Once called Disney-MGM Studios up until 2008, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the third of the four parks to open at Walt Disney World Resort in 1989. Using the setting of the film industry of yesteryear in Hollywood, California, it is themed in 1930s and 1940s old-style glamor, with its homage to the heyday of show business. Music, television, movies and theatre are all represented, and for buffs of any of these genres, Theme Park Concierges has an expert VIP Concierge on staff who used to be a Cast Member at this park, Shelby Pickett.
As with the other parks at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is organized into six themed areas, but unlike the other parks, its layout is more like rambling streets and architectural areas that merge rather than possessing a center point with spoked lands.
The main access for Guests is down Hollywood Boulevard, modelled after its real-life namesake in Los Angeles. Street performers in costumes mimic music and comedy from the golden-age of Hollywood, as VIP Concierges usher their Guests past Disney merchandise and services. At the far end of the boulevard, the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant offers fine dining in this replica of the Brown Derby in Hollywood, well-known for Grapefruit Cake and the original Cobb Salad. Further, is the replica of Hollywood’s famed landmark, the Chinese Theatre, housing one of the original rides at the park, The Great Movie Ride with live and recorded vignettes from classic films such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Singin’ in the Rain and Alien.
Turning onto Sunset Boulevard there are quick-dining options on this adjacent street as well as some of this park’s most visited attractions, including the vertical-drop inside a replica of a decaying haunted 1930s hotel, The Twilight Tower of Terror, a hair-raising Rock n’ Roller Coaster to the tunes of Aerosmith, the charming stage show of Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and of course, by night, Fantasmic! as Mickey and other Disney characters delight to music from Fantasia, replete with fireworks, laser and water effects.
Around Echo Lake on the opposite side of Sunset Boulevard, there is the live-action stunt show Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and the 3-D motion simulator Star Tours ride based on the Star Wars catalogue of Lucasfilm Studios works. Star Wars Land is under expansion and will also offer a Millennium-Falcon themed secret mission attraction, to reflect the newer Star Wars prequel films.
Over at Pixar Place, there is Pixar Animation Studios and the interactive 4-D Toy Story Midway Mania!. Animation Courtyard showcases Disney animation, film, sound recording studios, and live performances and meet-and-greets by actors and characters like Chewbacca and Darth Vader occur frequently--it is not unusual to see Disney stars engaged and performing here. VIP Concierges are sure to know various stars’ appearance schedules to alert their Guests whether a favorite star may be in the park during their Theme Park Concierges visit.