Yesterday I began a two parter on what we know as Walt Disney World! There are many people who have never been to Disney World, and don’t realize how much is offered there. To recap from part 1, within WDW there are 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, countless resorts, and a major shopping and dining district. Yesterday we took a look at the two parks that have been at Disney World the longest- Magic Kingdom, and Epcot, and today we will be taking a look at the newer parks, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
The third park that opened up at Walt Disney World was “MGM Studios.” It opened on May 1, 1989. The theming at this park was designed after the golden age of Hollywood. The MGM Studios name was changed in January of 2008 to “Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”
Much like it’s predecessors at the resort, Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Hollywood Studios is divided into several areas, each with unique theming. At Hollywood Studios you will find-
Streets of America
Hollywood studios is a well rounded park for families and thrill seekers alike. You will find more thrilling attractions like Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rockin Roller Coaster, as well as more family oriented attractions like Disney Junior Live On Stage, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Toy Story Midway Mania.
Hollywood Studios is also home to the Star Tours ride, so many Star Wars fans greatly enjoy this highly themed area of the park! Because of the huge worldwide following and love of the Star Wars movies, Hollywood Studios is host to Star Wars Weekends. For four weekends (usually at the end of May and beginning of June) Star Wars essentially takes over the Hollywood Studios parks. There are meet and greets with Star Wars characters from the movies and cartoons, special parades and overall the force is very strong in the park during that time. (Also side note, it has been confirmed that Star Wars will have a stronger presence in the Disney parks after the acquisition of the franchise. There is concrete details as to what will be coming to the Disney Parks, but to me it would make the most logical sense to merely increase the Star Wars area that is already present at Hollywood Studios).
Map of Hollywood Studios
The newest park that was added at Disney is Animal Kingdom. It opened on Earth Day (April 22) 1998. Although Walt Disney himself never lived to see the Florida parks opened, if he were alive today I feel that he would have a special love for the Animal Kingdom. Walt loved animals and had a passion for conservation. He actually wanted the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom to include real animals, and when that proved to be completely unrealistic they decided to go with Audio Animatronics. Walt’s vision of using real animals is the basis for the Animal Kingdom park. The wonderful thing about the Animal Kingdom park is that it is way more than a zoo. It is a way to have up close experiences with the animals as well as giving the animals TONS of space to roam. The animals obviously have some forms of containment to keep say the tigers away from the elephants, but the space that is given to the animals to roam is massive. Because of the space for the animals the Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four parks. Here at the Animal Kingdom you can learn about the conservation of animals, take a safari ride, and visit the top of Mount Everest.
Animal Kingdom is divided into the following areas-
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
And currently under construction- Pandora (aka Avatarland)
Animal Kingdom Map
What I just described are very very brief overviews of the two parks, keep following my blog and I will be getting into more details from each individual park along the way!