May 26, 2007

Disney World - Part 3

Saturday, March 3 - Disney-MGM Studios

I arrived just in time to catch the live Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show. It was a 30-minute show filled with explosions, crashes and death-defying stunts, just as one would expect in an Indiana Jones movie. We also saw how Indy's numerous on-screen stunts are orchestrated. In The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, we boarded a phantom elevator of a once-glorious Hollywood Tower Hotel. It took us on a grim tour of some scenes from the movie The Twilight Zone before shooting up 13 stories. As it started to plunge and we braced ourselves for the free fall, in an unexpected turn of event, the elevator rocketed back up. And just as we heaved a sigh of relief, it plunged down yet again, only this time it went all the way! Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was another show not to be missed! This live stunt spectacular is a favourite at Disneyland Resort Paris and has now been brought to Disney-MGM Studios. With revving engines and screeching tires, we witnessed a series of highly orchestrated stunts, including cars driven backwards in high speed and motorcycles chases. These gave the audience a behind-the-scenes look at how action stunts are created for the movies, and I learnt the secret of driving a car backwards at 200mph! Now if only I could find a road to practise this skill. I then queued for more than an hour for the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith as all Fastpass for the day had been distributed. It was worth the wait though, as the indoor coaster zoomed from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, complete with the anticipated loops and turns common to roller coaster. It wasn't named Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith for nothing, as the ride was accompanied by a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack. I then went for the Disney-MGM Studios Backlot Tour. We first saw how explosions on water in the movies, ala Pearl Harbour, are orchestrated, before boarding a guided tram ride for a look at life-like facades used in the shooting of television shows and movies. The tram also took us inside the Disney-MGM Studios camera, props and lighting departments, where beautiful costumes from movies were also displayed. The uneventful ride took a turn for the unexpected when we passed through the Catastrophe Canyon where we came face-to-face with a massive flash flood, fire, explosions and earthquake all rolled into one. As I had visited all the attractions I planned and still had time to spare, I took a ride down movie memory lane through film clips and life-like figures of movie legends in The Great Movie Ride.

Top (Indiana Jones) and bottom (Tower of Terror)

Lights, Motors, Action!
Top (Rock & Roller Coaster with Aerosmith) and bottom (Catastrophe Canyon)

By then, it had started to rain quite heavily and the weather turned cold, so I wasn't sure if the much touted outdoor Fantasmic show would still be on. I asked the shop assistant of the souvenir shop I was taking shelter at and she said Fantasmic would not be canceled unless there was a heavy thunderstorm as the show was just too popular. I was drenched and shivering from the cold so I wasn't sure I wanted to sit in the rain for the show. But then again, Orlando was a long way from home and I may not have the opportunity to come again. I decided to stay on and bought a poncho to at least shield myself from the elements. The parade-on-water came on at 7pm as scheduled with Mickey faces off against Disney villains in a lavish spectacular of dancing fountains, dramatic music, breathtaking animation, lasers and fireworks. It was indeed a spectacular sight but I couldn’t enjoy the show fully due to the cold. As the show drew to an end, I quickly made my way out to avoid the crowd that would leave in droves once the show ended.

Fantasmic (picture from here)

Description and photos of some attractions adapted from here

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