Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Florida Trip Report Part 4

We'll after a good drunken night at PI and 6 hours of sleep it was off to the newly re-named Disney's Hollywood Studios (with a hangover). This was my first time at a Disney Park in 3 years and it felt good to be back. I got to the park in time for opening and immediately went to my favorite ride at WDW the Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror. This attraction has it all, a great queue, scenic show building, great ride system, awesome effects, unpredictability with the "Fear Every Drop" random drop squences. After this i headed to the other part of the sunset boulevard duo and that is of course the Rock n Roller Coaster. This is where i knew disney world would be WAY busier then universal the day before because the line for coaster was 40 minutes at 10:30 in the morning. And I gotta say the folks at WDI could have really done a better job with the queue line for RnRC, i mean its just switchbacks outside in the heat. Luckily for me coaster has a single rider line and this had no wait so I hopped right on. The ride gave me "Dude Looks Like A Lady" both times i went on, which is fine because it is my favorite Aerosmith song (I am a fan of theirs as well).

After the first time on Tower & Coaster, I did it again. One thing about the studios is that it has a lot of excellent re-ride-able attractions.
ToT - random drop sequences
RnRC - 5 Different Audio Tracks (i think)
Great Movie Ride - The host for your vechicle has a lot to do with whether or not you get a enjoyable ride on the GMR. Also whether you ride gets kidnapped by a cowboy or mobster.

and this will only get better with this year:
American Idol - different show every time
Toy Story Mania - This ride is 'smart' and changes its level of difficulty based on how well you do at the interactive games.(i am really thinking this ride will be a home run)

Well after riding the studios "Thrill Duo" twice it was time to explore more of the third orlando park. I got a good ride on the Great Movie Ride (good host) but this attraction does feel a little dated and could use a refreshing along the lines of Haunted Mansion. I hit the Indy stunt show which is still going strong after 18 years of operation. Then it was Star Tours time, one very cool touch was that a few Storm Troopers & Darth Vader were wandering around the queue and pre-show area.

But this was abot the only enjoyable part of the attraction. The screen and ride vehicles were in poor shape and this thing is in MAJOR need of a COMPLETE OVERHAUL. The Star Tour 2.0 rumors that have been around since about the dawn of time can't come true soon enough.

Next up it was time for lunch at my favorite theme park restaurant ever, hands down, no competition, The Sci-Fi Dine In. For those that never been to the scifi dine in, it is a very themed restarant where your table and chairs are actually cars that are pointed at a drive in movie screen that plays cool sci-fi clips, trailers and cartoons from the 50's.

After a great meal at my favorite theme park restaurant it was time for a viewing of my favorite theme park 3-D show Muppetvision 3-D. Much like sci-fi, I like this waaaaaaaaaay more then any other 3-D movie anywhere. The pre-show is hilarious and there are a million details hidden in the waiting area, actually Lou Mongello (better known as "Oh Lou" to you fellow WDW Today listeners) did an hour long segment on his excellent WDW Radio Show podcast all about the little details.

Next up was Lights Motors Action, an excellent stunt show in one of the biggest arenas at any theme park i think. DHS easily has the best shows out of any theme park anywhere i mean who can beat this lineup:
Lights Motors Action
Beauty & The Beast
Animation Show
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Movie in One Mans Dream
Playhouse Disney
Soon American Idol

I finished up my park day by watching the mediocre and wettening Voyage of the Little Mermaid show and then walking through the exceptional One Mans Dream museum and film. I am not sure how anyone can criticize the studios for not having enough to do, I mean I was there from open to close and didn't do the backstage tour or Beauty & The Beast. Playhouse disney was down for rehab and they got 2 new attractions coming this year there is plenty to do at the studios.

I finished my night of course by watching Fantasmic. One good thing about walking around the parks by myself was that I got a front row seat. OOOOO I gotta bring this up, this time more then any other time at Disney World the Brazilian Tour Groups were everywhere. And when waiting for Fantasmic to begin they start singing and chanting in there native tongue, which was odd. THEN they broke out with a loud "BRAZIL (clap clap clap) BRAZIL" chant, so some kids from on a high school trip fired back with a loud "U-S-A" chant. And I sat there thinking "WOW, This is how world war 3 starts". Fantasmic was pretty cool in the front row, but the Orlando version lacks the "magic" of its anaheim counterpart, that comes from the rivers of america and tom sawyers island being transformed into a nighttime spectacular. PS DISNEYLAND IN 16 DAYS!

But fantasmic was a great way to end a great day at the Disney Hollywood Studios.

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