Another original attraction that was first shown on the opening day of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is The Great Movie Ride. This momentous event occurred on May 1, 1989.
However, unlike the Studio Backlot Tour previously reviewed, the Great Movie Ride has remained relatively unchanged. Now some would consider the ride stagnant because of it, but many would agree that its comparatively static history is owed more to it being a classic attraction built to withstand the fads of more recent times.
The Great Movie Ride attraction of Walt Disney World is housed in a recreation of the famous and historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater of Hollywood which has been home to numerous movie premiers since opening over eighty years ago. Once inside the theater doors, guests are led through a roped queue leading past some famous movie props which at times have included a carousel horse from Mary Poppins and the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz.
From that section, guests enter another queue area that is in actuality a small theater showing trailers from movies of the past (hint, you will likely be seeing more of these movies and characters in the ride to come). Once lined up in front of a pair of swinging doors, the cast member will start letting guests through when they open and cast members inside will direct you to a certain row. These lines lead to large ride vehicles capable of sitting several people in a single row.
Once inside the vehicle, a cast member welcomes you and gives the appropriate safety spiel and the word ACTION is exclaimed as the vehicles start moving taking guests on a trip through the movies! Some of the scenes include the movies Footlight Parade, Singing in the Rain and Mary Poppins before a new set is entered.
Now, depending on how busy the parks are, the next scenes can be adjusted or shown in different order, but typically a gangster movie section is shown and another cast member acting as a gangster takes over the ride vehicles leaving the original cast member stranded. New scenes encountered include westerns with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and even a sci-fi movie section starring Sigourney Weaver and the Alien. Then, an action movie similar to an Indiana Jones where the gangster cast member gets greedy and goes for the jewel only to disappear with the original cast member returning.
Next up is a few more movie sets and scenes finally leading to the Wizard of Oz scene where guests are advised to follow the yellow brick road and end up in a large theater area where clips of movies are shown ending the ride.
Really, for anyone who enjoys the movies of yesterday (and today), the Great Movie Ride is a must-do and well worth the time.
For more videos and reviews of Disney rides, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.
Thanks to frikitiki who provided the video shown above.