Hollywood Studios

American Idol Experience

by josh on May 3, 2010

American Idol Experience

Opened: February 14, 2009

Location: Echo Lake

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes, lowest priority

Type: Live theater show

Similar To: A condensed version of the American Idol television show

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero.

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Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

by josh on May 3, 2010

Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage

Opened: November 22, 1991

Location: Sunset Boulevard

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes, lowest Tier 1 priority for most guests. There is no reserved section for FastPass+ users.

Type: Live Broadway-style theater show

Similar To: A smaller-scale Festival of the Lion King

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Very low.  It’s a little iffy for Beast at one point.

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Fantasmic

by josh on May 3, 2010

See this post for more details on what to expect.

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Great Movie Ride

Opened: May 1, 1989

Location: Hollywood Boulevard

Extra Magic Hours: Evening

FastPass+: Yes, high Tier 2 priority. Most guests will want to select Tower of Terror and/or Great Movie Ride over Star Tours because Star Tours enjoys a higher capacity with waits that build slower in the morning.

Type: Dark ride

Similar To: Living With the Land, Ellen’s Energy Adventure

Requirements: None

What to Expect: The Great Movie Ride is housed inside of a full-size replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  The preshow area features a winding queue with movie memorabilia and then another large room with a giant movie screen that plays short clips/trailers from popular (old) movies.  If the line fills this room, you’ll probably see the same clips two times.  Once you move through that queue area, you’ll be placed in another line where you’ll wait to board a 70 person slow-moving vehicle similar to the ones used at Ellen’s Energy Adventure.  A live narrator will board the vehicle with you and help move the story along as you travel through famous movie scenes that Disney has recreated with the help of animatronic characters.  Movies represented include Alien, Casablanca, Fantasia, Mary Poppins, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Public Enemy, and the Wizard of Oz. There are two possible storylines featured in the Great Movie Ride, but the scenes are the same for both.  The gangster story is often the only one running, but an alternate cowboy scene is offered during busier times to increase capacity. Ask a cast member if the cowboy scene is available before boarding if you’d like to experience it.

Where to Sit: There really isn’t a bad seat in any of the vehicles.  Each row seats about six adults and the view is best on either the far left or right sides.  I prefer to sit in the middle because the narration is synced better.  In the back, occasionally you won’t have your eyes on whatever the narrator is talking about because the vehicles are so long.

Scary Factor: Medium.  The following contains possible spoilers: There are a few movie clips in the preshow and animatronic scenes during the ride that may be upsetting to youngsters.  The creepiest is an animatronic scene from the movie Alien, where an alien lowers its head from the ceiling amidst darkness and fog.  The Raiders of the Lost Ark scene also includes a floor covered in snakes and skeleton props.  The gun fight between the villains and your live host may also startle kids who have trouble remembering none of it is “real.”   The problem kids may run into is that the vehicles carrying the riders move slowly and the scenes surround the boats, so kids can’t look away – only close their eyes if they get scared. Most riders over the age of eight should have no problems and both scenes are over after just a minute or two.

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Opened: December 17, 1990

Location: Streets of America.  The Movie Set Adventure is located adjacent to the Studio Catering Company quick service.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: No

Type: Playground for kids

Similar To: The Boneyard at Animal Kingdom

Requirements: Kids must be age four or older

What to Expect: Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure is a playground area that’s geared towards kids between the ages of 4-9.  The play surface is soft, so even kids that fall or bump into things shouldn’t be hurt.  Like (the now defunct) Honey I Shrunk the Audience at Epcot, the theme of the playground is that you’ve been shrunk by Wayne Szalinski’s shrinking machine.  Naturally, you’ll run into a 52-foot long water hose, 40-foot tall bumblebees, 30-foot tall blades of grass, and a bunch of slides and other objects to play on.

Scary Factor: Low for the kids.  With all of the oversized grass and other objects, it may be difficult for you to keep track of your little ones.  There are a lot of hiding spots which also make it difficult to round them up when you’re ready to leave.  You may want to place an adult at both the entrance and the exit to make sure no kids wander out the door.  You’ll probably see at least one parent frantically searching for their child because it’s so easy to lose them.

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Opened: August 25, 1989

Location: Echo Lake across from American Idol Experience

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes, lowest priority. There is no reserved seating section for FastPass+ users. The only benefit is when a show is nearly full and the standby line is cutoff, which will result in lousy seats anyway.

Type: Stadium show

Similar To: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

Requirements: None

What to Expect: Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a large-scale theater show that seats about 2,000 people on bleacher-style seating.  The actors perform a series of stunts that mirror those from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark and the director explains how they are executed so they are safe and seem real.  You’ll see large explosions, sword fights, car chases, gun battles, and a number of other exciting stunts that are sure to be crowd pleasers.  Several volunteers (over the age of 18) will be selected from the audience to perform minor roles throughout the show, so if you want to be chosen make sure you arrive early, sit up near the front center, and yell loudly when they ask for volunteers.

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Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

Opened: May 5, 2005

Location: At the end of the Streets of America.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes, lowest priority. There is no reserved section for FastPass+ users and shows rarely fill to capacity.

Type: Stadium show

Similar To: Unique in its size and scope, but similar to other live-action shows like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Requirements: None

What to Expect: Lights, Motors, Action is a stunts show spectacular featuring more than 50 crew members and 40 vehicles.  You’ll see furious car chases and jet ski escapes, among other stunts that include fireballs, high-speed jumps, and 5-story falls.  All the while, the director teaches the audience about how the stunts are safely executed.  The show’s stunts are intentionally shot out of order to show the audience how movies are really filmed and then edited together in the correct order and shown on a giant screen at the end of the show.

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The Magic of Disney Animation

by josh on May 3, 2010

Opened: Newest iteration opened October 1, 2004

Location: In the very back of Animation Courtyard.

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: No

Type: Educational show and exhibit

Similar To: Unique

Requirements: None

Scary Factor: Zero.  This educational exhibit offers no thrills or frightening images.

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Muppet Vision 3D

by josh on May 3, 2010

Muppet Vision 3-D

Opened: May 16, 1991

Location: Streets of America across from Toy Story Pizza Planet

Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening

FastPass+: Yes, absolutely lowest priority.

Type: 3D show

Similar To: Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Requirements: None

What to Expect: After you move through the queue (if there is one), you’ll enter a large room full of crates, Muppet memorabilia, and movie poster spoofs featuring the Muppets as the main characters.  In front of the room, a number of monitors will play a 12-minute video introducing the group to the Muppets and what is about to take place.  Once the preshow concludes, you will move into the air-conditioned theater with some of the most comfortable seats at Disney World.  The show features the 3D Muppets film as well as animatronic Muppets inside of the theater and a live version of Sweetums, the large, hairy Muppet.

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Disney Jr. Live on Stage

by josh on May 3, 2010

Opened: New characters arrived in March, 2008

Location: On the right side of Animation Courtyard

Extra Magic Hours: No

FastPass+: Yes, low priority for most guests. Disney Jr. has ten shows most days and arriving 15 minutes early to one of the earlier or later shows should guarantee admission. There is no reserved section for FastPass+ users.

Type: Live theater show

Similar To: Unique in that it caters mostly to preschool age children

Requirements: None

What to Expect: Disney Jr. Live on Stage is a theater show featuring characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.  There is no conventional seating in the theater except for in the very back where there are several benches.  Parents and kids are expected to sit on the floor throughout the show – at least until the singing, dancing, and clapping starts.  There is a lot of audience participation throughout and little ones really get into it.

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