Our Favorite Attraction Inspired by a Movie | Focused on the Magic : Our Favorite Attraction Inspired by a Movie


Our Favorite Attraction Inspired by a Movie

That was an easy one for me as I'm a bit of a movie fan fanatic, watching 5 movies a week on average, while trudging along on my treadmill. That's not counting the movies DH & I watch on weekends. Enough said about my movie mania. 
It had to be the one attraction that was inspired by generations of movies -(GMR) The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS)
The GMR was my first attraction when we visited MGM for the first time in 1990. It's usually my first ride of the day even now..unless I score a TSM ride before our FP time comes along. To me the GMR is the quintessential Disney movie attraction combining great theming and entertainment. It appeals to all ages and the air conditioning can't be beat.  
Pictured here is an attraction guide from 1991 that features "The Chinese Theater", home of the GMR on the cover in silhouette. 

In those early days DHS was called Disney-MGM. Disney had set up a licensing agreement with MGM. Coca Cola was the attraction sponsor and there was no hat blocking the view down Hollywood Boulevard. 
The Chinese Theater is an imposing full scale replica of Hollywood's Graumans Chinese Theater in Hollywood right down to the sidewalk hand prints. All setting the stage perfectly for the GMR attraction. 
On to the attraction:
Ushers dressed in vintage looking outfits greet you upon entering and usher you into the darkened theater pre-show which is entertainment enough and causes backups of guests watching the neverending show on the screen.

Once you've moved through the velvet roped queue you are greeted by a CM at a podium similar to that of a movie theater. At this point I usually request my favorite car. I like the right side in about the 3rd or 4th row. I'll explain later;)
The stage is set and off you go. If you're taking pics the Singin' in The Rain scene is one of the first. I usually chimp and adjust my settings at this point. 

Singin' in the Rain (MGM) starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Conner. As a little girl I loved to sing and dance along with the movie.
(DisneyMary Poppins, 1964 starring Julie Andrews and Dick VanDyke. I saw it when it first came out in theaters and loved it. I've seen it on Broadway with Cathy Rigby as Mary Poppins. Terrific! A classic! 
This is one of the reasons I enjoy sitting on the right. Casa Blanca 1942 with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
James Cagney
A fast prime lens opened up and a high ISO are the way to go here. The cars are moving so this is a challenge in low light. On your right:)
Clint Eastwood
Do you see the hidden mickey behind the saloon doors?

As the car glides along scenes change on the right and left. There are two different live scenarios played out in front of you. Your track will either take the one with cowboys and fire or the other with gangsters and guns.
The gangsters scene

I usually get the gangster scene. I think the western one is used during peak touring times.
The western scene
As you come up on the Raiders of The Lost Ark we try to look for the hidden Mickey my DS found back when he was five. He's always been good at observing things and sure enough he found a valid HM. When I came back from the trip I reported it in my trip report and sent it to a website that was keeping track of MHs with DSs name. It wasn't unusual to use first and last names online in those days. Little did I know that list would become very popular with hidden mickey hunters everywhere. It appeared on the internet over and over for years. To this day his name appears with the Hidden Mickeys he's discovered when you search for it. His friends kid him a lot about it too. That's why I refer to my dear sons as DSs although it should be "HM Hunter";)
Raiders of The Lost Ark
We'll leave the other great scenes for another post and move on to my favorite part and the reason I chose the GMR today.
The Wizard of Oz!!!
Munchkin land..I love the scene with the witch. I have it on my phone:) DH sent it to me when he saw it with DS on a one day trip they had to the studios. They were on their way to a race in St Petersburg and stopped in at DHS for the day. St Petersburg is not close to Orlando by any means but they stopped in and had a magical "man" day in the park. 

Follow follow follow the yellow brick road

Before you know it you've traveled through decades of famous Hollywood movies and you reach the last huge shot. I love all the clips in the photo montage. My favorites are North by Northwest and Marlon Brando screaming "Stella" which also happens to be my mothers name:) Kind of weird. 
The curtains close ,you rise from your seats to exit stage right.

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  1. What a great post Deb. We love the Great Movie Ride!

  2. Great post! I too love the ride (and I notice you skipped the scary part. ;oP ) My husband and I were so excited last year to be able to go to a Tables in Wonderland dinner held in the Great Movie Ride. Being able to actually walk through the attraction was so amazing - I wish I'd had your camera skills!

  3. I enjoy the Great Movie Ride, but having seen it so many times, it's good for a short cat nap too:)

  4. Thanks Heidi:)

    Thanks Wendy, I remember the TIW dinner last July was right before my scheduled trip. That must have been amazing! Would love to try it.

    DJ, my DH is with you on that, lol.

  5. Love your post! Our first time on the Great Movie Ride was our last trip and we loved it! I loved seeing all the classic films and having the interaction with the Cast Members. My sister LOVES the Wizard of Oz - so much that when she was only 5 she could quote every line in the movie! I can't wait until I can bring her to Disney and show her this - she will love it!

    Bitten by the Disney Bug

  6. Thanks Amanda, That will be so much fun bringing your sister on the ride. Be prepared, she's going to want to ride it over and over if she's a Wizard of Oz fan, lol!

  7. The Great Movie Ride is one of my favorites too. You really covered the attraction well and your photos are amazing!

  8. Thanks Savannah, Very glad you enjoyed the pics. There's so much more I have to say about the GMR but I'll leave it for another day:)

  9. This looks like a great ride! Thanks for this great blogpost.

    Bookgirl @ My Magical Adventures

  10. Great photos! My kids love the movie clips at the end the best (they are huge Star Wars fans so that's to be expected). I have to admit that I don't care for the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene (snakes, why did it have to be snakes) but I'm always happy to leave with "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" stuck in my head for a few hours!

  11. I love the Great Movie Ride! We have missed it the two last trips because our kids were a little young, especially for the Alien part. I am hoping I will get a chance to experience it again in the fall! :-) Great post!

  12. Hi Annabel, It is such a great ride showcasing movies from the golden age of Hollywood to present day.

    Hi Susan, I'm glad you liked the pics and your kids liked the clip. Snakes ewww I agree. Why did it have to be snakes?lol

    Hi Beth, Your upcoming trip will have a lot of fun new adventures for the kids. I hope you can get a ride on it in the fall:)

  13. Wonderful photos! I love this ride, too. I've only ever seen the gangster scene. I hope to catch the Western scene one day though.

  14. Awesome post! The Great Movie Ride has always been one of my favorites. I love your photos!

  15. Great Post, this one of our favorite rides and we are always looking for the Hidden Mickey. We bring the book so we can find them because usually the rides are going to fast to try and find them. So we need a little help


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