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Cue Magic and...Action!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maybe its the glitz, the glamur.

Maybe its the atmosphere, aroma.

Or maybe it's because its where, for me, the magic all began.

My first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort was in 1997. At the time, being a teenager and having no idea what to expect, I was pretty excited for the opportunity to go to the most magical place on Earth with my family for the first time. Little did I know back then that years later I would be continuing my love for the Walt Disney World Resort and all of its magic.

Upon checking in at the Holiday Inn International Drive, we drove our car to Disney's Hollywood Studios, which of course, was known at the time as Disney-MGM Studios. Upon walking up to the gate, I remember getting a shiver as I looked up at the magnificent Crossroads tower, with Mickey on top, waving to all of the guests that were thrilled to enjoy a fun-filled day at the Studios.

For me, Disney's Hollywood Studios captures true cinematic magic that no other vacation destination will ever be able to accomplish. Living in central Canada, I have been across our country. Having travelled to British Columbia, I have climbed the Rocky Mountains and have hiked the forests in Ontario. Sure, all of them have their own form of magic, but there's something about The Mouse that makes Disney Hollywood Studios the most magical of them all.

We were anxious to try The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, but with a massive line (it was spring break), the first adventure we took in was Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. What a great show. Being a film-maker and stage-actor here in Winnipeg, I have a true appreciation for Hollywood and its cast members in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Tower of Terror was a spectacle in itself. Having always had a personal fascination for old haunted buildings, where could you see a better example?! The first ride on Tower of Terror was such a rush - and I'm not talking just about the drops. The excitement and rush of Tower of Terror begins from the moment you lay eyes on the run-down Hollywood Tower Hotel. The queue atmosphere - complete with over-grown plants and ghostly music - set the mood from the moment you walk through the front gates.

The chilly hotel lobby has an unforgettable scent and feel. It was an astounding feeling I had never experienced in my life.

The magic of Disney was captured upon our evening trip to Fantasmic!. Now after being overwhelmed by sights and sounds and smells all day, this one finally brought out the tears of happiness in me. The colors, the lights, the fountains, the fun…Disney captures every element of awe in this production.

On the drive back, I remember I couldn't stop talking about the day we just had. Not to mention our first trip in a Star Speeder, a visit to The Backlot Tour, and The Great Movie Ride.

It was this day and these events where my love for the Walt Disney World Resort was born.

The Disney Hollywood Studios have always had a special place in my heart for the aforementioned reasons. The glitz and glamor of Disney Hollywood Studios will always strike me as the most magical part of a Walt Disney World vacation. So many stories of movies and magic, and I'm honored to be able to share them with you here on Studios Central, at Inside the Studios!

About this column

Chris Reid is the host of Cosmic Reid's Starlight Cafe on Magical Mouse Radio and loves to talk about Disney's Hollywood Studios


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