see this make sure you plan! You will need to be in line early in order to get a good seat. As is indicated by the title it is based on the Indiana Jones movies with explosions and many stunts.

Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey is a show that is done in the dark, which was our main reason for not going as we thought our daughter might be scared. It is my understanding that you are in the dark and you hear a number of different "scary" sounds.

Fantasmic! is the nightly show at Disney Hollywood Studios. We heard that it could be scary for small children and since we had two small children, we opted out. However, this looks like a WONDERFUL show! The lasers, lights, music and animation look spectacular. So if you are traveling with older children on just adults I would not miss this. It is my understanding that the line begins to form quite early for this show, so you may want to delegate someone to stand in line and get seats. The theater opens 90 minutes before the show, and they recommend you get there 1 hour before to get good seats.

Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage and Disney - Live on Stage! are both shows that have dedicated showing times. If you want to see them make sure to look at your map early and figure out which show times you want to attend.

I think the most difficult part about this park is that it has so many attractions with dedicated show times and limited show times. This makes it particularly difficult to get it all in one day. If I had to do it again, I would set aside one day to see all the shows and one day to ride the rides and see the other attractions without dedicated times.

Disney Hollywood Studios is a LOT of fun. The Animation Courtyard was particularly interesting as it showed how the films are made and gives you the opportunity to try your hand a cartooning!

Here are some links for Disney Hollywood Studios:

This concludes my Travelin' Thursday series on Walt Disney World. I hope you all found it informative. If you are going to WDW I would love to answer any questions you may have! Have a great weekend. I am traveling and going to the mountains this weekend, so I probably won't update my blog until next Monday. Go Broncos!


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