With the addition of Toy Story Land and the eagerly-awaited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios is quickly becoming the park to beat at Walt Disney World! There are so many exciting new changes being made here, but the park also has a fascinating history. Just how much do you know about Hollywood Studios, past, present and future? Let’s find out!
1. What code name is used to refer to Galaxy’s Edge?
To keep things hush-hush (not to mention fun), Disney has a code name for Galaxy’s Edge: “Frontierland Expansion Project”. Which sounds WAY more boring than it actually is! The new rides in Galaxy’s Edge aren’t left out – they have their own code names too. Rise of the Resistance is referred to as “Alcatraz”, while Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is called “Big Bird”.
2. What is the longest-running stage show at a Walt Disney World theme park?
There are lots of opportunities to enjoy live theatre and music at Walt Disney World, whether you’re chilling at your resort or spending the day at a theme park. And the show that holds the title for longest-running stage show in a WDW park is, appropriately, a tale as old as time! You guessed it – it’s Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, which has been delighting audiences since it debuted in 1991 – on the very same day the beloved Disney film premiered!
3. What other WDW park did Hollywood Studios almost become part of?
Before Hollywood Studios (and its previous incarnations) existed, there were plans to have a movie pavilion as part of Disney’s Epcot, between the Land and Imagination pavilions. But the idea was so fantastic that Disney’s then-CEO instead used it as the foundation of an entire new theme park – Hollywood Studios!
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4. How tall is the guitar at the entrance to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith?
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is one of the few thrill rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and this wild ride was the first in Walt Disney World to take riders upside down. The larger-than-life guitar at the entrance of this popular attraction is a whopping 40 feet tall!
5. How old is Gertie the Dinosaur?
While not nearly as old as her real-life counterparts, Gertie the Dinosaur is no spring chicken! The massive dino houses Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction, and she’s based on a character created back in 1914: Gertie the Trained Dinosaur. One of the very first animated film characters with a specific (and beloved) personality, Gertie paved the way for all other animated film characters after her, including Mickey Mouse – and Walt himself recognized her importance in the history of animated film. Imagineers created the version of Gertie in Hollywood studios as a tribute.
6. Which Disney animated movies were fully produced in Hollywood Studios?
Back when Hollywood Studios was known as Disney-MGM Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida was located here. This meant that in addition to its theme park duties, a lot of Disney animated films were partially produced here. But only three were fully produced here: Mulan, Brother Bear and Lilo and Stitch. Fun fact: though the animation studio closed in 2004, it was later transformed into Star Wars Launch Bay!
7. How tall is Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?
Disney Imagineers watched over 100 episodes of the classic show “The Twilight Zone” while researching this iconic ride! Its ridiculous height is just one of the terrifying things about this attraction. But just how tall is Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? It’s the second-tallest ride in Walt Disney World at 199 feet tall – Expedition: Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom has it beat by only half a foot!
8. Where can you find one of the biggest Hidden Mickeys on WDW property?
Did you know there’s a Hidden Mickey that’s so big, you’d have to take a helicopter or plane ride to see it? It’s located in Hollywood Studios, and it was created in the 1980s. If you’re ever lucky enough to check out the park from the air, look at Echo Lake, which makes up Mickey’s right ear, with the rest of his face visible in the courtyard near the Chinese Theater.
9. How many gallons of dancing water are used in Fantasmic!?
If you want to end your day at Hollywood Studios with a bang, head to the evening spectacle Fantasmic!. It’s full of pyrotechnics, lasers, Disney characters – oh, and a 40-foot-tall dragon. One of the stars of Fantasmic! is the magical dancing water used throughout the show – an unbelievable 1,000,000 gallons of it, to be exact!
10. What famous Star Wars drink did Disney Imagineers invent for Galaxy’s Edge?
Star Wars fans will of course be familiar with blue milk, the most famous drink in the movies. Disney Imagineers created their own version of blue milk for Galaxy’s Edge, but because of the warm climate, the beverage is not actually made of milk – it’s a plant-based creation that looks and tastes more like a berry-and-melon-flavored frozen smoothie. There’s also a green milk version, from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi; it is rumored to taste like tropical fruit.