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…