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Walt Disney World Resort - Disney's Hollywood Studios, Part 2


Indiana Jones
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Echo Lake

Epcot Map Echo Lake could have just as easily been renamed Lucas Avenue, since two of the major attractions in this area are based on the two Lucasfilm blockbuster franchises Star Wars and Indiana Jones. The problem is, neither were open attractions when Disney-MGM opened its gates in 1982.

In addition to a couple of table service and a few counter service restaurants that I haven't eaten at, is Sounds Dangerous an attraction based on sound that seems to live on the dangerous edge of becoming something else. It's an attraction that's open seasonally, and I haven't seen it open in years. I think...

Also here is the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, with bronzes of those that made Television the media it is, from Betty White and Harvey Korman to Walt Disney and Lucille Ball.

Echo Lake
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Echo Lake - The American Idol Experience

In February 2009, Walt Disney World opened The American Idol Experience, an attraction based on the wildly popular ABC television show. I've been to the attraction a couple of times, and have been impressed with the level of talent that comes in on a voluntary basis. But, I suppose, if you sing like me, you wouldn't be auditioning in the first place...

I doubt a lot of the people who audition are actual amateurs (and Disney holds auditions for the attraction every morning), but I'm not sure that's a requirement. Still, for an attraction at a theme park, it is pretty impressive.

Turn around every once in a while and take a look at the rear screen...

The American Idol Experience
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Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a stunt show loosely based on scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

They streamlined the show and took about 5 minutes out of it a few years back, but otherwise the attraction hasn't changed.

If you haven't seen it before, you do want to get there 15 minutes before the show starts to see the pre-show. It helps explain things (and sets up gags) that happen during the show.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
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Star Tours

Star Tours opened in Disneyland in the late 80's, the first motion-based simulator used as a thrill ride in an amusement park. It made its way to Disney-MGM in 1990, thrilling millions on a ride that millions wanted to experience, the trench scene on the Death Star in Episode 4.

Well, after 21 years, it got old enough to drink, and well, the rest is a sad story of decline...

Rumors of a replacement had been around for years, ever since Lucas mentioned it at one of the Star Wars conventions. They were using the motion-simulators in the now closed Wonders of Life to test things. George would show up every once in a while. Star Tours, always a walk-on now, had strange happenings in the far simulator that wasn't being used for guests anymore...

Finally in 2010, it was announced that Star Tours would be closing, the final rides would coincide with Celebration V, a Star Wars convention that was coincidentally being held at the Orange Country Convention Center.

The new attraction opened in mid-2011, as Star Tours - The Adventures Continue...

Star Tours
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Rex is still around, but in the queue marked "Defective"...

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue

The new attraction was not only badly needed, but it was well worth the wait. The motion base doesn't seem to be as jerky as the old attraction, and instead of watching the same movie over and over and over... again, the Imagineers and Lucasfilm are taking complete advantage of the digital age.

Instead of a single movie bring shown in front of you, you have tack-sharp, state of the art 3D HD digital projections, the best Lucasfilm can offer. It starts in the queue. Make sure you watch the movie being played above the doors. It explains why C3P0 is your pilot.

The attraction itself is divided into four acts. Each act has multiple versions, randomly selected. So each flight is different. Mostly.

Act 1: You have boarded the Star Speeder, and before you leave the hanger, you are stopped by the Empire. They accuse you of having a Rebel Spy on board. There are two versions of this.

Act 2: You escape the Empire. There are three versions of this.

Act 3: There are three versions of why there's a spy on your ship.

Act 4: There are three versions of delivering the spy to the Alliance.

So there are mathematically 54 possible combinations. In reality, it took me around ten trips through to see all the different segments. None are disappointments.

(See my August 2011 trip report for more details. There are mild spoilers there...)

Anyway, the motion is spot on with the video. The sound is terrific. It's supposed to be set between Episodes 3 and 4, but you get to fight Walkers on Hoth and if you're lucky, get to fly through the Death Star in Ep 6. But who cares? It's Star Wars like you've never experienced it before.

Anyway, the way they have the attraction structured, there's no reason they couldn't continually update by substituting segments. There could do things like a holiday overlay. Droids making toys. Think about it...

Star Tours--The Adventures Continue
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Commissary Lane

Epcot Map Commissary Lane has two restaurants. The Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater (which I've never eaten at) and the ABC Commissary, my worst rated food venue in DHS. You've been warned...

Yes, I only have one picture. Commissary Lane to me is a walkway between Streets of America to other places in the park...

Commissary Lane
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End Disney's Hollywood Studios - Part 2.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

  • 05/15/2010 - Page rewritten, images added and upgraded
  • 06/17/2012 - Complete replacement
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2