Disney’s Hollywood Studios Archives Backlot Tour
UPDATE 9/19/14: The Studio Backlot Tour closed Saturday, September 27. No details have been released as to what will replace this attraction.
Introduction | Attraction | Touring Tips | Kids and Characters | Dining | Shopping | Interesting Facts
Pass under the archway located to the right of the Chinese Theater, make a left, walk past Pixar Place, and there you'll find the home of the 25-minute Studio Backlot Tour. Shuttles take you behind the scenes of a real, working studio and through Catastrophe Canyon for a special effects treat, recreating some intense natural disasters.
Pre-Show – While you wait for your tour to begin, overhead monitors show a video on behind-the-scenes special effects and interviews from several recent action/adventure films.
Backlot Tour – After being ushered into an outdoor viewing area, guests learn how battles and storms at sea are simulated using large water tanks and pyrotechnics. Several guests may be chosen from the audience to participate in these scenes – but raincoats are provided!
From there, your group boards a long, 200-seat tram that winds its way through many backstage areas, beginning with the wardrobe and props departments. The tram continues on to Catastrophe Canyon, where a make-believe crew is allegedly filming a flash flood sequence.
Special effects, including flaming explosions and a rickety bridge, give guests a taste of what such a catastrophe would feel like, before the tram moves on to the Streets of America area and the tour's conclusion.
You exit the tram into the exhibits of the American Film Institute Showcase.
HIDDEN MICKEY: In the rocks on the left-hand side, as you exit Catastrophe Canyon, you just might spy Mickey if you look carefully.
In my experience, this attraction seems to be least crowded earlier in the day.
During the opening segment of the Backlot Tour, guests standing up front along the railing may get wet. Likewise, if you're seated on the left side of the tram, you may get wet during the flood in Catastrophe Canyon.
Be sure to notice the reproduction of the Nautilus, from the movie 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, in one of the water tanks at the tour's beginning.
These attractions are wheelchair and ECV accessible. If you are able to transfer out of the chair/ECV, you can leave it behind and board the tram. If, however, you are unable to transfer, alert the Cast Member, who will direct you up the ramp to the front of the tram. In the space near the tour guide, your chair/ECV can be strapped down securely at three points.
Guest-activated captioning is available on selected video monitors in this attraction.
Restrooms and telephones are located to the left of the entrance to the Backlot Tour.
KIDS AND CHARACTERS
There are no characters associated with this attraction. Check your daily Times Guide for times and locations of other Character Meet and Greet opportunities throughout Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Studio Catering Co., a counter service restaurant that features grilled chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, and snacks is a short walk from the Backlot Tour.
The AFI Showcase Shop, encountered as you exit the Backlot Tour, features TV and movie-related souvenirs.
The Streets of America area is home to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights during the holiday season.
The buildings representing New York, San Francisco, London and other cities are merely facades constructed of fiberglass and Styrofoam.
Forced perspective is used to make the faux Empire State Building appear taller than the four stories it is.
Walt Disney World has 2.5 million garments, making its wardrobe the largest working wardrobe in the world. More than 100 designers produce the costumes for Disney productions.
Some of the vehicles that you see in the "Boneyard" section of the tour were used in the Indiana Jones movies.
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