Go back in time and see where it all began. Experience the glamor of old-Hollywood on an exciting slow-moving ride through the history of film. This is one ride where you can be a part of the movies as you sit back and enjoy The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Upon entering the full-scale reproduction of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now known as the TCL Chinese Theatre) you will wander through the lobby where you can look at the different props on display. The exhibits in the lobby continually change as new movies are made and costumes and props are acquired by Disney World. Make sure to save some time to look at the different props, they are unique and fun to imagine the actors wearing.
After making your way through the lobby you will enter the theatre where a variety of previews are shown on the screen.
As you make your way to the end of the line you will then enter what is a 1930s style sound stage where you will be seated in the moving theatre-style cars to experience the remainder of the show. It is now time for “Lights, Cameras, Action!” and music plays as you narrator begins to tell you about your adventure into the movies.
During the ride you are taken back in time by the life-sized animatronics acting out scenes from many of Hollywood’s classics. You will be in the middle of the action of an old western and a shoot’em up gangster flick.
The first series of movies that are introduced are the musicals, my personal favorite. You will see a pyramid of starlets recreating a scene from Bubsy Berkeley’s Footlight Parade, followed by Gene Kelly swinging from a lamp post in Singin’ In the Rain. “Chim Chimney, Chim Chimney,” sung by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke from the rooftops in London in Mary Poppins.
Coming around the corner is a tribute to gangster movies as you pass through the dark, dim back streets of 1930s Chicago. At the one of the back doors you will see James Cagney from a scene in The Public Enemy. Be careful through here, because your tour group could be taken hostage by a gangster trying to escape from the Feds. Mugsy takes over the tour as you are taken into the old west and see John Wayne sitting atop of his horse in the desert. Clint Eastwood watches the tour go by as he leans up against the outside wall of a saloon. If your car was high-jacked by a gangster the ride will just pass through. However, during peak seasons, half of the theatre cars will stop here and witness a bank robbery. This tour will be taken hostage by either Kate Durango or Kid Carson, who will continue the tour.
After being a part of a western you will enter Nostromo, the ship from Alien. A narrator from above takes over talking about what is about to happen. No matter what car you are on, both Mugsy and the bank robber get nervous and speed up the ride to get through. But it may be too late as an alien jumps out from the ceiling with loud screeches.
After racing out of the ship you suddenly enter an ancient Egyptian temple and see a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. A large alter appears around the corner of the room with the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, who stands at the top of the alter guarding a large jewel. The tour’s hijacker sneaks off to steal the jewel and – “poof” – disappears as the ride’s original tour guide appears. Remember, anything can happen in the movies.
Did you know that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck appear in hieroglyphic form in The Raiders of the Lost Ark set? Next time you are on this ride, see if you can find them. It is a little difficult at first, but once you know they are there, you will see them every time.
Throughout the remainder of the ride you will experience scenes from classic movies such as Tarzan, Casablanca, Wizard of Oz and Fantasia. During the grand finale you will see classic scenes from hundreds of movies on the screens above. As new movies are released Disney does enhance the grand finale by adding popular scenes from select new movies.
This is a must-see attraction that the entire family can enjoy, but be cautious with little ones, because some scenes can be loud and frightening. The Great Movie Ride is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resorts.