Man’s Guide to Hollywood Studio’s

Alright, this has been said before but maybe not quite like this…

Hollywood Studio’s goes back and forth in discussions about whether it’s a good park, great park, some people think the food is the worst selection, and all sorts of other topics.  Were going to set the record straight!

First: Hollywood Studio’s is by FAR one of the best parks for children AND adults.  Next to the Magic Kingdom, I would rate Hollywood Studio’s as your next must-do stop.  Keep in mind the parks all serve a certain client. Magic Kingdom is the best for small children and anyone who wants to smile and relive their own childhood fantasies.  Epcot is amazing for the older children or adults and serves a wider range of people and could be argued it has the best food because of the world showcase. Animal Kingdom is a very small range of what your seeing. Great park for an animal lover, but not too much in between.  I would say that Animal Kingdom is low on the list of food spots and rides but who doesn’t love monkeys?

The Studio’s has the best all around feel, but you need to be older than lets say, 8.  This way you can actively get on all the rides, see all the shows and appreciate what the Studio’s has to offer.  Small children won’t benefit as much in my opinion.  When you first enter the Studio’s you may feel surprised to see your smack dab in the middle of a studio set.  Directors on set, key grips snapping down the next scene and actors and actresses taking spot in mid street to perform.  The Hollywood Studio’s brings movies to life in all sense of the word.  Once you’ve passed through the gates and passed the active set, you have tons of stores all around.  I think that is why people get intimidated. It becomes more of a shopping world when you first enter. You do not see a ride in sight, no characters, no food spots… What is going on?

Then all of a sudden you will cross through and you’ll see the park’s staple smack in the center.  The magical Mickey Sorcerer Hat! Standing 122 feet tall and sparkling with all the magic and wonder that Mickey would have wanted. You will soon cross into the magical land that shows you one of the greatest Disney scenes; The Brooms.

Beyond the brooms you will see one of the best restaurants in the Studio’s, The Hollywood Brown Derby. Now, this is not inexpensive and not a counter service. The Brown Derby is a full sit down restaurant, upscale restaurant. By the way, the Grapefruit Cake is amazing.

The studio’s also houses two of the most sought after rides for the true WDW Dad = Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Both are sure to please the Disney Guy!

Now, you have a few stops you can make while here.  These are not all recommendations and I’ll point out my favorites below, but just so you are aware, the Studio’s does have a good amount of rides.  Most people I have seen online complain there is not a lot to see at the Studio’s.  This is the farthest from the truth. In my opinion, the Hollywood Studio’s has MORE to offer than just about any park.  I did NOT say it was #1 on my list, but I will argue it is one not to miss!  Just ask Matt Hochberg of StudioCentral if you want a good argument!  He’ll give you the skinny of the park and why the Hollywood Studio’s is his favorite park. In many ways, I agree.

You have the Muppets, Toy Story, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular Show, Beauty and the Beast Show, The Great Movie Ride, Fantasmic, and a hundred more.

Guys, bored here? Really? I don’t think so. Good food, thrill rides and the you can end your day with Fantasmic?  Never heard of Fantasmic? What Island do you live on??

Fantasmic is a water light firework show that features just about every Disney character in live action and on a waterfall projection like never seen before.  It truly is one of a kind. It is housed in the giant 6000+ seat quarter arena with room for over 3000+ standing. I recommend getting in early. Seating will begin 90 minutes before the show and they fill quick! Fantasmis used to be almost every night, but the schedule has been reduced, so be sure to ask ahead of time about what days it is performing or visit our friends at StudioCentral for the updated schedule. It is usually shown 2-3 times per week now.

The shows are fantastic and the atmosphere is great. You don’t like Indiana Jones? Turn off your computer now, go to your garage, get a rope and walk to your roof…  OK, maybe not that drastic, but come on!!  Indiana Jones was one of my favorite movies growing up and I own the box set now. I have my 12 year old hooked on this stuff…  The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is great for all ages, but it helps if you have seen some of the movies.  The stunts performed and good for laughs and even some dramatic turns that you might not have seen coming.  Remember the scene where Indiana takes the Golden Idol and is chased through a corridor by a giant boulder?  Get ready for the show!

Remember all those lovely and romantic movies all us guys like? You know the ones, with cars chasing, explosions, stunts, gun shots? Thats not considered romantics? Oh, well, you have all of those wrapped up into the Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Show!  This is one of the biggest shows in the Studio’s and for good reason. Danger!  Come on guys, we love dangerous stuff don’t we? I mean, we love those kind of James Bond movies or the Italian Job scenes with amazing dramatic chases.  That is what this show is all about. From cars, to motorcycles to boats, it actually has it all.  Throw in a few tricks that they show you (I don’t want to ruin the surprises) and you’ll have an awesome time.  The show is roughly 20-30 minutes and you’ll see all sorts of Hollywood tricks on how they do things to make they look greater than they just might be.

There is literally something for everyone.  My wife didn’t want to watch the stunt show again so she went to the Beauty and the Beast show while I took our son to see Indiana perform.  It really has something for all ages and all genders alike.

Whatever you do, do not miss the Hollywood Studios. It might just become your favorite park!


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