Toy Story Midway Mania is a family attraction that allows guests to use toy cannons to shoot objects via a 3D projection in a series of midway carnival games. In Toy Story Midway Mania, guests enter an area designed to look like the Pixar Studios campus of Emeryville, California where the toys from the Toy Story films have just discovered the latest toy that Andy has received and start to play with it. Andy has received a midway carnival game and leaves for the day and when Andy leaves, the toys come to life and start playing and there are so many toys that they flow out of the Pixar building (the Pixar building being the building where the Toy Story films “live”) and you as the guest are shrunk down to the size of a toy as you enter the queue and are instantly no taller than the electrical outlet that runs along Andy’s bedroom wall.
Inside the Toy Story Midway Mania queue, you will find a cavalcade of classic toys, many of which older guests will identify with from their own youth while younger guests will recognize many brands that still exist today, such as Candy land, Monkeys in a Barrel, Battleship and Chutes & Ladders. The highlight of the queue being an interactive Mr. Potato Head audio-animatronic that can sing, talk and move much of his body and perform some very amazing feats unseen by other audio animatronics to date.
The actual ride puts guests into ride vehicles that swiftly move guests in front of giant screens where guests put on their 3D glasses and use their cannons to shoot targets on the screen. Gameplay was designed by Disney Imagineers to cater to the skill level of anyone and guests who aren’t adept at video games will find the game adjusting to their skill level while advanced gamers (or at least those who re-ride quite a bit) will find the game becoming a bit more difficult. Toy Story Midway Mania begins with a training game (worth no points) and is meant to acclimate guests to how the game works. Very quickly guests are whisked off to play a series of four games that feature different Toy Story characters coupled with different game types such as ring toss, dart throws, baseballs and even egg toss. After each game guests can track on their onboard screen their overall score, their score for the round they just completed and their accuracy level. The game is more than just shooting targets as some targets trigger special effects (such as water being sprayed at the guests or wind being blow) as well as including secret targets that create big point opportunities and thrown into the mix are some fun Toy Story film references.
Tower of Terror is a high speed thrill ride that sends you falling down 13 stories. The premise of the ride is you hear a story of stars of the silver screen who sought rest and relaxation at the grand Hollywood Tower Hotel during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In 1939, during a gloomy Halloween night, 5 unlucky souls were riding down the hotel’s maintenance service elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again.
A ride could be down, then up, or maybe down again, or up and up—every experience is different and randomly selected by the Tower itself. There’s no way of knowing which direction you’ll go on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Over the years, the drop part has been spiced up with starts and stops and most recently a randomizer so every time you ride could be a little bit different.
At 199 feet, it is the second tallest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, shorter only than Expedition Everest’s 199.5 feet. The Tower of Terror is 199 feet high because of FAA regulations that require a fixed red light beacon to be added to the top of any 200-foot or taller building. Imagineers thought that the beacon would take away from the hotel’s 1939 theme.
The Great Movie Ride is an attraction for all ages that celebrates Hollywood and the history of film.
It all begins when you enter the full-scale reproduction of Hollywood’s historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. As you wander through the lobby, check out the rotating exhibit of costumes, props and set pieces on display, which may include a pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the classic The Wizard of Oz.
Waiting in the queue area, you are entertained by memorabilia from some famous movies and trailers for some other classics before being seated aboard the Great Movie Ride. This journey will put you in the middle of the action from gangster flicks of the 1930s to the adventure of contemporary classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Through the use of film footage, special effects and nearly 50 lifelike audio-animatronic replicas of legendary movie stars, some of the most memorable moments in motion picture history are recreated, including scenes from:
- Mary Poppins
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Singin’ in the Rain
- Tarzan the Ape Man
- The Public Enemy
- The Wizard of Oz
Several scenes for this attraction, particularly the scene from Alien (in which the dripping alien hovers above you) and the Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch, may be too intense for some children.
American Idol Experience brings the feel and energy of the “American Idol” reality television show to Walt Disney World in an effort to allow every day guests see if they have the vocal talents to compete in a miniature-sized version of the hit television show. Unlike the television show where contestants can earn a recording contract, the theme park version offers the winner of the daily finale show an opportunity to skip the auditioning line at any real “American Idol” open audition and hopes to convince the guest that they are seeing the next best thing to the show. Guests start out in a covered, but open-air waiting area where a video plays overhead starring former Idol finalist, Justin Guarini and introduces the entire attraction and includes also clips from the television show and interviews with other Idol finalists who share what the “American Idol” experience is like. A Cast Member then comes into the crowd to warm the crowd up and record some segments that may be used later in the show. Guests are then let into the 1,000 seat theater where they are given the rules of the attraction and shown how to vote. Afterwards, the real show begins.
In the audience, seats are equipped with armrest keypads, allowing each guest to vote for their favourite musical performance with instant results. Outside the theater, a stadium-sized LED screen provides a live simulcast of the day’s finale show.
Those with the highest number of votes will compete at the end of day in the grand finale show. The winner of this daily event gets a guaranteed reservation at a future American Idol regional stadium audition without having to wait on the long lines.
Studio Backlot Tour is a 35-minute, behind-the-scenes guided walk and tram ride showcasing the art of special effects in movies.
Go behind the scenes for a backstage look at how the magic of movies is made! Begin your guided tour with a short walk to a special outdoor viewing area and discover how battles and storms at sea are created with the help of water tanks and pyrotechnics. Lucky Guests chosen beforehand will get the unique opportunity to participate in the Harbor Attack, creating battle scenes at sea – if you’re interested, try to be near the front of the line.
After the brief show, embark on a jaunt through a prop warehouse where you just may notice a few familiar items made famous movies. Unfortunately, this area is really just a queue for the tram portion of the tour, and you may or may not have time to view the props in detail. Then, board an open-air, 200-seat tram and embark on a tour of the backlot, where lifelike sets seen in familiar television shows and movies mingle vehicles used in Disney movies.
One highlight is Walt’s private airplane–the one he used when scoping out the central Florida area for a place to build Walt Disney World. Other points of interest on the tram tour include the shops where props are made–and the wardrobe department where the costumes for use in Walt Disney World are made and maintained. Toward the end of your eye-opening ride, prepare to face nature’s fury during a detour through Catastrophe Canyon, where an earthquake, a flash flood and explosions and crashes are sure to delight everyone in the family. Sit on the left if you want to be closest to the action. (You might get a little bit wet, but it’s not bad at all.)
After the tour, visit the American Film Institute Showcase where guests of all ages can view costumes, props and sets from recent and classic movies and television shows.
Ready to go undercover with a television detective? Check out what happens when Drew Carey takes to the small screen as an actor who bungles his first on-camera case. When the hidden camera in his tie gets damaged, the video disappears and the theater is plunged into total darkness—leaving you to listen in as the hilarious mystery unfolds. Drew Carrey’s character pretends to be a security guard at a company suspected of smuggling diamonds. The sounds, are vivid and in many cases hair-raising, from the hum of a barber’s clippers on the back of your neck to a bunch of angry bees buzzing in your ears. Very quickly things go from bad to worse and the plot of the attraction is revealed. It’s quite funny and great for those with a well developed sense of humor.
Upon your entry into the theater, you will be given state-of-the-art headphones which you will wear throughout the show. When the lights go out and the mayhem begins, experience crystal-clear sound through audio technology, where a multitude of unique sounds will seemingly come at you from all directions.
Prior to boarding your Starspeeder, there are a galaxy of amazing Star Wars props and set pieces that place you right in the middle of the Star Wars universe. Outside the attraction stands a towering AT-AT and a replica of the moon of Endor. As you enter the attraction hanger, snap a picture of C-3PO and R2D2 busy at work. The amount of detail in this attraction’s queue makes it an attraction in itself
The setting is you’re just an average person trying to get to Endor on a cheap fare. Blast off on a thrilling space flight and embark on your very own Star Wars adventure! Venture back to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away as you board a Star Tours Starspeeder 3000 and begin what you think will be a relaxing tour of the Moon of Endor.
But when your absent-minded droid, RX-24, takes a wrong turn, hold on tight as you careen out of control through the vast solar system—bouncing around in all directions—and come face-to-face with comets, a massive Star Destroyer and even the dreaded Death Star!
This playground is a colossal 11,000 square-foot play area for little ones and preschoolers. Kids get the sense of what it feels like to be shrunk to bug size by Professor Szalinkski’s Electromagnetic Shrinking Machine. Climb, crawl and explore the larger-than-life playground that has:
- 52-foot long leaking water hose that sprays
- 40-foot tall bumblebees
- 30-foot tall blades of grass
- Jumbo plant-root mazes
- Slides made from oversized film strips
- Spider web climbing ropes
- Large chattering ants
This refurbished attraction has been converted from the first Chronicles of Narnia movie theme to the Prince Caspian sequel.
Your journey begins in the queue where you can test your knowledge of the Narnia stories. Then experience a unique look at the epic story, where you can watch special behind-the-scenes footage featuring the film’s director, Andrew Adamson.
Pass through a rockwork archway, and you enter Aslan’s Stone Table Chamber, the underground vault where Aslan sacrificed himself in the first movie. You stand amidst gorgeous stone carvings in one of the most awe-inspiring sets in the series, which is also a pivotal location in the film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Multiple screens, dimensional sound and in-theater effects help you live the story of Narnia firsthand, as you explore this walk-through chamber in depth, guided through the tale of Prince Caspian’s courageous battle against the evil King Miraz to win back his rightful place on the throne.
Guests can experience an exclusive opportunity to see behind-the-scenes footage, original concept art, storyboards, props and costumes from the latest instalments of “The Chronicles of Narnia.” They can explore Aslan’s stone table chamber set recreated directly from the original moulds, see blueprints used for the motion picture, and meet Prince Caspian.
MuppetVision 3D is a hilarious 3D film experience featuring most of your favorite Muppets.
Step into the warehouse of the Muppet Theater, where some of your favorite Muppet characters—including Rizzo, Gonza and Fozzy Bear—interact with you via television monitors during a fun-filled 12-minute pre-show extravaganza.
The doors open and you’re ushered into the 584 seat theater. As Sam Eagle said, move to the end of the row. No matter where you are, you’ll have a good view. Up in the balcony are Waldorf and Statl
As the lights fade and the 17-minute 3D movie begins, stare in amazement as you suddenly find yourself in the center of the action. Reach out and almost touch Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang—seemingly right in front of you—as you take off on a wacky, behind-the-scenes tour of Muppet Labs.
A new show begins every 30 minutes, and usually the entire waiting crowd will get in without issue.
Step into the G-Force Record studio where you see the five members of Aerosmith wrapping up a practice session before their big concert on the other side of town. The show starts soon, the band’s late and their manager is trying to get them on the road. You’re invited to come along. But how’s everyone going to get to the big bash?
The solution: You’re sent to the alley behind the recording studio to pick up your ride – super-stretch limousine that races across 3,400-feet of roller coaster tracks past Southern California landmarks and slices through the toughest of traffic on the LA freeways.
Each “car” is furnished with a 125 speaker, 24 sub-woofer, 32,000 watt, onboard audio system—built to blast. With the rock ‘n’ roll adrenaline pumping through your veins, your body feels the force from launch to loop at zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. The launched start immediately puts passengers through a full loop and then through mostly dark environments until you arrive at the concert.
This is one limo ride you’ll always remember!
It all ends with a tour through the gift shop and a chance to view yourself in a ride photograph, which of course, you can buy.
Experience the power of the Force as you train to become a junior Jedi Knight! If you’re selected from the audience to be one of approximately 25 Padawans, you’re invited to don a brown robe and pledge the sacred Jedi Oath. Then, grab a lightsaber (plastic) and hone your battle skills as you learn the age-old techniques from a real Jedi Master. Each show is different and depends heavily on audience participation and focuses on children between the ages of four and 12.
The “Jedi Master” teaches the kids a series of moves with the lightsaber (“block high,” “duck,” “cut low”) and they learn them in a specific order. They run through it a few times, until they all have it down.
Once the training is complete the show really goes into effect. Stormtroopers race onto the stage and yell “Alright, nobody move!” At that point the stage rumbles and starts to rise. Once the stage is at its full height the sculpture rises to reveal Darth Vader. Now Darth Vader sees the Padawans, and approaching the group, he offers to teach the Padawans the ways of the Dark Side.
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