Walt Disney World 2015, Part I: Disney's Hollywood Studios

I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World, so in this post and forthcoming ones, I'll be showcasing some of my favorite photos from the parks and resorts.

The first park I visited on my trip was Disney's Hollywood Studios.  This park has undergone some major changes recently, most notably with the removal of the Sorceror's Hat that served as the park icon for a number of years.  I enjoy watching the movie previews while waiting in line for the Great Movie Ride, pictured above.

What could be better than a spectacular journey into the movies?

Dorothy & Her Friends Approach the Emerald City

Naturally, my favorite part of the ride is the Wizard of Oz sequence.  Using my fisheye lens allowed me to get a point of view I've never captured before.

The montage of movies they show at the end is undoubtedly the best part of the ride.

A View Over Hollywood Studios

The storm clouds were viewing as we made our way to the Rock'n Rollercoaster, still my favorite ride.  It doesn't have that Old Hollywood theming of other parts of the park, but the thrills are top-notch.

Storm clouds were still brewing as I snapped this shot down Sunset Blvd.  It sprinkled a little, but I was so happy to have slightly overcast weather for more interesting photos.  Only a photographer...

Dinner at the 50's Prime Time Café was lots of fun.  The waitresses pretend they're your aunt and play act with you.  On TVs scattered across the restaurant are snippets from popular 1950s sitcoms.

Most people probably don't associate the Muppets with Disney, but let's not forget that, among many other entities, Disney does own them, and has a whole section of DHS devoted to them.

I tried out the Frozen Sing-Along.  I'm not a huge fan of Frozen, but since the FastPass+ are tiered at this park, after choosing Rock'n Rollercoaster, there weren't a lot of other options.  Plus, I enjoy something new to photograph.  I was pleasantly surprised with how much adult-oriented humor was sprinkled throughout.  Disney does a great job of making things enjoyable for all ages.

I'd like to eat at the Brown Derby one day, just to be able to enjoy the ambiance.  The scenery inside is so cool, but the food is a bit pricy and not really my type of cuisine, so thus far, I've avoided it.

There are those storm clouds again!

I had time to snap a quick pic of the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel before riding the Tower of Terror.

Those clouds looked spectacular as I captured this shot of the park just milliseconds before the big drop.

As the sun was starting to set, the clouds just got more and more beautiful.

DHS has a new Starbucks franchise inside the park now called the Trolley Car Café.  True to Disney style, it is decked out with a trolley warehouse theme.

Since it's a Starbucks, that means you can buy cake pops!  Don't mind if I do!

Gotta Love That View Down Hollywood Boulevard

The view down Hollywood Blvd. is now better than ever, with a clear view to Grauman's Chinese Theater, now that the Sorceror's Hat is down.  Setting up your tripod in the middle of the "street" is a little awkward (I had at least one family mistake me for a PhotoPass photographer, but I guess I can't blame them), but it was worth it for this shot.  I don't mind having people in my photos, especially if they are moving.

Hollywood Blvd at Dusk

Another side shot of Hollywood Blvd. was necessary, as the sky was simply gorgeous at this point in the evening.  Also, nostalgic Old Hollywood tunes are playing here.  I love just enjoying the scenery and listening to the music as I wait for my photo to expose.

This corner of the park is relatively quiet.  There were people in this photo, but they were walking fast enough that they are barely visible.

Echo Lake at Dusk

Ah, would you look at that blue hour sky and those reflections in Echo Lake?  It's a photographer's dream.

50s Prime Time at Dusk

I had to get a shot of the outside of the 50's Prime Time Café at dusk.

Disney's Grauman's at Night

Lots of photographers have captured Grauman's Chinese Theater at blue hour, but there's nothing like the satisfaction of doing it yourself.  I think this may have marked the first time I ever brought a tripod into Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Normally I only bring my tripod to EPCOT or Magic Kingdom because they have fireworks.

Hollywood Blvd. at Night

A final photo before leaving the park for the night.

Ahh, the tram.  A welcome sign after a long day of traveling and walking...and waiting in line...and walking...and taking photos.


  1. These photos make me smile! 😃

  2. Those are some great photos! I especially enjoyed the long exposures on Hollywood Boulevard - those turned out great! Makes me ready to go back to a park I haven't visited in a couple of years!

    1. Thanks, Steve! I think the removal of the hat has breathed new life into this park!

  3. I have a random question - my husband and I are looking for a panoramic picture of this park to complete a series of posters we have. Do you have anything like that and do you sell your work?

    1. Hi Megan, if you contact me through this page: http://www.samanthadeckerphoto.com/contact.html

      I can show you some examples and see if I have what you're looking for.


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