Hollywood Studios

Updated Favorite Disney Hollywood Studios Attractions!

Hollywood Studios

No longer here, but still a favorite to me!

Hello everyone, and thank you for stopping by today!  Nearly four years ago, we ran a post about our favorite attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and today, with all of the changes that are under way at the park, we decided it was time for an update!  So, without further ado, here is our updated favorite Hollywood Studios attractions!  Keep in mind, I don’t have Fantasmic listed because I think of that as a show, not as an attraction.  Personally, while I haven’t seen Fantasmic at Walt Disney World, I have seen it at Disneyland, and it is at the top of all sorts of lists in my book!

Updated Top 5 Disney’s Hollywood Studios Attractions!

#1: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Hollywood Studios Coming in at number one on our list — the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith attraction. This is one of my favorite roller coasters in all of Disney, and at Hollywood Studios, it is a must ride attraction for me every time! About the only thing I wish was different about it is the length — at just 1:22 of actual roller coaster time, that’s not very long at all!  The pre-show length is 3:12.

 

 

 

#2: Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

Hollywood Studios Before this attraction was redone, it wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  But with the way that they redid the attraction and re-opened it on May 20, 2011, this attraction shot up my wow factor, landing here at number two on the list.  What really did this for me I think is the fact that in each ride, one person from the group riding is chosen as the Rebel Spy — and on my very first ride, I was selected!

When you factor in the possibility of getting one of up to 54 different settings for the attraction, (although, to me, I think I’ve only seen maybe three or four different versions) and that just makes for a great adventure!

 

#3: Toy Story Midway Mania

Hollywood Studios Coming in at number three on our list is Toy Story Midway Mania, that crazy, wacky, carnival games ride where you are immersed into the carnival games of Andy’s world!

For me, it’s really a toss-up (pun somewhat intended) between this attraction and Star Tours as to which is number two, and which is number three on the list.  About the only reason I put Toy Story at number three is because the attraction — even with a FastPass — is often quite slow to load.  So, for that reason, and probably that reason alone, I have it listed at number three on our list. What are your thoughts regarding this attraction? Let us know in the comments!

#4: The Great Movie Ride

Hollywood Studios At number four in our countdown is The Great Movie Ride.  While this attraction doesn’t have the glitz and the glamour of the high thrill ride attractions, it is truly a really neat attraction, and features distinct looks at some of the great classic movies from the 20th Century.

One of the things I’ve been reading about lately, though, is the rumor that the attraction will be closing in 2018.  Will this be happening, and what does that mean to you?  Will you miss it, be glad to see it go, or something in between?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks!

 

#5: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Hollywood Studios Rounding out our top five is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  In our previous ranking, it wasn’t in my top five, but did make the honorable mention list.  This time, it’s number five.  Why is that?  Well, I will tell you right out that I do NOT like the drop sequences of the attraction.  It is among the things I least like at Walt Disney World — and ranks up there with such horrible attractions as “It’s Tough to be a Bug” over at Animal Kingdom.

But, what I do really enjoy, though, is the backstory.  I also really enjoy the theming.  And, I really, really do enjoy the anticipation.  So, because of all of that, I have decided to include the attraction on my list, and here it is at number five.

What are your thoughts on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? Do you like it or hate it?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Honorable Mention: Muppet*Vision 3D

Hollywood Studios Muppet*Vision 3D was originally on our list at number four, but I’ve dropped it down to our list of Honorable Mentions this go around.  The primary reason for this is simply because it just isn’t as good for me as it used to be.  In days gone by, the corniness of the humor, the dated fashion, all of that “charm” that made the attraction one of my favorites, that was awesome.

Now, though, I think that my brain has shifted a bit, and what I used to think of as neat and quaint and all that, well, now it just seems old and dated and run down.  I’ll admit that this somewhat saddens me.  Still, on any given day at Hollywood Studios, I think the attraction will be given a visit, even if it’s just to get some photos of the props and stuff at the attraction, and it’s less about the show. What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments!

Honorable Mention: One Man’s Dream

Hollywood Studios As I mentioned in my previous version of this post, One Man’s Dream is more museum than attraction, but it still holds a place in my heart.  The rumors are rampant that this attraction is getting ready to close.  Word is that the Archivists for Disney are heading to Florida to pack up the exhibits and take them to San Francisco, to the Walt Disney Family Museum.  I don’t know if this is true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Sadly, attractions like this are just not as popular as they used to be, and if it does close, it’ll be one more thing that changes Hollywood Studios from being a Theme Park and just making it like any other run of the mill Amusement Park.

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know, and thanks!

 

So, how did we do in our updated list of our favorite attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  Did we hit a home run, strike out, or somewhere in between? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

Spaceship Earth

Blogorail Orange: Spaceship Earth Architectural Details

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite architectural details at the Disney Parks.


architectural details

Spaceship Earth stands proudly over Epcot!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Orange Loop!  Today we are taking a look at some of the incredible architectural details that you can find at Walt Disney World and the rest of the Disney Parks!  For me, I’m focusing on one of my absolute favorite attractions at Epcot (or any Disney Park, for that matter) — Spaceship Earth!

From a technology perspective, Spaceship Earth combines some incredibly cool — I would almost say geeky — stats as well as some technology from yesteryear.  Let’s dive into them just a little bit, shall we?

  • Spaceship Earth is 180 feet tall, and weighs in at about 16 million pounds!
  • The skin of Spaceship Earth is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic-alloy triangles!
  • Did you know that the water from rain that lands on Spaceship Earth never falls to the pavement below? There is a special system in place that takes the water and drains it into World Showcase Lagoon!
  • Spaceship Earth has a diameter of 165 feet, a circumference of 518.1 feet, and a volume of 2.35 million cubic feet!
  • As part of the attraction, though, did you know that Spaceship Earth incorporates an old 1A2 key system phone into one of it’s props?  Now that’s old school!
architectural details

The scenes inside the attraction are my favorites!

For me, though, more than the numbers, more than the technology, more than the incredible photo opportunities, what I really like about Spaceship Earth is the attraction, the ride itself.  Somehow, knowing that you are climbing into the belly of the “big golf ball” and heading all the way to the top is just really cool to me.  Reliving all of the exploration of how communication has adapted over time is really neat, and the sites, smells, sounds of it all just bring you there as if you are experiencing it firsthand.  That’s why I like Spaceship Earth so much.  Man, I miss this attraction!

I hope you have enjoyed our look at Spaceship Earth!  Tell me, what do you think of this attraction?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!  Now go check out the rest of the loop — we’ve got some great posts for you to read!

For more architectural details at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Dealing with Problems at Disney Loop:

What Makes Disney, Disney

For this post, I wanted to take some time and talk with you about all of the things that we have encountered on our trips to Walt Disney World that truly make it our vacation spot of choice.

We have had several trips, as you know if you are a regular reader; Sophie has been six times in her nine years for at least one day.  It is as easy a decision for me to book this trip as any that we make.

We have had so many times where the Disney Cast Members (Disney staff are not employees, they are Cast Members) have shared with us the Disney Magic that I am certain to forget some of those great times.  However, here is a rundown of the ones that I remember.

  • When we took our first trip to Coronado Springs resort, that was during Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams celebration.  You may have heard about it; they were giving away gifts to random Guests, they included everything from free Disney Pins to spending the night in Cinderella’s Castle.  Well, we had our own special Dream happen to us while we were visiting.  One morning, as we were in the Main Street Bakery eating our breakfast, one of the Cast Members came over to us to talk to us.  She asked Sophie about her trip, and who her favorite Princess was.  When Sophie said Cinderella, the Cast Member then presented Sophie with a huge chocolate chip cookie that was a gift from Cinderella herself!  Cinderella had seen the Cast Member and asked her if she could give that cookie to Sophie for her!  That made Sophie’s day, and that cookie lasted us all day!
  • Some of the best experiences we have had at Disney are related to our dining.  The character dining experiences we have had have been second to none — being able to enjoy a fabulous dinner while having the ability to get autographs and pictures with our favorite characters has been great!  We have had so many more photos and autographs with the characters than we could have ever hoped to have by standing in line.  Take a look at the joy in Sophie’s face at this picture with Eeyore:
  • One day as we were leaving our resort to go to the parks, we were greeted by a Cast Member who asked Sophie about the trip she was having.  After we talked with him for a while, he presented Sophie with a set of pins — one for Sophie to keep, and one to give to her BFF, Riley.
  • In 2009, during our first trip to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter, nearly every day we were there we had the best pair of door openers you could ask for.  They were extremely friendly, really really knowledgeable, and every time that we would see them they would give Sophie Mardi Gras beads and coins for the wishing well.  Their outgoing personality truly fit the French Quarter lifestyle, and I was saddened when I didn’t see them during our second visit to POFQ.
  • As I have mentioned before, riding in the Monorail is one of the things that just keeps building the excitement of approaching the Magic Kingdom for a visit.  However, until just a couple of years ago, I had never ridden in the very front car of the Monorail.  Well, that all changed one year when we were able to ride in the front of the monorail twice!  It was a lot of fun, the pilot was really nice and answered questions we had.  Also, we got special souvenir cards documenting that we were official “Honorary” monorail pilots at Walt Disney World, and stickers with our “Monorail Wings”.  Sadly, with a monorail accident a couple of years ago, that practice is now discontinued, but I am glad that we were able to enjoy it.
  • In 2007, during our first Coronado Springs resort visit, I decided that my souvenir for the trip would be a pin trading kit so I could start trading pins.  In 2008, Sophie decided that she was ready to begin pin trading as well.  The excitement that child gets when she approaches a cast member to trade a pin is phenomenal.  Sophie will even make a bad trade for her, just for the experience of trading with a Cast Member!
  • Last year, when my niece Stephanie and I were waiting for our food at Cosmic Rays, we were greeted by a Cast Member who was extremely exuberant in his greeting.  He asked us if we were having a Magical Day, and when we asked him about his day, his answer was “A bad day at Disney is still a better day than anywhere else!”  He went on to ask, “Where else can you work where at the Happiest Place on Earth?!”  We were both extremely excited by his outlook, and that is just one of the things that separates Disney from everywhere else.
  • In 2009, while we were at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, we were there during extra magic hours.  We went to ride the “Three Cabalero’s” ride, and walked right on, since that ride isn’t heavily trafficked, especially in extra magic hours.  Anyway, we enjoyed the ride, and as we proceeded up the ramp, we asked the attendant if we could ride again.  Since she didn’t have anyone in line, she just continued us on, with us serenading her with a chorus of “Gracias, Mucho Mucho Gracias!”.  She just laughed.
  • Yet another thing that makes Disney truly magical occurred the last time we were visiting.  That was this past June, and that was the trip my niece Stephanie accompanied us.  We were there over Sophie’s birthday, and on the morning of her birthday, I woke up to find the phone message light blinking.  When I checked the message, it was none other than the King and Queen of the Mice, Mickey and Minnie, calling to leave Sophie a message wishing her a truly wonderful birthday!
  • In 2008, when we stayed at Coronado Springs for the second straight year, we were there for Sophie’s birthday.  On the day of her birthday, after we had left to go to the park for the day, Minnie Mouse and her team came to our room and decorated Sophie’s bed with birthday balloons and a birthday card (which included a picture of Minnie Mouse for Sophie to keep).  Additionally, every time we have come for Sophie’s birthday (which was 2008 and 2010), Sophie has been given a special desert at each sit-down meal we have each day of our trip, and this year, she also received birthday cards signed by her character friends.
  • Another thing that makes Disney Disney is how excited Sophie gets when surprise her with a trip to Disney.  I remember in 2009 it didn’t look like we were going to be able to go to Walt Disney World.  We were worried about the affect that the economy would have on our jobs.  Well, as the summer progressed, we were able to determine that we would be able to afford the trip after all, so we made our plans.  However, we kept that little secret from Sophie until the day we left.  I’ll never forget it.  One of the playlists I have on my iPod is called “Mickey Mouse”, and it is a collection of songs by Mickey and the gang.  Sophie told me that she didn’t want to hear the playlist again until the day we were actually in the car heading to Disney, so I didn’t play it — until the day we left.  Here is her reaction to hearing that music in the car:


Needless to say, it was quite a surprise for Sophie!

I know that I have left out a great many of the special times that have made up our trips to Disney, but all in all, I think you get the picture of why we love going to Walt Disney World.  There are so many other stories to tell, I can’t wait to relive those moments with you in the upcoming days.  Have a magical day, and may the sun never set on your Disney (or other) Dreams!  Thanks for reading!

Festival of Fantasy

More Festival of Fantasy Parade Facts!

Festival of Fantasy

Take a look at the dragon, part of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade! Image ©Disney Parks

Continuing our look at the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, we’re sharing with you some of the great facts and figures about this new parade for our #DisneyTrivia post!  As always, I’m joined by my friends Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse and Heidi from Heidi’s Head in this week’s Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Special thanks to my friends at AllEars.net for the great facts!

  • The Maleficent Dragon is 53 feet long and 26 feet tall!
  • There are nine parade floats featuring characters from over a dozen Disney stories!
  • The Princess Garden lead float (featuring Cinderella, Tiana, and Belle, along with their Princes, and a special appearance from Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen) is 50 feet long!
  • Peter Pan has his own float, and the Jolly Roger at the top of it puts the float over 28 feet tall!
  • The tallest float, though, is the Mickey Mouse Airship Finale float, and it’s over 32 feet tall!
  • Lastly, the parade features a cast of over 100 Cast Members!

Thanks for stopping by today and continuing our look at the Festival of Fantasy Parade!  Now, please check out the rest of the great entries below.  Just click on the titles below, and have a great Disney Day!

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Magical Blogorail – My Disney Arrival Strategy!

MBRed Logo 2013

Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Thinking about our arrival at the Grand Californian

Thinking about our arrival at the Grand Californian

You know, I’ve had a little bit of trouble trying to think about what my Disney arrival strategy really is, because to be honest, it really varies each and every time we visit.  For many of my friends, they have a set thing (or things!) they do when they arrive at Walt Disney World, but for us, it truly varies.  I guess the only thing that we really do each and every time is go to our resort…although, even still, there are still times we are not able to go to our room yet!

When we arrived in Los Angeles to go to Disneyland in June, we were so excited!  We took the bus to our rental car location because we were driving some, we got the car, we had practically no traffic on the 5 to get to our resort, and we parked and entered the lobby of our wonderful home resort!  30 minutes later, we picked our jaw up off the floor — well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit — and we proceeded to check-in.  We had a wonderful Cast Member who catered to our every whim — she got us special buttons, she gave us extra maps so I could send some off to my friend, she gave us special photos for us to keep as mementos, the only thing she couldn’t do was assign us our room number, because it was still being cleaned.  Since it was something on the order of 11:00 AM or so when we were there, we totally understood.  We checked our bags, went to get some lunch, seeing as how it was after 2PM our time, and then, we decided to find a store to purchase a few things we would need.

However, when we were blessed to be able to go to Walt Disney World the next month, and we arrived at the Grand Floridian (I know, I can’t believe I stayed at the two flagship resorts in consecutive months!) we got to our room, dropped our luggage in our room, snapped some photos, and then went to Epcot to purchase our DVC Annual Passes.  So, in that instance, we just got a jump on our fun right then!

Other times, we have unloaded our stuff, organized our groceries, and then went to the Magic Kingdom to ride my niece’s favorite ride (at the time) — the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups!

One time, we checked our bags because our room wasn’t ready, we were going to go straight over to the Magic Kingdom, and while others were in the rest-room, I saw the DVC table, started talking with the Cast Member there, and we decided to do a DVC tour — and that was the day that we purchased our DVC membership!

So, as I was saying, we really have no rhyme or reason for how we approach our arrival day at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.  It just always seems to vary.  Regardless of what we do, though, rest assured of one very important point that I’m going to leave you with…no matter what we do, we are immersed in the Disney vacation that we are having, and that, my friends, more than makes up for any one thing that we do.  We could be playing tiddlywinks, but as long as we were at Disney, it would be a fine time had by all!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Donna Kay.

Red Map Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
3rd Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
4th Stop ~ Heidi’s Head
Final Stop ~ A World View