Go Behind the Scenes at the Studio Backlot Tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One of our favorite attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Studio Backlot Tour. It's as close to Hollywood as we're likely to ever be and you get to rest your feet during the tram part of the tour, so it's a win-win.

As you enter the queue for the Studio Backlot Tour, you'll find yourself under a canopied observation deck in the Harbor Attack! area. In this part of the tour, guests get the opportunity to watch a live demonstration about how sea battles are filmed. Note that if you're in the front row in Harbor Attack, you might get wet.

Harbor Attack! Scene With Guest ParticipantHarbor Attack! Scene With Guest Participant

Action film director Michael Bay sets up the scene for guests and then the cast member brings out the pre-selected audience members to help in the filming of the water sequence for Harbor Attack! These lucky guests are wearing raincoats because they are going to get very, very wet in the next few minutes.

The first audience member gets soaked as the "engine room scene" is filmed and incredible amounts of water are poured into the mock engine room set. In the next scene the guests portraying the crew on the deck of the ship are attacked by air and sea and there are a few explosions and lots of water.

And then, the Harbor Attack is over and the queue continues into the prop warehouse where guests get a chance to see props from movies including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and more. As you exit the prop warehouse you'll board the trams for the backlot tour.

The Iconic Earful TowerThe Iconic Earful Tower

The tram glides past the Earful Tower - the water tower topped with Mickey Ears - and this is as close as guests will get to the tower. The tram tour also takes guests through the costume and materials building where you might catch a glimpse of people working on costumes. After exiting the building the tram is in the boneyard where you'll get a glimpse of vehicles from films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and even Herbie the Love Bug.

The next stop is probably the most exciting part of the Studio Backlot Tour - Catastrophe Canyon. This area is an "active movie set" featuring a rocky are with a fuel tanker and water tanks. The story is that the cast and crew are on break, but as the tram stops the filming suddenly starts again.

Tanker In Catastrophy CanyonTanker In Catastrophy Canyon

There's an earthquake that shakes the tram. Then the fuel truck explodes. Then there's a flood that rushes down the canyon and also comes from above the tram. It should be noted that if you're sitting on the left side of the tram you might get a little wet. And young kids might be a little frightened with all the explosions, fireballs, and water.

And then, just like that the scene ends and the tram continues on the backlot tour taking guests past the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show theater and Walt Disney's private airplane. As the tram tour ends, guests finish the backlot visit with a walking tour of the American Film Institute Showcase currently features props and costumes in a display called "The Best in Film: 100 Years, 100 Movies."

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe PropsChronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Props

Guests will have a chance to see set pieces, actual costumes, and props from movies including Titanic, Gone with the Wind, Superman's cape from the 1978 film, and artifacts from Casablanca and West Side Story.

The Studio Backlot Tour takes about 25 minutes from start to finish and is usually less crowded in the early morning.

Does the Backlot Tour have a place on your touring strategy list? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on this original Hollywood Studios attraction.

Heather wrote on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 13:38:

Heather's picture

We love the backlot tour and go on it every time we are in Disney! And we includes two boys under 11, my husband and I. As huge movie-junkies, this is one of our favorite things to do, even though it doesn't really change. Although, we do see new things walking through the prop room each time :) I recommend this to everyone!!

J wrote on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 19:31:

J's picture

It's has it high points, but I did prefer this attraction more in its original two part form. I like seeing the ship from Flight of the Navigator.

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