The happiest blog on Earth
Hello lovely readers!
In my second installment of my new series, The Best of Disney, I have decided to cover Hollywood Studios (previously known as MGM). I love this park a lot and it is going to be getting a whole bunch of upgrades in the coming year, but I'll let you know what the best is as of now.
Without further ado...
Note: Because they no longer have the Streets of America section (which is now just Muppets Courtyard), I included it as part of Echo Lake. Muppets Courtyard seemed too small to get its own section. Some others I combined because there's just not enough to fill a section. I apologize that this map is a little outdated, but I still put the locations there where they are now. If you want a better, updated map with every attraction, go here.
The Great Movie Ride: This ride has to be one of the most overlooked rides in the park, but it is a wonderful way to relax your feet and become fully immersed in the history of Hollywood. The boat ride takes you through the hits of the big screen, putting you straight into the story with over 50 Animatronic characters. Relive all of your favorites, from Mary Poppins and Singin' in the Rain to Alien and Raiders of the Lost Ark, on this adventurous (and a little dangerous) ride.
Trolley Car Café: Stopping for a quick snack? Check out the Trolley Car Café (roll credits!), a quick service counter set in an old trolley station. Serving delicious coffees (including Starbucks brands), Disney baked goods, and items from La Boulangerie, this is the perfect place to stop before checking out the rest of Hollywood.
Celebrity 5 & 10: Want to bring the magic of Disney home? Stop by Celebrity 5 & 10 for home goods and kitchen items themed around Disney and Hollywood Studios.
Crossroads of the World: Your first stop for Disney trinkets should be Crossroads of the World, right at the opening of the park. The shop his a wide array of souvenirs, postcards, Mickey Ears, Vinylmation, pins, and more. With its iconic tower overhead, you can't miss it.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular: Dive straight into the action and adventure of the Indiana Jones film series with this dangerous and exciting live show. Follow Indy and other characters as they reenact famous scenes, complete with daring stunts and fight sequences. If you're an adult, you can even volunteer to be a costumed extra for the show. During the show, a director will explain how the magic happens: how to take a punch, how they pull off big action sequences, and how to wield a whip. The thirty minute show is sure to impress.
50's Prime Time Café: Dine in style at this classic 50's cafe, complete with kitschy furniture, American comfort food, and televisions playing black and white clips of famous shows. The food - pot roast, fried chicken, meatloaf, pineapple upside down cake - is delicious, and the bar serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails with "electric ice cubes" for a glowing treat. Stepping into this restaurant feels like going back in time to a simple - and delicious - past.
Oasis Canteen: Grab a quick snack next to the Indiana Jones Spectacular at this desert canteen. It serves funnel cakes, chicken nuggets, refreshments, and more. For those a little more adventurous, their sweet chili-glazed chicken nuggets are TO DIE FOR. They're delicious, I'm serious.
Honorable Mention: The Backlot Express, for theming all of their food after Star Wars in the new update of the park because that's adorable. Also Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, for its delicious Italian food and decor.
Stage 1 Company Store: For souvenirs of all kinds, check out the Stage 1 Company Store. This store offers sketches, apparel, gifts, pins, Vinylmation, toys, Mickey Ears, and more. The fun interior adds to the charm of the shop, giving you the ability to point out all your favorite Muppets as you shop.
Commissary Lane and Pixar Place
Toy Story Mania: Shrink down into the Toy Story universe and ride this midway-style, shooting gallery game. The line takes you through Andy's room from the perspective of a toy. Then the 3D ride lets you take control of a shooter and play a number of games for points. Points are tallied at the end so you can see who is the champ! Family-friendly and fun for all, this is a ride you won't want to miss.
ABC Commissary: For a quick service meal with an international quirk, stop by the ABC Commissary. This art-deco dining area serves fare like Asian salad, grilled chicken sandwiches, and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, all while housing props from ABC shows.
The Writer's Stop: This cute little gift store on Commissary Lane has a lot of trinkets perfect for anyone looking for souvenirs. With gifts, housewares, food, and spirits, it's the perfect cove to stop for a treat.
Voyage of The Little Mermaid: I know what you're saying: "another Little Mermaid ride? Why?" Fear not, Disney fans, this is no ride. This is a full-fledged show, with live actors and puppetry, and all of the hits from the film. After this 17 minute show, you'll know that it's better down where it's wetter.
Star Wars Launch Bay: Just newly added, the Star Wars Launch Bay showcases movie props and memorabilia. has games for you to play and perfect photo moments, and serves as a center to meet characters from the movie. With loads of galleries and replicas to see and the Mos Eisley cantina to lounge in, this attraction will impress every Star Wars lover.
Honorable Mention: Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, for showcasing the life of the amazing creator of all things Disney.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Embark on a terror-filled journey into the Hollywood Tower Hotel on this spooky thrill ride. Based on an episode of the classic show The Twilight Zone, Tower of Terror is more than just a drop ride; it incorporates storytelling elements, a fascinating queue, memorabilia from old episodes, and a beautiful (yet fleeting) view of the park. For park goers looking for a throwback and a thrill, Tower of Terror is a must.
Honorable Mention: Fantasmic! This half-hour show incorporates classic movie clips projected on water, pyrotechnics, loads of memorable characters, and even a dragon. While not riveting if you have already seen it, it is a must for first-time viewers.
Rosie's All-American Cafe: For American classics like chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, and ice-cold Cokes, stop by Rosie's. Situated right near Tower of Terror, this delicious counter won't break the bank either. Protip: they have a chicken sandwich that is to die for.
Hollywood Scoops: Looking for a sweet treat during your day? Check out Hollywood Scoops for ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and other delicious desserts. Seriously, these are so good.
Beverly Sunset: This antique theater houses not only villain merchandise, but also homemade sweet treats. For all your tricks and treats, stop at the Beverly Sunset.
This concludes Kat's picks for the best of Hollywood Studios. Have any other favorites? Anything amazing I missed? Let me know in the comments.
Kat Shambaugh: photographer, graphic designer, wannabe Disney princess. Computational Media major at the Georgia Institute of Technology.