DCP Blog #4: I’m Working in my Favorite Park!

It’s crazy to believe that I leave for Disney in FOUR days. When I was accepted, there were approximately 109 days until check in. Now, I check in in less than a week! The time absolutely FLEW! But today, after a long, long, LONG wait, I finally received my itinerary with my location! 

I will be spending the spring 2018 semester working in Hollywood Studios in the Theater District East! Could they have possibly gotten me better? Disney, Hollywood Studios (hello, Star Wars!), and theatre!?

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Outside of my new home park!

Sadly, I won’t find out my actual attraction for another two weeks or so, but it will be one of the following: Star Tours, Jedi Training, Muppet 3D Vision, Mickey and Minnie’s Red Carpet Dreams, or meet and greet with Olaf! If you know me, you know that I’m hoping for either Star Tours or Jedi Training because Star Wars, but I’m so excited to be working in my favorite park regardless!

People always look at me funny when I say that Hollywood Studios is my favorite, especially right now, as it’s very much under construction. It’s a stretch to spend the entire day there right now, though that will quickly be changing with the opening of Toy Story Land this summer and Star Wars land next summer. But here’s the thing — to put it simply, I have a degree in entertainment industry studies and Hollywood Studios focuses on the entertainment industry, specifically movies and theatre.

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Hollywood Studios has been my favorite since it was MGM. I literally didn’t start calling it Hollywood Studios until a couple of years ago because I was in denial that the name actually changed. I’ve always loved the theming and the feel of the park. The Great Movie Ride (may it rest in peace), in my opinion, is one of the most classic Disney rides that I always looked forward to on every Disney trip. I especially loved the back part of thepark that is now sadly closed. This was the part of the park where they had made the streets look like different cities, specifically NYC and LA, using city backdrops and themed street names. I guess this comes as no surprise as we all know that NYC is by far my favorite city in the entire universe, but I always felt like I was on the set of a movie walking through these streets. They also had movie props set up, such as the Singin’ in the Rain umbrella which were fun to see as you walked through. There is a great picture somewhere of my guy friends doing the West Side Story jump in front of the NYC landscaping that Alex Willinger took. I was so sad when I heard they were closing off this part of the park, but I know the new lands coming will be so, so worth it.

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Hollywood Studios has some incredible shows and restaurants that people tend to overlook when they realize that there aren’t many “rides” there anymore. 50’s Prime Time Diner is a personal favorite. We had the best waiter who really made us feel like we were eating Momma’s good southern cooking and had us on our best behavior. Even Ryleigh got her clean plate sticker! I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed harder at a meal than I did this lunch time.

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I’ve never been to LA, but I imagine this is how it feels to walk through that city, which is part of the reason I love this park so much.

As we all know, I’m a theatre person (no way!), and we saw the Beauty and the Beast show the last time we were there and wow did I not know what I’d been missing. That was some stellar theatre with the coolest costuming. Disney does such an incredible job with their Broadway shows that it should have come as no surprise that it would be incredible, but I was wowed. The Frozen Sing Along show is another incredible piece of live theatre that had even my mom cracking up!
All of this aside, you can’t forget that this park contains One Man’s Dream where you can literally walk through a museum dedicated to Walt Disney’s life and work. Complete with scale models, sketches, and a short film, it’s such a cool feeling to see all of the work the man who created the Disney that we all grew up in’s work first hand.

Hollywood Studios will always hold a special place in my heart, even though it’s “struggling” in some people’s eyes right now. I could NOT be more excited to be spending my program in this park and to get to grow right along with it. I will hopefully get to see Toy Story Land before I leave too, which will be super super cool and I will absolutely be making a trip back to Disney next year when Star Wars land opens.

Until then, keep your fingers crossed that I end up on something Star Wars related and never forget that Hollywood Studios IS incredible and has so, so much to offer. And as ashamed as I am to say it, I’m STOKED to finally see Fantasmic — every time we’ve tried, it was rained out!

Also, catch my lovely roommates at Pecos Bills, quick service at the Contemporary, Asia Attractions, Typhoon Lagoon, and Hollywood Studios food stands! They’re all gonna be so incredible in their roles!

Until next time,

xoxo
Kenzi

“The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood—not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was—and always will be.”

—Michael Eisner, May 1, 1989

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