10 Lies (& a Few Myths That are Actually True) About Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened to the public in May 1989 and was Walt Disney World Resort’s third park. When it first opened, it was called Disney-MGM Studios. The MGM Studios “ear-fel” tower served as the park’s icon until 2001, when a giant Sorcerer Mickey’s hat became the park’s well-known symbol. In 2008, the park officially let go of the MGM name and became known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. More than 11.5 million people walk through the gates of the park annually. All these things are true, but there are some things about Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are just out and out lies. There are even a few myths circulating around out there that actually have some truth to them. Let’s look at a few true and a few untrue things about Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
10. Tower of Terror will soon be reimagined.
There’s been a rumor floating
around in the Disney cosmos for some time now that states that the Tower of
Terror attraction at Hollywood Studios will soon undergo a massive reimagining—into
a huge castle-type attraction inspired by Disney’s Frozen. While the
2013 box office smash is certainly a favorite among fans young and old, the
newest Frozen developments seem to surround last year’s release of Frozen
2, but not an eviction of the spirits inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
There is, however, a Frozen presence at the park. If you’re looking to
get your Frozen fix at Hollywood Studios, head over to the Hyperion
Theater at Echo Lake and experience “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen
Sing-Along,” among other attractions and opportunities at the Walt Disney World
9. At Toy Story Land, when a guest yells, “Andy’s coming,” all the characters fall to the ground.
As fun as that might seem (and it
would lend itself to keeping the “realism” of Andy’s toys), if Woody, Buzz,
Jessie and Bo dropped to the pavement any time “Andy was coming,” not only
would the Cast Members risk being injured, but the expensively-created
costuming would be destroyed, especially if it happened repeatedly. So while it
sounds fun in theory, this is just a myth, perhaps perseverated by Toy Story
fans all the (Disney) world over.
8. Hollywood Studios only has Star Wars attractions nowadays.
While it’s true that the park is home to many Star Wars-themed experiences, that’s not all there is on the proverbial attraction buffet—not by a long shot. As mentioned before, there are Frozen-themed attractions, an Indiana Jones-themed attraction, opportunities to meet characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a cute stage show featuring Ariel from The Little Mermaid and much, much more!
7. If you aren’t a Star Wars junkie, Galaxy’s Edge is a waste of your time.
This is absolutely untrue—and I’m
an expert on the subject because I don’t happen to be a Star Wars junkie. It’s
just not my bag. But Galaxy’s Edge is quite the experience for both the fan and
non-fan alike. That’s because you don’t have to understand the entire timeline
of the galaxy far, far away in order to appreciate the amazing work Imagineers
put into this exciting new land inside Hollywood Studios. The “realness” of the
Millennium Falcon and the marketplace, as well as the attention to detail
throughout the new land is phenomenal, and we can all appreciate that!
6. Once upon a time, the Tower of Terror experienced a significant electrical malfunction.
Ok, this one is true. The
malfunction happened in September of 1998. During the ride, a group of guests
were on board the elevator when it experienced a drop that wasn’t supposed to
take place. The elevator then made an abrupt stop thanks to the safety brakes
kicking in. The guests who were on board were taken to local hospitals and were
treated for pain sustained in their backs and necks caused by the malfunction.
5. When it comes to table-service dining, Hollywood Studios has few options.
This is completely untrue. Not
only are there several choices when it comes to table-service dining venues,
but a few of them offer exciting, themed dining experiences. The 50s Prime Time
Café restaurant offers home-cooked options like Mom used to make. The
restaurant is decorated to look like kitchens from the 1950s, complete with
television sets throughout the restaurant that play clips from sitcoms made
popular in the mid-20th century. The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
restaurant at Hollywood Studios offers out-of-this-world options like house
made candy bars, fried pickles, huge burgers and more. Enjoy all of these while
sitting in an “automo-booth” that looks just like a vehicle from the 50s and
60s. While you eat, you can catch clips of sci-fi films, commercials and more.
4. Hollywood Studios is a half-day park.
While it’s true that Disney’s
Hollywood Studios is not nearly the size of Magic Kingdom, there is still so
much to do inside the park—enough that you’ll need more than just a half a day
to get it all in. There has always been a lot to experience at Hollywood
Studios, but since the addition of Toy Story Land in 2018 and Star Wars:
Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, there are even more reasons to spend at least one full
day at Hollywood Studios—and you might just discover that you enjoy it so much,
you’ll want to spend a second full day at the park as well!
3. There were plans for another Muppet-themed attraction.
This one is actually true. In
addition to the current Muppet Vision 3D attraction at Hollywood Studios, there
were plans for “The Great Muppet Movie Ride,” which was to be a quirky and
somewhat misguided tour of movie history—all presented in true Muppet style. To
date, this attraction has never come to fruition, and at this time, there don’t
seem to be further plans to bring it about inside the park.
2. Mickey atop the Crossroads kiosk just inside the park has an alter ego.
This one is also true. You know
the one—the Mickey Mouse that stands high in the sky over the Crossroads of the
World kiosk/mini-shop just inside the gates at Hollywood Studios serves as a
welcome marker to all who enter the park. He welcomes guests in the morning and
bids them farewell in the evening. But he has another side to him—he isn’t just
a fixture; he also serves as a lightning rod. One of his ears is made of copper
so as to attract lightning to him instead of to the areas below him.
1. Walt Disney’s plane sits on a backlot at Hollywood Studios.
This was once true but isn’t any
longer. When the Backlot Tour was an open attraction for guests to enjoy, part
of the tour took visitors past an old plane that was once used by Walt himself.
It was in this plane that Walt scouted the central Florida area for land for
his new “Florida Project,” which would one day become Walt Disney World.
I am a writer and a Mom to four children and two baby shih-tzus. My first experience with the Magic was in 1988, when my parents surprised my brother and me with a visit to Walt Disney World after a short trip to see friends in Georgia. I still hum the tune played during the Main Street Electrical Parade and remember the feeling of excitement from my very first visit. I introduced my husband to the Magic several years ago, and we take our children to the parks every time we can. No matter how many times I visit Walt Disney World, it seems it’s not enough! The ever-changing experience only gets better with each trip, and I’m thrilled to share the Magic with others, as well as some of the tips and tricks to getting the most out of the Magic with each visit!