Recap: Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

Everyone, meet Jane. Jane, meet everyone! She’s starred in a few of my runDisney adventures and you probably remember her mom, the great runDisney cheerleader, Peggy Sue. Jane’s going to share some of her experiences as a Walt Disney World local from time to time! Here’s her post about the Great Movie Ride blog meetup. – Patty

Hi, y’all! I had this amazing opportunity last week to attend the Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios.

I’ve been to several blog events since I’ve moved to The World and I was just as excited for this one. They didn’t say much about what we were doing. Just to check-in between 9-9:30 pm.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

Usually, there’s a little teaser about what the evening will hold but this was a complete surprise.

I attended with my friend Diane. We checked in during our time, were given a lanyard and some drink passes. Because we had annual passes we were allowed to enter the park before it closed and catch the Star Wars fireworks (my faves).

After we were told to meet in the courtyard out front of the Great Movie Ride, so off we went.

A few cast members came out to try to entertain us. First one was in a tuxedo, 2nd one was CB Demille, our director. Around 10:15 we were let in the queue area.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

We walked through, seeing the costumes on display and to the pre-show room with the movie about the movies. Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager for the Disney Parks Blog proceeded to tell us the plans for the evening. They asked what they would want to do if they knew their favorite ride was closing forever. One of the other cast members they said had ridden Horizon 40 times on closing day. They said they’d want to really take time enjoying all the sites and hearing the music over and over and just soak it in.

She then announced that we weren’t going to ride the movie ride; we were going to be able to freely walk through the movie ride, taking everything in and that there would be a dessert party in Munchkinland.

I nearly broke out into tears. You see, there was a younger version of me who imagined a wedding in that room for years. So for single, older me, this was a dream come true.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

There was some trivia while we waited and once we were allowed to enter the loading area, we noticed they had rolled out the red carpet. They were serving drinks, The Good Witch (Watermelon Vodka concoction) and the Bad Witch (Melon Vodka concoction). We grabbed drinks and were on our way.

I stood in awe in that first room; under the marquee with the lights and staring at the footlight parade dancers. The whole thing just seemed surreal. We walked and watched Gene Kelley sing in the rain. And into London to watch Mary Poppins on the roof tops. I spent some time there just looking at all the details.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

From there we entered the old streets of New York City, my hometown.

There was no soundtrack going on in this room. I kept thinking wow if I wasn’t with 200 people right now this would be super creepy.

Mr. & Mrs. Gangster were there playing their parts and taking photos with us.

I noticed how much detail was on the ground in these rooms. Areas we never really could see from a ride vehicle. Newspapers thrown everywhere, and I got a close-up of one of my favorite hidden mickeys on this ride, Mickey’s Shoe.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

Off to the Wild West we went, where a piano player was setting the mood.

I spent a long time admiring John Wayne and his horse. The strands of hair on the horse’s body and tail were so detailed. Normally we’d ride on by and never notice. I honestly had always just thought the horse was painted plastic, but nope – this was so real.

There were hills that looked like desert sand, but they were hard as a rock. You’d never know it wasn’t sand.

Met a fabulous little cowgirl friend in here. She asked us to help her rob a bank and while I could use the money, we politely declined.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

Next stop was Alien country. It was dark, and noisy.

So dark that my inner nerd got really excited to see these storm troopers in the dark. And then my flash went off, WHOMP WHOMP! We quickly moved through this area and get out of the crowd.

On to Raiders of the Lost Ark where there is so much detail to soak in, but there were snakes.

Why did it have to be snakes? And they were still moving.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios
I was trying to get my picture of the Mickey Donald hieroglyphic, but sadly I got confused and thought it was in the next scene. So I kept on going and missed it. I’ve also heard there is a C3PO and R2D2 hieroglyphic in there, but I’ve never seen it myself.

Just seeing wall details and the massive size of the statues up close was really impressive.

I was getting a bit hungry at this point so we took a few more pictures and then we arrived in Munchkinland.

The room was bright and cheerful. There was a bar serving beer and champagne punch, a dessert buffet in the middle of the floor and cocktail tables at the edge of the yellow brick road.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

Glinda was greeting guests and asked if I was a good witch or a bad witch, but I’m not a witch at all. She let me hold her wand, but let’s face it – light sabers are more my thing.

After about a half hour the room started to come alive, the sound of munchkins and music could be heard. Glinda took her place at the front of the room and sure enough, the wicked witch arrived asking who killed her sister? The singing began – all the munchkins and everyone was encouraged to sing along. They wanted us to follow the yellow brick road out of Munchkinland , through Oz and to the finale room.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

The finale room had more desserts and bars setup with tables and a fun director’s chair photo opp.

They ran through the latest finale movie and I couldn’t help myself from singing the old music. I’ll just never get used to the new version of this.

Once it was over we were told we could mingle and leave when we were ready. We got goody bags with popcorn and lollipops and were on our merry way.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

It was honestly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had at Disney. It was the best parks blog event I’ve been to by far.

I spoke with one of the blogs cast members to thank her for the opportunity and let her know this was going to be hard for them to top. She did inform me that they were running late because since the ride was announced to close the lines are much longer. So they had an hour wait at park close.

If you plan on seeing this ride before it closes on August 13th, they highly recommend a fast pass.

I’ll be back on that day just to give it one last ride and really say goodbye to this classic.

Disney Parks Blog Grand Finale for the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

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