by Caitlin Cosello
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios, is a park based on the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood of the past combined with a behind the scenes approach to displaying how the magic of the movies is created. With residents ranging from Kermit the Frog to Indiana Jones to Buzz Lightyear and Woody, there is something in this park for everyone to enjoy and experience in their trip into Hollywood.
Like my other recent posts on the attractions in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, I’ve broken down the attractions at Hollywood Studios into three categories: thrills, classics, and must sees. So without further ado, let’s start out journey into the movies! Ready when you are, CB!
If you are looking for high thrills, Hollywood Studios is definitely the park to visit. From rocking out to exploring planets of the galaxy, thrills of every kind are located around every corner of the park. The first thrill ride you can experience is the Rock’n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith located on Sunset Boulevard. A fast paced roller coaster with inversions taking place in the dark amid the blaring neon signs of Los Angeles, this attraction offers the opportunity to race across town to make it in time to an Aerosmith concert. Did I mention that you would be racing? Launching you from zero to sixty in just a few seconds, you get to ride in style in your own super stretch limo, blaring Aerosmith tunes of course. The stretch limos are packed with speakers offering you an experience like no other, and if you experience the “Love in an Elevator” option, listen for one of my favorite parts of the ride: the clever play on words changing the lyrics to “love in a roller coaster.”
While the Rock’n Roller Coaster can cause a lot of screams, it is actually housed entirely inside. So those screams you are hearing on Sunset Boulevard? They’re coming from The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Based on the theme of the classic television show The Twilight Zone, this attraction puts guests in the middle of their very own episode where they just might find themselves in (you guessed it) the twilight zone. Once you enter the deserted lobby, you can tell that something went wrong there, and as you embark on a ride in an abandoned service elevator you find yourself plummeting thirteen stories faster than the speed of gravity! Talk about thrilling! Perfectly combining the creepy elements of the twilight zone with a hair raising drop, this attraction is about as thrilling as they come!
If you’ve made it through the last two thrills, work your way over towards the Backlot section of the park and experience Star Tours, a thrilling adventure through the world of Star Wars! Star Tours is a thrilling simulated ride in a Starspeeder 1000 presented in beautiful 3D. After an extensive refurbishment last year resulting in new technologies which randomize the experiences you will have while riding, this attraction offers dozens of unique combinations ensuring you’ll be riding it again and again. You will also come face to face with many of the beloved characters from the Star Wars series, including the evil ones. So if you are up for some adventures in the galaxy, look no further than Star Tours!
The final thrill on the list of Disney’s Hollywood Studios comes in the form of a live action show. Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is a fast paced show demonstrating the extreme stunts vehicles can perform in the world of movies. Beginning last summer, Lightning McQueen from the Disney animated movie Cars also joined the show’s lineup. An interesting angle of the show is that they do explain to you just how the stunts are planned, executed, and kept safe. The combination of movie magic, stunts, and technical explanations make this high thrill show one that can’t be missed. Just keep in mind that it is an outdoor arena featuring a small body of water, so the show can be cancelled in inclement weather (especially with all that Florida lightning.)
Moving on to classic attractions in Hollywood Studios, it should come as no surprise that number one on this list is an actual journey into the movies! The Great Movie Ride is located at the end of Hollywood Boulevard and takes guests on a slow moving adventure through recreated sets of classic movies such as Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and Fantasia. Throughout the attraction, you will have a host guiding you along, but don’t be surprised if you encounter some gangsters or cowboys; it is the movies after all. If you love movies, or have dreams of being in one, this ride is just for you.
Another classic attraction comes in the form of a 3D spectacle featuring none other than the Muppets. Muppet*Vision 3-D is a world of sight gags, corny jokes, and puns from beginning to end. A classic for its great attention to detail in both the preshow and the actual show, this attraction should not be missed. For a great small detail, check out the office door on the right immediately when you enter the building. See the sign saying that they left a key under the mat? Go ahead and check it out! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other small details and gags everywhere throughout the attraction.
In addition to the thrills and classic attractions, there are a few other experiences that I consider to be must sees in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The first is the newest attraction in the park and is proving to be one of the most popular. Toy Story Mania is an interactive 3D attraction themed in the style of midway games from a carnival located in Pixar Place. As you are shrunk down to toy size, you’ll encounter all of the beloved characters from the Toy Story franchise. Each player encounters several games in which they need to interact with the targets on screen and try and score the most points! Each scenario offers several hidden responses from certain targets, so you never know just what might happen each time you ride! I guarantee you’ll be going back again and again to try and beat the high score on this incredibly fun attraction.
The final attraction on my list is another stage show which is a must see. Fight sequences, ancient temples, and a whip…that’s right, it’s the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Located in the Backlot section of the park, this live action show takes guests through the exciting world of Indiana Jones and explains how the stunts, explosions, and movie magic are made to happen. You won’t be able to help gasping and cheering along as Indy himself navigates through a series of thrilling situations. For an added bonus of fun, see if you can be picked before the beginning of the show to be an extra! You’ll find yourself onstage playing the part of a townsperson in one scene, and maybe even partaking in some other fun antics along the way.
While these are some of the most thrilling and popular attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are many more to explore and experience! After a day in this park, you’ll feel like you were actually a part of the movies!
What is your favorite attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Do you think I left something off my list? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.