I don't believe that Hollywood Studio is an actual working studio the way that Universal Studios is. Sure, they have a back lot tour, but I am still scratching my head to what the actual back lot was. Was it the back of the bleachers of the stunt show? Perhaps it was the pile of junk that the told us was "from movies" but were not clear which ones.
At any rate, Hollywood Studios had improved vastly since the last time I was there 13 years. There were many more rides, tons of shows and enough stuff to do to keep us occupied for 2 full days.
Stuff we really liked:
1. The Tower of Terror - This one trumps the Disneyland version as the elevator moves throughout the halls of the hotel rather than just moving up and down. The ride is anxiety and fear piled into one juice pop and there are a couple moments where you feel weightless. (Or at least Cathi and Lincoln felt weightless. I had eaten a double cheeseburger earlier that day) I rode this ride exactly once on account of my tendency to throw up after riding it, which I fortunately did not do this time. Cathi and Lincoln rode probably went on it 8 times.
2. Aerosmith's Rocking Rollercoaster - This coaster would be the best ride Lagoon has ever seen if it were outside. However, add the lasers, the dark indoors and the Aerosmith blaring in your ears and it becomes one of the best coasters I have ever ridden. What really amazed me was that I rode it three times and each time a different Aerosmith song played.
But really... I really hated the time that awful song, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" played. Ruined the whole ride.
3. Toy Story Mania - This ride is FUN. That is three capitals, and the word is only three letters long. Had the word been "exciting" I probably would have capitalized every letter in it as well. That would have been 8 capital letters and every capital would be worth it. I would not have used a word that was less than three letters because it would not have justified how fun it was and because who capitalizes a word with only two letters?
This one is exactly like the Disneyland version and we rode it probably 7 times. However, we did have to fast pass it several times as it was the most popular ride in all 4 parks. In fact, both mornings we got to the park very early and when they finally open the gates, 90% of the people run straight for this ride. Within 3 minutes the line is 45 minutes long. There were times that the line was 2 hours long, but we always fast passed it, so no biggie.
4. Car Stunt Show - It's a good thing we have two boys, because they want to go to stuff like this rather than waiting to meet Ariel in her Grotto of Sucktitude.
This show was actually quite cool. I know because not only did I get to watch it, but I was also shown the back of the bleachers in the "back lot tour".
5. The American Idol Experience - This was one of my favorite things we did the entire vacation. I could have watched this all day.
Here's how it works: Anyone entering the park can "audition", which I seriously contemplated doing. The "producers" then pick people from the auditions to perform in shows throughout the day. There are three contestants per show and their singing ability ranges from "okay, but at times really bad" (hilarious) to "halfway decent" (mildly amusing). The stage looks just like it does on the actual show and they have three judges: a big black guy, a women and an English guy.
The three contestants each sing their little ditties and then the audience gets to vote for the one that they liked the most. The winning contestant from each show comes back for the day's finale. The winner on the finale gets the ultimate prize... A fast pass the the front of the line at ANY real American Idol audition.
Now, this is all fun and good, but add to it the fact that the "warm up" guy was downright hilarious, it made for a rootin' tootin', rousing good time.
Calder said he was bored every time we went.
1. Did I mention that the back lot tour was a colossal piece of dung? 30 minutes in line to go about 200 yards in a figure 8 around a parking lot.
2. They had this new Narnia "ride" in which people lined up for because, well, it was Narnia. We were amongst the suckers that fell for this. We filed through the ropes into a round room in which we were shown a video preview of the upcoming movie. Now this was bad enough, but the fact that they made us STAND through it and it was 20 minutes long just made me angry.
A crummy commercial?!
3. Beauty and the Beast show - Every community theater, high school and Glee watching twerps have put on this production since Disney started allowing it a couple years ago. So, their OWN production IN DISNEYWORLD should stomp on all of them, right? You would think. Congratulations, Murray City Theater troupe - you out Disney'd Disney!
4. The Great Movie Ride - The only thing great about this ride was the ending. Well, that and the zero people in line.
5. The Pixar Street Party/Parade - Normally, we are not ones for parades. In fact, we avoid them like they were, well, parades. But there was no avoiding this one. It must have ran 4 times a day. The music was throbbingly agonizing, IE - "Celebration Time Come On!" sung over and over. The parade was worse - glittery gals in overalls and fake freckles hopping around with fake smiles, dripping in sweat.