Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Hollywood Studios’

Echo Lake Eats Kiosks to Debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on May 20, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

We all know that dining options have been minimized greatly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the past few months. With Studio Catering Co. closed for good and Pizza Planet currently closed for refurbishment, choices are extremely slim when it comes to counter service dining in the park.

To help with that, three new quick service options have opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for this summer. Guests can visit Echo Lake Eats where they will have the option to choose from three different tastes that sound delightful.

Hollywood Waffles of Fame will serve sandwiches including:

  • Shaved Turkey and Gouda Waffle Sandwich with mixed greens, bacon, tomato and herb-cheese pesto served with chips
  • Shaved Ham and Cheddar Focaccia with water cress and spicy mustard served with chips
  • Freshly-baked Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Celebration Debut Date Announced

by on May 20, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

June 17. That seems like it’s going to be an exceptionally popular day to be at Walt Disney World this year. Not only will the Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire be debuting at the Magic Kingdom, and Soarin’ Around the World be debuting at Epcot, but the Star Wars: A Galactic Fireworks Spectacular will also be debuting on that date.

This all new nighttime show for the park will be the most elaborate fireworks extravaganza in the park’s history. The show will feature fireworks, special effects, fireworks and video projections that will show up on the Chinese Theatre and other surrounding buildings. With these projections Guests will be able to gaze at the twin suns of Tatooine, push through a field of battle droids, navigate through an asteroid field, soar down the trench of the Death Star and deliver the final blow to destroy Starkiller Base. To make the nighttime spectacular all the more better, the classic music from the films will be featured, oh and don’t forget about the spotlight beams which will resemble lightsabers in the sky and a tower of fire. (What?! A tower of fire?! Sweet.)

This is just another piece in the Star Wars puzzle at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Just last month, two new experiences premiered. The first is the Stormtrooper March featuring Captain Phasma, who leads the First Order Stormtroopers from the Center Stage to the Star Wars Launch Bay. Do keep in mind that this is a short show, and only lasts a couple of minutes. The second new Star Wars spectacle to debut was the live stage show that takes place at the Center Stage called Star Wars: A Galaxy, Far, Far Away. This new show celebrates all the iconic moments from the Star Wars stories and features characters from the universe including Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Chewbacca.

Summer is awakening this year at Walt Disney World and you are going to want to be there to experience it!

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Dani’s Best Week Ever May 12, 2016: In Defense of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on May 12, 2016

It’s the park that everyone loves to hate on right now. Piece by piece we’ve seen change after change come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Earffel Tower? Gone. Backlot Studio Tour? Long gone. Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show? Outta here! In fact, the whole Streets of America area is a thing of the past. All these closures, without timely replacements, have made Disney’s Hollywood Studios an easy target for criticism. Admittedly, it has been my least favorite Walt Disney World theme park for quite some time.

There is no question that Hollywood Studios is in a transition period. It is reminiscent of puberty. Or perhaps more poetically, like a caterpillar in a cocoon waiting to emerge as a butterfly. Nope, I’m sticking with puberty because Hollywood Studios is not wrapped up and in hiding waiting to emerge. It is still here, in its awkward phase, just trying to make it through and show the world that they were wrong to pick on it.

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I recently visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the purpose of enjoying as much of the park as possible, and to take a big step in my journey to overcome my fear of any and all thrill rides. I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed my time in the park. Granted, I am a big time Star Wars fan and there’s lots and lots of Star Wars stuff now added to the park. Still, there’s enough to enjoy even though the park’s best days seem to be on the horizon.

Arriving at 12:00 PM I knew the park would be in full swing, but the action would have to wait a moment. Driving into the parks means the added process of parking your car and either boarding the parking tram or walking to the park entrance. With the added safety measures of the doors and the recorded departure spiel, it can take ten minutes or so just for the tram to depart once you’ve boarded it. This was the case on my visit, and I regretted not walking to the entrance.

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The glitz and glamour of the Mann’s Chinese Theater standing proud as the park’s main entrance “weenie” is still a sight I am getting reacquainted with, happily so. I feel as though I can enjoy Hollywood Blvd more, that it feels more of an actual place meant to be enjoyed and explored now that the big blue hat has been removed.

One of the main reasons for my visit was to finally ride Star Tours… for the first time ever! I had never gone on Star Tours before, including the original version. I get motion sick just from being in the car when someone else is driving. It’s rough. That discomfort then leads to a fear of any ride that isn’t considered a “kiddie ride.” However, I am slowly trying out rides I previously ruled out, seeing if I can face my fears and become some sort of ride junkie. To celebrate the occasion I stopped inside one of the merchandise shops and asked for an “I’m Celebrating” button. I proceeded to unabashedly write “1st time on Star Tours” on my shiny new button.

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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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