The Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios in Orlando is to close

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Backlot Tour at Hollywood Disney Studios
Us by the tram we took on the Backlot Tour

Last year we had a wonderful holiday in Orlando, where we took the kids to Disney World for the first time. We absolutely loved the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but we were also surprised by how much we enjoyed Hollywood Studios – with its Indiana Jones show, Muppets film, Star Wars ride and Backlot Tour where you were able to see how special effects in films were made. We all really enjoyed this tour (the kids described it as a “must see” in a piece they wrote for Britmums) and that’s why we were sad to see that the tour is closing – permanently, on October 5th.

water gushes past on the Disney Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour
Robert by the gushing water on the tour

We thought this attraction was great fun, taking us “behind the scenes” at the movies, through a series of special effects (explosions and more via the “Harbor attack” which you would walk by), plus the chance to see movie memorabilia and props (like the marionettes from the Sound of Music!) and a tram tour to the movie set of Catastrophe Canyon where we experienced an earthquake and then water gushing down right next to us. All of it was terrific, especially Catastrophe Canyon.

Marionettes from the Sound of Music
These are the famous marionettes used in the goatherd song from the Sound of Music

The Backlot Tour was actually one of the original attractions at the studios when it opened in 1989. It was originally much bigger than it is now, but it was still well worth a visit – although apparently new demands suggest that its popularity must have been on the wane.

It had been altered/refurbished many times over the years, including the removal of its residential area (which made way for the Lights, Motors, Action show) nearly a decade ago).

There are suggestions that some of the space which will now be free will be used for some festive Frozen activities, or for some Pixar fun. Interestingly it’s not the first attraction to close at the park recently as the American Idol experience was also voted off.

We’re sorry to see it go.


18 Responses

  1. mellissa williams

    We love the backlot tour, it’s so interesting to see the movie props, it’s such a shame it will close. Catatrosphe Canyon is fun. What is going there instead do you know? If you ever go to LA the Universal studios backlot tour is brilliant.

    • Sarah Ebner

      We loved Universal when we went, but didn’t do a backlot tour. Maybe that means we need to go again? I don’t know exactly what is going there, but something Frozen related for the next few months I think.

  2. Mari

    Oohh Disneyworld, that is on our list too for one day.
    Shame about closing the attraction down but I bet they replace it with something even better PLUS you guys have the memory and the soon to become ‘vintage’ blog post of your time there
    Win win

  3. Aisha from expatlog

    Those marionettes are wonderful! Takes me right back. It’s a curious U.S. mindset that views something so rich in history as inferior to the latest passing craze. Sad news.

  4. Richard

    My daughter and I tried to do the backlot tour on our last visit three years ago. We were too late to see it that day and were looking forward to doing it on our next trip. She will be so disappointed. I remember doing this attraction when the park first opened and I thought it was really intended to be the biggest attraction of the park. The whole theme of the Hollywood Studios was to be a park and working studio that would show visitors behind the scenes of how movies were made. I wonder what will become of those Sound of Music marionettes, btw.

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