Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Disney's Hollywood Studiosby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 02-14-2013
In this, the third part of a series of articles looking at the best views in Walt Disney World, it’s time to enter the world of movies, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Check out Part 1 - Magic Kingdom, and Part 2 - Epcot.)
Studios - Victory with Vegetables garden
The little known Victory with Vegetables garden, showcasing how gardening helped during World War II.
I'll cheat a bit by starting outside the park, but I think it warrants special mention, and it is all about what you see from the Studios. Walt Disney knew only too well the importance of a build-up to a theme park, hence the boat ride or monorail journey to the Magic Kingdom. If you’re coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios from Epcot or one of the Epcot resort hotels by Friendship, you get that same feeling -- you'll see the top of the Tower of Terror, and gradually the entrance comes into view. Try arriving during the evening, and ideally during Fantasmic!, and you’ll be treated to an even more spectacular display!
I have to confess to absolutely loving the vintage entrance at the Studios as well. It does a perfect job of harking back to the golden age of cinema, and sets you up for everything you'll experience within the park.
I know people are still divided to this day about the view you now get as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard. Some love having Mickey's gigantic hat there, while others absolutely detest it, as it takes away from the view to the Great Movie Ride. I personally like it, although I do think it is a shame that you can no longer see the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre when you walk in.
That's my next favorite view in this park. I just love the building that houses the Great Movie Ride, as I love the original building it’s based on. It's just so unusual, and I could stand there for ages, just picking out all the detail on it.
If you head back towards the entrance a little, and enter the Echo Lake area of the park, you’ll find another of my favorite vistas, the wonderful Gertie the Dinosaur. I have to confess that finding something that sticks out like a sore thumb usually doesn’t do much for me, but I always find this so much fun. And let’s be honest, Gertie has a wonderful, dopey smile that makes her so appealing.
I couldn’t write an article like this without commenting on the wonderful Star Wars theming around Star Tours. Talk about transporting you to a galaxy far, far away, all for the sake of one ride! I just love all the little touches here, especially the photo opportunity to ride your very own speeder bike. Now why couldn’t they make it perfect and just add a cuddly Ewok to that as well?!
Another superb view awaits you as you explore the Streets of America set. I must admit this is one of those areas of the park that’s grown on me over the years. The first time I saw it, I was a bit cynical and felt as if it was obvious that it was a movie set, but that’s part of the charm to it, and it’s packed with so many wonderful little touches. I love nothing more than to explore one of the side streets, particularly when there are few others around, and just enjoy everything there is to see there.
Hollywood Studios - Pixar Place theming
Some of the wonderful theming in Pixar Place.
The next of my favorite views is at Pixar Place, around Toy Story Midway Mania. As you’ve probably gathered by now, if it’s rich in theming with plenty of detail to take in, then I’m happy, and there’s certainly lots of detail to enjoy here. There’s nothing better than walking along, spotting something, and thinking, "I remember that from my childhood" to bring a smile to your face.
Let’s now head down Sunset Boulevard, another wonderful place to explore the detail. How often have you stopped to look around, and appreciate all the buildings alongside this street? I’m guessing many people don’t get a chance to do that, as they’re intent on heading for either Tower of Terror or Rock’n’Roller Coaster, but there is just so much to enjoy here. It was only when we took one of Walt Disney World's guided tours (sadly now, this one has been discontinued) that we found Rosie’s Victory Garden. Not sure what I’m talking about? The next time you’re in the Studios, check out the patch next to Rosie’s All American Café, and you’ll find a display that highlights some of the propaganda from the Second World War. It’s a fascinating little area, and one I don’t think I’d ever have found without taking the tour.
Of course, the Hollywood Tower of Terror is a stunning view, beautifully created to look dilapidated and derelict. Although I’d never ride the thing again (once was enough thank you!), I can still appreciate the beauty of the building, which dominates the landscape from so many different parts of the park.
That completes my tour of my favorite views within Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As I’ve written before, although I do like this park, it is my least favorite of the four, which perhaps accounts for the fact that I’ve no doubt missed out views that you’d expect me to include here. In the next part of this series of articles, we’ll move on to explore Disney's Animal Kingdom, and that's going to be a very different story.
Updated 02-14-2013 - Article #903
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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