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No Ride Day: Hollywood Studios
I know what some of you may be thinking. Of all of the parks to go to when you can't, or simply don't want to, ride any rides why would you pick this one? When adrenaline junkies list their favorite Disney parks Hollywood Studios is always at the top of the list. Why? Because of two rides: Tower of Terror and the Rockin Roller Coaster Staring Aerosmith. And they are two very good rides, but they are not everyone's cup of tea.
There are all kinds of medical reasons why you can't ride the thrill rides. Maybe you were in a car accident recently and have restrictions to keep your neck from moving too violently. Perhaps you are seven months pregnant. Or maybe you suffer from extreme motion sickness. Or maybe you just don't like thrill rides. (And I can't blame you when it comes to Tower of Terror..) And lets not forget that young children are often too small for the more thrilling rides at the parks. All of these are valid reasons and you don't need to defend yourself to anyone.
Even if the thrill ride junkies don't agree Hollywood Studios is a great place to forgo rides. There are Broadway style shows, some of the best shopping, live performances everywhere you look, and you can get a glimpse into the magic of the movies.
Sometimes it is cheaper to buy Disney products before you get to the parks.
The production of Beauty and the Beast is an absolute must do Especially if you are a fan of the movie, or Broadway style musicals. The colors are bold and brilliant. The music is iconic and infectious. In short it is a full remake of the 90-minute animated film in a 45-minute stage production. Also, if we are being honest the quartet that performs before the show is just as good as the show itself.
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid has always been a popular show, especially with the little ones. It is short, has all of your favorite songs from the movie, and the color is engaging. One thing that you need to keep in mind is this show takes place inside, where it can get dark at time, and often runs at maximum capacity.
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. That alone makes this a must do show for this park. If you are a fan of the movies you need to see this show. For those over 18 you can volunteer to become a part of the movie making magic.
- Plan which show you want to see and get there early
- Make sure everyone in your group has used the restroom before the show (the lines are long after)
- Bring a snack and drink with you to the stands, it's a long show
- Sunglasses or a hat might be needed depending on the time of day
Lights, Motors, Action!
This show is truly one of a kind. Have you ever wondered just how they perform all of those crazy stunts in the movies? How do they film high speed chase scenes without anyone getting hurt? This show is like watching the latest summer blockbuster. There is action going on everywhere, explosions, cars, stunts. Everything that you could want in a stunt show.
That being said there are a few thing that you should keep in mind before sitting down to watch this show. There are only a few performances each day, so each one tends to fill up quickly. The stands are in an awkward place so you might have the sun beating directly on you depending on the time of day. It is loud and there are some intense explosions, which might be a little too much for younger park visitors.
The entire park is themed around the magic of Hollywood. You can walk down the street and be in a different American city. How? The backdrops. This is a great way to see how movies can trick your mind into thinking they were filming in, say, San Francisco when in reality they never left central Florida. It is entertaining to take pictures with the various cities. But, the backdrops are not the only thing magical down this street. If you are a fan of Singing in the Rain then you will notice the iconic umbrella hanging off one of the streetlights. For maximum effect it will even rain down on the umbrella.
Take a Walk Around
This park showcases the massive number of entertainers that Disney employes. Just walking around you will see entertainers. Near the front of the park you will find a director that is trying to make a movie, but nothing seems to go right. Of course he gets help from various park guests. Just sitting and watching them perform in entertaining. I love getting a snack, or a pretzel dog, and watching the show. Part of what makes it so entertaining is how snarky it can be.
If you are lucky you will walk by the announcers. These cast members pull random park guests aside and just announce their presents to anyone that can hear them. It always makes me laugh because they act like they are announcing A-list celebrates arriving at an awards show, but in reality most park guests just walk on by.
Everywhere you look you will find entertainment like that. You simply need to slowdown and take it all in.
Which park is your go to for a no ride day?
If you find yourself at Hollywood Studios at night you need to see Fantastic. It is as simple as that. This show has it all. It is a medley of many different Disney movies, where the characters come to life right before your eyes. It is a one of a kind experience, and unlike many of the other Disney night shows you don't have to stand to watch it! There are moments that are loud, it gets very dark, and it might be a little intense for younger guests. but overall this show is just spectacular.
Disney's Hollywood Studios has some of the best shopping. In fact outside of the World Showcase at EPCOT I would say that it has the best shopping at any of the Disney parks. There is fine jewelry, handbags, clothes, and many other things. There is a Planet Hollywood store on the strip. There is even a store dedicated to the Disney villains! If I have free time at this park I prefer to spend it exploring the various shops.
I'm sure you are wondering if there is anything else to do at Hollywood Studios? Of course there is!
- The Great Movie Ride! I'm not sure if I would really count this as a ride. It is a slow moving car that holds dozens of people, very similar to Ellen's Energy Adventure at EPCOT.
- The Disney Museum. It showcases all that is Walt Disney and is worth talking a walk around.
- Find as many photopass photographers as you can.
- Playhouse Disney is very popular with young children, but I have honestly never found myself in that area.
- PIXAR Place is where you can meet your favorite PIXAR characters, which you will not find anywhere else.
- Even the restaurants are themed. Sci Fi and 50's Prime time are two of my favorites and they are worth checking out.
- Find the characters. Seriously. PIXAR, Star Wars, Playhouse Disney, and many classic Disney characters can be found here.
- If you can handle a Frozen sing-a-long, this is that place to do it.
- Learn to be Jedi at the Jedi academy.