One of four theme park
s comprising the Walt Disney World
Resort in Florida
. The third of the four to open, in 1989
. The park is accessible by car, by bus from within the Resort, and by ferry
from the EPCOT
-area hotels. The park features the "Earful Tower
" -- a tall water tower
with mouse ears
at the top. At Christmas
time, the tower is adorned with a large Santa hat
Disney-MGM Studios is more than a theme park, though; it contains within it a working film studio. Guests on the Backstage Studio Tour can view the production facilities, and if they're lucky, they may see a movie or television show being filmed, a recording session, or even animators working on the next Disney feature film.
The tour also loads the guests on trams and takes them through the Backlot. This section of the tour shows some facades that are used in actual productions, such as The Golden Girls' house. Guests can also see a selection of props from movies and TV, such as the DeLorean from Back To The Future and the speedboat from The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage.
The highlight of the tour involves Catastrophe Canyon, where the trams are stuck in the middle of a special effects disaster, with realistic explosions and a flash flood! After that, the tram drives by the end of what appears to be a New York City street, complete with the Empire State Building and The Chrysler Building in the "distance".
Separate from the tour, guests can actually walk down the NYC street. The first blocks, nearest to where the tram drives by, are life-size and realistic. As one walks farther down the street, however, the buildings get smaller and less detailed. Finally, at the end, it's clear that the 'buildings', including the skyscrapers, are just facades. They are made to appear life-size (but distant) from the other end by a technique called 'forced perspective'.
Some of the other attractions at Disney-MGM Studios:
There are others, of course, but those are the highlights. Even the restaurants are attractions, such as the 50's Prime Time Cafe and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.