Fun Adventures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I recently went to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios with my die-hard Disney friend, Lynne. I just purchased my first Annual Pass, which I guess makes me a true Florida resident. It had been about 12 years since I had visited this theme park, previously “MGM Studios”. We had a blast exploring Hollywood Studios. It was a great day!
Starting Our Day
Lynne and I arrived at Hollywood Studios around 9 PM and were still able to get a convenient parking spot. This is a relatively small, manageable Disney park, perfect for those with park hopper passes that want to visit two parks in a single day. The iconic Sorcerer Mickey Hat that sits out front of the park was being disassembled; I am anxious to see what they replace it with!
The first thing that we did was head straight to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. This 15-minute stage show has amazing puppeteers and special effects. It is incredibly colorful and imaginative. Ariel is portrayed by a girl who does a very convincing job making you feel as if she is truly under the sea with all of her aquatic friends. If you are a Little Mermaid fan, you are sure to be singing along!
Hollywood Studios’ Attractions
Afterwards, Lynne and I headed to the Great Movie Ride. We boarded a tram with an actor tour guide and rode though a soundstage circa 1930 and saw classic movie scenes. Some movies on the Great Movie Ride are Singin’ In The Rain, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Wizard of Oz, and Casablanca. The sets are elaborate, complete with state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronic replicas of the film stars. You feel like you are truly in the movie. A few surprises happen along the way, so keep your eyes open! I do not recommend this ride for small children.
I really enjoyed Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, a museum dedicated to Walt’s vision and collection of artifacts, including some of his earliest sketches. My favorite pieces were the model of Main Street USA and the original Audio-Animatronics Abraham Lincoln figure from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. There is also a 15-minute film where Walt tells his story and shares sweet, personal home movies.
Another interesting and educational activity was the Magic of Disney Animation, featuring hands-on interactive displays. Watch people work behind glass windows, drawing and sketching Disney character related scenes. There are also character greetings here; Lynne and I were lucky enough to see Sorcerer Mickey.
Hollywood Studios is Full of Adventure
Seeing the Beauty and the Beast Live-On Stage show was my favorite part of the day. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, so seeing this Broadway-style musical performance was fitting. The show was fantastic! The costumes and sets are incredible, plus the characters (Belle, Gaston, Beast) all sing live and have lovely voices. The show is 25-minutes and condenses the movie to music length without allowing the storyline to suffer. Belle was fantastic and Gaston truly had that muscular physique, hubba hubba. It kept the attention of the adults and kids alike; it was a visual delight.
Lynne and I spent more time exploring Hollywood Studios than anything so we skipped out on the Indian Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Lights Motors Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Frozen Sing-Along, Muppet*Vision 3D, Aerosmith’s Rock’n’Roller Coaster, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I liked that this park was not packed with huge crowds like its counterparts, Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
If you are like me, and gaga over character greetings, Hollywood Studios has several. Meet Goofy, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Phineas and Ferb, and Buzz Lightyear with Woody here.
Lunch At The 50’s Prime Time Cafe
I prefer making a lunch reservation when I visit Walt Disney World so I can sit down and be waited on. This gives me a break from pounding the pavement and an escape from the Florida sun. Plus, they are not that much more expensive than counter service restaurants, you spend less time waiting in line, and you are guaranteed a seat.
Our lunch reservation was at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, a high energy restaurant that specializes in comfort foods. The cast members give you chores and nag at you like a mom would, while surrounding you in 1950’s nostalgia. We dined at Formica tables with vinyl chairs and ate comfort foods, Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop and Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie. Lynne and I enjoyed our visit.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities at Hollywood Studios containing different souvenirs than the ones sold at the other three Disney parks. My favorite is the Christmas store. MagicBands are sold at all stores.
What is a MagicBand you ask? It is a colorful wristband that stores your personal information that you have uploaded through your My Disney Experience account. It allows you to enter the park, pay for your purchases (if you are staying on property), unlock your Disney hotel room, and enter your FastPass rides. If you stay on property or become a Disney Passholder, you receive a complimentary MagicBand. Otherwise, they start at $12.95 and come in many colors and themes. There are also MagicSliders to decorate the faceplate and MagicBandits to decorate the band itself. You could spend a fortune on these things!
I had a great day visiting Hollywood Studios with Lynne. I am excited to return with my family and see what they think of the park.
Hint: All four Walt Disney World theme parks offer free Wi-Fi.
Tip: Create a My Disney Experience account prior to visiting the parks so you can make FastPass selections and create out your own itinerary. Download the app on your phone, too.
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Check out our other Hollywood Studios posts:
The Hollywood Brown Derby
6 Things You Must Do At Hollywood Studios
Fun Adventures At Hollywood Studios