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Disney's Hollywood Studios Backstage Tour Takes Us To Catastrophe Canyon

Catastrophe Canyon has been a part of Disney World since Disney’s Hollywood Studios first opened on May 1st, 1989.

Although the Studio Backlot Tour itself has changed several times during the past 20 years, the one constant for the attraction has been Catastrophe Canyon.

Catastrophe Canyon adds an exciting element to the Backlot Tour. The premise is that you are on a live movie set and you get to experience the special effects first hand.

Catastrophe Canyon
The 200 seat open air tram you are riding in pulls in to the Canyon set during your Backlot Tour.

Once the tram comes to a complete stop, you are introduced to the set and they demonstrate how they can make it rain on a movie set with special sprinklers creating realistic rain.

They point out the sprinklers and lure you into a false sense of security before the real action begins.

After the rain stops, the tram is shaken unexpectedly by a simulated earthquake and fire starts to break out on the set.

The tram is really moved about during the earthquake, and you begin to be drawn into the action surrounding you.

The fire builds and spreads to an oil tanker truck.

You can really feel the heat of the flames as the fire builds.

Then torrents of flood waters start rushing into the canyon.

It builds quickly and appears that a giant wave will overtake the tram and wash you away. The effect of the flash flood is exciting and thrilling. If you are on the left side of the tram you are the closest to the action and may get a little wet.

You think that a tidal wave is going to overwhelm the tram and wash you away.

Then magically the water flow reduces to just a trickle and then stops altogether.

Once the tram gets underway again they take you to the back of the set to see how it was constructed. You get to see the powerful pumps and water canons that were used to create the simulated flash flood.

Sadly the tram then carries you back to the real world again and your Disney World experience of being in the movies is over all too quickly.

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