Tag Archives | Disney World

Discover Disney Hollywood Studios Today

The Walt Disney World’s Resort is the combination of four major theme parks and two water parks. Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park is popular among movie buffs. While doing your Orlando attractions planning make sure you include this thrill-seeking park. Before diving into what to expect while visiting Hollywood Studios, let’s take a brief lesson on how all the theme parks, when combined together, become one.

When most people think of Walt Disney World they usually picture Cinderella’s Castle. The magnificent castle is, in fact, the iconic symbol associated with the park and anything relating to it. When the amusement park was first built it was actually named Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. As the other parks were built, the first park became known as just Magic Kingdom. Every Orlando attraction, in the different parks, revolves around their own, yet each equally entertaining theme.

In 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park opened to the public.  As the name insinuates, this is park that is devoted to creating legendary rides and unforgettable shows that are based on popular movies and shows. Even if you are not a movie buff, you’ll enjoy this Orlando attraction.

Hollywood Studios is where our favorite movies come alive. It’s the home of two major attractions, Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. You can also catch shows that focus on popular classic movies such as Cars attractions. One more main attraction is the American Idol Experience. The Orlando attraction allows visitors the experience of being a contestant while going through the audition process and eliminations. Others choose to judge the contestants; the thrill of elimination is in their hands.

Rock and Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios

© Walt Disney World

One of the most popular roller coasters for this Orlando attraction, and also among all of the theme parks, is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Located in Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this indoor coaster shoots you from 0 to 57 miles an hour in just 2.8 seconds; is that thrill enough for you?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is open for guests every day at 9 a.m. This Orlando attraction stays open later during the summer months and on holidays so closing time will vary by season. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Gates open at 8:30 a.m., so make plans to arrive early. Although admission to the attractions is not allowed until the ropes officially drop, this is a perfect opportunity to catch your favorite Disney characters visiting guests at the park’s entrance. Photo Op!

Orlando attraction planning should have gate times for opening and closing for all parks. You may also study the park’s maps ahead of time and create a plan to visit your favorite rides and shows accordingly. Make the most of your vacation and enjoy Orlando!

What’s New at Disney World?

As usual, Walt Disney World is always coming up with new & innovative ways to entertain and delight us!  With this month being the big month for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween (see our article for more Halloween activities in Central Florida), the Disney pastry chefs are working overtime, coming up with delicious treats that are so cute you may not want to eat them right away!  I’ve got my eyes on Jack’s Chocolate Coffin, and the kids will love the little ‘Mickey’ pumpkins and treats in the shape of mouse ears.

Disney has also come out with their own line of Disney Bands.  You know those rubber-band style bracelets that always return to their original form?  Now, you can get them ‘mouse-style.’  The new Disney Band Collections include Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, Disney Villains, Fairies, Princesses, and more!   You can find them at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, and at Downtown Disney’s World of Disney, Once Upon A Toy, and D Street.

You can expect Disney to be a pioneer when it comes to technology, and they have recently announced their ‘Near Me’ search capabilities.  This will enable you to check for table service availability at nearby restaurants from your Blackberry, Android, iPhone, or other mobile devices.  Their main reservation website also has other features that allow you to search by cuisine, by location, obtain 3 available seating times, make special requests, and other guest information.  And, coming soon, reservation capabilities will be coming to Mobile Magic, Disney’s official mobile application.

The ‘New Old’ Disney has recently renovated their Old Key West Resort.  The attention to detail that is present throughout the resorts is evident here.  Hardwood floors, whimsical window treatments, granite countertops, and warm colors will let you feel relaxed, while also bringing the essence of Key West. Of course, with the new upgrades come flat-screen TVs, and housekeeping will be leaving you adorable ‘towel animals’ throughout the villas.

Make sure to add the Disney magic to your memories with Disney’s PhotoPass Service.  Photographers around the parks are snapping photos of you and your friends/family, which is great because everyone gets to be in the picture.  After your photo is taken, you get a unique PhotoPass card to load with images from PhotoPass photographers from different locations.  Then, you login to DisneyPhotoPass.com to see and share your photos.  You can even customize your photos with Disney artwork.   As they say at Disney, “Let the memories begin!

Spotlight: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the largest animal-themed parks in the world!  It is home to more than 2,000 animals from 300 species and is full of attractions and entertainment. One of the most unique things you will notice is the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life. This 145 feet high, 50 foot wide tree is elaborately carved with the likes of over 300 animals.  It is a beautiful sight to see. Inside the tree, you can view the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show, based on the movie, A Bug’s Life.

There are 7 different areas to visit in over 500 acres. Some of the attractions include the self-guided walking tour, Maharajah Jungle Trek. Here, you will feel like you’ve gone to Asia, at a tropical paradise that includes an assortment of beautiful animals, plant, and trees. One of the highlights is the viewing areas where you can watch the Asian tigers play. You may also see the Komodo Dragon, the Malayan Tapir, bats, deer, and over 50 species of exotic birds.  On the Kilimanjaro Safaris tour, you ride in an open-sided safari vehicle through the preserve for a chance to see one of the African animals roaming the 100-acre plain. Be on the lookout for lions, hippos, baboons, antelope, black rhino, cheetahs, and more! You may even get to see one of the baby animals recently born at Animal Kingdom.  Some of the other animal attractions include Affection Section, Conservation Station, Discovery Island Trails, and others!

Some of the rides at Animal Kingdom include Expedition Everest, a high-speed roller coaster bound for ‘Mount Everest’. There is also Dinosaur, where you board a CTX time rover and travel back to the Cretaceous era, 65 million years ago, to capture a 3.5-ton dinosaur. Get ready for a bumpy ride filled with close calls. To cool off, you can check out Kali River Rapids. This river raft ride begins through the lush jungle then, drops into gushing geysers and drifts under refreshing waterfalls…there is a good chance you will get soaked!  ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: for the busy rides like Expedition Everest, go early or late, or get a FASTPASS.

As with all the Disney parks, there are many shopping and dining options and wonderful, entertaining shows and parades. The Festival of the Lion King is a 30-minute, big-as-Broadway musical-stage show based on The Lion King movie. At the Theater in the Wild, catch Finding Nemo – The Musical, based on the movie. Also see Flights of Wonder, a live show featuring 20 species of birds including hawks, macaws and eagles.  ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Plan your day so you can catch the high priority shows, you won’t want to miss them.

There are many beautiful animals and lush landscaping to see, and lots to learn at this theme park.  As mentioned in a previous post, one of the best things about Animal Kingdom is the fact that the animals are not caged.  The park really demonstrates Walt Disney’s dedication to nature and conservation, and the Park leads the way in animal care, education and research.

For more information about Disney’s Animal Kingdom, visit their web site, or type in ‘Animal Kingdom’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Animal Kingdom and share your tips and experience!

Spotlight: Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park is the park that put Orlando on the map, and it remains one of Orlando’s most popular attractions to date. This park is full of family friendly attractions: Whether your group has pirate or princess lovers (or both!), Magic Kingdom will be entertaining for everyone. Cinderella’s Castle is the centerpiece of the park, breaking up the six sections of the park and visible from every one of them. The area surrounding the castle is a hub for an array of performances, and shows, ranging from Wishes; the park’s nightly firework show, special character performances at special holiday events, and Celebrate the Magic; a show where the castle becomes a canvas that showcases many magic moments Disney had brought to us over the years.

The six “lands” that make up Magic Kingdom are Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland.

Main Street USA is the first area seen upon entering Magic Kingdom. It is full of shops, restaurants, and other fun experiences, including the Harmony Barber Shop and the Town Square Theater, where guests can meet Tinker Bell and talking Mickey! ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Talking Mickey has several fun tricks up his sleeve and also speaks several languages, which makes a visit with him a great option for families visiting from all over the world!

Tomorrowland features popular attractions such as The PeopleMover (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) and Space Mountain, one of the more thrilling e-ticket attractions in the park. It takes riders on a journey through space and features rocket-shaped vehicles that launch from two different tracks. ORLANDO TOURIST TRIP: If you and your family are fond of thrill rides, consider choosing this for one of your fast passes. The line can get long! Other attractions in this section of the park include Stitch’s Great Escape! and The Laugh Floor, a kid friendly improv hosted by everybody’s favorite monsters from the films Monsters Inc. and Monsters University

Fantasyland is home to rides like Peter Pan’s Flight and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Peter Pan’s Flight recent got an updated queue, offering visitors a glimpse into the Darling children’s nursery and the opportunity to interact with Tinker Bell and some pixie dust! One of Magic Kingdom’s newest additions is also in this land, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Read more about it on this post. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you are staying at a resort for your Disney experience, take advantage of the early fast pass access and get a pass for Mine Train! The wait for this attraction has been known to run well over an hour during peak visiting hours, and fast passes for it are hard to come by!

Reminiscent of the late 1800’s American Wild West, Frontierland’s most popular attractions are Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain’s line is typically longest during the hottest hours of the day, so if you’re looking for a shorter line and willing to get wet, consider visiting this attraction early in the morning or in the evening. Or, feel free to take advantage of those trademark Disney ponchos, often a staple purchase thanks to Orlando’s on-and-off rainy weather!

Liberty Square’s most popular attraction is The Haunted Mansion; it’s so popular with guests that Disney opened up the Momento Mori, a shop that has a ton of fun souvenirs based on the fan-favorite ride. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Your ghost host on the haunted mansion is friendly, and so are his 999 ghostly friends! There is also no gore on this attraction. Every child is different, but some kids as young as four years old have ridden and enjoyed this attraction!

Adventureland has a wide range of attractions. There is The Swiss Family Treehouse, a fun walkthrough for all ages, and, the ever popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which takes you back in time and into the world of Jack Sparrow, with a few familiar faces from the movies featured throughout. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: On this slow moving boat ride, guests often exit with only a few drops of water on them, but the front row occasionally finds themselves being hit by a few extra splashes. This section of the park, themed to resemble jungles from around the world, is certainly full of adventure for all!

Throughout the park, there’s a wide range of experiences available to guests, from rides, character meet-and- greets, shopping, dining, and more! One of the more popular dining options is Cinderella’s Royal Table, a dining experience that takes place right inside Cinderella’s castle and includes great food and a meet and greet with some of your favorite princesses! If your group needs a break from rides, enjoy one of the shows or popular parades running throughout the day! Magic Kingdom also has After Magic Hours (typically open to resort guests) and have recently made available early magic hours, where guests have special access to some parts of the park from 7:45 AM to 10:00 AM, as well as a unique breakfast experience available at the Pinocchio Village Haus. Tickets for Early Morning Magic are available for purchase now, and selling fast! Note: Regular theme park admission is required, in addition to a ticket for this special event. Get your tickets here! ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Consider buying a park hopper ticket to visit all 4 Disney parks, relax and have a great time!

For more information about Disney’s Magic Kingdom, visit their web site, or type in ‘Magic Kingdom’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this Orlando theme park. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to the Magic Kingdom and share your tips and experience!

Spotlight: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Be part of the glamorous world of entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park! It’s like being on a large, action-packed movie set with Hollywood-style action. There is something for everyone – thrilling attractions, live shows, backstage tours, and entertaining events. You can feel like a star at the new American Idol Experience, where you can experience being on stage or in the audience at this replica of the actual American Idol studio set. Take a walk through the magic of Narnia: Prince Caspian and get a behind the scenes look at how this fantasy movie was made. Or, check out one of the awesome stunt shows – the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular or the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. These live stunt shows give you a glimpse into exciting vehicle stunts and pyrotechnics.

Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be very small, like a bug? “Honey, I shrunk the kids” Movie Set Adventure will give you a bugs-eye view in an 11,000 square foot play area. For the thrill-seekers, you will want to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. This fun, high-speed coaster has a special soundtrack by the rock legends themselves. You will also want to go to one of the most well-known attractions, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. A once glamorous hotel is the set for this scary elevator ride.

May the force be with you as you check out Star Tours and Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy, where you can use your lightsaber against Darth Vader himself. For the little ones, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Toy Story Mania!, and Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage are just a few of the fun things they will love.

The Character Greetings is where you can meet, get autographs, and take pictures with your favorite Disney character.  And, there are many shows to entertain you on your visit, including Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage, The Block Party Bash, High School Musical 3: Senior Year-Right here! Right Now!, and more!  Make sure you see Fantasmic! This is a spectacular nighttime fireworks and water show performed by Mickey Mouse and other delightful Disney Characters. It features classic Disney songs, laser lights and amazing hydrotechnic effects that you won’t want to miss. (Note:  Select nights only.)

Of course, there are many dining options with everything from ice cream shops and pizza to the Hollywood & Vine cafe´ and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.   Hollywood Studios is also home to plenty of shopping options so you can bring home wonderful souvenirs to go with your wonderful memories.

Orlando Tourist Tip: For the rock and roller coaster there are three lines; general, fast pass, and singles. If you don’t mind being split up, go in the singles line – it is a significant time-saver. Or, make sure to get a Fast Pass earlier in the day and come back at your given time.

For more information about Disney’s Hollywood Studios, visit their website or type in ‘Hollywood Studios’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this theme park. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and share your tips and experience.