View Full Version : Advice for 1st time MGM/Hollywood Studios

12-07-2007, 01:05 PM
First timer to MGM/Hollywood Studios. I consider myself an expert for both MK and Epcot. What tips do you have for a 1st time visit to MGM? Can someone explain the layout? I am most interested in meeting characters..any help with that? Are any of the resorts accessible by monorail/walking/boat from MGM?? I like to check them out...for future visits..as there will be plenty more, I'm sure!

12-07-2007, 01:36 PM
I certainly don't consider myself an authority, but I'll do my best to answer a few of your questions.

As far as resorts nearby, MGM has a dock for the Friendship Boats. The boats travel back and forth between Epcot and Disney Studios, with stops at the Dolphin, the Boardwalk, and the Yacht and Beach clubs. It is a GREAT way to go between the parks.

I don't know your age, or if you will have children with you, so it is difficult to make recommendations. The absolute BEST event in all of Walt Disney World (yes, better than the parades and fireworks at the MK), is Fantasmic. Since you've never been to Disney Studios, then you should definitely make Fantasmic your top priority!

There are many fun places to eat (Sci Fi and 50's Prime Time are two or our favorites). For the more-adventurous in your group, the Rock n' Roller Coaster is a "can't miss." Here are a few of our other favorites at the studios:
- Muppets 3D
- Beauty and the Beast Show
- Little Mermaid
- Great Movie Ride
- Backlot tour
- Star Tours
- Indiana Jones
- Stars & Cars
- Parade

For character greetings, they are everywhere! In the "main area" near the giant Mickey's Sorcerer hat, the CM's will set-up 3 to 6 lines with different characters for autographs and photos. You'll have your standard Mickey, Goofy, Chip&Dale, etc. But, you'll also get a few different ones (we've met Rafiki, Timone, Pooh, Mary Poppins, Stitch, Lilo, and others).

There are other character locations, too. At the end of the animation tour, there is usually a place set-up with the most-recently released movie's characters (perhaps it is Ratatouille at this time?). There is a place near the SciFi restaurant on Commissary Lane) where the Monsters, inc. characters are located, and you can usually find the Toy Story characters near Mama Melrose's/ Muppets 3D. Sometimes, the vehicles from the Cars movie are brought out onto the Streets of America.

I hope other people with MORE experience respond to your questions. The Studios is a great park, with plenty to do... especially if you've never been there before!

And, don't forget about Fantasmic. If you do nothing else at the studios, make sure you see Fantasmic! It is worth the trip to Walt Disney World, by itself!

12-07-2007, 02:23 PM
Thank you so much for your help! I'm SO excited for Fantasmic now!!

Oh and for more information, I am 25. Will be traveling with family to MK and Epcot but will be making the MGM trip solo.

Sean Riley Taylor's Mom
12-07-2007, 03:36 PM
I second Fantasmic! It is our favorite show in all of WDW. :thumbsup:

We love The Great Movie Ride. Beauty and the Beast is a must do for our family, as is The Little Mermaid. My boys both loved the Indiana Jones show, I enjoyed it too. The parade is always fun.

Try not to miss the preshow at Beauty and The Beast. The group, 4 for a Dollar, is amazing!!

MGM is a half day for us so, we usually get there after lunch around 1pm. See the afternoon parade, have dinner and see Fantasmic.

Have a great time!!

12-07-2007, 05:31 PM
One mans dream worth going to the studios by it self. And great movie ride is a must do. Eat at 50s prime time or sci fi.

A Big Kid
12-07-2007, 06:25 PM
If you like thrill rides, grab a fast pass for either RRnC or ToT, then ride the opposite attraction. When you finish, your fast pass will be ready!

Bobby T
12-08-2007, 03:21 AM
There are two 'versions' of the Great Movie Ride. If you have time, it's cool to experience them both. The difference involves your tour guide.

(And once you experience one, ask a Cast Member to put you in a ride vehicle to experience the other. They will be happy to do so.)

12-08-2007, 08:47 AM
If you have never been before, don't listen to all the people that say it is a half-day park. It is actually impossible to see all the shows in one day. I have found most people who say it is a half day park either have no intrest in the shows, or have been alot and only see a their favorite shows.

I do however, recommend that you stay away from the High School Musical Pep rally unless you actually enjoyed being pushed and shoved as everyone tries to get their child to the front.

I also recommend finding out what time "Mulch, Sweat, and Shears" plays. Also for anyone who has never seen it the Lights, Motor, Action Stunt show is worth seeing at least once.

baby minnie's mommy
12-08-2007, 10:32 AM
First thing to do when you enter the park:

Grab a map AND a show time guide. And maybe get out your pen or something to write with.

Find a nice out-of-the-way spot to relax for a minute and study the show times and where they are on the map. Organize your day based on what you want to see, their times, and their location.

Then hit the pavement and have a good time! :thumbsup:

12-08-2007, 11:02 AM
Fantasmic is great!! You should definetly see it!!
Characters can be found at the Animation place, and some can be found in front of the Lights, Motors, Action! show.
I agree to stay away from the HSM2 show, which takes place in front of the giant Sorcerer hat, I think.
The Indiana Jones show, The Great Movie Ride, Star Tours, Muppet*Vision 3-D, the Backlot Tour, One Man's Dream, the Animation Academy, Beauty and the Beast, Tower of Terror, and Rockin Roller Coaster are all must dos!
Also, try to catch the band 4 for a Dollar as the preshow to the Beauty and the Beast show! They are really good, as are Mulch, Sweat, and Shears!
For restaurants, Sci-Fi Dine-in, The Brown Derby, 50's Prime Time are good sit down restaurants, but Pizza Planet is a good fast food one too. It has an arcade too.
One of the coolest things about MGM/Hollywood Studios is that you can walk to a trillion different places! Epcot, the Boardwalk, the Swan and Dolphin... Or you can take a boat. But the boat wait can be lengthy, and there are many stops along the way.
Oh! And the line for Backlot Tour can be extra long right now because of the blockade next to it. It seems to put extra people in the line now, since they blocked off all of Mickey Avenue because of Toy Story Mania.

12-09-2007, 08:12 AM
First thing to do when you enter the park:

Grab a map AND a show time guide. And maybe get out your pen or something to write with.

Find a nice out-of-the-way spot to relax for a minute and study the show times and where they are on the map. Organize your day based on what you want to see, their times, and their location.

Then hit the pavement and have a good time! :thumbsup:

This is really good advice! This park is more about shows than rides, so it takes some corrdinating to see it all.

12-10-2007, 11:55 PM
As others have stated Fantasmic is a must do. Keep in mind that this show is normally packed and you often must arrive 1/2-1 hour before the show time. One major tip is that if there are two shows on the schedule go to the second show. Normally you can walk in just before it starts.

Two other must see shows are the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Lights Motors Action. These are two fantastic stunt shows and like Fantasmic they also can be very crowded depending on the time of day. Normally the first show of the day is least crowded.

There are other character locations, too. At the end of the animation tour, there is usually a place set-up with the most-recently released movie's characters (perhaps it is Ratatouille at this time?).

When I was there in November both Ratatouille and Incredibles characters where here.

12-11-2007, 10:55 PM
Okay, Here we go! You can get to MGM by boat or bus(Boats from Epcot or resorts on Crescent Lake). Once inside, you are on the "Town Square" of Hollywood's Version of Main Street U.S.A.: Hollywood Boulevard. It is lined with Shops like Mainstreet. Now, when you get to the end, you"ll be at the "hub". To you're right is Tower of Terror and Rock'n'Roller Coaster. To your left is Star Tours and Indiana Jones. The Chinese Theater at the hub houses the Great Movie Ride. A Park Map will give you Descriptions of each Ride.:mickey:Make sure to ride Rock'n'Roller and the Tower!:mickey:

12-12-2007, 05:11 PM
You asked about the resorts. They are accessible by walking or by boat. If you want to check them out, the boat ride would be a relaxing way to do so. Of course, these are the same resorts that are accessible from the International Gateway at Epcot. So you may want to save that for another day.

The Studios is not a half day park for my family. We normally spend 2 days of our week at WDW there. And if you want to see it all in one day, be prepared for a lot of walking and backtracking. I seem to walk more in this park than any other, as the headliners are not in a circle, but rather on opposite sides of a beam. A good plan is to head to Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster first thing. Get that done then head to the opposite side of the park for the other rides and shows you want to see. Have lunch at Sci-Fi if you really want a treat. And don't miss Fantasmic. Even if you are Really tired from criss-crossing the park. Make yourself go. It is my personal favorite of all Disney evening entertainment.
The Studios is a great park. Expect to have tons of fun! :mickey:

12-13-2007, 07:38 PM
Yes to all that's been mentioned. We usually do it as a 3/4 day.

If you have time, watch some of the performances in the streets that come up. Actually pretty well done and funny.

12-13-2007, 11:48 PM
I agree that FANTASMIC is a must... it is our favorite night show of all the parks. Totally amazing!! I also agree on 50's primetime cafe as a favorite place to eat. Our family must do's are Beauty and the Beast and the Great Movie Ride. If you like the thrills RNR and TOT are definately awesome!!

HAve fun going solo!!!

Polynesian Dweller
12-14-2007, 11:26 AM
Definitely take the suggestion of getting a map first and studying it a bit. The Studios is not a neatly laid out MK or Epcot and can be a bit confusing to get around the first time you do it. So the several minutes of planning time is well worth it.

The park is definitely at least a full day for the first timer, there's a lot to try out. Most 1/2 dayers (and we are among those) have been there a lot and don't repeat everything each trip.

Tower of Terror is our favorite attraction and would, as others have, suggest Indiana Jones, Muppets, RNR, and the Great Movie Ride. Star Tours is also good and the Walt Disney display gives a good history of the man and his parks.

Have a great trip!:mickey:

12-15-2007, 11:50 AM
I'm so excited for you to experience MGM for the first time Kriskay! :number1: It's so much fun to visit a WDW park for the first time! My family and I loooove MGM. I'm also 25 and I really enjoy the old hollywood vibe they've got going on there.:waycool:
My personal favorite ride is Rocking Roller Coaster and I also really like The Great Movie Ride. And of course I have to agree with previous posts that Fantasmic is amazing! Taking the time to walk through One Man's Dream is really cool if you're interested in Walt and WDW's history.
I hope you love MGM as much as I do. Have a blast!:mickey3:

Darin M
12-16-2007, 05:41 PM
Take the Backlot Tour first. It will get you into that Hollywood mood immediately.