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Disney's Hollywood Studios - Orlando, Florida

If the Orlando and Disney theme parks are about the art of the imagination then Disney's Hollywood Studios Florida has the perfect basis from which to imagine. Take screen stars, action heroes, classic animation and a big dollop of special effects, mix them all up with stunning backdrops and beautiful props and you have a really special theme park.

Disney's Hollywood studios is a big park, but is not on the scale of Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, with the various attraction areas closer together. Most on arriving in the park seem to move around in an anticlockwise direction, leaving Star Wars and Studio Backlot Tours till later in the day. If you do the opposite and head left first you will beat the queues and enjoy some emptier rides and shows.

Many of the attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios are based around shows, each of which will play a number of times each day. Once a show has started you will not be allowed entry and at busy times shows can fill to capacity. As you arrive in the park collect one of the flyers detailing that days show times, review those you want to see and plan your day around that.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Disney may have less adrenaline fueled rides than Universal, but that does not mean it can't do them, and do them very well. Make your way past the screams from the Tower of Terror and onto this rock inspired ride.

This may be the only rollercoaster in the world where the car really is a car, complete with a sound system pumping out specially recorded Aerosmith tracks. Although as you speed from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, pull 4.5g in the turns and reach speeds of 65 mph the only soundtrack you hear may be your screams.

Described by rollercoaster enthusiasts as an 'extreme ride', Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is one of Disney's most popular; despite its capacity to thrill 1800 riders per hour you may still want to use the FastPass here.

Indian Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Recreating famous scenes from all of the films, the Indian Jones Stunt Spectacular is a thrill for action film fans. Expect our hero to win through against all the odds as he takes on the baddies in his fight to preserve the secrets of time.

Based between the central plaza and Star tours the theater plays out its show at selected times through the day. There is plenty of seating.

Lights, Motor Action Extreme Stunt Show

Star of the recent animated feature Cars, Lighting McQueen has recently joined many other stunt cars and motorbikes to put on a thrilling half hour high octane stunt show.

The arena is huge but as ever on busy days best arrive in good time to get seated in the best seats. The arena is on the far left hand side of the park so be sure to allow plenty of time to walk over, you will be pleased you did, its a great show.

Extreme Stunt Show

Star Wars Training Academy

Situated on the left towards the back of the park and providing training for would-be Jedi Knights, the Star Wars Training Academy is a must do. If your younger ones have Jedi aspirations and want to be trained by a real Jedi then head over early and put their names down for one the days sessions.

The Training starts with students receiving their Light Sabers from a real Jedi who then Darth Vadercoaches them in basic skills and combat moves. Expect lots of laughs as students learn from their master. Before long the music swells and the session is interrupted by invading Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. The costumes and effects are just fantastic, as Darth Vader stalks onto stage the hairs on your neck stand on end and you cant help but gasp. Don't miss this one.

Star Tours

Next to the Training Academy is Star Tours, your chance to join C3PO and R2D2 on a adventurous space freighter flight. The queues at Star Tours build through the day but early in the morning are very short, get here then and enjoy a few flights without queuing.

There is more than one version of the ride, with different stories and adventures for each freighter why not try more than one?

Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage

Yet another example of Disney's commitment and the endless energy and dedication of cast members. The 25 minute Beauty and the Beast show, lavishly set in a 1500 seat auditorium would easily stand on its own in the West End. The timeless love story and famous soundtrack are performed to perfection. Seats are available for most shows, but arrive early if you want those in the middle nearer the front.

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Fantasmic Night Show

Fantasmic by name and Fantastic by nature. Hollywood Studios night show of fireworks and water featuring Mickey Mouse, supported by a cast of Disney greats and playing out the Sorcerers Apprentice. The show features music from many Disney classics including Cinderella, Lion King and Pinocchio.

Fantasmic is a seated show based in a outdoor amphitheater style auditorium that is situated near the Tower of Terror, the show starts after dark. Doors open 90 minutes before show start and despite its huge size can get busy. If you have a large group or want seats in the middle then best arrive early. Only sit in the front few rows if you want to get wet! There are plenty of cast members on hand to assist you in finding a seat and many more selling drinks, snacks and souvenirs. The nature of the show and the special effects best suit a warm, still night.

If you come back to the park later in the evening just for the show then park as far forward as you can, try to park near the coach drop off area and walk in, doing so will save you from having to queue for a tram on the way home.