Sunday, April 25, 2010

Disney-MGM I mean, Disney's Hollywood Studios -- Part I

Yes. Years later I am still bitter and resentful towards this unnecessary name change. Anyway, enough with my griping and belly-aching. On with the show...

I want to work at this park so badly. It has everything: Tower of Terror, RNR Starring Aerosmith, the Beauty and the Beast Show, Toy Story Mania-- just wow. Besides Fantasyland and Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, it has by far the BEST shopping ever. Minus the JoBros & Hannah Montanna stores, but I can deal.

DHS is a park dedicated to the process of making films, theater productions, television shows, and music. This intimate park is one for the whole family. Boys are especially well served (unlike any other park besides probably EPCOT). It is the park with the smallest public area, but by no means does it mean this park is small. The main thoroughfare, Hollywood Boulevard, is just 500 ft. long, and from there nearly every attraction is just a few minutes away. Thematically the park is divided into two sections. The front is Old Hollywood, a 1940s world with period architecture, signs and stoplights. The rear resembles a modern production studio and backlot. The entrance arch is based on the Paramount Studios Bronson gate.

With its palm trees, pastel buildings, and flashy neon, Hollywood Boulevard paints a rosy picture of the 1940s Tinseltown. There's a sense of having walked right onto a movie set in the olden days, what with the art deco storefronts, strolling brass bands, and roving starlets and nefarious agents (Citizens of Hollywood).

This avenue pays tribute to famous Hollywood monuments, with facades derived from the Cathay Circle, the Beverly Wilshire Theatre, and other City of Angels landmarks. It's pretty much the place to be and is home to some of my favorite attractions and shops.

Animation Courtyard pays tribute to the the era of Disney animation including Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, Brother Bear, and Home on the Range (the forbidden Disney movie that should have never been made), which were being produced in Florida. It is also home to Playhouse Disney, which though I am 20, I still find highly entertaining. Shame.

Once known as Mickey Avenue, Pixar Place has a fresh new look. Where television and film production soundstages once stood, warm brice facades welcome you to the land of Woody and Buzz. It's also basically a replica of the Pixar Studios in California. Bricks here match the same texture, look, and color as the ones in California. Talk about authentic, right?

This avenue gives you a glimpse into the streets of New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. The buildings are all facades, but you'll spot a London street, and even a street right out of Chinatown. If you listen closely, you'll often hear the sound effects of a busy city in the background, too.

Echo Lake represents an idealized southern California. In the center is the cool, blue lake of the same name, an oasis fringed with trees and benches and ringed with landmarks, including Gertie the dinosaur. The architecture reflects Los Angeles' programmatic style, California Crazy or duck. du * ck' : one who's exterior is in the shape of the everyday object they relate to and is a building in which the architecture is subordinate to the overall symbolic form.

[ FAVORITE / * Fastpass Available / [ x ] Experienced ]

Hollywood Boulevard
[ x ] The Great Movie Ride - Duration: 22 min.

Sunset Boulevard
[ x ] Beauty and the Beast-- Live on Stage! - Duration: 30 min.
[ x ] The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror* - Duration: 10 min.
[ x ] Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith* - Duration: Preride 2 min., Ride 1 min. 22 sec.

Animation Courtyard
[ x ] Playhouse Disney-- Live on Stage! - Duration: 22 min.
[ x ] The Magic of Disney Animation - Duration: 22 min.
[ x ] Voyage of the Little Mermaid* - Duration: 17 min.
[ ] Walt Disney: One Man's Dream - Duration: 20 min.
[ x ] Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian - Duration: 15 min.

Pixar Place
[ x ] Toy Story Mania* - Duration: 7 min.

Streets of America/Backlot
[ x ] Studio Backlot Tour - Duration: 35 min.
[ ] Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show* - Duration: 33 min.
[ x ] Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure Playground - Duration: up to you!
[ x ] Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D - Duration: 25 min.

Echo Lake
[ x ] Star Tours* - Duration: 5 min.
[ x ] Indian Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!* - Duration: 30 min.
[ ] The American Idol Experience - Duration: 25 min. preliminary show, 45 min. finale
[ ] Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey - Duration: 12 min.

Have a Zippidy-Do-Dah Day!

(c) The Complete Walt Disney Guide 2010
(c) Fodor's WDW 2010 Guide
(c) The Color Companion to Walt Disney World
(c) Photo by Jeff B.


  1. you're blog is SO cute Jazmine! I loved this post, can't wait for the other parks. :)

  2. Don't be bitter with Disney about the name change. It wasn't actually their fault (although they seem to have taken all the blame). They had only leased the rights to use the name MGM from MGM (a transaction which shouldn't have happened in the first place but it's a long story) for 20 years and even then they weren't allowed to use it on certain types of promotional material.


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