Fort Myers Tourism



Disney MGM Studios Attractions

While visiting Orlando, don't miss a Disney attraction that’s fun for the whole family - MGM Studios. Located south of downtown Orlando, you can reach it by taking the well-marked Disney exit onto Epcot Center Drive and simply following the signs to MGM Studios. Here’s our experience of a day at MGM Studios to help you learn what to expect.

Deciding on a day at MGM we head toward Orlando, and then take Interstate 4 West right to the Lake Buena Vista area where the Disney parks are located. We park in the parking lot, which is just across from the entrance. Parking is simpler at MGM than any other Disney attraction in Orlando. Often, you can find parking so close to the gate, there is no need for trams or trolleys. On turning into the parking area, the Tower of Terror, the tallest attraction in MGM is readily visible.

At the entrance, bags are checked for security reasons. We go through the turnstile entrance, and find ourselves on Hollywood Boulevard. This street is lined with 1930’s style shops designed with art deco features. The shops are great for browsing on the way in or out. At the end of the street is a large blue Mickey Mouse Wizard hat, seemingly suspended in space.

Hollywood Boulevard is intersected by Sunset Boulevard. The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is ahead, with its huge electric guitar on the building front. The guitar strings actually become the rails of the roller coaster! It’s a very unique building, like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Not being fans of roller coasters, we don’t go in. Friends have told us that it’s an interesting ride with a record studio show while you wait your turn to get onto this very popular ride. Upon arriving at the roller coaster, you get into a stretch limo “car’. It’s a very popular ride. They have said it’s not a really terrifying roller coast, but a very fun one.

The Tower of Terror is ahead. Officially named The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, this ride actually became a Disney movie! The scenario is that you are in a hotel elevator when the building is struck by lightning causing the elevator to go up and down very quickly. It’s dark and a bit spooky, but not really that terrifying. Young people, however, might not enjoy it and there is a height requirement you must meet to ride.

We move on to one of my personal favorite MGM attractions, the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. The seating is amphitheatre style and several of the most amazing scenes from the first Indiana Jones movie are recreated and the stunts explained for you. Volunteers from the audience participate in some of the stunts - safely, of course. The scene where the giant boulder is rolling down to crush Indiana is recreated and is really something to see close up!

Star Wars fans will probably enjoy the next stop: Star Tours. A seated ride where you are sometimes jerked back and forth, you are taken via video on a starship voyage and ensuing battle. It wasn’t one of my favorites even though I am a Star Wars fan; the ride was more jerky than thrilling. Many people, however, thoroughly enjoy this ride.

The Back Lot, however, is another story entirely. The Back Lot Tour takes about 45 minutes and is well worth every minute of the time. You travel on a train-like tram through sets of various television shows you will certainly recognize. The Golden Girl’s Florida house is shown as being only the front of a house, with no inside.

During the Back Lot tour, Items from films such as Indiana Jones and Star Wars such as the old motorcycles, “space fighters” and more are displayed. You are shown how buildings are made which appear to be real, but are not. Backdrop paintings and effects are explained and displayed.

Stunts involving boat bombings and an old-fashioned water tower falling may even get you a bit damp if you volunteer to get in the cars in the “wet zone”. The best part is when a fuel tanker truck blows up almost right beside you. But it is all very safe. This exploration into how movie sets work is very educational and yet fun for everyone. It’s well worth going through twice if you have the time!

There have been added features to the park since we last visited. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids wasn’t built at the time of our last visit. More features are added to these theme parks all the time, while others may become “dated” and be changed into an entirely different show after a few years. Current information on what is available can be located online easily.

There are some really unique places to eat or get a drink in the MGM complex. The decorations are authentic, or at least very authentic-appearing, and include Hollywood posters, memorabilia, and artifacts. Clothing worn in the most famous movies by major stars is displayed with information about the star and movie. The architecture of these eateries and drink stops is old-style Hollywood. Alcohol is served in some of these locales.

MGM Studios is a great addition to any day in Orlando. It is one of the Disney attractions, however, that you can truly feel you’ve effectively seen in one day. Most Disney parks leave you knowing you missed many things. This one is of a size that you experience a fun-filled day and are able to see everything you want. We even saw the Indiana Jones show twice, it was so much fun!

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