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A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

The 25th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is fast approaching on May 1, and in honor of the upcoming park milestone, Disney Parks Blog author Nate Rasmussen and I will be taking a look back at some of the park’s original attractions.

A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios

One of my all-time favorites that you can still experience today is The Great Movie Ride. Housed inside a full-scale reproduction of Hollywood’s iconic Chinese Theater, the attraction offers a trip through movie history, starting with early black-and-white “talkies” and musicals to all-time classics like “Casablanca.” Other guest-favorite scenes include a spooky stop through some of the first horror films ever produced, a perilous scene for Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and the moment Dorothy and friends come into sight of the Emerald City.

Did you know that the Western scene, which features both Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, was designed to represent multiple films, instead of one film in particular? Fans of those ol’ Westerns may be interested to know that John Wayne’s horse isn’t one specific horse from a film, but was designed as a composite of horses from his different films.

Which film scene in The Great Movie Ride is your favorite? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.


  • This is one of my favorite attractions at my favorite Disney park! I’m actually in the midst of dissecting the Old West sequence of the ride for a paper. I wish I was still in Orlando so I could go on the ride for “research”! 😀

  • This is awesome! My grandpa worked for Bechtel and helped build the Great Movie Ride. He tripped over one of the Munchkin houses when they were working on it, ha ha 🙂

  • This ride is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. Not as flashy or well-known as most Disneyworld rides, but I always make sure to go on it at least once. Love the Raiders scene and the gangster’s skeleton.

  • Absolutely the Wizard of Oz scene. The animatronic wicked witch looks just the original actress and moves so realistically!

  • I was there 25 years ago when it opened. We arrived on April 30, 89 and found out that there was a new park opening tomorrow. We had no idea that there was going to be a new park since there was no internet to inform us of everything.

  • Even though I know it’s coming, the alien scene still scares me. My favorite part is actually before entering the ride, hearing all the music from classic movies! I also love the “Singin’ in the Rain” scene, it’s my all-time favorite movie! Thanks for highlighting this must-see attraction!

    • That’s my favorite!!

  • The very first time (opening year) I was on the ride, the ride vehicles were ‘stalled’ after the showing of the movies at the end as the vehicles in front were having loading issues. The ride hosts, after a slight pause, asked the guests what they enjoyed best about the ‘new’ ride. Several guests mentioned the ‘Alien’ scene. Without skipping a beat, the cast members looked at each other, and one replied, ‘What ‘Alien’ scene? I don’t remember that scene.’ Talk about staying in character. Those hosts, of course, were not on the ride vehicles through Alien (spoiler alert?)

    • That’s hilarious!

  • This is one of my favorite attractions — I actually wrote about it on my movie review blog

  • This is one of my all-time favorite attractions, and a must-do every time I go to Hollywood Studios. If I could choose to work in one place in WDW, it would be here! Although I love all the scenes, my favorite is the Wizard of Oz and the end movie movie montage!

  • I think it is cool but it was Disney’s MGM Studios, From 1989-2008, So true, a great ride and for now no fast pass lane,

  • THIS… IS ALIEN is my favorite scene! It’s my favorite movie and it was because of this ride that I was introduced to it! I love all the small details, like the screen showing the motion tracker, or the bird that dips its beak into the water from the movie! If this ride receives an update anytime soon, KEEP THE NOSTROMO, because a terrifying creature awaits to claim it’s next victim… 😉

  • Aaahhh. My college program home. Great memories that I’m anxious to re-live when I’m there this summer…

  • Thanks for this great feature. As a kid this was my favorite attraction. It still holds a special place in my heart, and I love the ending movie montage!

    • Thanks, Adam!

  • I remember when they were putting those hand/footprints in cement out front, in a daily or weekly celebrity appearance during ’90-’92.

    Of course, now that the actual theater in LA is now the “TCL Chinese IMAX 6”, feels like Disney’s is the only “real” Hollywood Grauman’s Chinese left.

  • Beautiful picture of the Chinese Theatre. Wish we could see that view upon entering the park!

  • I worked there during College Program, so the whole ride brings back many wonderful memories! The live action scenes make this a truly unique ride at WDW. And who doesn’t like going through the Fantasia Mickey scene on a hot day!

  • You didn’t mention the live action scenes . In one version of the ride the tour guide is temporarily replaced by a gangster who gets into a chase with the cops. In the other version they are replaced by a cowboy who has a shoot out with the sheriff. Both are great fun.

  • Mine would be the Alien scene. Very spooky! But the whole ride is pretty cool.

  • I’ve always loved the Alien scene. I’m now 26, but I remember going on it for my first time at about age 5, and how scared I was of the Alien popping out at you. Now he doesn’t seem so scary and I cant wait to take our son to Disney World for his first time to experience many of the same things I did as a child.

  • The Great Movie Ride is a favorite of my 13 year old son and was the last ride we did at HS when were there for extra magic hours last Monday night.

    It’s hard to choose an absolute favorite scene but if pressed I would go with the Wizard of Oz because of the Wicked Witch’s appearance. My son is still too scared to look during the Alien scene even after having been through the ride probably ten times!

  • I love it when the car gets hijacked. Always a fun ride.

    • 🙂

  • I love The Wizard of Oz scenes, but I will admit that I was terrified of the Wicked Witch popping up when I was a kid. Actually, she still kind of frightens me.

    • She looks SO real, too, doesn’t she?

  • The Great Movie Ride is always a must do for me. The Alien scene is always my favourite. Love the reactions it gets from people.

    • Me, too. There’s always that one guest who hasn’t seen the “Alien” scene before. 🙂

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