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Top 10 Mind Blowing Facts About The Former Great Movie Ride

It’s hard to believe The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been closed for three years now! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway finally opened this year, filling the space of the iconic Chinese Theater. While we enjoy the new ride, we do find ourselves missing the chance to roll through classic films and experiences on The Great Movie Ride. As we remember the closure three years ago on this day, August 13, let’s reminisce on a few favorite facts from the former attraction!  

This journey into the movies was housed inside a beautiful replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and featured many classic and beloved Hollywood films like Singing in the Rain, Casablanca, Alien, Mary Poppins, Tarzan, the Wizard of Oz, and Fantasia. With so many amazing scenes and films to explore, guests enjoyed riding on the Great Movie Ride which was filled with some wonderful details and facts to discover. Here are the top ten mind blowing facts about the Great Movie Ride.

10. The Courtyard Remains! 

Many guests would head straight for the entrance of the Great Movie Ride and often overlooked an amazing part of the attraction. The courtyard outside of the attraction’s building is filled with many different tiles of pavement, each featuring the handprints and footprints of a celebrity. Guests who take the time to explore the courtyard can see how their hands measure up with some big celebrities as well as some classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse. Thankfully, the handprints remain in place! 

9. TCM Sponsorship

The Great Movie Ride was sponsored by Turner Classic Movies and featured a wonderful narration that was a combination of live action by a Cast Member and a recording of Robert Osborne. The TCM sponsorship and recording brought interesting facts and details about the films that guests passed through, making it the perfect addition to the entertaining role that the Cast Members played.

8. Hidden Minnie

The loading area of the Great Movie Ride was a massive room that looked like a Hollywood set. Guests boarded massive attraction vehicles which were stationed alongside a wall featuring a mural of the Hollywood hills. Guests who look at the mural closely and spot a cluster of palm trees can find a tricky Hidden Minnie. Minnie’s profile was found in silhouette and most easily spotted by looking for her bow.

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7. Hidden Donald and Mickey

Many guests are huge fans of Indiana Jones and one scene of the Great Movie Ride featured an iconic moment from the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. While Indiana Jones was seen to the right of the attraction vehicle, guests could look to the left hand side to spot a massive wall built by stones covered in hieroglyphics. Guests who looked closely at the stones could spot one that features Mickey dressed as a pharaoh and Donald as a servant.

6. Hidden C3P0 and R2D2

Another stone among the hieroglyphics featured two hidden characters from the Star Wars universe. Among the Egyptian figures were the droids C3P0 and R2D2!

5. Mickey’s Feet

The Great Movie Ride brought several genres of film to life including the underworld made famous by classic gangster movies. While moving through the underworld scene, guests could look for a massive poster advertising the movie Public Enemy. Guests who looked closely at the bottom left hand side of the poster could spot Mickey’s feet and tail!

4. License Plate

The gangster scene featured a thrilling confrontation between several groups of thieves. On the right hand side of the scene, a car pulled up filled with gangsters ready to fight for their take. While the license plate of the car seemed like a random string of numbers, it actually represents a date in history that perfectly ties into the gangster theme. The license plate reads 021-429, which pays homage to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre which took place on February 14, 1929 in Chicago.

3. Missing Crew

The Alien scene of the Great Movie Ride was one of the most eerie and thrilling of the entire experience as guests boarded the ship Nostromo where Sigourney Weaver was seen fighting for her life. Guests who sat on the left hand side of the attraction vehicles could look near the floor of the scene to spot a crew list. Some of the crew were reported missing or worse, but many guests did not realize that the names of the crew are those of Cast Members who helped to create the attraction.

2. Half A Plane

One of the most beloved films of all time is Casablanca which was brought to life in an iconic scene on the Great Movie Ride. The scene featured Rick and Ilsa at the airport in one of the final touching moments from the film. While the plane featured in the scene seemed totally authentic, it was actually only the front of a plane! The back half can still be found over in the Magic Kingdom on the Jungle Cruise.

1. The Almost Tornado

Fantasia was brought to life in a scene that created the mayhem of swirling water and whirling winds created by Sorcerer Mickey. While the scene brought the classic Disney animated film to life, it almost did not exist. The scene was originally intended to create the tornado from the Wizard of Oz, but had to be cut after contractual agreements only allowed two scenes from the Wizard of Oz to be used. Thus, Fantasia was added to the Great Movie Ride. 

Do you miss this old timer or are you excited Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has arrived?

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.