Top Hollywood Studios Attractions For First Timers

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Last week I wrote about which Magic Kingdom attractions you’ll want to make sure you check out as a first-time visitor to Walt Disney World, and today I want to take a trip to my second favorite WDW theme Park – Hollywood Studios – where the movies come to life and the spirit of old Hollywood lives on! If you’ve never been to Hollywood Studios, you will want to make sure you check out these Must-Do attractions:

The Great Movie Ride: This “ride through the movies” is a great little ride through the history of Hollywood – you get to travel through several famous scenes – like the Old West, Oz (including singing Munchkins!), and the attack from Alien (a bit frightening, but don’t worry it’s over quickly!). I love getting to travel into these classic movies –and I especially love the movie clip montage at the end of the ride. There’s not usually too long of a wait for this one, but even if you end up waiting for a bit, there’s cool movie memorabilia to see in line, and you get to watch clips of old-time movies and cartoons too! And make sure you check out the famous feet and hand imprints outside too!

Rock’N Roller Coaster: Ok – picture the scene – you’re waiting in line to get to Aerosmith’s sold out show – and before you know it, you’re zipping to the concert VIP style in a super fast stretch limo! That is the premise behind the Aerosmith Rock’n’Roller Coaster – you blast off into LA traffic to try to make it to the show in time – and you travel sideways, up, down, and even upside down as Aerosmith’s hits are blasted through the speakers mounted in your seat – it’s an AMAZING ride, and a must do for roller coaster lovers. If you’re the only coaster lover in your family – then I suggest you try the single rider line – where you are placed with random parties that have odd numbers to ensure every limo is full as it leaves the parking lot. I remember when this ride opened – I waited over 2 hours for it, and it was worth every second in line (of course, the cool music recording studio décor and Aerosmith tunes help keep you amused while waiting!)

MuppetVision 3D: This is a perfect show for the whole family, kids and adults love it! You enter into a ‘waiting area’ where you collect your 3-d glasses and watch the Muppets “prepare” for their big show on TV screens mounted everywhere. Tons of fun decorations, props, and other special touches are in this room too so keep an eye out! Then once the theater is ready, you’re ushered in and you can put your glasses on for the show! The Muppets are up to their typical silly antics at the “Muppet Laboratories” as they put 3-D technology to the test! What’s great about this is that the theater is HUGE – so even if you have to wait to see the show, you will likely only have to wait a little while, as there are plenty of seats – plus the waiting area is so fun that it’s like a mini attraction on it’s own!

The Magic of Disney Animation: This attraction begins with a 10 minute segment by a live artist who teaches you how a character “comes to life” through animation – and he/she is assisted by Mushu (the adorable tiny sassy dragon from Disney’s Mulan), which keeps the show interesting and fun. Afterwards, you exit into an area with several interactive activities that help you explore further how animation is done, or you can sit down at the “Animation Academy” to create your very own Disney character! It’s easy to forget that all of this started with a little Mouse – and that Walt actually drew him too – so this is a great way to get a little history and get back to the roots of the Disney company and what it’s all about

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues: This flight simulator has been open since 1989, and it got a major overhaul in 2010 which created over 50 new experiences for guests – plus now it’s in 3D too! The queue takes you through the Star Wars spaceport, where you see familiar faces like C-3PO and R2-D2. Once you reach your “StarSpeeder 1000” spacecraft, you are safely strapped in and then it’s time to embark on a wild journey through space! The spaceship speeds around through different scenes in the various Star Wars movies, and then eventually safely returns to the spaceport. It’s a fun ride, and a must do for Star Wars lovers (like my husband who insists we ride it as many times as possible to try to see as many different scenes as we can!)

You might want to consider using some fastpasses for these rides – especially Rock’N’Roller Coaster and Star Tours – they tend to be VERY popular and have long wait lines – and you won’t want to miss them and the others on my list!

But I would love to know what YOU think what rides would you recommend to a first time visitor to Hollywood Studios?

Stay tuned right here on Chip and Co next week – where I will talk about more “Can’t miss!” attractions for first time WDW travelers


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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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