One of the original attractions of Disney’s Hollywood Studios of Walt Disney World in Florida still in operation today is the Studio Backlot Tour. Of course, the attraction has undergone several changes since first opening, but it still remains true to its original purpose – provide guests with an inside look at the movie industry.
The attraction first opened on May 1, 1989, along with the park itself, which at the time was named Disney-MGM Studios. It seemed like an ideal part of the park which itself was created around ideas of the movie industry. Several of the original portions of the attraction have been removed, but it still can be quite entertaining and even a bit informative and well worth some of your precious park time.
When guests first arrive at the attraction, they start lining up in a queue area. It is while in this queue that a cast member finds four volunteers to aid in the movie effects demonstration that will be offered next.
Guests are then led into the water effects demonstration area currently designed to be reminiscent of the Pearl Harbor movie and called Harbor Attack! Here, guests are shown how some of the more common water effects are created including how it is made to look like torpedoes and bullets are being shot at boats and other water craft. The volunteers chosen earlier participate in this portion and are significantly drenched in water. (Disney does provide them with water gear to help prevent their clothes from being soaked.)
After this, guests are directed towards a warehouse which houses many props used in movies with lots of them tagged to indicate what they were used in. They then board a tram for the riding portion of the attraction.
On-board the tram, guests see the bone-yard filled with vehicles they might recognize from past movies as well as a picturesque view of the “Earful Tower,” but the highlight of this portion of the ride is a stop in Catastrophe Canyon. Here, in a rocky barren desert setting, a tanker truck is set ablaze during an “earthquake” before a wall of water comes splashing down. Once complete, the tram moves on and Catastrophe Canyon “resets” itself for the next tram.
All in all, the attraction is entertaining and will give you the opportunity to learn some movie effects magic.
For more videos and reviews of Disney rides, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.
Thanks to kenningvids who provided the video shown above.