Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Hollywood Studios’

Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

by on May 10, 2016

TOWEROFTERROR

photo by Mike Sperduto

Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort share a number of the same attractions, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” and many others. But if you think that these attractions are the same on both coasts, you would be mistaken. One of the many things I love about Disney is that they never do the same thing twice; and while the attractions that can be found on both coasts may share the same names and themes, they do have differences too. Hey, who doesn’t like variety, right? But you have to wonder, which resort has the best version of a popular attraction? Which Disney Park has the bragging rights? I’m about to find out in today’s showdown of Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

What is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a freefall drop ride housed in an Old Hollywood hotel and themed after the classic, psychologically thrilling television series, The Twilight Zone. The story is that on October 31, 1939, five guests of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were aboard the hotel’s elevator when lightning struck the building and sent them directly to the Twilight Zone. The attraction itself takes guests through the cobwebbed hotel, where something is clearly not right, and then aboard a maintenance service elevator to reach their rooms; but, along the way, they end up traveling to The Twilight Zone where their elevator drops over and over!

Tokyo DisneySea - Tower of Terror

Tokyo DisneySea – Tower of Terror

History

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror first opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, formerly known as Disney-MGM Studios, in 1994 and was an instant success with guests. It even sparked a TV film in 1997 starring Steve Guttenberg and Kristen Dunst. In 2004, another Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Disney’s California Adventure and featured a different exterior look, as well as a few modifications. In 2007, yet another Tower of Terror opened at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. Tokyo DisneySea also has their own Tower of Terror, but it doesn’t carry the television series theme but its own unique story.

While there are several Tower of Terrors around the world, I’m zeroing in on the versions available here in the states to see which coasts boasts the best. I will be comparing the towers based on different categories, and the version with the most category wins will be our winner! Ready? Let’s do this.

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New Character Meet and Greets Begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on May 4, 2016

If you’re a fan of character meet and greets, you’ll want to head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience some of the newest meeting opportunities.

Today, Guests can meet Olaf from Frozen at the Celebrity Spotlight located in the Echo Lake area. Guests will be able to meet Olaf, who is ready to give warm hugs, as he’s chilling on the beach.

Olaf

©Disney

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Alice Through The Looking Glass Sneak Preview to Occur at Disney Parks

by on April 19, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

You won’t want to be late! There’s a great new sequel to Alice in Wonderland called Alice Through the Looking Glass coming to theaters soon. To get you ready for the upcoming film, you’ll soon be able to catch a sneak preview of the movie at both Disney California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Beginning May 6, for a limited time, you’ll be able to catch a preview of the upcoming film at the theater at the end of One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and for those Guests who will be visiting the west coast, they will be able to catch the 3D preview at Disney California Adventure in the Sunset Showcase Theater (formerly Crown Jewel Theater) with special in-theater effects. This sneak preview of Alice Through the Looking Glass will last for 10 minutes from May 6 through June 12.

The film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, returns Alice to the whimsical world of Underland where she travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

Time is of the essence! You won’t want to miss this preview before the clock runs out!

Are you anxious to catch Alice Through the Looking Glass which debuts in theaters on May 27?

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Best (and Worst) Attractions to Get Stuck On

by on April 6, 2016

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

It happens. You’re right in the middle of an attraction, and everything just grinds to a halt.  Sometimes you’re down for a few seconds, sometimes it’s several minutes, and sometimes you actually have to be evacuated from the ride.  I was talking with someone in line on a recent trip, and he relayed a story where he spent an hour at the crest of the big drop on Splash Mountain before eventually having to walk off of the attraction without experiencing its climax.  To me, that seems like a pretty awful way to spend an afternoon, and it got me to thinking — what are the best and worst attractions at Walt Disney World to find yourself so stuck that you actually have to exit the ride using your feet? This article attempts to answer this pressing quandary that I suspect most of you had never bothered to contemplate before.

Here are the parameters of the challenge: you’ll be in the midst of the ride, and then at either the most or least optimal moment, the ride will stop moving, although the effects and show elements other than motion will continue to work. You’ll thereafter spend 30 minutes plus whatever time it take to get you rescued in that spot, and then you’ll either be ushered out by Cast Members, or extracted from the ride if necessary. Shows that you could just stand up and leave do not count (i.e., you cannot get “stuck” at Hall of Presidents). Also, you should assume that any momentum-based ride (e.g. roller coasters) is going to come to a natural resting place, such that you won’t be stuck upside down or in the middle of a steep hill.

So, without further ado, let’s go!

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Writer’s Stop To Remain Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on April 1, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

This weekend marks the closure of may Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions. They include Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, the Monster’s Inc. meet and greet, and Studio Catering Co. One of the places that was also slated to close was the Writer’s Stop. Now it appears as though that will be changing, at least temporarily.

Guests will be able to still continue to visit the Writer’s Stop, which will nowserve as a lounge/waiting area for Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Guests will be able to enjoy refreshments and small plates beginning at 11:30 a.m. and lasting until one hour prior to Sci-Fi’s closure.

Guests will be able to purchase and enjoy appetizers, a selection of wine and beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Do keep in mind that this is only slated to be open on a limited time basis, so stay tuned to the blog for its official closure.

 

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 3/25/16

by on March 25, 2016

Spring is here and the busy Spring Break season is upon us! That means we have a few news notes that I need to share with you all to make your upcoming trips better. Here are the details you should be aware of, especially if you’re traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend:

 

  • Looking for an Easter-inspired cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? You’re in luck! Guests can pick up a white chocolate raspberry Thumper specialty cupcake at the following locations through April 14:
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Catalina Eddie’s
    • Fairfax Fare
    • Rosie’s All-American Café
    • Starring Rolls Café
    • Trolley Car Café
  • Guests who would like to play Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot will now have the option to use their own smartphone. Guests may still opt to receive a F.O.N.E. or Field Operative Notification Equipment to help maneuver through their mission as well, if they choose, but for the first time, Guests will have the option.

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The Basics: Meeting Characters at Hollywood Studios

by on March 14, 2016

Character meet

Hollywood Studios has a pretty solid line-up of Character Meet and Greets, including some great Character Meals.

This is a continuation of our Back to Basics Series. Scroll to the bottom to see our other Basics posts.

We’re back again with another installment on Character Meet and Greets at Walt Disney World! We’ve already headed back to the basics with meeting characters at Epcot, and then we traipsed over to the Animal Kingdom. Today it is time for [insert dramatic pause] Hollywood Studios! (You’d never have guessed that from the title, right? And yes, I’m intentionally saving Magic Kingdom for the end.)

Character meet and greets can be magical for both adults and children alike, so even if you’re traveling without kiddos in tow, give some consideration to making time to meet the many characters who live in Hollywood Studios. (Expect maybe for the Disney Junior characters. That might be weird.)

Hollywood Studios offers some interesting characters, but it is worth noting that right now the park is under quite a bit of construction, which means that there could be more changes to character meet and greet offerings and locations than one might expect. For example, although you can meet Mike and Sulley from Monster’s Inc. at the moment, that character meet is scheduled to be closed on April 2, 2016. Just remember to double-check the character schedules right before your trip so you’re not taken unaware in the event any last-minute shuffling is done.

One of the major themes that seem to be occurring with my character meet and greet articles is that Disney has decided that right now is the best time to shuffle characters around! (I’m not kidding – the Epcot article was written and scheduled and the day before it was published Disney removed THREE of Epcot’s meets. Sigh.) Anyway, as I’m penning this particular article another announcement has come forth about adding new characters at Hollywood Studios. Check out this Touring Plans article for details about the new Olaf and Mickey and Minnie meets, which are coming soon.

Before I start with the details on who you can meet where in Hollywood Studios, I’m going to review the basic meet and greet tips I provided in the first two articles of the character meet series. Feel free to scroll past this section if you’ve already experienced it! (Or re-read it and see if you can spot the tiny adjustments I made to each version. And before you even ask, OF COURSE I’m providing new photos!)

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Disney Haiku Challenge

by on March 11, 2016

"Disney Haiku"

“Disney Haiku” (yes, that’s really what it says)

I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve always found haiku to be a fun little creative outlet. My law school roommate and I would often sit in the back of our Estates & Trusts lectures and compose absurd haiku as a way to pass the time. This might explain why neither of us do estates and trusts as a part of our practice, by the way, but that’s a discussion for another day.  

Anyway, as a reminder for those of you that have not encountered it since elementary school, haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that follows a particular format: a traditional haiku is 17 syllables in three phrases that follow a 5-7-5 pattern.*  In other words, the first phrase is 5 syllables, the second is 7, and the final phrase is 5 syllables.  To the extent that it requires you to wedge your thoughts into a small number of words and still convey something worth reading, you can almost think of it as an ancient version of Twitter (minus the abbreviations, emoticons and vitriol).  Alas, I digress.

Haiku have traditionally been used to convey very Zen-like observations regarding the serenity of the natural world.  Accordingly, the juxtaposition of this simple, beautiful form of poetry and its traditional use, and different subject matter — like the decidedly un-serene and not-particularly-natural Disney Parks — can lead to some wonderfully absurd results.  Soooo, here’s a challenge for all of you — come up with some Disney park haiku and share them in the comments below.

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Minnie’s Springtime Dine Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on March 10, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

It was announced a few months back that Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be offering a dinner called Minnie’s Seasonal Dine. This character dining experience would be different than others because it would change themes with the season.

Well to celebrate spring, Guests will soon be able to participate in the all-new Minnie’s Springtime Dine. Here your favorite Disney characters will be dressed in their springtime Garden best.

Menu items will include classic picnic-inspired food with a twist. Items will included refreshing coconut-lavender lemonade and springtime salads like watercress or basil-lime fruit salad. Hearty entrees include barbecue meatballs, buffalo baked chicken, lobster and shrimp mac ‘n cheese, herb-roasted pork and more. For dessert, indulge in passion fruit cheesecake, key lime tarts and banana cream puffs.

Minnie’s Springtime Dine will take place from March 21 – June 5 and costs $46.99 per adult and $27.99 per child, plus tax and gratuity. Some dining plans are accepted.

Reservations are now open, and can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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The Jungle Book Sneak Peek to Occur at Disney Parks

by on March 3, 2016

The Jungle Book

©Disney

The Jungle Book is one of my favorite movies as a child. It really spoke to me. (And also kind of scared me…but I was afraid of EVERYTHING as a kid.) So, I’m anxiously awaiting the live-action version of The Jungle Book that’s headed to theaters on April 15.

Well, beginning March 18 and for a limited time, I (and you too) will be able to catch a preview of the upcoming film at the theater at the end of One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For those Guests who will be visiting the west coast, they will be able to catch the preview at Disney California Adventure in the Bug’s Life Theater with special in-theater effects.

This sneak peek will allow Guests to get an advance look at some of the scenes from the film, as well as catch a special introduction by the film’s director, Jon Favreau.

The film is based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, The Jungle Book is an epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves.

Are you anxious to catch The Jungle Book when it swings into theaters too?

 

 

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