Florida Guide > Hollywood Studios
The Boulevards of Disneys Hollywood Studios
America' s fourth most-visited theme park with almost ten million visitors annually originally opened on 1st May 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios, represented by the iconic Mickey Mouse Earful Tower, a safety first water tower found in most Hollywood back lots. This was replaced in 2001 by the Sorcerer' s Hat which is still on show to this day.
Disney and MGM had some legal wrangling and this culminated in Disney re-branding the theme park as Hollywood Studios in January 2008.
The 135 acres are split into six specific areas merging together unlike other parks which have an obvious layout.
On entering Disney' s Hollywood Studios, visitors find themselves on Hollywood Boulevard containing shops and cafes under a further two floors of what appears to be office or apartment windows. If you look carefully, you will notice the windows are smaller the higher up they are to give the resemblance of greater height to the buildings. Disney Imagineers are very clever at creating forced perspective buildings which are evident throughout the Disney parks.
Street entertainment is prevalent on the Boulevard and it also plays host to the Pixar Block Party Bash, a lively dance and song tribute to Pixar movies. At the end of the Boulevard, behind the iconic Sorcerer' s Hat is the Chinese Theatre which shows The Great Movie Ride which includes reference to many famous films, as long as they weren' t made by Universal Studios. Play nicely now, children!
Take a right off Hollywood Boulevard onto Sunset Boulevard and you will come across the two main amusement rides in Hollywood Studios.
Aerosmith' s Rock n Roller Coaster is an indoor high speed ride. The show begins while you are waiting in line as you step into the G-Force Record studio, where you are greeted by members of the Aerosmith band who are just wrapping up a rehearsal. They are late for their next concert and are in a rush so they invite you, the audience, to go to the show with them. In true rock and roll style, they arrange for a high speed stretch limo to get you to the gig. Each limo is equipped with a 32, 000 watt 125 speaker system that blasts out Aerosmith hits. The limo sets off and shoots you from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2. 8 seconds, then races over half a mile of coaster track through the LA traffic to get you to the show on time. This is the second fastest ride in Disney, beaten by Test Track at Epcot.
Arguably Disney' s most famous ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a free falling elevator that plummets down the shaft in an old haunted hotel. Don' t have too much to eat or drink before boarding this ride, or better still, don' t sit in front of someone who has!
Legend tells the tale of stars of the silver screen using the hotel during the golden age of Hollywood as an exclusive retreat, when disaster struck on a stormy Halloween night in 1939. Five unlucky souls were in the elevator when the building was struck by lightening. They were never seen again.
Your ride to the top of the tower in the phantom elevator begins in the basement behind the boiler room. You might go up, you might go down. Each ride is different, but take a trip to the Twilight Zone to discover what lies beyond.
Once over the fright, two outdoor live shows are featured on Sunset Boulevard that will bring you back to Disney reality.
Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage is a 25 minute broadway style production bursting with colour and song. The show tells the tale of the famous Beauty and the Beast love story through song and dance and features several of the hit songs from the movie. The theatre does get busy, so arrive early and you will be entertained by the warm-up show.
Fantasmic is a 25 minute evening firework and laser show that takes you on a journey into the colourful imagination of Mickey Mouse and a host of characters. The show uses over a million gallons of water, pyrotechnics, lasers and fireworks to finish the night with a bang. You' ll see all the old time favourite heroes, villains, princes and princesses during this nighttime extravaganza.
The show isn' t on every night, so make sure you check the Times Guide.
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