Thursday, May 30, 2013

Top 5 Hollywood Studios Attractions

I don’t know what it is about Hollywood Studios, but it has long been my favorite park at Disney World.  Maybe it’s just the atmosphere, maybe it’s the restaurants, maybe it’s the rides, I just enjoy it most.  Here are my must-see attractions for it.

Note: Attractions with * have a FastPass.

5. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror*: Leave it to Disney to take what could be a basic freefall attraction, put it inside, and theme it as a haunted hotel.  The nicer ride vehicle means that this is probably the only freefall attraction I would ever do, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be terrifying, as it randomly launches you up and down at high speeds.

4. The Great Movie Ride: On the one hand, this could badly use some updating or just some polish, with the trailers in the queue looking particularly worn out.  But it does take you through great movie moments, some nice surprises as your vehicle gets taken over, and some fine animatronic work.

3. Muppet*Vision 3D: Even in 1991, the Muppets could already see the way this new 4D technology was going to be used.  Muppet*Vision hangs a lampshade on every gimmick it uses, parodying the “cheap 3D tricks” that so many other theme parks use (yes, even Disney—just look at It’s Tough to Be a Bug), while providing a great look at the Muppet personalities we know and love.  The movie has even had a recent refurbishment which makes it look better than ever.

2 (tie). Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show*: Hollywood Studios definitely has a focus on its shows (Beauty and the Beast and American Idol can also be fun), and it’s the stunt shows that come out as the real winners.  Indiana Jones goes through several sequences loosely based on Raiders of the Lost Ark, while LMA has its own fictional movie that’s being shot, but both of them feature good humor and plenty of awesome stunts.  It comes down to whether you prefer more physical stunts or car stunts.  Also note that LMA only has two shows a day, so it’s good to plan out when you want to see that one.

1. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues*: This can probably be marked as the best update to a ride that Disney has done.  The original ride was a fun simulator, if a bit standard.  The update adds in 3D and a “slot machine” ride system, which randomizes who you meet and where you go on your tour.  So you might end up flying under AT-ATs on Hoth, in the middle of a pod race on Tatooine, or even through the under-construction Death Star, all of which adds plenty of reasons to ride it again.

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