“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney Walt’s dream of “opening new doors” is coming true at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As Magical DIStractions continues to report, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is undergoing a major expansion. With the new Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land on the horizon, it is inevitable that some of the “oldies but goodies” have to go. Today’s edition of the Things I Miss Series covers just a few of the things that I miss at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Some of the attractions closed prior to the announced expansion but others are making way for the new lands and new memories for the Guests.
Things I Miss: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Edition
7. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure closed its gate at the end of the day on April 2, 2016 and I was a bit sad to see it go. At 11,000 square feet, the play area gave kids the room to play to their delight! The attention to detail was amazing! Anty the ant and Quark the dog made appearances alongside the giant paperclip and super soaker. Kids and adults alike loved to pose on the back of the oversized ant for one of the most unique picture taking opportunities in the park. Back in the day when my kids were younger, they could have played for hours if I hadn’t encourage them to see other parts of the park.
6. Streets of America and Forced Perspective Backdrops
The buildings along Streets of America were all fascades but unless you looked really closely, you may not have been able to tell. Disney’s use of forced perspective made Guests feel as if they were actually on the streets of New York and San Francisco. In true Disney form, the attention to detail amazed all who walked the area. If you listened closely, you could even hear the sounds of a busy street. The backdrops also afforded cool photo ops such as a mini-version of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road created by three in our group.
5. Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade
This fun parade featured cute floats and lots of characters from Pixar films. Included in the cavalcade of characters were Mr. Fredricksen, Russell, and Doug from Up. Marching along the streets and on the floats were The Incredibles. Flik, Princess Atta and more of A Bug’s Life characters delighted the Guests as well. And, one can’t forget Mike, Sulley and the sock wearing monster from Monsters, Inc. Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade was fairly short lived having only run from January, 2011 to April, 2013. But, it is one of the things I miss because the parade included so many lovable characters.
4. The Backlot Tour
There have been several versions of The Backlot Tour over the years. The tour was in several parts that included both walking and a tram ride through what was then Disney MGM Studios. Some of us veteran Walt Disney World Resort Guests still catch ourselves calling it MGM Studios.
When the attraction first opened, the tour could take quite some time to complete as you were taken behind the scenes and given the opportunity to see actual television production sets, and were later taken on a tram ride through areas of the park. I still remember seeing the sets of Home Improvement and 102 Dalmatians during the walking portion of the tour. To make the queue for the tram a bit more fun, Guests walked through a portion of the props department. There you would see props from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, Mulan and more! It was also quite something when the tram rolled down Residential Street past the houses used in The Golden Girls and Ernest Saves Christmas and Empty Nest. I’m dating myself, I know!
Over the years, Disney revamped the attraction to make way for the park’s “new” attraction: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show which, by the way, has since closed, and makes this list too. Gone was the tram ride down Residential Street but Guests were able to see something a bit more exciting: Catastrophe Canyon! And, any true Disney fan loved getting an up close look at Walt’s personal plane.
Sadly, The Backlot Tour closed and the last tram tour rolled out on September 27, 2014.
3. Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
I’m not a stunt show type gal but Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show added an extra vroom-vroom of excitement to my Disney’s Hollywood Studios day. The stunt show spun the tires for the last time on April 2, 2016. That’s the same day that Streets of America closed. The stunt show packed a lot into the approximately 35 minute show. There were specialty designed cars, motorcycles, jet skis, and even explosives! The show was set in a Mediterranean village and included a classic story line of good versus evil. Few adjustments were made during the almost 11 year run.
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was massive at 177,000 square feet with a 5,000 seat stadium. By doing away with the show, Disney’s Hollywood Studios gained a lot of ground for their new expansion.
2. The Great Movie Ride
The lastest attraction to close its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is The Great Movie Ride. Housed in a recreated Chinese Theater, The Great Movie Ride was, at 95,000 square feet, a massive indoor attraction. Guests would board a large tram and greeted by their very own host who gave details on the attraction and even played a roll themselves. Guests were taken past life size animatronic stars, including Gene Kelly, John Wayne, James Cagney, Julie Andrews, and even Cheeta from Tarzan. Fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Alien and The Wizard of Oz were delighted as they traveled through sets of the classic movies.
A video montage of short clips from movies such as Good Morning Vietman, Chicago, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Lady and the Tramp, Tangled and Frozen, rounded out the tour.
While I am sad that this classic Disney attraction shut its doors on August 13, 2017, I have to admit that I’m exciting about its replacement: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
1. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Sadly, Disney pulled the plug on this very popular yuletide spectacular on January 6, 2016. Arkansas businessman, Jennings Osborne, started the lighting tradition for his six year old daughter. Year after year, it grew bigger and more popular. Neighbors sued Osborne and he was forced to stop by the Supreme Court. Mr. Osborne’s story caught national attention and Walt Disney World contacted Mr. Osborne who accepted Disney’s offer to move the display to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In 1995, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights made it’s debut and it was an immediate success.
The Backlot area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios was covered in millions of glittering lights. There were displays that danced to special songs of the season, twirling carousels of angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and even Santa and his reindeer flew high above the street. Guests were amazed as the truly spectacular event.
That’s a Wrap!
So, there you have it folks. That’s my list of the seven Things I Miss at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Do you miss any of these attractions? Are there others that you hated to see go? Let us know in the comment section below!