Home » 20 Fun Facts About Disney’s Hollywood Studios

20 Fun Facts About Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When it was originally opened in 1989, Disney-MGM Studios was designed to be a “half-day” park, and offered just a handful of attractions. However, it proved to be wildly popular, and plans were immediately put in place to expand it. Nowadays, under its new name of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park is home to some of the best rides and shows at Walt Disney World. The scale and scope of some of those attractions is truly impressive. Here are 20 amazing facts to impress your family and friends with next time you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

20. The second smallest park

Disney’s Hollywood Studios covers 135 acres, making it larger than the Magic Kingdom, but smaller than Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

19. The Earffel Tower

Earffel Tower

Image © Disney

The Earffel Tower was the original icon of Disney-MGM Studios (as the park was known when it opened in 1989). It is not a working water tower, and has a diameter of 8.5 feet. This translates into a hat size of 342 3/8.

18. Born in Epcot

Great Movie RideThe Great Movie Ride was originally proposed as an additional pavilion for Epcot’s Future World. However, when Universal announced plans to build Universal Studios Florida, Disney CEO Michael Eisner ordered the company’s Imagineers to expand the design into a complete new theme park.

17. A copycat catastrophe?

Catastophe Canyon

Image © Disney

The original plans for Universal Studios Florida called for a “front lot” walking tour, as well as a tram tour through the studio’s backlot. A major set-piece, the “Hollywood Canyon”, would see a tram rolling onto a bridge in view of the Hollywood Hills. A massive earthquake would then strike, causing a dam to crack and a wall of water to pour down towards the tram, which would escape into an oil field in time for riders to witness a semi-trailer truck explode after crashing into an oil tank. The plans for Disney-MGM Studios, announced in 1985, bore a striking resemblance to those for Universal’s tour. The main attraction would be a tram tour past four working soundstages, an animation building, backlot sets and post-production facilities. One of the set pieces to be included in the tour would be “Catastrophe Canyon”, during which an earthquake would shake the tram, cause fires to ignite, lead to an oil tank explosion and trigger a flash flood. The similarities to Universal’s proposed Hollywood Canyon were undeniable, and Universal was forced to change its plans.

16. Avoid that ball…


Image: Disney

The giant rolling ball in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular weights a huge 440 pounds. The moving sets in the show weigh around 100 tons.

15. The Sorcerer’s Hat

Sorcerer's Hat

Image © Disney

The Sorcerer’s Hat was added to the park on December 5, 2001, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth, and was removed in 2015. It sat on foundations built from enough concrete to cover a football field, and stood 122 feet tall. That equals a hat size of 605 7/8.

14. A chameleon

Sorcerer's Hat (2)

Image © Disney

13,493 bolts and 26,986 washers were used in the construction of the Sorcerer’s Hat. The hat was painted using “chameleon paint”, a custom technique that causes it to shift in color as guests move closer and around it.

13. Inside out

Rock n Roller Coaster (3)

Image © Disney

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was originally built outside, with the enormous ride building then being constructed around it. The volume of the building is more than 3.7 million cubic feet.

12. A big guitar

Rock n Roller Coaster The stratocaster guitar that stands at the entrance of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a 32-foot-long neck.

11. A speedy limo

Rock n Roller Coaster (5)

Image © Disney

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster limos accelerate from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds.

10. A noisy ride

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster features a total of more than 900 speakers in total, with 60 hours of recorded music being played outside to ensure that the same song is not repeated twice in a day

9. Not so deep


Image © Disney

The front of the vast lagoon that hosts Fantasmic is, in fact, just 1.5 feet deep. The moat, though, does still hold 1.9 milliongallons of water.

8. Bigger than your TV

The three water screens used in Fantasmic are 50 feet high and 100 feet wide, and created by pumping 2,400 gallons of water into the air every minute.

7. Too loud!


The original intention when the park opened was for filming to take place on some of the park’s streets, such as the New York Street (now known as Streets of America). However, the noise generated by attractions such as Catastrophe Canyon proved to be too loud to make this practical.

6. Just tall enough


The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror stands at 199 feet tall. If it were just one foot taller, the Federal Aviation Authority would require it to have a flashing red light on the top.

5. A large-scale building


Take a look at the Hollywood Tower Hotel from the outside, to appreciate its scale. Some 1,500 tons of steel were used to construct it, along with 145,800 cubic feet of concrete. The roof is lined by 27,000tiles.

4. Heavy lifting

Tower of Terror

Image © Disney

The Tower of Terror’s drop sequence is powered by two enormous motors, which are 12 feet tall, 35 feet long and weight a huge 132,000pounds.

3. Harbor Attack



In the opening Harbor Attack scene of the former Studio Backlot Tour, a volunteer has 1,000 gallons of water dumped on them from two tanks.

2. Just like home

   Image: Malpass 93, Wikipedia (license) 

The large gateway that you pass through as you enter Pixar Place is a replica of the gateway at company’s studios in Emeryville, California. The bricks used in the area also match the original.

1. A loooong ride

 The Adventures Continue

Image © Disney

There are 54 potential ride experiences on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, each created by combining various different scenes. To see every combination would take 4 hours of continuous riding.