As much as I like my theme park thrills and e-ticket attractions, some of my fondest memories of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and of Walt Disney World Resort in general, are of smaller moments not found on my touring itinerary.
These “Take Five” moments offer a bit of a break in the overscheduling that die-hard Disney fans like myself tend to commit to. So in between scoring my next FASTPASS or showing up for my ADR, between the first ride and the last fireworks, I seek out “Take Five” moments to relax and enjoy the Disney magic.
Once you look for them, you’ll find “Take Five” moments in all Disney theme parks. In “Take Five” at Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom I mentioned the joys of a game of cutthroat checkers, among other options, and in “Take Five” at Walt Disney World: Epcot I praised the opportunity to become a Club Cool soda connoisseur
Here are a few of my favorites at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS), where the park’s theming makes taking a “Take Five” – clapboard in hand – feel especially appropriate.
Citizens of Hollywood: The talented Disney Cast Members collectively referred to as the Citizens of Hollywood include stars and aspiring actors, talent agents and directors, street cleaners and police officers. The Citizens enliven Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, with their improvisational antics inviting guest participation.
Because this form of Streetmosphere promises unpredictable interactions with guests, the Citizens of Hollywood are must-do DHS experiences. Just watching the Citizens perform is worth planning as part your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; participating is worth the price of admission.
Tour Old Hollywood via The Great Movie Ride: Seeing as DHS celebrates Hollywood, it’s appropriate to include “Take Five” moments that pay tribute to movie (and television) magic. Embedded in the cement outside The Great Movie Ride, which is housed in a full-scale reproduction of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, are the autographs, handprints and footprints of famous Hollywood celebrities.
Some famous names include John Travolta, Carol Burnett, Charlton Heston, Rue McClanahan and George Lucas (with creations R2D2 and C3PO). As a bonus, The Great Movie Ride’s queue features a rotating series of props fun for movie-lovers, such as Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wiizard of Oz.
For yet more Hollywood, visit the A.T.A.S. Hall of Fame Plaza, located next to The American Idol Experience. It features bronze busts of television stars, including Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball and, yes, Walt Disney. Or “Take Five” at the American Film Institute Showcase, a walk-through movie memorabilia exhibit. The current exhibit, though subject to change, is “Villains: Movie Characters You Love to Hate.”
The Magic of Animation Interactive Workstations: This building houses The Magic of Animation tour; the Animation Academy, where guests learn to draw a Disney character; and a meet-and-greet character area. Also here are interactive stations offering creative ‘Take Five” play for guests of all ages: work with sound at The Sound Stage, demonstrate an eye for color with Digital Ink and Paint , or discover your Disney alter-ego with the “You’re a Character” quiz.
Streets of America Photo Shoot: Every Disney theme park offers Kodak-worthy moments, but those at DHS encourage budding celebrities to ham it up. I’m fond of the photo ops at Muppet Vision 3-D or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, but it’s the Streets of America that wins for cheesy tourist fun.
Streets of America features forced-perspective façades of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other locales. The sets are all very fake Hollywood, deliberately so, perfect for not-so-serious digital souvenirs. For a Singin’ in the Rain reference, pose with the umbrella attached to a streetlight that faces the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
Bonus Take Five, Muppet Vision 3-D: The Muppet show is one of Disney’s best attractions with a built-in “Take Five.” Its exterior, queue and pre-show areas are filled with visual puns and wordplay. It’s so well done that guests linger in the pre-show area; I’ve skipped the actual show to soak in the details and rewatch the 12-minute pre-show video.
While there are too many elements to cover here, and part of the fun is in discovering them yourself, are a few Muppet Vision 3-D gags to look for:
- At the Muppet fountain, look for a hidden Mickey.
- In the queue the ticket window has a sign that says “Back in 5 minutes/ key is under mat.” Be sure to check under the mat.
- The queue also contains a directory and several stage doors filled with funny wordplay.
- In the pre-show area, look for “a net full of Jello,” which when quickly said aloud references Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. (What, you thought I was going to say Cubby O’Brien?)
So take a minute to Take Five at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you’re like me, you might find you enjoy these experiences so much fun that you’ll want to Take Ten!
Author: Debra Peterson
Website: Debra Peterson is the National Disney Travel writer at Examiner.com.
- Walt Disney World Fun Facts (chipandco.com)
- Every Day’s a Holiday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (chipandco.com)