Travel | Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

When it comes to Disney parks, I think anyone who knows me would suspect that maybe, just maybe, I would enjoy Hollywood Studios. The clue is in the name: this is the park that mostly closely considers the actual process of filmmaking and the magic behind the proverbial curtain. Because of this, it isn’t just themed rides that you will find in Hollywood Studios, but also plenty of stage shows and performances. When I was trying to decide on the order of writing these posts about Disney in order of my favourites, I struggled to decide whether I preferred Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios more. The thing that swung the balance in Hollywood Studios favour was simply the feel of the park; the aesthetic of the studios is very much my jam, and this is a fact that travel buddy Liz would attest to. Even before I went there, I knew I’d prefer it.


Hollywood Studios opened in May 1989 and was the third of the four Disney World theme parks to be built. It focuses on film, TV, music, and theatre and is definitely heavily inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood. Originally, it was intended to function as both a theme park inspired by this and also operate as a production studio, complete with working backlot. Nowadays it more so goes for “the feel” of a functioning studio lot and it’s probably also the park that most closely resembles competitor Universal Studios.

“The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood—not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was—and always will be.”

The park is split into six areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Animation Courtyard, Sunset Boulevard, and Toy Story Land. Work is currently underway for a new Star Wars land which will expand the park, and feature two rides themed on the film franchise, as well as a new themed hotel. Because of this there was a bunch of construction going on at the Studios, with some areas blocked off, so this won’t be an exhaustive list of the attractions there but is a pretty accurate travel diary of what I thought of what I did go on…

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Travel | Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Welcome one, welcome all, to the third of my travel posts from my recent trip to Orlando, Florida! In my previous posts I did a guide (of sorts) to Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and to Epcot at Walt Disney World and now we move onto the second of my Disney World guides/recaps.

Whilst planning out my recaps of the four parks, I decided I should do a sort of reverse/ascending order, starting with the park which I liked least or, rather, my fourth favourite because, let’s face it, Disney World is amazing so I didn’t actually dislike any of the parks! But today I’m here to bring you my thoughts on my third favourite park, Animal Kingdom!

“Welcome to a kingdom of animals… real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn.”

We were lucky enough to happen to be in Animal Kingdom in its 20th year – that’s right, it’s only 20 years old, having been opened on Earth Day in 1998. It’s the youngest but also the largest theme park and, as you can tell from its name, it is themed entirely around the natural world and animal conservation. The park is split into seven sections: Oasis, Discovery Island, Pandora, Asia, Africa, Dinoland USA, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch (although the last was closed when we were there).

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Travel | Epcot at Walt Disney World

Welcome one, welcome all, to the second of my travel posts from my recent trip to Orlando, Florida! In my previous post I did a guide (of sorts) to Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and now we move onto the first of my Disney World guides/recaps. Whilst planning out my recaps of the four parks, I decided I should do a sort of reverse/ascending order, starting with the park which I liked least or, rather, my fourth favourite because, let’s face it, Disney World is amazing so I didn’t actually dislike any of the parks! But today I’m here to bring you my thoughts on Epcot!

“To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.

Epcot is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.

May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.”

The second oldest of the Disney World Florida parks, Epcot stands as a celebration of human achievement and technology and feels like a sort of homage to the idea of a World Fair. In fact, it was originally a concept that Walt Disney had for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (aka EPCOT) that could be the ideal blueprint for urban living for the next generations. When he died, the project was reimagined into what became Epcot.

Nowadays, Epcot is split into two distinct areas: Future World and the World Showcase.

Future World is exactly what it sounds like – if you imagine what people would think the future was full of when conceiving the park. Ever seen the iconic golf ball-esque structure that dominates Epcot’s entrance? Yeah, that’s Spaceship Earth, a dark ride which features the voiceover of the glorious Dame Judi Dench who narrates the story of, well, the Earth and how advances in human communication helped to take us from prehistoric man to the modern and mass communications we’re used to nowadays. I’m not sure if you could call it a ride in the traditional sense – it’s more of your Haunted Mansion speed of “ride”, which meant I actually enjoyed it! (However, I did feel strangely motion sick in the final bit where it tips your ride car slightly back to see an infinite star field and to give you the angle to descend from the top of the ride back to the loading area so word of warning to those susceptible to sickness!) Also I now have officially heard the infamous “Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC’s? Thank the Phoenicians—they invented them” line.

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Tag | The Disney Tag

I found this amazing Disney themed Tag on Michelle’s Purple Pumpkin Blog, and it seems quite fitting because as you read this I will be arriving in Disney World Orlando, all excited to experience the magical world of Disney for the very first time. As I’m writing these we’re a few days away from the holiday but I am so excited so I figured it would be useful to channel this energy into something semi useful by completing a Disney themed tag!

1. Favourite Disney Film?

I always struggle to answer this succinctly but I’m going to try. My first true love of Disney will always be Pocahontas when it comes to the animated films and Mary Poppins for the live-action ones. Most recent new love is Moana and Hercules (I did not fully appreciate the latter properly when I was younger so I consider this a “new” love to me).

2. Favourite Disney Character?

Again, it’s so hard to pick one but since I’ve spied that sidekicks and princesses can pop up in the questions after this, I’ll try to pick a Disney “prince” for this one. I love Flynn Rider from Tangled – who wouldn’t? (Also, and this explains SO much about my taste in guys, Roger from 101 Dalmatians.)

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3. Favourite Disney Princess?

Can I pick Megara from Hercules and Rapunzel from Tangled? They’re both kick-ass in their own ways and I also love me some sass.

4. Favourite Disney side-kick?

Meeko from Pocahontas, no question about it.

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Try a Chapter | Choosing My Disney Holiday TBR

You might have seen my previous go at Try a Chapter for my Barcelona holiday back at the start of September, and it worked so well helping me choose which books to take with me on holiday… whether I read all of them is another issue but shhhhh. And, much like with my previous holiday TBR, I’m not sure how much reading time I’ll actually get on account of the fact I’ll probably be too distracted by the magical world of Disney but I’m willing to try anyway.

There’s a good chance that I’ll be quite tired – ok, mainly my feet will be tired – at the end of most days of this holiday, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take a few moments to read, so let us see which books I’m fancying reading, shall we? These are what I have to choose from:

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