The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the way you "ride" the vehicle you create in the new Test Track is that they show you a video of your face from an on-ride capture pasted on the driver of the vehicle, à la Spaceship Earth.
Great Update as always.
Hidden parkhopper: Habit Heroes at Epcot
Originally Posted by Disneylandfan85 If they took out the studio tour but left Catastrophe Canyon, what would be the point of that? Maybe create additional special effects shows and tour through those, ala Earthquake at Universal. Driving through vacant costume areas and through prop houses that aren't really being used is just stale and antiquated. Maybe remake the "tour" into Hollywood's best special effects, and then build off of Catastrophe Canyon. Scrap the rest, and re-imagine the whole area. After all, isn't that what Disney is best at?
If they took out the studio tour but left Catastrophe Canyon, what would be the point of that?
Originally Posted by J.J. I remember the tour from 1995 and that real production was happening there. Wasn't "The Lottery Ticket" part of the tour at that time? I fondly remember when real animation was being done at the studio as well. Call me nostalgic, but I miss those days. I can remember going through the Animation Studio at Disney/MGM Studios (back in the day) and watching the animators/artists working on Mulan.
Those were the good old days, I guess.
I say scrap the back lot tour it's a mess. Cut up the area and make multiple rides or one big E ticket with it. Whatever "studio" authenticity it had was gone when MGM left and contrary to the Great Movie Ride there are no redeming features to that mess (execpt maybe the various props laying about the place which should probably be put in a better place, including the prop from the grove scene in Horizons (R.I.P.)).
I had a friend who used to work in the WDW video production department, back when there was actual production going on. It used to be totally cool to see studio setups, the vehicle boneyard when it was changing all the time, and especially for me the state of the art video editing facilities. But once they took all of this out the tour became a pale shadow of its former self. I still take the tour every once in a while for the Catastrophe Canyon segment. But the rest of it is a big snooze. Same problem with the animation tour, which I've refused to go on once they closed down the Florida animation unit.
I have to admit that the Great Movie Ride has seen much better days. After 20 years or so, the script and performances have been done to death and lack any originality or style (and for me were always the weakest part of the ride). So much can be done to update and modernize this if Disney only made an effort.
First off, remove the stupid Mickey Magic Hat that blocks the Chinese Theater and the GMR entrance. That is a travesty in and of itself. Next, although I love the movie theater line, the trailers themselves need some serious digital restoration work. After that, the ride itself should have some sort of a theme. Movies and genres are just thrown together in no particular order. Why not make it a trip through the history of movies? Start with some silent shorts, display the actual equipment used to make them, etc. Then take the guest through the history of film. Decide if the rooms are meant to be a complete immersion into the scene, or a "behind the scenes" look at it. Take the Wizard of Oz scene, looks great, but the ceiling is nothing but black metal girders. So are we on the set of Munchkin land or actually in it? If we are in it, then wrap the entire area and really immerse us into it.
As for me, Id can the tour guides and mobster/Indiana Jones part. Again, you are completely at the mercy of the actors that day. We all know the ride and the shtick. Its like going to an old vaudeville comedian and seeing and hearing the same jokes for decades. I think that the Imagineers can come up with something completely different.
I do remember at one time someone discussing the possibility of replacing the Alien sequence with something from Lord of the Rings. I know that licensing plays a huge role in all of this, but I cant believe that a company as huge and rich as Disney cant find a way to incorporate new movies into the attraction. I do have to agree that the closing film sequence has great potential, but I too remember myself thinking that if Three Men and a Baby is the most updated clip they have added, then this ride has many serious issues to correct. (It has been about four years since I last rode it so maybe there is more now).
Like everything else in Hollywood Studios (save Star Tours), this entire park needs some much needed love and affection.. and a major overhaul.
I love EPCOT's Great Movie Ride, and would love this formula at Studio Tour with a ride through sets of all Disney's TV, Film and Animation Classics. Maybe a scene from Treasure Island with young Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver followed by a scene from Pirates of the Carribean with Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, followed by a scene from Swiss Family Robinson at Christmas in the tree house, followed by a scene from Kidnapped.........Song of the South with Uncle Remus and all the characters listening to his stories, The Original Mouseketeers all asssembled and singing, Billy Bob Thorton as Davy Crockett playing his violin up on the upper level of the Alamo, Tombstone's Wyatt Earp and brothers with Doc Holiday marching to the OK Coral, Walt Disney speaking at the beginning of his weekly TV show, Zorro's Guy Williams and Tornado his horse, Fess Parker as Davy Crocket with his sidekick George Russell, Kevin Costner and Robert Duval in Open Range, So Dear to My Heart, Dumbo, Toby Tyler.....that's film history Universal won't be doing. PD
PS Can't forget Disney's Pretty Woman in the tour, and which poart of the film would you stage?
What a shame that WDW can drop a load of cash to put in the Sorcerers game, but not to come in at night and replace light bulbs.
Maybe the studio tour seems less authentic than other attractions because it's a fake version of something that's fake to begin with.
Maybe it should be the Disney Studio's Museum as demonstrated at D23 last summer with all the Disney archives, and get away from the Universal working Studio concept, which this no longer is.
Let's face it, the ONLY studio theme park with any sense of being genuine is Universal Studios Hollywood. Unlike any of the other "movie studio" theme parks around the world, only Universal in Hollywood can make the claim of actually being a working movie studio. If you take everything at Disney's Hollywood Studios and transplant it on to the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, it will instantly become legit...cheesy or not.
And as much as I enjoy the Magic Kingdom in Florida, I cringe a little when they quote Walt's famous line "To all who come to this happy place, welcome." I notice they have that little bit of film footage during the Magic, The Memories and You show. I mean come on, Walt wasn't referring to Disney World when he said those words. Why continually pass them off as being "genuine" to Florida?
I agree with this article wholeheartedly. Whereas back in the day this tour was one of the highlights of what was then "MGM", this is now an incredibly sad afterthought to most people when they visit. With the exception of Catastrophe Canyon, the rest of the tour should be scrapped and replaced. It is fairly plain to me at least that Hollywood Studios is on the lowest rung of Disney's theme park priorities. Although it still contains two of the three best rides in all of Disney (Tower of Terror and Rock'n Rollercoaster), the far end of the park where the studio tour resides is a ghost town. Surely Imagineers could come up with something really incredible to replace this area. Remove the garish Mickey Magic hat, restore and improve the Great Movie Ride (separate post), and think of something really bold to replace the studio tour. Maybe after the DCA redo, and the Fantasyland expansion, Imagineers can turn their attention to this forgotten park and really make it sparkle again. It always has been my favorite park, and its sad to see her as such a shadow of her former self.
" It's a collection of ideas and documents, a diverse array of archival, filmic, and pop-cultural texts that historizes Disney's work and compels us to think twice about how we appraise it. The museum energizes the fascinatingly charged scholarly debate that the Disney phenomenon has provoked, shaking the worn, staid, sometimes cynical images of Disney and his empire, bringing to them renewed color and motion."
"Given the heritage of the place you expect to see a ride at the Walt Disney Family Museum.....And in a way, there is one, since the museum does just what Disney thought a ride should do when he created Disneyland more than a half century ago: it tells a story. And while the museum is almost leisurly in relating narrative, only here and there veering into uncharted terrain, and while children will quickly pass by many sections that will fascinate their elders, there are more than enough thrills for everyone."
I think the answer and formula to creating a successful Studios Backlot Tour can be found within the description of the Disney Family Museum above. There is more than enough wealth in Disney's archives and anthology of TV and Film to do so. PD
I agree that this post pretty much hits the nail on the head on the problems with the Studios Backlot Tour--but I would actually expand that criticism to other parts of the studio as well--particularly Indiana Jones. Personally I find the show to be pretty cringe-worthy and painful to sit through. More importantly, the "explanation" and setup for stunts really drags the who production down.
For actual entertainment--I actually prefer the Sinbad show over at Islands of Adventure. Sure it's not gonna be high-drama, but for *entertainment* I found the story-based Sinbad show simply more entertaining. Yeah its cheesy as heck, but it embraces that rather than pretending its not--and for me that makes all the difference.
The Studios is my least-favorite of all Disney parks because of this. I think the Backlot Tour, Indy, Lights, Camera, Action and such *could* be a lot more fun if they dropped the "secrets of production" and instead celebrated the razzle-dazzle of special effects. Imerse the audience in what "Hollywood" can do, rather than explain it.
I agree, the backlot tour used to be amazing, now it has one good portion of it. Its my opinion that a tram tour should be kept to preserve some of the history of the park, but the whole "backlot tour" needs to be scrapped. Instead I'd like to see this changed into a Movie History and Special Effects tour. The strength is the Catastrophe Canyon portion. So they should be 3 or 4 more special effects areas to travel through. Meanwhile, between the special effects they should drive you past the boneyard props and historical items as they currently do. I think this could make it a very strong attraction and still maintain that backlot feel but doing so in a fantastic way.
I can only imagine that this park-hopper pic is something from the upcoming golf course for Universal. It only makes sense.
I remember the tour from 1995 and that real production was happening there. Wasn't "The Lottery Ticket" part of the tour at that time? I fondly remember when real animation was being done at the studio as well. Call me nostalgic, but I miss those days.
The park as a whole needs to be re-purposed and it's halfway there by providing high quality attractions despite being so few. But if the studio aspect is no longer actually functioning at DHS, there's no point to keep holding onto it. I say lose the tour. It takes up valuable real estate and start of the tour consists of posters, seriously POSTERS!
Walt Disney World is supposed to be an escape from the real world. Now the real world invades WDW in the name of the President of the United States. It's impossible to escape politicians. They have to poke their nose into everything. Annoying.
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