Disney MGM Studios at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is both a theme park and a working movie and television production facility all rolled up in one.
There are many entertaining tours and attractions that explain the work involved in making a movie or television show. But there are also some awesome thrill rides, spectacular shows, engaging live entertainment, and a fantastic firework show.
The architecture and landscaping of Disney's MGM Studios is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The surroundings make you feel like you are actually on an old-time Hollywood movie set.
Disney MGM Studios is small enough that you can see everything in just one day. While this is possible, it does take some planning before hand. Many of the shows have a set schedule. If at all possible, get a copy of the show schedule and plan your day accordingly. You should be able to see it all and still catch the fireworks at night!
My family usually visits Disney MGM Studios on the third day of our week-long vacation, after the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We all really enjoy the Studios. I simply love the whole atmosphere and the wonderful background music, while the boys are very much into learning all about the secrets of special effects and stunts! And of course, my husband loves the fireworks of Fantasmic. Our favorite things in MGM are Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, the Muppets, and the Stunt shows.
Getting to and from Disney MGM Studios is very easy and often fun. Depending where in the World (Disney World that is!) you are, you can take a bus, a boat, or the shoe-leather express (walk) to the Studios. Be sure to know the location of the pickup/drop off point for whichever mode you choose.
Our favorite transportation to or from the Studios is the boat that goes between MGM and Epcot. It is a relaxing ride with stops at the Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk Resorts. We often plan a dinner at one of these resorts and use the boat to get to the restaurant. If you do this, leave yourself plenty of time before your ADR time.
Let’s explore the Disney Hollywood Studios!
The layout of Disney MGM Studios is not really easy to grasp. There is no main street or nice circular arrangement like you find in the other parks. When you enter the park, you are on Hollywood Blvd. Straight ahead at the end of the street you can see the giant Sorcerer Hat which is in Hollywood Plaza. I guess you could say this marks the center of the park. All the main sections can be accessed from this central plaza. Even though there are street signs scattered throughout, I still find it crucial to have an MGM map on hand at all times.
So, make sure to stop at Guest Relations just inside the park entrance to pick up the all-important Park Map and Showtime Schedule. You can also make ticket upgrades, find out where you can meet the characters, or pick up some Disney Dollars or a Birthday Button. The Cast Members at Guest Relations can also help with any questions or other concerns you have. This is also the location of the Lost and Found.
If you need to make dining reservations, there is a little booth set up at the intersection of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. This intersection is also the location of the Guest Information Board, which posts Disney Studios tips, show times and even attraction wait times.
Some other important locations at the Disney MGM Studios:
|Guest Relations||inside the Main Entrance on the left|
|Guest Relations||at Hollywood and Sunset Blvds.|
|Camera Center||The Darkroom on Hollywood Blvd.|
|Baby Care Center||near the Main Entrance|
|First Aid||next to Guest Relations at the Main Entrance|
|Lockers||Crossroads of the World kiosk at the Main Entrance|
|ATM||outside the Main Entrance|
|ATM||Toy Story Pizza Planet Arcade|
|Package Pickup||at the Lost and Found at the Main Entrance|
|Stroller Rental||Oscar’s Super Service, at the Main Entrance on the right|
|Wheel Chair Rental||Oscar’s Super Service, at the Main Entrance on the right|
Disney MGM Studios is open daily throughout the year. Park Hours vary by season and sometimes depend on Disney World Special Events. MGM also has Extra Magic Hours. This is when the park opens early or remains open late on certain days during the week. Guests staying at one of the Disney Resorts can take advantage of these extra hours.
Live entertainment and fireworks displays are a big part of any day at Disney World. In this department Disney MGM Studios does not disappoint! Broadway-style shows, movie adaptations, stunt shows and live street performances are guaranteed to entertain. Be sure to grab a Times Guidewhen you enter the park so you don’t miss out on these outstanding shows.
MGM also has a daily parade featuring all of your favorite Disney and PIXAR characters. This parade is a lot of fun with the characters riding in elaborately themed motorcars. There is usually someone telling jokes while everyone is lined up waiting for the parade to come down the street. The jokes are kind of corny, but let me tell you, the kids will love them. And you will soon tire of hearing them over and over!
If you’ve read any of the other park pages on this site, you know by now that my opinion is that a day at Disney World is not complete without…the fireworks!! MGM’s Fantasmic show cleverly combines water and fireworks in an explosively spectacular display. Sorcerer Mickey battles the Disney Villains amid blazing fire. Fantasmic is presented live at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. Fantasmic dinner packages are available at specific dining locations.
Speaking of dinner, the dining options at the Disney MGM Studios include some of the most entertaining restaurants on the Disney World property. You can eat in a convertible car at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant, or be served by Mom at the 50’s Prime Time Café. MGM has a nice variety of Table Service restaurants (where ADRs are strongly recommended), many Counter Service locations, and a bunch of places to grab a snack or a quick bite.
Character Dining is also available at certain meals and locations.
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