Stepping into the park is like experiencing Tinseltown in the 1930s — Hollywood Boulevard is a crazy quilt of flashy neon and chromed art deco where guests are surrounded by the sights and sounds of show business and personalities — detectives, starlets, cabbies and public works employees — can be found prowling the streets.
Just around the corner, Sunset Boulevard pays tribute to the glamorous theater district in all its glory days. At the end of the street stands Hollywood Tower Hotel, which beckons guests to experience The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, where recently more terror has been added to the tower with new shakes, drops and special effects.
Thrill-seekers will catapult through a series of unexpected twists and turns aboard a "super-stretch limo" at Rock 'n" Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Of course, specially recorded Aerosmith soundtracks echo throughout the indoor roller coaster.
Acting as the centerpiece for the park, Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat crowns Disney's Hollywood Studios with a special magic inspired by the Disney animated classic, "Fantasia." Just behind the larger-than-life hat icon is a full-scale re-creation of the famous Chinese Theater — the gateway to one of Disney's most elaborate ride-through attractions. The Great Movie Ride showcases the charm, romance, suspense, intrigue and blazing six-shooter action of some of Hollywood's most memorable cinematic moments.
The courtyard of the Chinese Theater features hand prints of numerous show business stars who have visited the studios, including Alan Alda, Lauren Bacall, Robin Williams, Charlton Heston, Samuel L. Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Bette Midler, Tom Cruise, Jim Henson and even Kermit the Frog.
Mickey Boulevard plays host of regular appearances by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and other Disney characters. Along Mickey Boulevard you will find Toy Story Mania! — a 3-D interactive attraction inspired by the Disney·Pixar films "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2." Every guest gets to play along in the high-energy adventure that puts them right in the action. If you're a Toy Story fan, check out where you can find other Toy Story-themed places, rides and attractions.
At the end of Mickey Avenue, the Disney's Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour takes you behind the scenes of a staged movie production and past vehicles, costumes and props from some of Hollywood's best films. An innovative design allows a peek in at shooting on state-of-the-art sound stages and sprawling backlot sets.
More popular attractions are Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Movie Set Adventure where you'll experience what it feels like to be the size of an ant. You'll be thinking "it's a jungle out there" as you experience hidden slides, caves, spider webs, a leaky hose, giant toys, tunnels and ants in a "backyard" from the hit film, "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids."
The legendary Muppets star in Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3-D which combines Jim Henson's puppets with Disney's famous Audio-Animatronics technology into an in-theater 3-D animation film — all to showcase the wild antics of Jim Henson's Muppet characters.
It's best to leave the stunts to the pros in Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! an action-packed live show that re-creates the heart-pounding heroics of classic adventure films through movie stunt demonstrations.
One of the best additions to the park has been Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show which was "imported" from Disneyland Paris for Disney's global "Happiest Celebration on Earth" takes place in a huge "live" Mediterranean village set. The premise of the 30-minute show centers around the filming of a spy thriller film. The audience gets to see how each scene is filmed and then view the completed film as it would appear on the silver screen. High-speed chases, car and motorcycle jumps, pyrotechnic explosions, high-falls, two-wheeled driving and high-speed spins create an exciting production.
The newest attraction — The American Idol Experience — is a real winner. The attraction captures the energy and excitement of the original "American Idol" TV series, with park guests auditioning to take the spotlight onstage. As part of the audience, fellow guests cheer them on and vote for their favorite singer with instant results. The day's top vote-getter receives "The American Idol Experience Dream Ticket, which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the "American Idol" television show.
Other attractions and entertainment include:
- Studios Backlot Tour - Board a 200-passenger shuttle that winds through the studio backlot's costuming, scenic shop and Catastrophe Canyon.
- Star Tours - In the ultimate "Star Wars" adventure, take a "space journey" in a 40-seat advanced flight simulator from the creative forces of Disney and George Lucas.
- Walt Disney: One Man's Dream showcases Walt Disney's life.
- The Magic of Disney Animation - Tour Disney's animation gallery, a showcase of Disney animation and the animation process.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid - This stage show features dazzling special effects that combine with puppets, audio-animatronics figures, live performers and favorite animated clips that are all based on the hit animated film "The ittle Mermaid."
- Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage - A delightful musical stage show based on the hit Disney movie, "Beauty and the Beast," performed multiple times daily in Theater of the Stars.
- Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage! - Stars from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Little Einsteins" and "Handy Manny" entertain children with a hand-clapping, singing and dancing performance.