[DISCLAIMER: The following was originally written by Jerry Skids back in 2009. He is a big Disney fan. He has his own WDW-themed podcast, which you can find here, or here. This is 100% Jerry’s words, completely unedited, out of respect to Jerry. If you are confused by any of the acronyms, check out the previous posts. My comments are listed in [ ] – anything in ( ) are all Jerry’s words. I have not fact-checked any of this information. Obviously some things have definitely changed since 2009, and should be used for comparative purposes only, as many attractions have come and gone since the time this was written. However, that does not invalidate his suggestions one iota. This is still useful, and I think this is so amazing, that I want to share his knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Jerry! Posted with his permission. – Editor]
WDW For The Single Guy: an experiment, part 16
Tips, Hints, and Other Things about DHS
- Arrive an hour early, and wait towards the left of the rope (but not ALL the way to the left). Watch the opening ceremony, where the director dude and a few actresses try to get a scene done with your help. Once the park is ready to open, (Lights! Camera! Action!) they will walk you down Sunset Blvd. toward the big thrill rides. Staying on the left during the turn, you will end up closer to RNRC. Grab a FP for RNRC, then ride it, then run to ToT and ride it. Either ride RNRC again or run over to Toy Story Mania! If the wait is short, ride it… if not, get a FastPass. Go over to the Great Movie Ride and ride it. Then head toward Star Tours and ride it. Then go watch Muppetvision 4-D. By now it should be 10:45 AM. Head back over to RNRC (or Toy Story Mania if you haven’t ridden it yet and your FP is ready). Get a FP for Voyage of the Little Mermaid and head over to the Backlot Tour. Once it’s over, go see Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and have a bite at either ABC Commissary or Studio Catering Co. for counter service, or Mama Melrose for table service. Now for the shows. Go see Lights! Motors! Action!, Indy, and the American Idol Experience in whatever order. (If there’s time, Sounds Dangerous). Check out One Man’s Dream, watch the parade, have dinner at 50’s Prime Time. Go to a 6 PM showing of Beauty and the Beast, then go wait for Fantasmic!
- It will take a while to get out of the park. All those people leaving is nuts. This is one of these instances where once you are away from the stairs, bob and weave through the crowds.
- Best Spots to Rest – 1) By Toluca Legs Turkey Co., where there’s covered tables. 2) By the Studios Catering Co., also covered tables. 3) Benches around Echo Lake – it’s a nice spot to people watch. 4) Inside Sounds Dangerous because it’s air-conditioned and you don’t have to wear the headphones!!
- Best Restrooms – 1) By The Magic of Disney Animation – Very large restroom with not too many people since it’s kinda hidden – just don’t go right after a PLayhouse Disney show! 2) By Oscars Stroller Rental on Hollywood Blvd. – It’s right in the front, but barely used, so it’s clean. It’s hard to find, which is good. 3) By Muppets 4-D – Pretty decent, clean, and also quiet, and small.
- Worst Restrooms – 1) In between 50’s Prime Time and Hollywood + Vine – Shared with both restaurants. ‘Nuff said. 2) Near Star Tours + Indy – heavy traffic, always smells. 3) On Sunset Blvd. RIGHT next to ToT and RNRC – vomit… that’s all I have to say – try the other ones down in the middle of Sunset.
- No! E.T. was NEVER here! That’s Universal, retard!
- Don’t forget to interact with the Streetmosphere characters throughout the day. They’re so much fun!
- The only bad part about Fantasmic is that halfway through, there is this random part where they break into the story of Pocahontas. It makes no sense and does not follow the story – but even with the pointless moment, the show is still amazing.
- Oh, and there is a snack stand with chips, pretzels, and ice cream, as well as drinks and sandwiches and hot dogs in the huge Fantasmic amphitheatre, so get your stuff before the show starts. And do NOT walk up the bleachers, use the stairs when you leave. It’s dangerous damn it!
- Stick around in the evening and check out the Ewok village at night – it’s really funny. The original “Jub Jub” song is still here, which is more than I can say for Return of the Jedi.
- The tip board is located at the corner of Sunset + Hollywood Blvd. It’s updated constantly.
- During Indiana Jones, if you sit up close, you will feel doused by an explosion/fire. It’s cool.
- The Soundscapes Machines after Sounds Dangerous, and the Magic of Animation are so underrated! It’s fun to record your voice onto the characters. Don’t be embarrassed – this is a place to go wild.
- They used to sell Goofy Bars on Sunset Blvd at the furthest ice cream carts. Unfortunately, as of 2003, it has disappeared. They were vanilla ice cream with a chocolate coating, filled with caramel.
- Don’t ride Tower of Terror on a full stomach. Even if you can take thrill rides… it’s common for free falls to make that food come back up. Especially 13 stories (199 foot fall).
- The constant rumors saying the Indy Stunt show will be demolished and turned into an attraction like the one in Disneyland are false. The show is so popular, [and] the stadium is almost always full. [Now that an Indy 5 movie is greenlit, this show is going nowhere].
- It’s safe to assume that Pizza Planet will be moved to Pixar Place as they change that place completely.
3-D4-D is the most entertaining of the 3-D shows, AND is the least “scary.” If you miss the pre-show, it’s like walking in on the middle of a film. I’m not joking… catch the WHOLE thing. Also, Waldorf and Statler constantly move throughout the presentation. The show is better with a huge audience.
- MGM (or DHS) is filled with advertisements and self-promotion for Disney, Touchstone, Miramax, ABC, Hyperion, ESPN,
ABC Family[in 2016, the cable channel was renamed Freeform], and all the other Disney companies. A bit annoying, but true. But let’s be honest. It’s a movie/TV themed park. What would you do?
- The original Earful Tower is gone and only the topiary replica remains. 😦
- During Star Wars Weekend, and any other special events, many of the stores have drastic changes made for to fit the theme. Also, during Christmas, the entire Streets of America is filled with the Osbourne lights, which I will discuss in the holiday section.
- Attempting this park during EMT mornings is suicide. Evenings are worse – especially with the shirts ir cheerleaders. This is one of the parks that hosts grad nights, so May and June are nuts.
- For some reason, the Backlot Tour is not very informative anymore, but it’s worth it to see actual props from old films – especially by Disney, Touchstone, Miramax, or MGM.
- There is a hidden R2-D2 and C-3PO in the hieroglyphics in the Indiana Jones section of Great Movie Ride (GMR).
- The only part of GMR that ever get changed is the compilation film at the end. In 2008, they had Trading Places, Finding Nemo, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Groundhog Day, Lawrence of Arabia, All About Eve, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Lion King, a whole bunch of Charlie Chaplin, and much, much more.
- If you spend a day and a half, there will be less rushing around – but it’s definitely a park you can do in a day. Remember that Fantasmic, days will be more crowded… but you HAVE to go an a Fantasmic! day.
- The old Hollywood references go from common to obscure, so definitely spend some time “smelling the roses.”
- And ride Star Tours or die! 🙂
[…and scene! We are now done with DHS, or Disney-MGM.]
Next Chapter: one more interlude/Mouse Rant/weird section. Then part in part 18, we finally get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK- pt 1).