Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Theme Park:Disney's Hollywood Studios (since 2008)
Disney MGM Studios (1989 - 2007)
Part of the Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Address:Bay Lake
FL 34747
Operated by:Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Bay Lake near Orlando, Florida is one of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.  The park which opened as Disney MGM Studios in 1989, changed a lot over the years: while at the beginning the park’s focus was mainly on movie based experience, the park nowadays is home to some of the most immersive theme park attractions worldwide. 


Highlights of the Theme Park



Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Great fun on a runaway train



Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

A highly immersive simulator



Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith

Rockin’ and Rolling through LA



Slinky Dog Dash

The family launch coaster



Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

The most immersive dark ride ever created



Tower of Terror

Droppin’ into the Twilight Zone




Going down the Summit Plummit

Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Opened in 1995, Blizzard Beach is the newest water park at the Walt Disney World Resort. The theme of the park is based on a Disney legend. After a heavy snowstorm in the area, a businessman wanted to open Florida’s first ski resort. However, the snow did not last long. What remained was a mountain with water-filled ski jumps and a chairlift. The ride was about to close when an alligator was seen sliding down a ski jump and landing in a pool of water. The ski area was then reopened as a water park.

Melt Away Bay, Cross Country Creek, Tike’s Peak and Sky Patrol Training Camp

At the base of Mount Gushmore, we can find most of the family friendly offering. The toddler pool Tike’s Peak is slightly off the mountain and hence a good area to let your kids play safely. The Sky Patrol Training Camp on the other hand snugs neatly onto the mountain and offers a variety of fun activities for older kids. Surrounding the mountain is the Cross Country Creek offering a relaxing journey throughout the park. Finally, the family can come together to experience Melt Away Bay, the park’s large wave pool.  

Downhill Double Dipper

Probably the most fun slide at Disney’s Blizzard Beach is the Downhill Double Dipper tube slide. Here we race down a series of steep drops and experience a very fine airtime on the crest of the second downwards chute. It is also a very good slide to race against friends and family.  

Snow Stormers and Toboggan Racers

Snow Stormers and Toboggan Racers are the two mat slides of Disney’s Blizzard Beach. While Toboggan Racers is a mat racer slide, where you race against your fellow sliders down a chute with multiple waves, Snow Stormers is a more classic slide guiding us through seven serpentines on our way down.

Runoff Rapids 

Runoff Rapids are the park’s classic tube slides located at the back of the artificial mountain. While two of the slides offer a very chilling slide down a course with multiple serpentines and a few jumps, the third of the pack does it in pitch blackness.  

Slush Gusher and Summit Plummit

Slush Gusher and Summit Plummit are the park’s two kamikaze style bodyslides. While Slush Gusher offers a pleasant slide down multiple hills next to the ski jump tower, Summit Plummit takes it one step further and lets you go down the sky jump. These huge kamikaze slides always require a lot of courage and Summit Plummit – although you are not actually taking the jump – is a very breathtaking experience. Thankfully, you don’t have to walk all the way back up to go again, as the run off ends nearby the park’s chairlift.  

Teamboat Springs

Teamboat Springs is the large family raft slide and starts on top of the mountain. The slide goes down a very gentle slope at the back of the back. The slide consists of alternating left and right turns, sparkled with an occasional jump in between and topped off with a nice double drop finale. It is a very family friendly ride, but a very fine experience too.  

Pictures Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Conclusion Disney’s Blizzard Beach

I had a blast at Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Due to the “cold” weather – at least for the locals –, there was basically no one else in the water park, hence I could experience all of the slides in a very timely matter. I truly love the theme this water park is going for and I’m quite excited to come back one day.

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A visit to the movies

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is Disney’s most versatile theme park. When the park opened in 1989 as Disney MGM Studios, it focused primarily on its leitmotif of film. There were large live sets – including those where the film Newsies was shot – a studio train that ran directly through this set, three sound stages, the Great Movie Ride, Star Tours and a large stunt show. Over time, the focus shifted from film production and edutainment to a much more experience-orientated overall experience. In this respect, there is not much left of the old park; however, a world-class amusement park has been created, which we will now take a closer look at.

Hollywood Boulevard

When you enter the park, you find yourself directly on Hollywood Boulevard, which epitomises the glory days of Hollywood and is therefore much more attractive than the original in Los Angeles. Shopping and strolling is really fun here.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Right at the end of the path is a replica of the famous Chinese Theatre, where Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is shown and where the Great Movie Ride used to be. We crowded into a small cinema hall to watch a new Mickey Mouse cartoon, which quickly becomes reality. Mickey & Minnie are currently on a picnic outing, while we are travelling by train with Goofy. Before we know it, Goofy is travelling in one direction and we in another. Micky and Minnie rush to the rescue to stop our runaway railway. What follows is a wild ride through various comic scenes, which are mainly supported by projection mapping and can change at lightning speed. Finally, we waltz and conga dance with Daisy before almost ending up in the scrap press. As absurd as it may all sound, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is great entertainment and a fantastic homage to classic American cartoons.

Echo Lake

To the left of Hollywood Boulevard is Echo Lake. The main attraction here is the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, which was not running during my visit. The large stage at least promises a breathtaking show with Indiana Jones.

Star Tours

Two years after Star Tours opened at Disneyland, the attraction was also presented at Walt Disney World. Here, however, not in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, but fittingly in the MGM Studios. The ride has had a makeover in 2011. Instead of only travelling to Endor, there are now a variety of elaborate experiences that, coupled with the fun simulator ride, invite you to take numerous repeat rides. Since 2019, however, waiting times at this Star Wars attraction have decreased significantly, but more on that later.

Grand Avenue

Today, as the home of the Muppets, the Grand Avenue themed area feels a bit like a foreign body between Star Tours and the nearby Star Wars Galaxy Edge themed area, which are thematically set in the same universe. The main attraction in this area is Muppet Vision 3D.

Muppet Vision 3D

The 3D film Muppet Vision 3D is just as chaotic as the Muppets themselves. Even if the effects no longer blow anyone away these days, it is the charming and out-of-control Muppets that carry the film and give it a great sense of humour. The additional effects used in the cinema enhance the action even more.

Star Wars Galaxy Edge

Star Wars Galaxy Edge is by far the most immersive themed area that has been created in a theme park to date. You feel like you’re in the middle of one of the Star Wars films. There is also a fantastic bar here, Oga’s Cantina, and a really great restaurant, Docking Bay 7.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance dark ride is hard to put into words. After standing on our feet for almost three hours, we immediately enter the first pre-show, where we are prepared for our mission. We are immediately drawn into a spaceship, which after a while falls into the clutches of a First Order Star Destroyer. We briefly enter the Stormtrooper hangar and at this moment at the latest, the whole wait is more than worth it. The oversized room is simply overwhelming. Unfortunately, we only spend a short time here because we have been captured by the First Order. We are then gradually led in smaller groups to other rooms to await our interrogation. Shortly afterwards, however, we are freed by the resistance and soon board a captured fleet transporter to make our way to the escape pods. What follows is a wild and, above all, surprising ride through numerous scenes, with each subsequent scene adding to the previous one. In the end, we reach the escape pods and we can flee.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is by far the best dark ride in the world. The ride is stunning in every respect and should be considered more of a 15-minute experience, which definitely does justice to a much longer wait. After my first ride, I couldn’t stop grinning, at least until the end of the day.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is the second of the two dark rides in the Star Wars Galaxy Edge themed area and is usually seen as the weaker of the two attractions. However, Smuggler’s Run is actually a really strong attraction that is definitely worth experiencing. Here, a crew of six experience a breathtaking mission in which each passenger has their own task to complete. The highlight here is that we are in a simulator and can steer it ourselves to a certain extent, which can lead to some really funny driving manoeuvres. Depending on how well you have steered the Millennium Falcon at the end, you get paid accordingly at the end of the ride. It’s great fun!

Toy Story Land

In 2010 and 2011, Toy Story Land opened in the Disney countries in Paris and Hong Kong as a collection of several rides in a small themed area, including a compact Intamin roller coaster. Here in Florida, it took until 2018 for Toy Story Land to move in – but in typical American fashion, it’s not just the toys that are a little bigger here.

Alien Swirling Saucers

The Alien Swirling Saucers ride is similar to an oversized demolition derby, where you are constantly transported through several discs in a circle. However, the gondolas also swing sideways due to the constant changes in direction and lateral acceleration. What marvellous fun!

Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash is an interesting family rollercoaster from Mack Rides. The ride itself seems extremely slow and repetitive due to its tame launch and an almost endless sequence of hills. However, this impression is very wrong.

After leaving the station, the Slinky Dog makes its way directly to the first launch area. We then approach a right/left turn via an ascending straight, which then leads us towards the ground. This is followed by a wave close to the ground before we enter an upward helix. A small double down is followed by another left and right turn, after which we slowly run out of steam.

After we have come to a standstill, Slinky Dog prepares to be shot down with a rubber band. So we keep travelling backwards to gather as much energy as possible for the imminent launch, which is then initiated with all kinds of sound effects. After a large hill and a turning curve, we reach the most striking part of the ride. At a lofty height, we now ride over hill and dale at an ever-increasing pace, which not only gives us a little airtime, but also a great tingling sensation in our stomachs. Shortly afterwards, we enter a left-hand bend, whereupon another right-hand bend immediately sends us into the brakes.

To my own surprise, Slinky Dog Dash is one of the best family rollercoasters I’ve ever experienced. Although the forces during the ride are limited, the ride has a thoroughly solid layout and a great four-hill finale.

Toy Story Mania

The Toy Story Mania interactive dark ride is one of the most popular Disney attractions in the world. The ride is like a visit to the funfair, where you play one game of skill after another at the individual stands in order to achieve the highest possible high score.

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios is characterised above all by the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which towers above it. The other attractions in this area are the big evening show Fantasmic, which was not shown during my visit, and the indoor rollercoaster Rock Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

Tower of Terror

The Tower of Terror freefall tower has always been one of the most interesting rides Disney has ever built. Here in Florida, the ride is also a little different to the three subsequent models, as the cars leave the lifts for a short time and travel through a mysterious room as if guided by a ghostly hand, which certainly leads us into the Twilight Zone. Shortly afterwards, the tried-and-tested and still outstanding free-fall spectacle begins, which remains unrivalled for the time being. Quite simply, a great attraction!

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Fans of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith from the Walt Disney Studios Park near Paris can look forward to a slightly different version at Hollywood Studios. Instead of the many different light shows, here you ride through numerous black light stage sets that line the side of the track, while we roll over three times and race through numerous bends. Unfortunately, this makes the ride a little less coherent overall, but it is still much better than the ride through the void, which you can experience on Avengers Assemble Flight Force – the follow-up Marvel overlay of the Parisian rock legend.

Pictures Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Conclusion Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I really enjoyed my visit to Hollywood Studios. Apart from a few corners, everything in this park is just right. Of all four theme parks in Walt Disney World, this one offers the most breathtaking rides and the most well-rounded portfolio.

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