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Florida Guide > Universal Parks

If you get up early enough it is possible to enjoy a morning at Hollywood Studios concluding with lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby. However we always make reservations for lunch prior to our visit to the Studios as this is a popular restaurant.

Be sure the check the Park’s opening times before you go. We always plan to arrive at the park' s front gate before the park opens in the morning, leaving ourselves enough time to park and either walk or take a tram to the front gate.

Since the Toy Story Mania ride opened it has been very popular, in fact it is my Mother’s as well as many other people’s favourite ride. Therefore we always head for this as soon as we enter the Park as the waiting times can be as long as two hours once the Park starts filling up.

You will find Toy Story Mania located on the former Mickey Avenue and it combines a dark ride with a 3D video game. You ride in spinning cars, stopping to play six different midway carnival games featuring Toy Story characters. You ' shoot' at virtual targets using a pull-string ' gun' that launches virtual pies, rings, pins, eggs and suction darts, scoring points with every hit. I prefer this to Men in Black as you actually sit in front of your targets to fire.

After our ride we head back to Sunset Boulevard and get FastPasses for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Whist we wait for our Fastpass time we walk next door to Rock n Roller Coaster. This is an indoor coaster featuring on-board music from rock n' roll supergroup Aerosmith. You go into the G-Force Records building and meet Aerosmith in a practice session! Their agent tells them they have to leave for a concert across town, but the band feels bad for just leaving all of you there. Their agent summons a ' Super-Stretch Limo' to take you there. The coaster then blasts off, from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds, putting up to 5 G' s on the riders. You need to hold on tight because it has a fast take-off, loud music, and 3 loops making it a great ride.

We then go back to the Tower of Terror and use the FastPasses return queue to miss out the stand-by line.

The Tower of Terror story takes place in the Hollywood Tower Hotel, an old hotel in Hollywood from the late 30' s. As you pass through the overgrown foliage of the garden, you make your way into the once-abandoned hotel. Bellhops greet you and, while they ' prepare your rooms' , you wait in the library. Be prepared because all of a sudden, the lights go out as the old, black-and-white television turns on to reveal that ' The Twilight Zone' is on. A voice explains what happened in the Hollywood Tower Hotel many years ago, and that you, the riders, are ' about to star in your own episode of. . . The Twilight Zone. ' The TV then goes off and you see lightening! The bellhop comes to take you to the boiler room, where you will go up to your room in a Service Elevator. Just as the doors of the elevator close, a sinister look comes over the bellhop' s face. ' You' ve just crossed over into. . . The Twilight Zone! ' The runaway elevator has been terrifyingly programmed to drop you 13 stories, at random, into the ' Twilight Zone' . It is a ride you will never forget.

After this you just have time to go to Star Tours. Although I am not a Star Tours fan I like this ride. The indoor queue area is good and the ride itself is a simulator similar to Wild Arctic at Sea World.

We have then nearly finished our morning but not before we have an enjoyable lunch at the Brown Derby.

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Page added on: 8 November 2009
Viewed 3277 times since 8 November 2009.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

On the way home

Shell Statue

Meet the Characters

Tiger Facts and Fables

Buy a cuddly toy

Meet Chip and Dale

Main Entrance

Tower of Terror - interior

Tower of Terror
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