The Disney Hollywood studios is an independent park of focused more on the aspect of filming making and action, namely all the lights camera and action stuff. It is located west of the Disneyland Paris hub, next door to Disneyland Park at the heart of the resort in Marne-la-Vallée. This part of the hub aims to celebrate the art and the artistry of storytellers from Europe and around the world who create the Disney movie magic.
Opened on March 16, 2002, the park is themed after a working film studio, with the “lands” typical of Disneyland parks being studio lots. The Hollywood studios is much smaller than the main park, the front main street (Or Front Lot Studio 1) is themed to Hollywood boulevard and is a retro recreation of a typical Hollywood Broadway in the mid 1930s. Shops, restaurants and diners reside here completely indoors, allowing the place to open even at times of bad weather.
The park itself is split into distinct lots: The Production Courtyard, Backlot and Toon Studio, not including the Toy story playland and Front Lot). Home to the backlot is the resident Lights Motors Action stunt show spectacular, only this one is in French! (Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular). What you get here are Hollywood style zip zamp boom boom gunfights on stunt bikes, cars and random guys falling off the roof burning type of action. The show was apparently highly sought after, with the amphitheater all packed to the brim when we were there.
The Studio Tram Tour- “Behind the magic” is a tram ride attraction. However, due to the snow, few of the attractions are not functioning with all their effects turned on, but at least the attraction is running to a large extent. In comparison, the tram tours are not as large as the Universal backlot, with only a small handful points of interest, there are even no live studio guide. On the contrary to what most expect of the backlot tram tours, the entire backlot area is actually all simulated, all the movie sets here are all just old props setup as exhibits and not “hot”, so don’t be expecting to turn up on the tours and potentially catching some filming for an upcoming blockbuster going on.
The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster- Avec Aerosmith is another ride in the backlot, it’s a Vekoma launched steel dark coaster set to the rock studio theme, staring aerosmith. Each train car here plays their own aerosmith music track as you hit the corners and inversions in total darkness with some surprises installed on track. You can identify the distinct music of each train (or the super stretch limos as the guys call it) by their uniquely themed license plate numbers.
The Toy Story Playland is the kiddy section of the park, with is rather nicely themed to the “Honey I shrunk the kids” setting- everything here is all jumbo sized, in the way that the toys here are all the rides themselves. This part of the park here is amazingly packed and crowded, mostly with children and accompanying adults. The rides here are rather tame and may appeal most to family people, who don’t mind spending hours queuing up for kiddy rides here. Rides here includes the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, which is a miniature cable drop ride, the Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin and the rather cool RC Racer which is essential almost like a viking pirate ship on tracks.
The Crush’s Coaster located in the Toon Studio is an ultra cool and heavily themed spinning coaster, complete with it’s own on-ride story telling elements in-line with “Finding Nemo” and riding the EOC on the coaster bits all presented in one fantastic dark ride. They even had the manufacturer, Maurer Söhne custom made turtle shell train cars, which goes with the theme.
Armageddon, Les Effets Speciaux is a special effects showcase of the Armageddon movie we are all familiar with, directed by Michael Bay and starting Bruce Willis. It’s essentially a simulation of the space station part of the movie when it was bombarded by the asteroid and meteoroid pieces, with fiery results to boot. The best ride in the park besides the Aerosmith Rock and roller will have to be the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, firstly not because it’s the most awesome looking ride on the park, the whole concept and buildup of the ride is unlike what you see around ever, coupled along with Disney’s tradition of interactive storytelling.
The story has it that the hotel was struck by lightning on October 31, 1939, mysteriously transporting and crashing an elevator cart full of passengers to the Twilight Zone and causing an entire wing of the building to disappear. The building was then empty since then- You enter the tower as if the place was left untouched and in 60 years of neglect from that faithful day.
No expense was left out on detail to theming too. The exterior of the tower resembles the exact replica of the Hollywood tower hotel complete with a blackened scorch mark across the front of the facade where the lightning struck it. Humorously passing the main elevator in lobby yields one lift with it’s outer door exploded and stuck at floor -1.
A combination of pre-ride shows and pepper’s ghost illusion tells the Twitlight zone story- the park guests tonight experiencing the very same very own episode of The Twilight Zone again that faithful night. As the main lifts are not in service, we had to move down to the service areas to use the “service elevators”. Upon entry, you will be secured with seat belts in a ride capsule sitting about 20 people at a go. The ride raises and drops you continuously the 50m drop shaft, with the ride computer having a different selection of drop variation patterns each go, making each ride experience a different one every time.
Here is a filler of how the ride goes.
Powering the ride are huge motors are 4m tall by 11m long, and weighing 60 tons each, able to accelerate the full 10 tons weigh of the ride carriage at 15 times the speed of normal elevators, plunging guests down faster than the speed of freefall. This lift technology is ironically provided by Otis, who literally spent their whole existence preventing lifts from free falling.
We covered this second park in Paris as part of our planned 1 day park hopper, it is actually possible to cover all the major rides here with proper ride and fast pass planning. Also coupled with the fact that this park actually closes at 7pm- 3 hours earlier than the main Disneyland park, so it pays to visit this park in the late afternoon till closing and heading back to the main park thereafter for the closing fireworks.
So that’s all for the Hollywoody studios, Disneyland always never fail to disappoint, we had a great time!
- The city of Paris at Christmas (Album: Paris City Photos)
- The Louvre museum (Album: The Louvre gallery)
- Paris Eiffel, Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle (Album: Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle)
- Disneyland Paris (Album: Paris Disneyland Resort)
- Paris Disneyland Hollywood Studios (Album: Paris Hollywood Studios)