I’m back. Sorry for being away so long. My day job has been super crazy busy for the past few months but things are finally starting to slow down and I can get back to posting here. Congrats to the Instagram account for passing 6,000 followers this week!
When it came time to plan out my Spring Break trip this past year, there were two things I really wanted to experience and both of them were at Hollywood Studios (I know, right?). I’ll get to the other one in a later post, but the first thing I wanted to make sure I saw was Lights, Motors, Action! I knew that LMA was going to be closing at the beginning of April and I realized I had skipped it the last time I was in the park.
When attractions close at Disneyland or Walt Disney World there is usually a groundswell of support online. The usual discussions of starting a “Save This Attraction” campaign kicks in. These discussions are trivial I know – since the powers that be have already slated the ride / show / park area to die and there is no stay of execution coming from the Governor’s Mansion. But I was surprised that there really wasn’t much of a show of support for LMA. In fact there were quite a few derisive comments as LMA was going down for the count. Their were fans though, and I was among them.
Stuntmen always fascinate me. They do these incredible tricks and even set themselves on fire.
I usually don’t like to tell people they’re wrong, but I’m sorry they were. It’s true the Hollywood Studios we have now is nothing of what the original mission of the Studios was to be (a working production studio), but with the closure of LMA, there is now only one attraction that tries to live up to that spirit. Lights, Motors, Action! was at its very core, EXACTLY what the studios was meant to be. I know, we still have a stunt show with Indiana Jones, but I will always think that LMA was a better show than Indiana Jones is.
You may recall I wrote here that I was upset that I didn’t have any good shots of the Osborne Lights before they closed. I didn’t want that situation to repeat itself with LMA so I made sure that I got some good action shots. I actually misfired on the finale shot (shown above) when we attended the show the first time. I had preset the camera up, focused on the right spot but I didn’t have the shutter speed dialed in and the shot ends up far too blurry. I’m not sure what I was thinking. When I looked at the back of the camera I knew I had blown it and was actually pretty down on myself about it. As much as I like the show, I was in the parks with my family and I didn’t think we were going to be getting back to the Studios for another attempt at the shot. Luckily I was wrong.
Blown! Worst attempt at the final ever. Way to mess up the shutter speed. Feel the blur.
Thankfully my family wanted to do a second day over at the Studios, so I was going to get a second shot at the show. There was supposed to be a downpour during the late LMA show and it was predicted to rain the next day (LMA’s final performance day). Since I’m not a local, I had no idea if LMA ran during the rain or not. So I was determined to get the shot right this time.
Flying through a wall of fire.
To get the shot you see at the top of this article I switched my Canon over to sport mode so I could get a lot of shots in a short period of time (the Canon 60D can hit 5.3fps). Since I had seen the show a couple of days before the timing of it was better in my head and I could get the shot focused before the action (and switched the camera over to manual focus when I was ready). I can’t emphasize this enough. With shows like this that are repeating, having watched the show before is a big help for timing your shots and knowing where the action is going to be. The shot you see at the top of the article still isn’t perfect. The better shot would have been the first attempt where I blew the shutter speed.
As a side note, I would have thought the pyrotechnics during LMA were more precisely timed. But take a look at the image just above this paragraph. It looks like the pyros went off early as the car is jumping through a wall of flames. I actually like the way that shot turned out a lot. I wish the camera would have had a higher frame rate so I could have gotten a couple of frames before and after the above shot.
Many of the crew were doing their last performances and took an extra bow at the end.
Well, it’s been closed for a month now. The bulldozers and cranes have already started (if not finished) demolishing the stadium and the sets. We have Toy Story Land coming in its place. I’ve seen what a Toy Story Land can look like (having been to Hong Kong Disneyland) and I’m excited to see what the Florida version will be like. But I’ll miss Lights, Motors, Action!
I’ll have another article on Wednesday, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll share the other thing I wanted to do at the Studios on Friday. All depends if I can get the shot edited in time.