Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrated a milestone anniversary this year – its 25th! What’s really exciting are the rumors swirling about a Star Wars expansion which, in my opinion, will make this great park even better! My family loves the Studios and we appreciate the wide variety of different types of things there are to do there. Thrill rides, shows, exhibits – combined with those amazing Disney details make for a great time! Add a stop at the Starring Rolls Café for a special cupcake treat and the day is perfect.
1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Hands down, my favorite Studios ride. There’s nothing I don’t love about stepping into the queue at the Hollywood Tower Hotel and being swept away into a spooky and exciting alternate reality. From the overgrown gardens to the solemn-faced bellhops to the creepy abandoned hotel lobby – this ride’s excellent! If you really don’t think you’ll like the actual elevator ride (I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone), get in line with your family and friends just to see all the excellent details that make up this experience. You can always exit last minute or maybe you’ll be feeling brave when you find yourself at the elevator doors and want to ride after all.
2. Toy Story Midway Mania – There’s nothing more fun than being completely immersed in an interactive attraction with the added bonus of some friendly competition. Step right on up folks, don’t be shy! Board your 4-person vehicle and hit the midway games – use your cannon to break plates, pop balloons, shoot targets and more. It’s all in beautifully detailed, colorful 3D. Even if, like me, eye-hand coordination’s not your strongest attribute, you’ll still have a great time playing!
3. MuppetVision 3D – From the pre-show video to the very end of the movie, Muppet fans will rejoice! Start in the waiting area – full of site gags and fun props (walk around a bit and take it all in). Watch the introduction video (which even featured the evil Constantine when I saw it recently) and head on into the theater. You’ll love the 3D effects, your favorite characters – even Statler and Waldorf, just where and how you’d expect them to be!
4. Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream – If you grew up with the Wonderful World of Disney on TV every Sunday evening, if you’ve ever been a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club, if you’re interested in Walt Disney’s early life and technology, this is the place for you. Children will even find interesting things to look at all over the exhibit area – it’s a great way to discover that Walt Disney was a person (not a theme park or a movie studio)! After walking through the interesting artifacts and memorabilia, step into the theater for a 15 minute movie – see and hear Walt Disney and discover what a wonderful man he was with an incredible zest for life.
5. Star Tours – Since there are so many different variations of this attraction, you’ll want to ride again and again. The queue is as entertaining as the ride – full of humorous details and fun things to see – I spot something new there every time I go. Tip: This attraction takes place in a simulator, so those who are prone to motion sickness are especially vulnerable on Star Tours. You don’t have to be a huge Star Wars fan to enjoy the ride. If you’re a Star Wars geek, though – you’ll want to ride this many times! Oh, and you’ll love the gift shop, too!
6. Rock’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – For me, this is the most thrilling ride at Walt Disney World. Not for the feint of heart, this coaster is super fast – and takes you spiraling off through the dark on your way to an Aerosmith concert. I like the speed, the quirky neon lights, and the upside down portions of this ride! Tip: Not for the claustrophobic or anyone prone to motion sickness. Must be 48″ to ride.
7. The Great Movie Ride – It’s a classic full of classics – movies, that is. Start by entering the replica Grauman’s Chinese Theater and walk through a cool collection of movie memorabilia before entering the ride’s queue area. Watch a great movie montage while waiting in line then board a tram and be gently transported through animatronic-packed scenes from your favorite movies and movie genres. From Tarzan to Casablanca to Alien and The Wizard of Oz (and many, many more) – you’ll enjoy many of your favorite movie scenes while being entertained by a Cast Member host. Most will agree that this experience is in dire need of an update, but we love it! Tip: The ride itself takes 19 minutes (not counting time spent in the theater lobby and queue area) – so make sure you have the time to spare. It’s also another great place to rest and cool off!
8. The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular – There’s a rumor that Indy’s days at the Studios may be numbered, so you might want to get to this show sooner rather than later. I hope the rumor’s just that – a rumor, ’cause I love this show! Stunts, pyrotechnics, humor and demonstrations of how some of Raiders of the Lost Ark’s scenes were filmed. Tip: This is a great show for boys who need something to do that does not involve princesses!
9. Beauty and the Beast Live Onstage – It’s just a condensed version of Belle’s story, but it’s cute and fun and children seem to love it. It’s also a great opportunity to sit and relax for a few minutes. Personally, I think Gaston is the best part of this show!
10. Fantasmic! It’s a nighttime spectacular! This show, performed on select nights only, is worth planning for. Dozens of beloved characters and plenty of villains make their appearance in this special performance that combines a variety of special effects, projections on water, fireworks, and more to create a unique and amazing experience. Tip: Use the Fantasmic Dining Package or FastPass+ option to avoid the early arrival required (up to 90 minutes before show-time depending on the season) to secure a seat.
What’s on your Top Ten List for Disney’s Hollywood Studios?