Posts Tagged by Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Air-Conditioned Attractions

Kill-Marry-RefurbThis is the perfect topic in the heat of the summer!  But where to begin?!  There are so many Air-Conditioned Attractions in Walt Disney World….and thankfully so!  Could you imagine surviving the Florida heat and humidity without it?!? Since there are so many options to choose from, I decided to stick with one park for this one and show Disney’s Hollywood Studios some love.  Lights, Camera, Action!

Kill – The American Idol Experience

This is the 2nd time that I’ve chosen The American Idol Experience to kill, the first was for live musicals in the parks.  Can you tell I’m not a fan??  Again, this goes back to wasting prime space on an outdated show.  I know that the contestants go through an audition process to get into the show, but it seems like you might run the risk of watching bad karaoke in there.  Now maybe if they had a bad karaoke show that also included some cocktails…that could be entertaining 😉

Refurb – The Great Movie Ride

This is by far one of my favorite attractions, but at this point it is purely for nostalgic reasons.  I remember being in awe of this when it first opened 25 years ago…ugh I feel old!  But that’s the problem, nothing has changed in 25 years!  Yes they updated the final movie a while back, but that is still incredibly dated.  This attraction needs a complete redo.

Everything from the beginning through the western should stay…that’s historic.  And Indy, leave that in there because those films are a classic.  Alien, I think we can probably some up with some more current options for the Sci-Fi/Horror genre.  Tarzan, Casablanca, Fantasia…none of that resonates with people today.  Let’s update that.  Wizard of Oz is not only a classic, but the set is gorgeous so that should stay as well.  Last but not least…the film…probably the easiest thing to change…get on it!

No Hat!!! Photo Source

No Hat!!!
Photo Source

Marry – Star Tours

I have always loved Star Tours and it has just gotten better since the refurb back in 2011.  You never know what to expect and each ride is very exciting!  The queue is fun and the gift shop makes for some great photo ops.  It is definitely one of my favorite ways to cool off on a warm day at the Studios!


So those are my choices…what about you?  What air-conditioned attractions at the Studios would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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A Better Course for runDisney 10K Races at Walt Disney World

I’m not impressed with the current 10K race course at Walt Disney World.  After running my first 10K in Disneyland on the BEST race course I’ve ever run, I was incredibly disappointed when I saw what WDW had in store for their 10Ks.  When I actually ran the course in February during the Glass Slipper Challenge, it was exactly what I had expected…boooooooring for the first half and then fun for the second half.  For someone who always struggles through the first few miles, this long stretch of road on Epcot Center Drive was the worst thing.


With Disney’s Hollywood Studios being so close to Epcot, I wondered why couldn’t this race go through both parks?  Was it too far?  So I headed over to Map My Run to see if it might be possible, and guess what??  It is!


Look at that…same start and finish line in the Epcot parking lot, but with a run through TWO parks.  It works perfectly!  Let’s check it out…

The first mile is the same as the current course as we head out East through the Epcot gates, but instead of making that sharp right onto Epcot Center Drive, we go left and head South on World Drive for about one mile.  I’ll admit, the first 2 miles or so are still pretty crappy, but the good news is that we are now entering the Studios at mile 2.5!

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We enter backstage behind The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and we enter the park next to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (similar to the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Course).  We run up Sunset Boulevard, down Pixar place, up the Streets of America and then back down Hollywood Boulevard to the park exit.  That’s just about a mile in the park!  So instead of entering your first (and only) park at 3.5 miles, you’ve already been through one and are moving on to your second!


The course will then follow the jogging path down towards the Boardwalk and Crescent Lake.  We will go past the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and onto the International Gateway to enter World Showcase right at Mile 5.


The final 1.2 miles will be spent in Epcot rounding World Showcase Lagoon (in the opposite direction from the current course), through Future World and back out into the parking lot for the finish!


This course is exactly 6.2 miles and in my opinion MUCH more entertaining!

Will it cause some additional traffic problems on World Drive and Buena Vista Drive?  Probably.  But because it is a 10K, all the runners should be off of those roads by 7:00 am at the very latest…plenty of time before any of the parks open.

Will it be more costly to have to staff two parks for the race instead of one?  Sure.  But seriously, with all the money they are now charging for these races, I think they can probably spare the expense.

What do YOU think?  How do you feel about the current WDW 10K course?  Do you like my course idea? Where would your ideal WDW 10K take you?

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Kill, Refurb, Marry: Live Musicals in the Parks

Kill-Marry-RefurbThis month’s theme for Kill, Refurb, Marry is Live Musicals in the Parks.  I’m really not a fan of live shows.  I’m not quite sure what I don’t like exactly, but I think I just enjoy “moving” attractions more and would rather spend my time there.  But even though they aren’t my favorite, I do appreciate them and try to see each show at least once.  You have to try everything at least once, right?? Ok so here are my picks…

Kill – The American Idol Experience

Ok, this one I haven’t actually seen.  I do NOT enjoy American Idol, so I can’t imagine spending my precious park time watching a live version.  The location is prime real estate for something awesome to lived up the Studios…so come on Disney, AI is totally past it’s prime!


Refurb – Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage

This might not be a fair assessment since I haven’t actually seen this show, but the reasons why I haven’t seen it are why I feel it needs a refurb.  Basically it’s the uncomfortable looking bleacher seats and the outdoor venue that keep me away.  Sitting on hot metal doesn’t seem like a comfortable way to spend an afternoon.  Also, I think since I’ve seen the full Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast, I don’t really feel the need to see this abbreviated version.  However if they moved it to an indoor venue (say the AI theater!) then maybe I would be more inclined to see it.


Marry – Finding Nemo – The Musical

Even though I feel this show is a bit long, it is gorgeous.  The puppetry, the music, the sets…it all works so perfectly together.  I love the story of Finding Nemo…the theme is sweet and the humor is wonderful.  To see it live on stage with those larger than life puppets is just amazing.  I have to say that crush is probably my favorite 🙂


So those are my choices…what about you?  What live musicals in the parks would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place Blog, Mouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Registration Is Now Open!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is returning for its 3rd year and is open for registration…will you be traveling into the 5th dimension?!?

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This nighttime race begins at 10:00 pm in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and takes runners towards Animal Kingdom, to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and back to the Studios.  Runners will re-enter the park at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, wind through the Streets of America and finish in the shadow of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The race is followed by the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash, which will begin at 10:30 pm.  Spectators can purchase tickets to this party and enter before the race is over.  Not only will runners and spectators have exclusive access to the Studios, but most headliner attractions will be open.  The attractions include: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (obviously), Star Tours, Muppet-Vision 3D, The Great Movie Ride, and Toy Story Mania!

Last year they made great improvements to both the race and the after party, so I’m hopeful that this year will be even better.

Also taking place on the race weekend is the Disney Happy Haunted 5k Trail Run and Kids Races, both of which will be taking place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Click here to register!  Pricing for the events are as follows (these events sell out VERY quickly, so register as soon as possible!):

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler

  • $145 by March 25, 2014
  • $160 between March 26 and May 27, 2014
  • $175 on or after May 28, 2014

Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run

  • $55 by May 29, 2o14
  • $65 on or after July 30, 2014

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 by July 29, 2014
  • $20 on or after July 30, 2014

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30 by July 29, 2014
  • $35 on or after July 30, 2014

Disney Villains Hollywood Bash

  • $55 by May 28, 2014
  • $65 between May 29 and September 3, 2014
  • $75 on or after September 4, 2014

As usual for most runDisney events, packet pick-up will be required at the race Expo held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning October 3, 2014.  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend.

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I had hoped to be “Perfectly Terror-ific” (I totally just made that up!) but I think I am going to pass on this race for 2014.  While I love the theme, the medal and the after party, I just don’t enjoy the course and it is still too hot that time of year in Orlandao.  But having said that, many people LOVE this course and find the distance to be very manageable.  I think for this year, I will be opting to cheer on all of the runners and just have fun at the terror-ific after party 🙂

Want to see my recaps from prior years?  You know you do! 😉



Will you be registering for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler?

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The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

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It’s that time of year again…the holidays have arrived in Walt Disney World!  By far one of my favorite things to experience this time of year are The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  This spectacle actually began in 1986 at the home of Jennings Osborne in Little Rock, AK.  It was a gift to his daughter that continued to grow each year.  In fact, it grew to be so big that his neighbors filed lawsuits against him and it was eventually shut down by the US Supreme Court in 1995.  To keep the show going, Disney offered to move the show to the old Residential Street at Disney-MGM Studios.  And the rest is history…

I first experienced the lights in 2000 when they were on Residential Street and I remember being in total awe!  Guests were able to walk through the “neighborhood” that was lit up with lights as far as the eye could see.  When Residential Street was demolished in 2004 to make room for the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show, the show was moved to its current home on the Streets of America.  While this doesn’t quite have the charm of Residential Street, it is the most logical place to house the show.

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The details are AMAZING aren’t they??  The display contains over 10 miles of LED rope lights.  Whoa!  Imagineers have placed hidden Mickey’s all throughout the display which are really fun to find and make sure you keep an eye out for the black cat!

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Do you know the story of the black cat?  Well when the Osborne family sent over all of their lights, one of their Halloween decorations somehow got mixed in.  So the Imagineers decided to incorporate it into the display.  Now every year they hide it in a new spot for guests to find!

Oh and did you know it snows there?

06 Osborne-LightsAnd you can get some fun holiday treats as you’re walking around.  Spiced Egg Nog or some Hot Cocoa are a perfect way to get you in the holiday spirit!

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In 2006, the display was kicked up to add programmable dimmers to the lights.  This allowed the lights to be set to music which is where the “dancing” fits into the name.  This is insane!  Check out these 3 videos to see what I mean…mind-blowing….

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think I’d go with Winter Wonderland.  That canopy is too cool!

Have you seen The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights?  Do you remember it on Residential Street?  If so, which do you like better?

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