Saying No To Cars Land – Fixing the Disney Hollywood Studios

Written by Tim Grassey. Posted in Features

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Published on April 14, 2013 at 12:01 am with 59 Comments



Rumors about additions and changes to Hollywood Studios have existed for years. While many are figments of fan boys’ imaginations, usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire. A few months ago, Al Lutz reported that a version of Cars Land is being pushed through Disney’s offices for a late 2015 opening. While official confirmation is still pending, the expectation is that something will be announced for Hollywood Studios at or before the D23 Expo in early August.

 

I don’t doubt that some fans would be excited if tomorrow Disney announced that Radiator Springs Racers, Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Flo’s V8 Café and the Cadillac Ridge would be added to the park in the next few years. Having said that, I hope that they go in a different direction.

I visited Cars Land two weeks after opening. I braved the crowds, I rode the rides, and I was even one of the lucky few that hit a giant beach ball. I absolutely loved Radiator Springs Racers and the rest of Cars Land, and feel it’s the best addition to a stateside Disney park in recent memory. However, as Walt said, “You can’t top pigs with pigs.” I don’t want to see Imagineering replicate something they’ve already done; I want to see them produce something that nobody has seen before… something like Cars Land.

Cars Land works in California Adventure because it’s something that can’t be experienced anywhere else. To Disneyland fans, California Adventure was stale almost instantly and an investment into that park was much needed. That investment paid off significantly with some speculation that California Adventure actually saw an attendance spike of close to 60% in 2012.

It seems there is a belief amongst Disney’s Orlando operations that the theme park market has matured. This belief is publicly reinforced by less aggressive attraction spending in recent years. Comparatively, Universal Studios has been more aggressive building new attractions, resulting in significant increases to attendance. With Transformers the Ride 3-D opening within the next few months, Springfield opening shortly thereafter, and Phase 2 of Harry Potter expected to open in 2015, Comcast and Universal aren’t backing down. Even if construction were to begin tomorrow, it’s unlikely that Disney would open a substantial addition to Hollywood Studios prior to Phase 2 of Harry Potter. For this reason, I predict that one or more Universal Studios parks will have a higher attendance than one or more Disney World parks by 2016.

The good thing is, Disney is doing significant work to improve their infrastructure. Adding new hotels, restaurants, shopping and the much maligned Next Gen project will help position Disney World to accommodate larger crowds. The problem is, none of these additions entice people to book vacations. They just add content and create revenue while those people are already here. The best way to get people to book vacations is to build revolutionary new attractions.

This is where I have a problem with Cars Land in Florida. Yes it’s a proven concept, but at best it would open three and a half years after its California counterpart. At that point, the excitement will have died off if they produce a direct clone. Radiator Springs Racers is a fantastic attraction, but it should not be the new anchor to Hollywood Studios. I suspect that the people who planned a vacation around Cars Land in California won’t plan an additional trip around, “Cars Land 2: Now With Humidity”. If a new E-ticket attraction is the anchor of the Florida version of Cars Land, I’m on board, but I don’t want to see Radiator Springs Racers again. Radiator Springs Racers will help that park, but it won’t fix it.

More importantly, if Disney is looking at two true “destination resorts” on either coast there needs to be unique offerings in both locations. Replicating Cars Land in Florida will cannibalize guests from California. While I understand the benefits of cloning attractions, the benefits are realized more when the attractions are built simultaneously.

The dedication plaque for MGM/Hollywood Studios reads:

The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood – not a place on the map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was – and always will be.

The concept behind the park is truly brilliant. Celebrating the romanticized view of Hollywood is both broad in scope and limitless with concepts. No longer should the park be a catch all for content that doesn’t have a home, but rather a well-conceived and cohesive story that celebrates Hollywood.

To many fans, Cars Land is an easy sell. It’s an established franchise with attractions that already exist. It’s something that fans understand, but that doesn’t make it the right decision. As a Disney fan, I know there’s a reason why I’m not an Imagineer – I simply don’t have the ability to create and imagine at the same level as these individuals. I would much rather see this team of creative individuals given the opportunity to fix the park with new ideas.

The reason why fans gravitate towards concepts like Cars Land or Indiana Jones Adventure is because those attractions exist and they know what they’re getting. In the same way, fans beg and plead for things like Beastly Kingdom or the Monster’s Inc Coaster because they’re concepts that are understood, either based on existing information or concept art. Similarly, I’m guilty of begging and pleading for a trackless ride system like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (Tokyo) because it’s a ride system that I understand.

While I just admitted that I’m no Imagineer, I feel that I can still recognize areas of weakness as well as suggest improvements. I think both Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard are especially well themed, despite some minor exceptions and thematic intrusions. The rest of the park has segments that are well executed, but is exceptionally disjointed. It’s the “rest of the park” that I feel needs a substantial overhaul.

Indulge me, if you will, and we’ll explore the Hollywood Studios as I would like to see them.

Conceptually, the front half of the park would represent the idealized version of Hollywood as a city, while the back half of the park would represent the idealized version of individual studios. The park would remain open while construction is taking place, so attractions would have to close at various stages of the overhaul to meet capacity demands.

Part 1

This segment involves changes to Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Pixar Place. These changes are designed to move focus and capacity to areas that will be further away from major construction. First, I would like to see a refurbishment to The Great Movie Ride. I would like to see scenes replaced, animatronics upgraded, and the finale re-done with an update to the picture quality and the montage itself. On Sunset Boulevard, I would like to see a replacement to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage! I know a Tangled show had been rumored, and that concept would be acceptable. In Pixar Place, I’d like to see construction begin on the Monster’s Inc Roller Coaster (or other Pixar concept) in the Soundstage to the left of the current Pixar Place. Finally, I’d like to see the Sorcerer’s Hat removed (can I hear an amen?).

Part 2

I suspect that Disney’s plans for the Animation Courtyard have been put on the back burner, but this area can represent a significant element of Hollywood: television and radio. I would like to see the entire area pay tribute to television and radio. This can be accomplished by constructing new building facades that represent current and historical production facilities in Hollywood. Unfortunately this would mean the removal or relocation of The Magic of Disney Animation and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. For thematic purposes, I would like to see a new entrance created to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster area, now made possible thanks to the removal of The Magic of Disney Animation. Additional building facades can be created along the backside of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster building as well as the Cast Member parking lot. These new facades will then become the home of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights every holiday season.

Part 3

Part 3 is the most important and would carry the burden of reshaping Hollywood Studios. It begins in Echo Lake, which will function as a transition area between Hollywood the city, and the individual studios. This presents two difficult transition areas: the American Idol Experience/Sounds Dangerous building and the area between 50’s Prime Time Diner and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. The transitions must successfully blend these areas of Hollywood Boulevard with a fictitious studio concept, and I believe that a Star Wars or George Lucas land are the best choices.

Star Wars fans have begged and pleaded for a chance to dine inside Mos Eisley Cantina. This experience is a must, and could utilize existing infrastructure like Backlot Express or even help with the transition from Hollywood Boulevard. New attractions can be built in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular area as well as in the American Idol Experience/Sounds Dangerous building. The exterior of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue should be modified so that it no longer resembles a soundstage. Between these areas, there is enough room for three substantial attractions.

The new land will end at Star Tours, leaving the Muppet*Vision 3D section, Commissary Lane and the Streets of America available for additional expansion to Pixar Place and/or other fictitious studio concepts. Pixar is an ever evolving brand, and I truly believe that there are countless opportunities for new Pixar attractions down the road. If The Muppets continue to grow in popularity, that area can be expanded as well.

Obviously, adding both Pixar and Star Wars content puts the budget well beyond what fans can realistically expect. What I have outlined is unrealistic without a California Adventure level budget (or larger), however I think that using different anchors beyond Cars Land is a stronger initial approach. I can’t help but think that the Fantasyland expansion suffered in part to Journey of the Little Mermaid opening 18 months prior in California. While I understand that Radiator Springs Racers is a far superior attraction, I can’t help but think its effect will be diminished in Florida. Thankfully, the construction of Radiator Springs Racers still fits in line with the rest of my suggestions, it just delays the content that guests haven’t seen before.

But that’s just the way I see it. The important thing is what you’d like to see. Please take a moment to share your thoughts on how Disney should reinvent the Studios park.

About Tim Grassey

Three months before being born, Tim enjoyed his first trip to Disney World. Ever since, frequent trips to Disney World and Disneyland have helped feed the obsession. After a three year run as a podcaster, Tim currently co-owns the Disney information site, WDWThemeParks.com. You can follow the site on twitter @wdwthemeparks or follow Tim directly @tgrassey

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  • WesternMouse

    In the mid-90s, WDW mgmt considered adding a drive in theater in the parking lot of the Studios. That would be cool too.

    • http://www.wdwthemeparks.com Tim Grassey

      Maybe that’s how they swing it… They include the Drive in Theater component of Carsland so that it’s slightly different. While still not my first choice, I could get behind that more than a direct clone.

      • Susan Hughes

        There’s a rumor flying around here at Disney California Adventure that they might be building a drive in theater in between Hollywood Tower of Terror and The Cadillac Range at Cars Land.
        Construction on “something” started a month ago. Two cinder block structures; one behind Tower of Terror and the other behind Cadillac Range. In between those two locations are a lot of unused trailers and parking spaces. Plenty of room for “something”.

  • red barchetta

    I guess I’m in the minority, but while I like Cars Land itself, I find Radiator Springs to be a vastly over-rated attraction. It’s not exciting and you can see everything in a single ride-through (except for the very slight alternate path). There are no details left to discover, unlike detail-rich rides like Splash or Thunder Mountain. And that would be fine if the climax of the ride actually lived up to its potential, but it feels like you’re in a big go-cart that offers little in the way of thrills.

    I suppose this is a long-winded way of saying I totally agree I hope Disney Studios gets something different as well.

    • Anonymouse

      “I guess I’m in the minority, but while I like Cars Land itself, I find Radiator Springs to be a vastly over-rated attraction. ”

      You are not in the minority at all. The praise for Cars Land is somewhat deserved in what an accomplishment it is for Disney Imagineering, but the reality is that the praise would be even greater if it were something people actually wanted.

      1) Cars Lands’ appeal lessens after every visit. As jaw dropping as it is the first time, subsequent visits are less and less appealing because once you get over the beauty you start realizing how shallow it all is.

      2) Cars popularity is greatly overrated. Yes, its easy to point at merchandising and piles of money to make the point that the world loves Cars, but I believe that the reality of it is that Cars is Pixars most 2D property. The characters are as generic and flat as any roadside postcard you send to a relative that you really dont want to write a whole letter to.

      3) Little boys like Cars… so what. Sure, little boys like Cars but little boys also like McDonalds and fart jokes. They are an important segment to market to, but they do not represent the market as a whle.

      4) Cars Land is the land that NOBODY asked for. I challenge anyone to find a post anywhere before Cars Land was announed where someone said “I wish Radiator Springs was a real place because I’d love to visit”. Yes, its impressive and well realized but no, its not interesting.

      5) Cars Land (minus ride time) can be finished in 30 minutes. There’s a hippie tent that sells banans, 3 gift shops, a food place and 3 rides. And of those 3 rides, only one is really worthwhile. So the ONLY thing that keeps people in Cars Land for so long is that the rides take forever to get on. Thats not the formula of a good time, its a formula of wasting time.

      Okay, well by now i’m sure people think I hate Cars Land. I dont. I think Imagineers did an absolutely amazing job, and that is exactly why repeating their work seems so lame. Cars? Avatar? Is this really what anyone is asking for? These guys proved that they can make a bad franchise look good, so imagine what Imagineers could produce if it was a franchise people actually asked for.

      • MrGoat

        I could not possibly agree more, with everything you said.

      • LoveStallion

        I agree with all of your comments, but remember this:

        Disneyland was a place no one asked for.

      • LoveStallion

        I agree with all of your comments, but remember this:

        Disneyland was a place no one asked for.

      • Marko50

        “ ‘I guess I’m in the minority, but while I like Cars Land itself, I find Radiator Springs to be a vastly over-rated attraction.’

        You are not in the minority at all.”

        Wait. What? You agree with him so he’s not in the minority? Really?

      • scarfan

        “3) Little boys like Cars… so what. Sure, little boys like Cars but little boys also like McDonalds and fart jokes. They are an important segment to market to, but they do not represent the market as a whle.”

        The Princess focus for the past few years have been marketed exclusively to little girls and I note that even the new areas that have many fans praising has very little appeal to boys, so it baffles me that this comment seems to be accepted here when the very same can be said about little girls.

        The ideas presented appeal to far more than little boys, unlike the Princess focus, and would help greatly to stop the flow of people who are excited by Harry Potter, Transformers and the Simpsons but just not interested in Princesses. I don’t care how detailed it is, Fairytale Hall is worthless to me if it will only be appealing to a tiny part of my group.

      • forevermercy

        Ok I couldn’t disagree more.
        Following your points, here’s why:

        1. ANY park looses its appeal the more you frequent it. As a Florida native, frankly I’ve seen it and done it all. For instance, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a marvel to me at first. Couldn’t wait to visit again but other than the one simulator ride with going on, I quickly realized how “shallow” the rest of the island was. Can say the same with any new attractions after a while.

        2. You can say the same for most animated films. How dynamic and memorable a character is highly relative. I personally dont care for Monster’s Inc. characters. To me there all plushy creatures with varios color furs and number of eyes. But others think Monster’s Inc was the best thing ever! Its a matter of opinion, and the popularity speaks for itself.

        3. Like Scarfan, I also take great offense to the idea of “so what” to the idea of for once in Disney’s history they cater to little boys! I happen to have a little boy and think its great that I don’t have to prematurely push him to content way too old for him because there is little to none Disney content catered to him! Its been all princess all day for he past decade and has made a parent like me pass over WDW because I know its not geared towards my little boy! So KUDOS to Disney for making it more of priority to give little boys what they delight in!

        4. Most of the attractions at WDW and is a bunch of stuff no one asked for! Did anyone HAVE to have Tower of Terror, yet its now one if its biggest attractions? Many of us have been eager to see Cars integrated more in the parks but didn’t have much of clue how to see it through. Cars Land is beyond what many of us could have imagined for the concept. And now that it is here, there IS a demand for it here in Florida.

        5. Again, this can be said of any attraction/sub-park. I remember one day where we did everything worth anything in HWS in a little over 2 hours! It was a slow day, granted but it’s the same with Animal Kingdom and even most aread is MK you can probably knock out each land in half hour or less, minus show times and standing in line.

        I’d be thrilled for this to come to fruition here in FL and I AM asking for it!

  • xboxtravis7992

    When I visited Florida in 2007, it seemed Disney-MGM Studios (as it was called back then) was the weakest park, despite being there during the awesome Star Wars Weekends.

    I think the main issue is that nearly everything in DHS is stage shows, there were only 5 rides in the park then. While many of those shows such as Indiana Jones were must see attractions, most seemed to be filler. A few good rides would do good in DHS.

    And yes, Carsland is not the answer. However we have to remember Universal is copying Harry Potter in California, and Disney might unfortunately view Carsland as a similar “copy and paste” attraction.

    • http://www.wdwthemeparks.com Tim Grassey

      Your point on Universal parks cloning attractions is a good one, but it does appear that the Hollywood Counterpart of Harry Potter will include the larger scale dining component as well. If they want to keep the same anchor (Radiator Springs Racers) and tweak the surroundings, that’s a reasonable enough compromise.

      To that point though, I think the impact of Transformers won’t be as great in Florida as it was in California. That’s in part to Spiderman, but also in part to it opening a year+ after the California version.

      • forevermercy

        Agreed

    • LoveStallion

      The shows really are the “problem.” I didn’t notice it as much the one time I went to Disney-MGM (in 1999), but when I visited Walt Disney Studios in Paris in 2009 (which I know is the most pathetically developed of all Disney parks), it was all shows. Just shows show shows. And the problem with this is that it requires one to plan a day according to a show schedule, rather than just ride rides at one’s leisure.

      I think the team in Florida is attempting to combat that, but it’s difficult to come up with ride ideas in a studio-themed park.

      And regarding Cars Land in FL, I think it is an awful idea. I loathe attraction clones.

  • brianpinsky

    No RSR for DHS! You should have the whole Marvel land! Disneyland I feel does not need it and we can find other franchises to fill DL and DCA. I last visited WDW back in 05 (before Everest opened) and DHS is a breeze, all I remember was Light Motors Action and Fantasmic (which makes me glad of DLs) if something needs to be added it needs to be different from DLR, DLPR, TDL, and HKDL make it something completely different and so far out of Disney that no one would ever guess it. Just my opinion.

    • Susan Hughes

      I recently was sent an online survey from The Disneyland Resort. All the questions had to do with building a Star Wars Land at Disneyland. Would I like to see it happen? What planets should be in the land and what characters? Very specific. It’s obvious they’re interested in building a Star Wars Land.
      But there’s no room for such a place at Disneyland. Could this survey actually be for Orlando, but they wanted to disguise it as a Disneyland project?

  • chesirecat

    DHS supposedly doesn’t have enough room for Carsland as it was built with marshland and a freeway around it. Also, DHS get way more traffic than DCA 1.0, and AK actually has a lot of room for expansion. With WDW, anything new and uber-cool at any one of the four parks will drive attendance, overall, at the whole resort.

    • http://www.wdwthemeparks.com Tim Grassey

      This is the first I’ve heard anyone say that Carsland can’t fit into DHS.

  • DG2

    Totally agree ! It’s great having unique and different attractions at each park and gives people a reason to visit both parks. DHS should install a racer type ride but O would make it Star Wars Pod Racers !! Something really cool like that. Both DHS and Epocot need a new “A” ticket ride. And make it wild

  • QPerth

    Great article, and so many terrific suggestions.
    DHS already has its theme, it just needs refreshing and far more Star Wars! It can’t have Marvel, so give it what it can have, and something that Uni probably wishes they had – Star Wars! Give the West Coast some Marvel to attract a crowd and the East Coast Star Wars. Make each Resort a destination in their own right.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    Great article Tim.

    I understand the temptation to build Cars Land at the studios. They saw how it fixed DCA and they want to repeat the magic at Hollywood Studios.

    While I absolutely agree with you that they would be far better off building something unique, I think they’ve done the calculus and determined that the entire Eastern half of the US belongs to WDW and likely hasn’t experienced Disneyland’s Cars Land, and likely won’t unless its built at WDW.

    At the same time they are working on Cars Land, they will also be building an even more expensive project at Animal Kingdom, Avatar. The budget for that project is rumored to have swelled to $750 million. The one two punch of Cars Land and Avatar is very likely to accomplish exactly what Disney is hoping for . . . 100% occupancy of its hotel rooms and substantial increases in ticket and merchandise profits (with huge price increases to go with them).

    I’m not arguing that Disney has chosen wisely with either project. I certainly think they could have picked better franchises (or something original) to really wow us. But they are finally working on the “If you build it big enough, they will come” mindset and that’s a good thing.

    Cars is my least favorite PIXAR film, but one of my favorite theme park lands (aside from the two uninspired flat rides stuck in there to compliment the Racers ride). It is going to be a BIG draw in Florida. Not as big as the new Harry Potter at Universal, but big.

    Now, if Disney really wants to go big at the Studios, they’ll build a Star Wars land. They’ve designed all sorts of concepts from massive to cheap. If they want to steal Universal’s thunder, they need to go big. With Cars and Star Wars, the Studios could go from the weakest of Disney’s stateside pars to one of the best.

    Whatever they do, they must abandon the old “what’s the least we can get away with” mindset and go big.

    • Herc

      DHS needs some serious help and I completely agree that Carsland is NOT the answer. I am a big Cars and Carsland fan. I live in New Jersey and will make a second trip out this summer with the family. It gives me a reason for a destination vacation. I make at least one trip a year to WDW and I feel that there could be other areas in DHS to focus on.

      Let’s just say I totally agree that the Big Eyesore Hat MUST go. Great concept, but at the entrance to World Drive or in the middle of the parking lot. Not at the end of Hollywood Blvd. Also, a total revamp of the Great Movie Ride is in order. I would move the AFI presentation to the wait line/preshow areas. Some scenes in the attraction could stay and some could go, but all have to be rethought. The ending MUST be completely changed.

      1) I know there are Pixar haters that don’t want more Pixar films in the theme parks, but giving Pixar Place a huge addition, would really set this park apart. I would bring at least three more attractions from the Pixar movie brand. If the Monsters Inc Door Coaster comes to Orlando, I would hope that TDA would not add a Monsters Inc. miniland land in Hollywoodland. Keep the parks separate from clones. Move Pizza Planet over, change Honey I Shrunk to Bugsland. I’m sure that if the Imagineers were left to create two more unique attractions for Pixar Place, they would be fantastic. I say let the movie Cars be represented as a Meet and Greet. Kill the Cars2 one on the other side of the park and move a Radiator Springs representation here.

      2) I would also spend time with Star Wars Land. I mean come on, Star Wars Weekends are HUGE. Adding two more attractions, a store, and the Cantina would really help bring this area together. Get rid of the “really looks added” Jedi Training Academy stage and really treat this experience with the respect it deserves. It definitely has to be open air and not an enclosed theater. Something along the lines of the old Tomorrowland Theater in the MK would do the trick. Meet and Greets can be placed around.

      2a) I dunno what to do with Indiana Jones. There are four (ok, three) really great movies in the franchise. Can we not come up with some sort of attraction between DL and DLP versions that is sorta different enough? The time period could work with the transition from Hollywood Blvd. My gosh, take over American Idol Sounds Dangerous areas.

      3) Sunset Blvd. needs some care. Can we somehow fix the Rock N Roller Coaster theme to the 1930′s? The theme is so blown in this area. It’s not a big thing, but adding the Red Car Trolley would help bring both Hollywood and Sunset Blvds together. Another attraction would be great, but I think there is no room at the inn. Changing the BATB show to Rapunzel is a great idea (too bad all that work in the MK was for restrooms). If there was any way to change the entrance to Fantasmic to the entrance by Oscar’s, it could possibly free up enough room. Still the entire backstage area really needs fascade theming leading up to Fantasmic.

      4) Animation Studios is in dire need of help. Animation tour is not a good one and needs to be reworked. It worked with the tram tour, but not seems so disjointed. Agree television and radio should be represented here and could continue the nostalgic theme. Ariel should go. Great concept in 1989, but not now. She had a whole new area in the MK. Other projects could go here. Rumor has Phineas and Ferb coming, but that would make the Meet and Greet on the other side of the park so not right. This area needs a reason to visit it. Not much to do behind the arch. Years ago there was a Catwalk Bar and an Aladdin restaurant. That is what this area needs again.

      5) Muppets. Too bad this area is so small. Pizza Planet could become a Swedish Chef quick service. Mama Melrose’s could be rethemed to Muppets. There is a Muppet shop, but there could always be one more and possibly one or two attractions. Muppet mania is growing again and I think that this franchise needs a chance. They should chuck it out of DCA, revamp the Florida one and DHS would have a unique area.

      6) Streets of America. Ok, what to do with Lights, Motors, Action? I think this very expensive, can’t run in the rain, only a few times a day attraction should go. Way too much valuable land to build on. I would take the streets and get rid of the fascades. Add the Christmas shop here, Add a real New York pizza place, add a Ghiradelli ice cream shop, add SOMETHING to the old Hunchback theater. This area is always great for Osbourne lights, but something has to be done.

      Alot of this has been said already, but I needed to readdress to make my points. I hope that TDO can get off their big pile of money and make this a park all would want to go to. Right now, it seems to be an after thought or a “let’s go early, get the kids into Jedi Training and ride Toy Story Mania and then we’ll leave.

  • MrTour

    Yes! Get rid of the Sorcerer’s Hat!

  • Anonymouse

    <<>>

    Its true. Pixar IS an ever evolving brand, and thats why I have no faith in them (or Lasseter) anymore.

    Pixar makes (made?) incredible properties but IMO in their “evolution” the Pixar and Lasseter have lost their way and their goal now seems to be more about rehashing an old formula rather than pioneering a new path. Cars 2. Nemo 2. Monsters U. Monsters 3D. Nemo 3D. Cars Land DCA. And Cars Land DHS? Is this really the world we all imagined when Pixar was acquired?

    And as for my Lasseter rant (and which I would LOVE someone to write an article about because the evidence it out there). My theory has always been that he thinks he’s Walt Disney and he wants to mark his territory which is why he keeps shoving HIS franchise down our throats and delaying/hiding the acquired franchises (Star Wars/Marvel) that have quickly become what fans are interested in. He isn’t looking for whats best for the fans or the company, he’s trying to immortalize himself through brute force and one day soon he’s going to propose a statue of himself and Mater in a park.

    The ongoing theory has always been that Cars is being pushed because there’s no “boys” properties in Disney’s portfolio. Well, here it is. Marvel and Star Wars. So where’s the plans to put their names to use because adding more Cars isn’t anything that ANYONE is asking for (except for JL).

    • wave789

      You’re totally wrong. Cars is not being pushed because of a personal affection by Lasseter, but because it happens to be one of Disney’s strongest merchandise brands ever. Lasseter’s personal affection is icing on the cake.

      As for Marvel and Star Wars, it’s pretty obvious why neither has really shown up in the parks yet. Star Wars is too new of a Disney property to be fully realized yet for a theme park. Marvel has been in the burner for years, but where exactly should they put it? Not at WDW, since Universal has the exclusive rights to Marvel theme park attractions east of the Mississippi. And they can’t put Marvel at DLR yet because all the recent attention and budget has been focused on DCA’s billion dollar makeover that was clearly much more necessary than a Marvel expansion.

      Marvel’s timing was simply off, preventing it from having a place in DCA’s makeover. The best bet for Marvel in the states is at a third gate for DLR. Star Wars, I expect, will find a home in DHS and DLR’s third gate.

      • http://www.wdwthemeparks.com Tim Grassey

        wave,

        Thanks for dropping in. I agree with what you’ve said – it sounds like Cars Land was pushed through because it was an easy sell to many people high up at the company. Publicly, Lasseter has said that there were as always a wish to do something with the California Cars culture and Cars Land was a natural progression from that concept.

      • StevenW

        The most obvious addition to DHS is a Star Wars Land. I agree Carsland should not be installed; however, that doesn’t take away the WOW factor. I think DHS will benefit from a Carsland, but it needs something unique.

        How about the new Planes movies as counter point? Unfortunately, this is at least a decade away from fruition.

        That’s why I believe going with Star Wars Land makes the most sense.

    • danielz6

      I don’t think anybody thinks they’re Walt Disney…and I doubt a statue of anyone, besides Roy Disney, will ever be put in WDW. That being said John Lasseter and pixar is one of the best things that’s happened to Disney in the last two decades as they had nothing to compete with dreamworks and blue sky animation otherwise (except for Bolt). And lets face it, toy story is the steam boat Willy of the modern CG animation world so let the man be proud, he deserves it. And carsland, although not what people expected has worked wonders in DCA.

    • Kenny B

      You should check out Pixars slate of upcoming movies…. besides Finding Dory, theres “The Good Dinosaur”, about ‘what if dinosaurs never went extinct”, then there’s”The second untitled project, directed by Peterson’s Up co-pilot Peter Docter, is a “wildly ambitious” look inside the human brain”., and a movie about Día de los Muertos, or “the day of the dead”. Sounds like Pixar has some great! upcoming original! films soon – get excited.

  • red014

    I think a way to re-use Radiator Springs Racers AND the Cadillac range, without actually remaking the DCA ride, would be a podracer ride based on Phantom Menace. Slides right into Star Wars Land. I know it’s part of the evil new trilogy, but just level off the Cadillac mountains into canyons and rework the ride vehicles.

    • http://www.wdwthemeparks.com Tim Grassey

      That could be a really fun concept

    • danielz6

      Sure! Now someone just needs to invent anti gravity!

  • daveinfontana

    I feel that each Disney park should have a unique attraction onto it’s self. Give people a reason to visit it . A StarWars Land with a total emersion experience would be an exciting place. Give it some good rides ,not three or rehashed ones. Avatar was a visual movie and I don;t think it could be replicated to the fans content. StarWars could. It could be enough that would draw people on the Pacific side to want to travel to Florida.

  • jtizzle1023

    Amazing Artical!
    These are the exact points I have been trying to make for a long time. Stop with the cloning and lets get something new and special. That’s why I believe Avatar will work. Although the story has been used before, you can’t deny that it is an amazing environment that only Disney could remake. While it might not be a draw like Potter or Cars, it still will be a reason to go to AK for more than Everest and Safaris. I think that you also make a good point with the different “studios”. I think if they break it up to different studios based on the muppets, lucasfilm, disney and pixar with having “old hollywood at the front and by TOT would be great. Hopefully people at Disney see this because its a great read.

  • Mr Wiggins

    “Disney may have finally found the grail. You don’t need imagination or art. All you need is a brand”
    - Neil Gabler

    • LoveStallion

      That Disney biography by Gabler is outstanding.

  • animatronic

    I agree that having unique attractions at each park is key. They should adopt changes to make Hollywood Studios a better park overall rather than just bringing Carsland. Well said.