Service Animals
Disney's Hollywood Studios

Donna shares her experiences at Disney's Hollywood Studios
and her Service Dog Gracie


First of all, the handicapped parking lot is much more convenient than any other I've mentioned so far. You have a straight shot to the gates. I love it!

But moving on, the first attraction is THE INDIANA JONES STUNT SPECTACULAR. It's a large, outdoor theater, so the seating is about what you'd get in any large, outdoor theater. I can't remember where the handicapped seats are, but I think they are in the back of the theater. If so, there's lots of room for the dog by your feet. It will have to remain still, because there are people in front of you and you don't want the dog pestering anyone else! But Gracie usually goes to sleep (no matter how loud any show is, her first reaction is "I'm sure I can sleep through this. I can sleep through anything!"

SOUNDS DANGEROUS

This is another show. You enter the theater and choose a seat. Make sure there's plenty of room around your feet for the dog, and make sure the dog isn't afraid of the dark AND it knows how to do a good, steady down stay. The attraction is a show where Drew Carey does a sound effects bit, and much of it is in the DARK. I really mean DARK, so if the dog is frightened of the dark, avoid this attraction. Noise coming at you in the dark can be disconcerting for PEOPLE who know what's happening. It can really scare a dog that doesn't understand! And some of the sound is carried by headphones which the dog won't be wearing, but dogs can hear what's going on in YOUR headphones, so be careful! But there's nothing that should scare a well-trained dog.

STAR TOURS

This is another one of the motion simulator rides. You sit in the seat in front of a movie screen, and the pictures make you feel like you're moving all over the place. This is one that I used to get motion sick in, so we don't do it anymore!

WALT DISNEY: ONE MAN'S DREAM

This is a walk-through exhibit with many of Walt's artifacts and office fixtures. It's a very large display, and many things in it to discover. Many people go through it at once, so make sure the dog is very good around everyone. There's not much chance to lie down except at the very end, when you go into a theater and watch a movie. There's plenty of room for the dog to lie by your feet. Handicapped seats are near the rear of the theater. The dog must be well-behaved and quiet during movies Gracie loves this one, as she's pretty tired by the time we get to it!

JIM HENSON'S MUPPET-VISION 3D

This is another film where you get to sit in a comfortable theater. There's plenty of room for the dog to lay by your feet, but it must remain quiet and still. There's some loud noises, so beware if the dog startles easily.

NEW YORK STREET SET

Just a large set that simulates a typical (although older) New York street. There's plenty of room for the dog to walk around and have fun!

TOY STORY PIZZA PLANET

A Disney eaterie cleverly disguised as a set from Toy Story! It's really just a pizza restaurant. The dog is welcome in there. It must not disturb any other guests or pester you for food! It's really pretty good, although it's definitely a kid's restaurant.

PLAYHOUSE DISNEY - LIVE ON STAGE!

This is something we've never done, before or after bringing Gracie along. I've never been interested, and she wouldn't like being shut in with hundreds of little kids wanting to pet her while she's working!

THE MAGIC OF DISNEY ANIMATION

This is an excellent tour, although it was MUCH better BEFORE they fired all the animators. We haven't done this tour recently because we're upset that they fired all the animators, but before they did the firing, it was great! Gracie used to love going into the Animation building and watching the animators through the glass. Then the final movie afterwards was EXCELLENT (they don't have it anymore). I think AndyMation has been added to the end of the tour. He's a balloonimator. He makes balloon representations of the Disney animated characters, and gives a little talk about Disney animation at the same time. Gracie used to just love going to see Andy. She'd sit through the talk he gave (all 500 times she sat through it...we used to go to Disney/MGM just to see him! We'd sit there for all of his shows. He's amazing! But I digress...) and she'd help him out when the crowd wasn't with him! Otherwise, she's just lie there and sleep while I listened enraptured. His talk about animation was wonderful. I hear that they've cut down on the characters he creates for a specific show now. But he's good, and you just sit and watch and listen. Be careful that kids don't step on the dog when they are looking at someone and not watching where they're going, and kids often decide to pet the dog while they are involved in the talk Andy's giving. There's not much room sometimes, so make sure your dog is protected from people's feet, kid's toys, and everything else that people don't pay attention to in places like this.

STUDIOS BACKLOT TOUR

This is a very good tour. You board a tram (dog people usually get put in front, or at least I do, because of the wheelchair), so make sure that the dog doesn't mind sitting on a tram as it passes by all the backlot stuff at
the studio. You have to stand in line twice; make sure that the dog is protected from people's feet and parcels. Make sure that the dog is placed on a down in the tram to make sure he doesn't try to leap off. As you get to catastrophe canyon, beware of the water (on the left side of the tram). If the dog doesn't like water, avoid this ride. If he doesn't mind, this ride should be fun!

VOYAGE OF THE LITTLE MERMAID

This is a multi-type retelling of the Little Mermaid story from the movie. There are puppets, people in costumes, and animatronic characters. The music is loud, but not too loud. You have to stand in a very large room with lots of people (beware of feet and petting kids!) before you go in. Wheelchairs go back to the wall in this queue, so you can put the dog between you and the wall to protect it from petting kids and flying feet. Sit in the back row (for wheelchairs) and the dog shouldn't have any trouble. It gets pretty dark, and you are given the illusion of being under water. If the dog is put off, by this, avoid it. But most dogs should like it. It's a good show, cool, and you get to sit! Be sure to watch out when the theater lets out. It's pretty dark and people are in a hurry to leave, so don't let you dog get stepped on!

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - LIVE ON STAGE

We've never been ot see this attraction. I loved the movie, and I didn't feel that it would be possible to do the show justice, so we've never been to it. Also, I imagine that it wiill be full of little girls and any little kids often want to pet Gracie or are afraid of her.

THE GREAT MOVIE RIDE

This ride is WONDERFUL! You enter a ride vehicle. It's a pretty large vehicle. They usually put us in the back seat if it's a full ride, otherwise you have to maintain the dog away from other passengers next to you. Gracie usually just sits and watches, but it could scare some dogs. The vehicle goes through several scenes from movies you've seen 200 or 300 times! Of special interest are Tarzan (elephants, cheetah, and Tarzan flying by on a vine), Raiders of the Lost Ark (Indiana Jones in the room where the ark is resting...and snakes! Thousands of snakes!), and the Wizard of Oz (munchkins popping up all around). Oh, and the alien from..Alien! It pops out of the ceiling at unexpected times. Several of these scenes can provide some scary moments. If the dog is easily startled, be careful, but mostly just relax and enjoy!

ROCK 'N' ROLLER COASTER

We've never been on this one because we don't care much for roller coasters, and because Gracie's not allowed on it because there's no way to secure her in the car.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR

This is a very good ride. The props are all there...Burgess Meredith's glasses, etc.... It's a great thing to go through even if you don't ride the ride (and dogs CAN'T ride it). You can get off right before you get on the elevator, and look through the gift shop. It's done really well, and the dog shouldn't have any trouble with any of it. It's another walk-through kind of thing. Once again, WATCH THE DOG. Make sure no one steps on him/her and she/he doesn't step on anyone!

Well, that's it for MGM, except the restaurants. We've only been to the Sci-Fi Dine-In theater, but there's not much room for the dog except at the back tables. Most of the tables are up high near the "cars" that are scattered throughout. While they are very nice about the dog, I wouldn't suggest it because there's not much chance for the dog to find a comfortable place to lay.

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