Review

Located directly in front of you as you enter the gates of Walt Disney World's Disney Studios theme park (though now hidden behind the large sorcerer's hat), is a recreation of the famous Mann's Chinese Theater from Hollywood. Within this building is "The Great Movie Ride", a celebration of some of the most famous moments from the golden age of cinema to today.

This 22-minute long attraction takes you on a tram ride showcasing some of Hollywood's earliest and most memorable movie moments. Along the way, you get to see amazingly realistic animatronic characters from some of the movies' famous actors, actresses, and characters such as James Cagney, Gene Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, John Wayne, the Wicked Witch of the West, and many others.

You get to travel through the time periods from cinema's earliest days to the various settings for many pictures such as the Old West, the 20's gangster era, and even an impressive recreation of the land of Oz. Your host will inform you as to some interesting bits of knowledge on the films as you're turning your head from side to side to see everything around you.

At one point, the host becomes "hijacked" in one of two (from what I understand) possible scenarios: a gangster comes and takes your tram (and makes wisecracks with you) until they reach a certain movie scene that ends up getting the best of them, leaving them a little char-broiled (nothing too bad, just a lot of tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted humor). Soon after, your host is back and you continue on your way.

Some of the more impressive set recreations that I enjoyed are from "Wizard of Oz", "Alien" (but note that this portion may frighten young children when they see the alien hiding nearby), "Mary Poppins", the dancing-from-a-lightpost-in-the-rain sequence from "Singin' in the Rain", and the Well of the Souls ark-raising sequence from "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

As the ride comes to its conclusion, the tram comes to a brief stop in front of a large screen, where memorable movie moments are displayed, showing that anything's possible in the movies, and just how far movies have come over the years.

Personally, I'd have to recommend going to see this attraction. It's interesting, a little fun, and a good way to get off your feet for a little while. The things that may be scary to younger ones isn't too bad, and the tram passes quickly from it anyway. I've been on "The Great Movie Ride" several times in my visits to Disney Studios, and though I do enjoy it, I think they might want to consider making some changes to include some more of today's films. That way the ride doesn't come across as completely dated. Regardless, it's still a good attraction, one worth checking out.

Reviewer Rating

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