Hollywood Studios Memories
Happy 30th Birthday to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios has always been my least favorite. I was never a huge movie person and so a lot of what the park had to offer just didn’t appeal to me.
You would think, then, that I would have not been excited to take my first job at Walt Disney World in that park. On the contrary - I was excited because then the other three parks would still be magical and my off time playgrounds. What I did not expect was for me to grow a new appreciation and almost admiration for Hollywood Studios.
I began my Cast Member experience as a Toy in Andy’s room, meaning I worked at Toy Story Midway Mania. The attraction was only 4 years old at the time and still the most popular attraction in Walt Disney World. We were still on the old paper FastPasses as well, so the mornings were super busy. I was nearly trampled a few times. I enjoyed my time in Andy’s room, met some great friends and learned a lot about theme park life.
When I moved to hotels, I thought I would be through with Hollywood Studios, but no! I auditioned and won a spot on the opening team for a new science program being taught through the Youth Education Services, or YES. You haven’t really taught science until you are explaining the laws of motion using Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. So I continued to visit my theme park home to each science and eventually art and movie making as well in another YES program that went through the, now extinct, Art of Animation building.
From those major work shifts, to my time working Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, to that one time I was paid to clap for people coming in to Studios for a party, Hollywood Studios was the one place that was my Walt Disney World home from beginning to end. There was nothing like walking into Hollywood Studios first thing in the morning. It may still have been dark, or the sun was just peeking over the horizon. The park musc would be playing, because it always is, but barely anyone was on the street. You would pass the occasional gardener or maintenance man or gangster picking up their guns for the day, but all was still. The walkways would be freshly hosed off and there was just a calm that overtook both the park and you. This feeling was even more exciting during the holidays. I will never forget walking in the morning after the Christmas transformation happened overnight. New music, the lights twinkling…It was honestly magical!
To commemorate these magical moments and to celebrate 30 years of my home park, I’ve decided to post some of my favorite stories from my time as a Cast Member in that park over the next month. There are some crazy stories, some funny stories and some heartwarming ones, but all are treasured memories. Stay tuned over the month of May as I reminisce about my time in Hollywood Studios.