Back in the early 80s, Universal Studios (the movie company, not the park) announced it wanted to build a theme park that featured its movie brands and give fans a movie experience. Newly appointed CEO Michael Eisner got wind of it and decided that he would one up Universal before they even got off the ground, announcing that Disney would build a new theme park called Disney MGM Studios. Disney started construction after Universal and finished before Universal—one of the only times Disney beat Universal at building something, but that’s another story altogether.
- Toy Story Midway Mania!… Put on your 3D glasses, board a car and take a tour through several carnival style games—break plates, pop balloons, throw darts, toss rings on aliens and more, while adding up points! All you do is pull the string to fire, it’s fun, it’s easy and it’s a great ride.
- Aerosmith Rock’n Roller Coaster… Join the band Aerosmith as they head to a concert downtown… but traffic is pretty backed up, so you’ll be whisked away on a coaster stretch limousine around many curves, through a couple of inversions and narrowly missing familiar California road signs, all while jamming to an Aerosmith playlist. Height restrictions 48”.
- The Twilight Zone Hollywood Tower of Terror… Stroll through the lobby of the legendary Hollywood Tower Hotel, board a service elevator and be zipped to the top—then plummet 4 stories… and then be zipped to the top again, only to plummet again. And again. And again. Height restriction of 40”
- The Great Movie Ride… it’s a slow paced ride that takes you through scenes of classic movies, like Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, The Searchers, Footlight Parade and others.
- The Indiana Jones Stunt Show… Another great show, they do stunts and such, and then show you how the stunts are done. They’ll also ask for audience volunteers, so make sure you raise your hand high! For show times, check your times guide.
- The Disney Junior/Playhouse Disney Area… A 20 minute show featuring characters from “Jake & the Neverland Pirates” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and Sofia the First” and so on. It’s designed for the pre-school set, and be prepared to sit on the floor with the kids, and you might end up having to dance a little.
- Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream… This is a walking tour that takes you through the history of Disney animation, Disneyland and ultimately, Disney World, and you’ll see props and slides and photos and displays and so on.
- MuppetVision 3-D… This is a fun 3-D show in the Muppet Theater. Join Kermit and the gang as they put on a 3 hour program celebrating all the nations of the world, but mostly America.
Did you know… that when you put on a pair of 3-D glasses, be it at MuppetVision 3-D or Toy Story Mania or wherever, that YOU are the only person to wear those glasses that day? Once a pair is worn and dropped into a bucket at the end, those buckets are taken to Cleaning Services, where they are all cleaned and sanitized, then repackaged and organized and brought back to their respective attractions. So watch securely!
FOR THE STAR WARS FAN
- Star Tours… Climb into a star ship as they whisk you through the universe, where you will see various heroes and villains and there are actually 56 different rides you can take—so multiple rides may see the same segment once or twice, or you may have three different rides altogether! Height restrictions 40”
- Jedi Academy… Outside of Star Tours, several times a day they do the Jedi Academy, which is a lot of fun to watch. If you want to be a part of this, you’ll need to go to the Sound Stage area (ask a Cast Member for details) and sign up as soon as the park open.
- STAR WARS Launch Bay… Inhabiting the former home of the Magic of Disney Animation in Animation Courtyard. Inside the Launch Bay guests will find character encounters, a theater showing video interviews with movie creators, a game center, gift shop, art galleries, and a set of The Cantina, the Mos Eisley watering hole featured in the 1977 original Star Wars (I would leave the droids outside if I were you).
SHOWS & EVENTS
- The Beauty and the Beast Stage Show… This is a 30 minute spectacle held in an amphitheater near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. It’s a 30-minute live action version of the movie, and though I find it to be a bit cheesy for me, every kid I’ve ever known to watch it is enthralled completely by it.
- The Voyage of the Little Mermaid… It’s a colorful and bright and loud and fun retelling of the magical fairytale, and features all the Little Mermaid songs that the Princesses in the family know and love.
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration: Join Anna, Elsa and the newly-appointed royal historians of Arendelle in the main theater to enjoy this humorous and heart-warming retelling of the kingdom’s history, as well as the story of Frozen.
- FANTASMIC!… This show is absolutely fantastic. It’s in a huge outdoor theater that holds a thousand people, around a water way. The show’s storyline takes place all in Mickey’s imagination, filled with various characters appearing via water that shoots flat sheets into the air. Maleficent, Hades, Jafar, Ursula, Scar and a few other baddies appear to turn Mickey’s dream into a nightmare. Can Mickey save the day?? 30 minute show, see Times Guide for details.
PLACES TO DINE
- The Sci-Fi Cafe… Enjoy burgers, chicken and similar fare as you sit in a car booth (seats up to 6) in a drive-in movie atmosphere. On the big screen, campy film clips from 50s monster movies. One table service credit if you are on the dining plan.
- 50s Prime Time Cafe… Straight out of a sitcom from the 50s, it’s an old school atmosphere where the the servers will make you eat all of your peas and keep your elbows off the table. Fried chicken, meat loaf, salads and more, and amazing milkshakes! One table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
- Mama Melrose… Enjoy brick oven pizza, pasta, steaks, soups and more in this Italian type restaurant. One table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
- Disney Jr Plan and Dine at Hollywood & Vine… For breakfast and lunch, enjoy a buffet of eats and treats while you meet up with Doc McStuffins, Handy Manny, Jake from the Neverland Pirates and Sofia the First! (characters subject to change… meal will switch lunch to Minnie’s Seasonal Dining in the coming months). One table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
- Minnie’s Seasonal Dining… Minnie, Mickey and Friends mix and mingle throughout the meal in a theme that changes season by season! Enjoy Minnie’s Springtime Dining until June 4th, then Minnie’s Summertime Dining from June 5th until September 3rd, and then Minnie’s Halloween Dining from September 4th until November 5th (expect Minnie’s Holiday Dining after, but its not been officially released yet). One table service credit on the DDP.
- Backlot Express… Angus burgers, salads, and chicken. One quick service credit.
- The Dockside Diner… Hot dogs, gourmet macaroni & cheese, veggie offerings. One quick service credit.
- ABC Commissary… Burgers, chicken, steak, salads. One quick service credit