After a rush to get the park open ahead of rival Universal Studios Florida, Disney-MGM Studios threw open its gates in May 1, 1989. It featured a relatively small line-up of attractions, along with a working movie studio. While the production facilities have long since been dropped, the newly-renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios now boasts a far more impressive roaster of rides and shows, making it worthy of a full-day visit during your trip to Walt Disney World.
Since we launched our theme park guides last year, we've been collecting our readers' ratings and reviews of Disney's Hollywood Studios' rides and attractions (as well as those of 90+ other parks). We're focusing on Disney's Hollywood Studios as our "Park of the Month" in December, so we thought now would be a great time to look at the top 5 rides and attractions at the park - as rated by Theme Park Tourist readers.
5. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
The original Star Tours consistently pulled in large crowds during its lengthy lifetime at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and was the deserving recipient of a major overhaul in 2011. The motion simulator ride, enhanced with all-new technology, now boasts a multi-branch storyline that greatly enhances its re-ride value.
Expect to feel the force of lightspeed as you encounter different characters and locales each time you ride, travelling to recognisable planets from through the Star Wars universe. The visually-impressive queue is great fun, too.
Full details: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue guide
4. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Still the fastest roller coaster at Walt Disney World, as well as the first coaster at the resort to feature inversions (three in total), this thrilling ride challenges guests to race across town in a "limousine" in time to catch a concert by long-time rockers Aerosmith.
The clear highlight is the opening launch sequence, which sees guests blasted from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. The remainder of the circuit, accompanied by neon road signs and blaring Aerosmith tunes, doesn't disappoint.
Full details: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster guide
The popularity of the original Fantasmic! show at Disneyland ensured that it would eventually be cloned at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 1998. Hosted by Mickey Mouse itself, the night-time spectacular brings almost every Disney character to life through fire, water, projections, actors and dancers.
Hosted in the sizeable Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre, Fantasmic! offers an unforgettable blend of magic and mystery that shouldn't be missed.
Full details: Fantasmic! guide
2. Toy Story Midway Mania!
While it struggles with a limited capacity and enormous queues on busy days, Toy Story Midway Mania! is well worth battling to experience. One of the most innovative theme park rides of recent years, it combines a dark ride with a series of impressive, addictive 3-D game experiences featuring Pixar's iconic Toy Story characters.
For riders, it's like stepping right into a living board game. Midway favourites such as break the plate and hoopla are brought to life in stunning detail, and the temptation to go round for "one more ride" to beat your top score is almost irrestible.
Full details: Toy Story Midway Mania! guide
1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney has often taken a traditional theme park ride concept and layered it with heavy theming to turn it into an entirely new experience. There are no better examples than the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which takes the idea of a drop tower and transforms it into a stunning, cinematic journey through a full-scale mock hotel dubbed the Hollywood Tower.
After passing through the hotel's grounds an intricately-detailed lobby, guests enter the library to receive an introduction from resurrected Twilight Zone host Rod Serling. They then pile into a service elevator, which drops them multiple times at speeds faster than free-fall. The real highlight is the special effects, though, including a spooky journey through one of the hotel's corridors (sadly dropped from the clones of the ride at other Disney parks in order to improve reliability and capacity). The definitive version of one of Disney's greatest ever thrill rides.
Full details: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror guide
What are your favourites?
Do you disagree with the rankings above? Let us know what your favourite rides and attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios are by adding your own ratings and reviews.