30 Awesome Ways to Celebrate 30 Years of Hollywood Studios
For those of you that have been following along with MickeyBlog you’ll know that May is all about Hollywood Studios in the Disney-sphere. As this theme park’s anniversary celebrations are in full swing we thought we’d pay homage to this momentous occasion by sharing 30 things to love about Hollywood Studios on its birthday.
We’ll start this list on a high note with one of our all-time favorite nighttime celebrations at Walt Disney World. This nightly Hollywood Studios offering has it all: amazing special effects, water pageantry, pyrotechnics, awesome toons and guest appearances by some of your favorite Disney friends. Oh, and did we mention the fire breathing dragon?
29. Snow Anytime of Year
It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Orlando, you can still experience a beautiful snowfall thanks to Queen Elsa’s magical ice powers. For the First Time in Forever, a Frozen Singalong Celebration is the perfect way to revisit your favorite songs and characters from this incredible film! Guests are encouraged to sing along to your favorite Frozen tunes and you’ll get to see many of your Arendelle friends live on stage!
28. Create Your Own Beer Flight
One of the newest additions to Hollywood Studios’ culinary line-up BaseLine Taphouse is a beer-lovers paradise. Located on Hollywood Boulevard BaseLine Taphouse draws it’s inspiration from the old storefronts of Downtown Los Angeles and is made to look like a re-purposed print store. You’ll find hints of this backstory throughout the amazing interior of the restaurant. This bar/eatery also boasts a flavor-forward menu of small bites and awesome flights making it the perfect place to pass a relaxing afternoon or evening. The crowning glory of BaseLine is it’s a broad selection of California craft ales, lagers and cider including a create-your-own-beer flight. Visitors will also find a variety of California wines on tap, speciality cocktails and delicious dishes like Bavarian Pretzel with mustard and beer cheese fondue!
27. Experience the Best of the Park After Hours
What’s better than a visit to the new Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios? Experiencing it all lit up a night with minimal crowds. Guests can do just that by booking your spot at one of Disney World’s special after-hours events. During this 3-hour Disney After Hours evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests have the opportunity to ride incredible attractions that stay open for the exclusive use of after-hours guests. This includes headlining attractions like the Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and more! It’s also the perfect opportunity to hobnob with your favorite characters including Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Woody, Olaf and more! Party tickets start at $125 per evening and even includes ice cream novelties, popcorn and selected bottled beverages. Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting your travel agent
26. Kitschy California Architecture
Starting with the roaring 20’s California business owners were always looking for a way to set themselves apart from the pack and draw customers. You can find the retro novelty architecture that California is known at places like The Darkroom where a giant vintage cameras greets guests, the S.S. Down the Hatch at Dockside Diner and of course our beloved Gertie.
25. A Nod to Carthay Circle
When most people think Carthay Circle at a Disney Parks it conjures up images of Disney California Adventure. However, it’s not the first Disney locale to pay homage to this iconic theatre. As a matter of fact, The Once Upon a Time store on Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood Studios drew its inspiration from the facade of this classic Hollywood Theater. It’s an important building in Disney history as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia premiered there.
24. Meeting Up With Sorcerer Mickey
There are a lot of fantastic places to meet Mickey during your Walt Disney World visit but Red Carpet Dreams at Hollywood Studios has to be one of our favorites. Line up to meet Mickey dressed up as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice as he holds court in Merlin’s Workshop. This photo op is the perfect way to preserve those awesome Disney World memories. You’ll typically find Mickey here daily from park open to close.
23. Fun Clues for Classic Film Buffs
The Great Movie Ride may be a thing of the past but the park is still filled with lots of fun details paying homage to some of Hollywood’s most famous classic films. For instance, next time you’re at Dockside Diner take a look at the crates surrounding the dining area. The addresses are a tip of the hat to iconic films including Citizen Kane and Casablanca. See if you can find them.
22. Dine Like Hollywood Royalty
Those looking to enjoy a special meal during your visit to Hollywood Studios need look no further than the Hollywood Brown Derby. This Signature Dining location features retro decor including sketch art of famous faces from Hollywood’s past The menu is also nothing short of delicious. A highlight is the Cobb Salad which was actually invented at the original Brown Derby Restaurant in California! This restaurant will set guests back two table service dining credits for those on the dining plan. You can also book it under the Fantasmic! Dining Package which includes preferred seating form the evening Fantasmic! performance. Bookings can be made online via My Disney Experience or by calling 407.WDW.DINE.
21. Dine In Cars Under the Stars
Sci-Fi-Dine-In Theater Restaurant is one of my favorite places to grab a bite in all of Walt Disney World. For those looking for a dining experience like no other you’ll definitely want to make a dining reservation at this Table Service location. The restaurant is on a sound stage made to look like a vintage Drive-in complete with starry skies and B-Movies. Instead of tables you enjoy your classic American treats like hamburgers and milkshakes behind the wheel of a classic car! Reservations for this Table Service location book up quickly so make your reservations online or at 407.WDW.DINE well in advance.
20. Enjoy an Afternoon Tipple at Tune-In Lounge
Those looking for a tipple need look no further than this retro 1950’s lounge located in Echo Lake area of the park. Sip on delicious cocktails while watching reruns of classic 1950’s television shows like Mr Ed, Donna Reed and more! Some of our favorite drinks are the Magical Star Cocktail made with X-fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and a Pineapple Juice or Dad’s Electric Lemonade featuring Sky Vodka, Blue Curacao, Sweet-and-Sour and Sprite. You can also add souvenir glow cubes to each of these drinks for a bit of kitschy fun!
19. Mingle With the Citizens of Hollywood
A blast from the past, be on the lookout for these awesome characters straight from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Citizens of Hollywood are always ready for their close-up. Did you know Imagineer C. McNair Wilson originally coined the term streetmosphere when creating this iconic band of entertainers?
18. Strolling the Grounds Around Grauman’s Chinese Theater
Though Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will not open this year as originally planned, it’s still worth paying a visit to the centrepiece of Hollywood Studios, this replica of the iconic Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The original theatre is known for having celebrity hand- and footprints immortalized in cement squares out front. However, did you know that the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version of the theater also features hand- and footprints of stars like Audrey Hepburn, Warren Beatty, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, and Mickey Mouse?
17. Go Under the Sea with Ariel
If there’s one of the things that Hollywood Studios is known for its all of the incredible stage shows! A perfect one for princess fans has to be Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Be a part of Ariel’s undersea world during this awesome production filled with amazing performances, whimsical puppets and even a laser show!
16. Have a Star Wars Moment with Captain Phasma
If like us, you can barely wait for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open at Hollywood Studios in August than you’ll also be able to appreciate all of the amazing Star Wars experiences currently available at the park. We love the March of the First Order because it is slightly under-the-radar. This demonstration of the First Order’s power takes place at various times throughout the day led by their fearsome leader – Captain Phasma in her shining chromium armor.
15. Spend Some Time with Indy!
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Hollywood Studios features one of the largest moveable film sets in the world. With showtimes throughout the day, visitors can experience what it’s like to make an incredible film like Indiana Jones come to life. The production also shares insights into how they filmed many of Indy’s awesome stunts. And who knows? You may even get to an opportunity to participate in the fun!
14. Enjoy Broadway-Style Entertainment
Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage comes to life several times a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in this stunning 25-minute long musical highlighting many of your favorite scenes from the classic animated film! The success of this show even paved the way for Belle and Beast’s Broadway debut!
13. Riding the Tower of Terror at Night
What’s more terrifying then freefalling down an elevator lift? Doing it under the cover of darkness. Here at MickeyBlog, we’ve recently compiled a list of some of our favorite nighttime Disney World attractions and this one is definitely on the list. For a special treat, time it with the evening fireworks display for a gorgeous view.
12. Mingle With Some of Your Favorite Disney Junior Friends
If you’ve got tiny tots in tow then you’ll want to head on over to Animation Courtyard to mingle with some of your favorite Disney Junior Pals including Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins and more. They’re usually available from around 9:30 am – 6:30 pm daily.
13. Experience Big Thrills with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
No other coaster at Walt Disney World really packs the thrills like this headlining Hollywood Studios attraction. The ride features 3 inversions, 2 rollover loops, one corkscrew, goes 0 – 60 mph in 3 seconds and allows riders to experience 4.5 Gs. Need I say more?
12. A Pan-Pacific Entrance
We’ve always loved the retro feel of the main entrance to Hollywood Studios. This area of the parks was actually built to resemble the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. This main entryway was also the architectural inspiration for the turnstiles at Disney California Adventure!
Almost as iconic as the Chinese Theater, one of Hollywood Studios biggest stars is this awesome dinosaur looming large at the center of the park. Gertie is actually home to Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction. The inspiration for this towering character was actually Gertie the Trained Dinosaur, one of the first popular animated characters in film history. She was even recreated during a segment on the “Disneyland” television series called “The Story of Animated Drawing.”
10. Take a Voyage to Endor
When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in August it will be the most immersive step into the world of Star Wars. However, before blasting off to Batuu, guests can experience the forest moon of Endor and other fantastic locations as you travel by lightspeed on this amazing attraction which brings you up-close to a galaxy, far, far away.
9. Have an Out-Of-This-Swirl Experience
In Alien Swirling Saucers one of two new rides making up Hollywood Studios’ new Toy Story Land expansion, you can come face to face with the cutest extraterrestrials in the galaxy. Power up your saucers for an interstellar romp through space while futuristic tunes set the mood. Just be on the lookout for THE CLAW!
8. Indulge in a Delicious Milkshake
If you haven’t had a milkshake from 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios you haven’t lived! We recommend that you try the iconic peanut butter and jelly milkshake which takes remarkably like the real thing! They’re the ideal way to cool off during those hot Orlando afternoons and are only available at Hollywood Studios!
7. Tuck Into Tasty Toy Story Land Treats
If you’re planning a visit to check out Walt Disney World’s newest land be sure to bring your appetites! Woody’s Lunchbox is full of food straight from our childhood dreams, from the Lunch Box Tarts to the French Toast Sandwich. Plus, soon we’ll be able to enjoy rootin’ tootin’ good food at the Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant, coming soon to Toy Story Land!
6. Go On a Star Wars Themed Tour
Can’t wait until Galaxy’s Edge Opens? Hollywood Studios has a guided tour that is jam-packed with Star Wars action. With VIP access, guests can enjoy a screening of the movie Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, meet Kylo Ren and Darth Vader, get a guaranteed spot for Jedi Training Academy (children only), enjoy Star Wars-themed eats at Backlot Express, front of the line access to Star Tours and VIP viewing at Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. The tour is $92.95 per person and reservations can be made in advance at 407.WDW. TOURS
5. Meeting Mike and Sulley at Walt Disney Presents
Get ready to cozy up to two of your favorite Pixar friends as Mike and Sulley are currently meeting guests at Walt Disney Presents at Hollywood Studios. This dynamic duo is on hand daily from around 10 am – 6 pm. so have your cameras at the ready!
4. Look Under the Mat at MuppetVision 3D for a Special Surprise
From the second you walk into Muppet*Vison 3-D, you need to keep a sharp eye out because there are hidden gags are everywhere. Our favorite is the ticket window, which is closed but the staff will be “back in five minutes”—they’ve conveniently left the key under the mat. Find the mat and flip it over and you may even get a special certificate to commemorate your find!
3. Race On Over to the All-New Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
Can Lightning take on Chick Hicks and win? Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy brings to life our favorite Radiator Springs characters through awesome Audio-Animatronics® characters and special effects that rev up the action for the youngest racers. Ka-chow! Also, hang out around the front of this new attraction and you may even have a chance to get your photo snapped with Cruz Ramirez.
2. Experience Brand-New Nighttime Magic
Making its debut earlier this month Wonderful World of Animation nighttime show takes you on an incredible journey through more than 90 years of Disney and Pixar animation. Watch in wonder as the façade of the Chinese Theatre is magically transformed—displaying a stirring tribute to animation, beginning an ending with the one-and-only Mickey Mouse!
1. Awesome Attractions Yet to Come
From Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, there are so many new attractions coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that we here at MickeyBlog cannot wait to experience! Readers are encouraged to keep following along as we report new details about these and more awesome attractions and eateries as they are announced—we can’t wait to find out what movie magic they’ll be making next!
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