Overlooked Attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World Attractions Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-20-2012
In the third part of this series of articles looking at overlooked attractions, it's over to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
(Check out Part One and Two if you missed them!)
Studios - American Idol Experience
The American Idol Experience.
This is arguably home to some of Walt Disney World's biggest draws, such as Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the newly revamped Star Tours. But away from those E-ticket rides, there are others that are all too easy to overlook.
This is the home of the big shows, as you'd expect from a theme park that plays homage to the movies. The three big shows here for visitors to see are Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
As the names suggest, the latter two focus on the same idea, showing the audience how some of the amazing stunts you see on the big screen are created. It's been a good few years since we last saw the Indiana Jones show, something to do with the fact that the last time we did, we weren't exactly wowed by it. Perhaps it's time we went back, and gave it another chance…
One problem with getting around to each of the shows at Studios is the scheduling of performances. You can almost guarantee that Disney will make it impossible to get from one as soon as it concludes to the next one when it starts. They'll probably overlap by just a few minutes, but that's enough to stop you making any dash between them, and there's good reason for that, as it keeps you in the park for a longer period of time. That means if you do want to see all the shows, you're going to need to do some careful planning in advance to achieve that aim, and that it's all too tempting to skip one or more of them. That may not qualify these as "accidentally overlooked," but once you cease considering one or more of these as possibilities, does it matter?
Outside of the big shows, there’s another show that's very unique, and the main participants are chosen from park guests daily. I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy the American Idol Experience as much as I did, but I love the way that you have no idea what’s going to happen, as it's based all around the talent of the people chosen to participate. I’ll be honest, we've had performers that are terrible, with off-key notes, and others that are just breathtakingly good. It's a fun, interactive show (we get to vote), and I enjoy it much more than the previous show with electronic audience participation they had here, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Play It! [Ed. PassPorter Author Dave Marx may disagree, as he was a winner at Millionaire!]
There's another show we always miss, and that’s because it's firmly aimed at families, particularly those with young kids. Disney Junior - Live On Stage really isn’t our thing, although I know pre-schoolers tend to love it. It's odd to have something in a Disney park that is so firmly geared at one particular age group, and maybe one day, for completeness, we should give it a go.
The attractions near Disney Junior are ones that are all too easy to miss, as there are no big-ticket attractions in Animation Courtyard, but all of them are deserving of your time. For us, the Magic of Disney Animation has lost some of its magic, since the park is no longer home to a team of full-time animators. This was one of the great draws for us, to be able to see them at work, but recognising that, Disney has managed to change this attraction around, so that you get the chance to create your own animated character, something I always love having the chance to do.
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Beauty and the Beast
The finale of the Beauty and the Beast live stage show.
Next door is Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and it's one of those attractions that we always enjoy more than we expect to. We always come out of it and say, "We must make sure we see this every time," but somehow it seems to fall off the radar, and don't ask me why! The singing is superb, and the effects are just wonderful. It's one of those great Disney productions, designed to appeal to every member of the family, whatever their age.
I don't think the same can quite be said of Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream next door, but this is an absolute must for Disney fans. I just never get tired of hearing Walt's story, and it seems only right to me that there's an attraction that pays tribute to his amazing genius. What I love about this attraction is that it's always changing, as the parks themselves change. Sure, the story of Walt's life remains the same, but there are often alterations to the exhibits that help to tell it, and I never get tired of seeing the 3-D models of various parks and attractions at the end, some of which are "coming attractions." And as for the movie at the end of the experience, well, I don't think I've ever left it without quietly shedding a tear in memory of such a great man.
I think there is another attraction that’s in danger of being overlooked, and is now in desperate need of a rehab, and that’s Muppet-Vision 3-D. I absolutely love this show, and we always have a ball whenever we see it, but I would dearly love to see the story updated, especially given the recent movie in theaters. Please Disney, hear my pleas on this one!
In the final part of this series looking at often-overlooked attractions at Walt Disney World, it'll be the turn of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Updated 12-20-2012 - Article #882
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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