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Five things to try on your next trip

Stop.  No, don’t stop reading. Let me try this again. Stop doing the same old thing in the Studios.  For years I was in the same position I think many of you are in right now. I would get the Studios, ride Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Star Tours, Muppetvision, the Great Movie Ride, eat somewhere, throw in another attraction or two you like to do and then repeat year after year.  For a while it was fine but after a while everyone needs to stop doing the “usual” and try something new.  Believe it or not, there are things to do outside of the attractions on Sunset Boulevard and I think if you try one (if not all of these) five things to do in the Studios you may discover some new things to throw into the usual mix that you never thought to give a shot.

  1. Streetmosphere: I like to bang the Streetmosphere drum quite a bit but it’s for a darn good reason.  Many guests ignore Streetmosphere, either because they’re “in the way” or they don’t have time for the shows but in all honesty, these Citizens of Hollywood are very talented.  There are two types of Streetmosphere: individuals and group skits.  For starters, try a group show because they’re less intense and you don’t have to feel pressured to talk back.  Just look for a group of Streetmosphere characters somewhere on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard and watch them go.  I’ve spent more and more time over the past year watching the shows and they are very funny and it’s a different show each time since much of it is improv comedy.  Once you get acclimated to the group shows, try walking up to one of the characters that is walking down the street.  My favorite is to tell one of them someone in your group has a big crush on them; it’s a lot of fun.

  2. Draw something: Somewhat hidden inside the Magic of Disney Animation is the Animation Academy.  In there, an artist instructs the audience how to draw some famous Disney characters and you can try it out yourself.  For years I skipped this because I’m not big on drawing and didn’t think it would be interesting.  Well, I figured I should try it out for the sake of this site.  Let me tell you, I’m hooked.  It’s great to see who in your group can draw the best (or the worst, as that can be often just as fun).  The character you draw changes each session and everyone I’ve brought (or dragged) in to it has loved it.  Oh and for some reason I’m great at drawing Winnie the Poo…but no one else. Go figure.

  3. Have a laugh: If you found Muppetvision 3D even the slight bit funny, then try this activity out.  Go to the Stage One Company Store, which is the gift shop that you find on your left as you exit Muppetvision (it’s also across from Mama Melrose or Pizza Planet).  No, I’m not sending you to this gift shop to buy something (but feel free to).  Instead, allocate 15 minutes or so to look up…and around for all of the visual gags hidden in this shop.  It does help if you’re familiar with the Muppet films like The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppet Movie, along with the Muppet babies show.  There are a lot of really funny jokes hidden here in the form of signs, visual gags and just plain weird stuff.  Be sure to look for the payment methods available to those staying at the Happiness Hotel for starters.

  4. Find the Twilight Zone: Looking for Hidden Mickeys can be fun but in the Studios, it’s about the Tower of Terror (don’t act like you’re not going to ride it anyway in addition to these suggestions) so while you’re in line and around the attraction, look for a number of references to the old Twilight Zone episodes (that would be the first edition of the show in the 60’s in black and white).  There are a lot of them and some better hidden than others.  Since I don’t think everyone is well versed in the show (or well enough to recognize them all), refer to this list I’ve compiled on our sister site.  This is a great way to spend some time and see if you can find them all. Then go ride (again).

  5. Go on a dessert tour: You could do this at any park but we’re about the Studios and although I’m not the biggest fan of some places to eat the Studios for their usual fare, I can say the desserts are unique and worth your time.  Try the s’mores at the 50’s Prime Time Café or a ____ at the Sci-Fi Dine-In (Yes, you read that right, I did actually tell you to go there), a milk shake at the Brown Derby and finish it off with ____ at Mama Melrose.  Still have room?  Try a cheese filled pretzel at Min & Bills Dockside Diner or ice cream from Dinosaur Gertie’s.  And then of course go walk it all off.

The key to this is to keep an open mind about trying new things at the Studios.  I’m sure I don’t need to encourage you that much to try number five (those s’mores are amazing) but if you think you’ve done it all (or everything that interested you) give one or all of these a shot. The key is to mix it up and try new things and see how you like it.  When you combine these new activities with some of your favorites, I think you’ll find yourself with a nice problem on your hands…too much to do!

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 by