Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Hollywood Studios’

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Invites Guests To Rock Your Summer Side

by on June 23, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

While I myself was on summer vacay last week (not to a Disney destination…unfortunately), Disney introduced an all new dance party for you to experience while you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort on your summer vacation. The party, which takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is called “Rock Your Summer Side.”

During this event, guests have the opportunity to dance along to both a DJ spinning hot tunes, as well as to a live band called The Hollywood Rockers (otherwise known as Mulch, Sweat, and Shears). Guests may also meet and dance with their favorite Disney characters, who are dressed for summer fun. Finally, guests can take a photo with a giant postcard backdrop.

The action all takes place at the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage nightly from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Guests will be able to rock their summer side until August 22.

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Performing on Disney’s Hollywood Studios American Idol Experience

by on June 22, 2014

The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has made headlines in the Disney universe with the announcement of its “final curtain call” in 2015. In honor of this news, I thought I would write about my own bid for the golden pass to Hollywood.

Nervous Nelly

The butterflies were having a party in my stomach

In April of 2009, I was on vacation in Walt Disney World with my parents and one of my brothers. I had been an American Idol devotee since the legendary Kelly Clarkson blew America away in 2002 with her amazing voice (sorry, Justin Guarini, you did your best). Ever since the American Idol Experience opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it was my dream to audition. With a little nudge from my family, I decided this was finally my moment to reach for stardom.

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The American Idol Experience Will Close at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on June 17, 2014

Copyright Disney

Copyright Disney

We talked earlier about how it was a rumor, but it now is official: The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will close in January 2015.

The attraction, which is based on the experience that performers have in real life on the hit Fox television show, has guests performing in front of a live audience. The audience then, much like on the television show, votes on which performer was the best. The winner of the day receives a Golden Ticket, allowing special front-of-the-line access at any American Idol audition (if their age fell within the television show’s age restriction.)

In a joint statement, Disney and FreemantleMedia said, “After more than five successful years, ‘The American Idol Experience’ will be coming to a close at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in January 2015. Our partnership with FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment has been a great addition to the park, and we are very appreciative of the amazing cast and guests who have devoted their time and talent to make this experience special and memorable.”

Since the attraction’s debut in 2009, many of the performers on the American Idol  TV show auditioned and performed first on The American Idol Experience stage. Last year alone, three of the top 13 contestants were discovered originally in the park.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on June 9, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

©Disney

Late this summer, a brand new Marvel blockbuster called Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters. To prepare for this huge release, beginning on July 4, guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland can catch an exclusive sneak preview, giving them an extended look at this upcoming film.

At Walt Disney World, guests wishing to see this preview can head to the ABC Sound Studio (the former location of Sounds Dangerous) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland, the preview will take place at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland (where Captain EO is currently playing. Disney does say Captain EO is expected to return at a future date).

The preview will be shown in 3D at both locations daily. This is similar to a sneak preview that is currently taking place surrounding the movie Maleficent.

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1.

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“Villains Unleashed” New Hard-Ticketed Event Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on June 5, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Update #3 – Unavailability of tickets appears to have been temporary; some have reported successfully purchasing tickets by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
Update #2 – This event has sold out.
Updated at 2:30 p.m.: Disney has officially announced the event.  Official details are included. 

Last year, for Limited Time Magic, Disney’s Hollywood Studios held a special one-night event called “Unleash the Villains on Friday, September 13. It was incredibly popular, with people clamoring to get in and waits for character meet and greets that were hours long. (Almost rivaling the current wait times to meet Anna and Elsa in Princess Fairytale Hall.)

After the large popularity of last year’s event, and fitting with the trend of special hard-ticketed events in the parks (such as Harambe Nights and the Epcot After Hours Wind Down), Disney has decided to host an all new villains-themed party called “Villains Unleashed” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The event is scheduled to take on Saturday, August 23, from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. and  tickets are now on sale for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members.

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FastPass+ Available for Star Wars Weekends Presentations

by on May 7, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Star Wars Weekends is rapidly approaching. We are approximately a week and a half away from the fun. Part of the excitement for Star Wars Weekends, which takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, are the special presentations that guests can enjoy. These shows, which take place in the Premiere Theater, are always entertaining and some are only done during this particular event.

This year, with the addition of FastPass+, many of the stage presentations for Star Wars Weekends will allow guests the capability to make FastPass+ reservations. The shows that guests can make reservations for include:

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios To Celebrate 25th Anniversary on May 1

by on April 24, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Did you know that on May 1, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will celebrate its 25th anniversary? (Of course, back when the park opened in 1989, it was known as Disney-MGM Studios.) To celebrate this monumental achievement, the park will be hosting a party. The day’s events will include fun and excitement for all ages!

According to the Disney Parks Blog, here’s what you can expect to see, for those of you lucky enough to be in the park on this joyful occasion:

  • At 10:00 a.m.: guests will be invited to join Disney’s Hollywood Studios Vice President, Dan Cockerell, for a short re-dedication ceremony.
  • At 7:00 p.m.: the park will hold the “Stars of the Studios” motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard, featuring many favorite animated Disney stars.
  • Following the parade, The Sorcerer’s Hat Stage will feature a dance party, where guests are invited to party the night away.
  • At 9:30 p.m.: the skies will light up in front of the Sorcerer’s Hat with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza. The show will pay tribute to 25 years of show business stories, that have been told throughout the park.
  • Commemorative merchandise will be for sale, featuring the 25th anniversary logo. Merchandise will include shirts, pins, key chains, bags, and more.
  • A 25th anniversary cupcake will be for sale, a chocolate Nutella cupcake, which can be found at many counter service dining establishments.

I’ll make sure to update this post with any additional information that gets released about this memorable celebration.

Happy early anniversary Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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2014 Star Wars Weekends Celebrity Lineup Announced and More

by on April 23, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2012One of the highlights of Star Wars Weekends is the ability to meet the Star Wars stars of the screen and TV. It is always a hodgepodge of celebrities that make an appearance at this popular event, ranging from stars of the original saga, all the way to the celebrities who lend their talents to the more recent offerings.

This year brings a wide range of celebs to the five Star Wars Weekends, which are scheduled to take place Fridays through Sundays, May 16 to June 15. Many favorites are returning (like Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Ray Park, and Billy Dee Williams), and a few new additions have been added to the schedule (such as John Ratzenberger, Mark Hamill, and some voice actors from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels series). Here is a full list of who you can expect to see and when:

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Updates to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Ride Ratings

by on April 9, 2014

A mother from Ellicott City, Maryland, sent us this question last week:

Do you provide a description of how you come up with your star ratings for rides?  I’m not talking about the age-related ones, but the authors’ rating.  This question came up when we were reading about Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

As it happened, last week was also when the Unofficial Guide staff got together to review the ratings for every attraction in Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

The authors’ rating is the consensus opinion of the Unofficial Guides’ authors. And while everyone’s got personal favorites and criteria, all of us agree that the basic rating system functions something like this:

***** Attractions rated five stars  are iconic attractions by which all others are judged. These are generally combinations of great storytelling, attention to detail, and technical achievement, all done on a grand scale. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal is a good example, as is Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.

**** Four-star attractions are generally either done on a smaller scale attraction, like Mickey’s PhilharMagic, or it’s a headliner attraction that has aged technology or content (e.g., Living with the Land).

*** Three-star attractions are usually budget-friendly rides that Disney uses to increase the capacity of a particular area. Magic Carpets of Aladdin was the example we discussed most often here.

** Two-star attractions are usually older, lightly-themed carnival rides, such as Mad Tea Party, or in the case of Stitch’s Great Escape, a rare attraction with so little merit that it can’t be recommended.

* One-star attractions are either simple diversions that Disney promotes as an attraction, like Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, or the ride has material weaknesses in story, theme, ride experience, and maintenance, and should be avoided.

There are no zero-star attractions in Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando. Also, an attraction can earn (or lose) half a star if it’s slightly better (or worse) than similar attractions.

Here’s a list of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions whose authors’ ratings have changed in the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and a short explanation for the change:

Citizens of Hollywood *** 1/2  One of the best sets of roving street performers in any Disney park, you’ll find this comedy troupe on Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, dragging unsuspecting tourists into the antics. Previous rating: none

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More Adventures with Disney World Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+: DHS & DAK Edition

by on March 22, 2014

Welcome back to the continuing saga of Walt Disney World’s recent roll-out of Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+ privileges to the general public. As explained in our last episode, all WDW annual passholders should now be able to make up to 7 days of FastPass+ reservations within the next 30 days through the My Disney Experience website and apps. Last time, we looked at how I set up my first week of FastPass+ selections, and saw how my first intinerary turned out at Epcot (TLDR: not perfect, but pretty good).

For this followup, follow me to Walt Disney World two least-popular parks for examples of how advance FastPass+ may (or may not) work to your advantage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+

Much like my day at Epcot, I arrived at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot a little after 1:00 p.m.

Advance FastPass+

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