Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) is a reflection of a Hollywood that was and never has been. The palm-lined streets, vintage cars, and Art Deco architecture set against the iconic backdrop of the Grauman's Chinese Theater all reflect the Golden Age of Hollywood.
It's the smallest park at the Walt Disney World Resort, but it still packs a serious punch with Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster that shoots off from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which drops you down 13 stories to your certain doom (to Rod Serling's delight)!
Not your thing? Don't worry, there's much lighter fare such as The Great Movie Ride that puts you in the middle of your favorite classic movie scenes and plenty of shows such as a Broadway-caliber production of Beauty and the Beast, a zany 4-D Muppets show, and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular!If you eat at just one place at The Walt Disney World Resort, it needs to be the 50's Prime Time Café. The setting takes you all the way back to the days when The Donna Reed Show was a hit... the 50's (obviously)! The best part, though, is that your servers turn out to be your long lost family members. This year we had Cousin John and he was an absolute delight. Hilarious! And be warned, there are a few rules you better follow in Momma's Kitchen. Kids set the table! Don't put your elbows on the table! Eat all your vegetables! No Sass! If you break those rules, you'll end up getting into some pretty funny trouble.
|For promotional purposes, the carriage from the new Cinderella movie was on display.|
|Grauman's Chinese Theater|
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom got off to a bumpy start in 1998. Animal's rights groups were calling foul, animals were dying, and Florida was literally on fire. I actually remember the thick smoke rolling across the highway from the nearby wildfire. But a lot has changed since then, and the Animal Kingdom has shaken off it's "expensive zoo" image (Natazu!) and is still growing and developing into something better.
|The Tree of Life has several different animals carved into the side of it.|
What's the highlight of the park? Expedition Everest. It's the newest fake mountain range in the Florida swampland and it's a real doozy. You ride a train up into the mountains, ignoring the local legend of an angry yeti, and find yourself facing a track ripped to shreds. What can you do? Oh, just find yourself rollicking at high speeds backwards. Yes, backwards! In the process you find out that the legend of the yeti is more than just some story.
Well, that's just barely scratching the surface of my vacation, and even though it's always sad to leave the place where dreams come true, I know that Mickey Mouse will always keep his promise.