Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride is one ride I try never to miss at Hollywood Studios. The ride is located inside a reproduction of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Hand-prints and signatures of some of Hollywood's most famous stars can be found in the courtyard. Costumes and props from films, both classic and modern, can be found in the queue. After passing through the lobby area, you wind back and forth through the queue to the boarding area.

Disney recently updated the Great Movie Ride in partnership with Turner Classic Movies. I had a chance to ride it 2 days after they'd added the new voice-over, and I must say, I love the changes. Beginning with the pre-show you can watch in the queue, Robert Osborne, the host of TCM, shares a bit of the history of the movies, with clips of several classic films. After boarding your touring tram, which has bench seats and no restraints, you begin your wonderful journey through the history of the movies. The new voice-over, again by Robert Osborne, takes you deeper into each genre you pass through. You begin with the early musicals, then move into classics like Singing in the Rain. From there, you move into mob movies. There are two different skits that the cast members perform that remain unchanged. The first begins in the mobster scene. The second starts in the next scene, which represents classic westerns. (If you haven't seen both of them, be sure to ask a cast member if you can be seated in a specific show. They usually don't mind requests unless there is a problem with a particular skit that day.) Next up, you move into a scene from Alien, which no longer seems hokey thanks to Osborne's voiceover about the Sci-Fi genre. 

From there you move through an Indiana Jones scene and into the classic horror genre, where the cast members' skit continues. 

Next, you journey through adventure movies and into a scene from Casablanca, complete with dialogue from the "Here's looking at you, kid" speech. After a brief glimpse of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, you head into the final scene. This is a full room recreation of Munchkinland from the Wizard of Oz, complete with the Wicked Witch of the West. The ride ends with a montage tribute to the movies in general. It has been updated to include additional films, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Frozen. It's fun to see how many of the films you can name. (I can name most of them, although I'm not sure what that says about the number of movies I've seen.) A new photo spot has also been added near the exit. Now you can act the star and have your photo taken while pressing your hands into the (dry) cement.

The Great Movie Ride is an 18 minute journey through the history of the movies. I highly recommend it. Not only is it a fun and interesting ride, but it's a great chance to get out of the heat. If you want to skip the lines, FastPass+ is available. There are no height restrictions, but the scenes from Alien and the classic horror movies may be frightening for young children. Guests may remain in a wheelchair on the ride.

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