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The Great Movie Ride
The Great Movie Ride
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Land Hollywood Boulevard
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Attraction type Dark ride
Opening date May 1, 1989
Vehicle capacity 68
Cars per vehicle 2
Guests per car 34
Ride duration 22 minutes
Length 1928 ft (587.7 m)
Audio-Animatronics 59
Sponsored by Coca-Cola
The Great Movie Ride is an attraction at Hollywood Boulevard of Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is a dark ride which takes guests through scenes from famous films throughout motion picture history. The ride is located inside a recreation of the famous Hollywood landmark Grauman's Chinese Theatre. However, because the Walt Disney Company was denied permission to use the name "Grauman," the proper name of the building is simply "The Chinese Theatre." (Also, at the time the attraction was opened, the actual Grauman's Theater was officially known as "Mann's Chinese Theater" as it was owned by the Mann film theater group.) The facade was almost completely blocked from view in 2001 when a giant replica of The Sorcerer's Hat was built directly in front of the facade. Since then, the hat has served as the park's symbol. Scenes from all major film studios are represented in the film montage with one notable exception; there is no reference to any motion pictures released by Universal Studios (whose parent company operates the rival Universal Orlando Resort nearby).

Attraction Premise

  • Relive some of the greatest movie moments in history during a tram ride that puts you in the middle of the magic.
  • Step back in time as you behold a full-scale reproduction of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Featuring handprints, footprints and signatures of some of Disney’s greatest stars embedded in the cement outside, the theater meticulously captures the pageantry of the legendary movie palace that has become a symbol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
  • Parade inside the art-deco-inspired grand lobby and view a dazzling menagerie of props, set pieces and costumes from classic films.
  • Stroll onto a soundstage designed to recall 1930s-era Hollywood and board a tram for a captivating tour of some of Tinseltown's greatest film scenes. Glide beneath a flashing movie marquee and cross over into a world that could only exist in the movies.
  • Featuring nearly 50 lifelike Audio-Animatronics replicas of legendary movie stars, lavishly produced set pieces and wondrous special effects, The Great Movie Ride immerses you in the thrills, chills and romance of some of the most memorable moments in motion picture history.
  • Your informative tour guide will set the stage for the scenes you'll visit. Just don't be surprised if something unexpected happens along the way. Keep telling yourself, it's only a movie.

Attraction Summary

Queue

The queue winds through a recreation of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre lobby past glass display cases containing actual costumes, props, and set pieces from various films. The queue then takes guests into a small pre-show theatre where guests view a series of condensed film trailers for the various films that are featured on the ride. The queue line ends at a pair of automatic doors at the front of the theatre that lead into a 1930s era Hollywood soundstage where guests are loaded onto waiting ride vehicles.

Notable props currently residing in the queue

Props that formerly resided in the queue

Ride

The neon theatre marquee inside of the 1930s-era Hollywood soundstage at the beginning of the ride. As guests reach the end of the queue, they enter a 1930s-era Hollywood soundstage where they are loaded by cast members into one of two sets of open, theatre-style seating ride vehicles. The vehicles utilize a "traveling theatre" style ride system similar to the Universe of Energy attraction at Epcot. However, here the ride vehicles are much smaller in size, are grouped together in pairs of two, and feature an open cab in the first row of the front vehicle for a live tour guide to stand, provide narration, and operate the ride vehicle. When the attraction is operating during the peak season, both sets of ride vehicles are used. Otherwise, only the second set of ride vehicles is used.

The first genre of films introduced are musicals, which begins with a pyramid of audio-animatronic starlets in a scene from Busby Berkeley's Footlight Parade. The next musical scenes include audio-animatronics of Gene Kelly swinging from a lamp post from the film Singin' in the Rain, followed by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke singing on the rooftops of London in Mary Poppins.

Next is a tribute to the Western genre. Here, guests encounter audio-animatronics of Clint Eastwood standing near a saloon and John Wayne sitting atop his horse. If the ride vehicle is already being driven by the gangster, it continues past a shoot-out between the town sheriff and an audio-animatronic bank robber named Snake. On this version of the show, the ride vehicle stops here while the robbery is in progress and a live bank robber named Kate Durango (female) or Kid Carson (male) appears from inside the bank. After getting into a shoot-out with the town sheriff and chasing the tour guide away, the bandit blows up the town bank with dynamite and hijacks the ride vehicle. Following this scene, the remainder of the attraction is the same for both sets of ride vehicles.

As the ride vehicle continues into a spaceship, a narrator's voice states that this is the Nostromo, the ship from the film Alien. The narrator then tells guests of the alien lurking within the ship waiting to claim its next victim. Guests can also hear the Nostromo's mother computer warning of the imminent self-destruction countdown. Hearing this, the hijacker becomes nervous and speeds the ride vehicle through the ship. But not before the Alien appears and attacks the guests, popping out from both the ceiling and the wall. Before exiting the spaceship, the ride vehicle passes a scene of an audio-animatronic Ripley holding a flamethrower as she prepares to confront the Alien. Behind her is a steady drip of slime. This can only be seen if the rider pays close attention to that part of the corridor.

The ride vehicle next enters a scene set in an ancient Egyptian temple filled with snakes. The narrator informs guests that they are in a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark as audio-animatronic figures of Indiana Jones and Sallah struggle to lift the Ark of the Covenant. A second room within the temple (though not from the film) features a large altar in the form of the ancient Egyptian god Anubis. Near the top of the altar, a large jewel is being watched over by a cloaked temple guard. The hijacker sees the jewel, stops the ride vehicle, and disembarks to retrieve it. Before touching the jewel, the temple guard gives a warning that those who disturb the jewel must pay with their life. Ignoring the warning, the hijacker reaches to grab the jewel. Suddenly, a plume of smoke shoots from the ground. When it disperses, the hijacker is now nothing more than a skeleton (still reaching for the jewel) and the temple guard is revealed to be the original live tour guide who reboards the vehicle and continues the ride.

The next film genre introduced is the horror film as the ride vehicle travels through an ancient burial chamber full of mummies who have come to life. The ride vehicle soon leaves the tomb and enters a jungle, which is home to Tarzan the Ape Man. Here, audio-animatronic figures of Tarzan swinging on a vine, Jane sitting atop an elephant, and Cheeta the chimpanzee can be seen. The ride vehicle then moves past the classic final scene from Casablanca featuring audio-animatronics of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as they stand in front of a waiting airplane. Some incorrectly claim that this plane, a Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior, is the actual plane used during the filming of the film, but it isn't as no full-size plane was actually used during the filming of Casablanca. The plane on the attraction was allegedly used in Tarzan's New York Adventure and other films in the 1940s before being purchased by Disney. The back half of the plane was cut off and can be found resting along the shoreline of the Jungle Cruise attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Next, the ride vehicle passes a film projection of Mickey Mouse in his role as The Sorcerer's Apprentice from the classic Disney animated film Fantasia.

The ride vehicle then enters into the Munchkinland scene from The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy's house has landed on top of the Wicked Witch of the East. During peak season, both sets of ride vehicles meet up here and come to a stop in the middle of the scene. Audio-animatronic Munchkins begin to appear from various places and sing as they welcome guests to their home. However, a plume of smoke suddenly rises from the ground as an audio-animatronic Wicked Witch of the West appears and asks who is responsible for killing the Wicked Witch of the East. The tour guide aboard the first set of ride vehicles answers her before she finally disappears in another puff of smoke. The Munchkins finally reappear from their hiding places and begin to sing again as both sets of ride vehicles follow the Yellow Brick Road out of Munchkinland past audio-animatronic figures of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Toto standing in front of the Emerald City, and onto the ride's Grand Finale.

For the Grand Finale, both sets of ride vehicles enter a large, dark theatre where they line up side-by-side and come to a stop in front of a large film screen. There, a fast-paced three minute film montage of classic film moments is shown. At the conclusion of the film, both sets of ride vehicles exit the theatre, line up single-file again and return to the 1930s soundstage where the ride concludes and guests applauds for the tour guide and exit the attraction.

Unlike many Disney dark rides that feature separate embarkation and debarkation areas, the Great Movie Ride has only a single combined unloading and loading area. The last people to exit the vehicles often pass the next group of guests waiting to board the vehicles. At the time the ride was designed (the mid to late 1980s), it was common throughout the theme park industry to have all major rides exit into a merchandise store selling novelties associated with the attraction the guests just exited. The Great Movie Ride does not exit directly into a store.

External links

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