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  1. #1

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    DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Does DCA's Hollywood Land present any threat to Universal Studios Hollywood?

    Is it Disney's answer? Both are movie studios presenting a version of Hollywood to the public.

    What succeeds and fails at each, and in the end which one is better?

    And how does it stack up against the front lot section of DHS in Florida, for those who want to go there.

    Ultimately given all the available space, what blue sky proposals could fit to make this a truly world class destination?

    If Disney's going to do Hollywood - in Southern California - how can Imagineers do it right? I'm interested in your ideas.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Comparing a whole park to one land is a bit unfair, in my opinion. Universal's got the space to do more with the theme than Disney does, and they also have the benefit of being a functioning studio, not just an impression of one.

    That being said, Tower of Terror thoroughly kicks the crap out of even the best Universal has to offer in terms of the whole package (immersive theming, a compelling pre-show, spectacular attention to detail, and a great ride experience). The rest of Hollywood Land's attractions are good, but don't present the same draw as something like Jurassic Park or Transformers does at Universal.

    As for ways Hollywood Land can be improved? I've got a couple:

    1) Enhance the theming to bring it up to par with the rest of the park. This area still feels very DCA 1.0 and I suspect it was a case of running out of time/budget before they could do much with it. It needs to have a more consistent theme, and needs to feel like Hollywood circa 1930, not a set of Hollywood (which makes literally no sense). Hyperion Theater deserves a major re-theming; ditch the mural on the wall facing Hollywood Blvd, and replace it with a more elaborate facade inviting people in. Also give it a genuine lobby instead of having people queue up in a vacant lot adjacent to the building.

    I also think it'd be pretty great to take a page from 2011's The Muppets and re-theme the exterior of Muppet*Vision to resemble El Capitan (calling it, of course, Muppet Theatre since El Capitan would be anachronistic and Paramount Theater would be endorsing a competitor). Animation also needs a new, period appropriate facade; perhaps a scaled down Mann's Chinese Theater to compliment El Capitan across the street?

    2) Improve Monsters, Inc. The ride suceeds at creating a charming attraction with the infrastructure of a truly awful one, but I've always felt it lacks the ambition that a Monsters, Inc. attraction deserves. I'd propose expanding the ride into the former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? building and creating a much more elaborate M,I attraction.

  3. #3

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    I always thought that Disney does a pretty lousy job at presenting Hollywood in all of their theme parks. But they can get away with it because in most of their parks (DHS and Paris) they aren't near the real thing. But in DCA with the real Hollywood being up the road, it just doesn't really work that right. Every local who goes there knows the real Hollywood is a dump, and even though it has improved in the recent years they still think it is a place that seems strange to be glorified in a theme park. Disney did do the right thing though by re-theming it to Hollywoodland - portray the golden age of Hollywood. This way people will think they've been transported to the Hollywood of old versus trying to pretend The current Hollywood is some type of glamorous place. I'd say get rid of the facade theming on the northern portion of the street and it should be perfect.

    USH also does a poor job at portraying Hollywood, interestingly. But they are an actual studio with a tour right there. What else are they going to have?

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Well USH is an ACTUAL studio movie and Hollywoodland is sort of a studio? we got a trolley, TOT, and an Aladdin Broadway-style show! USH has a great studio tour and a handful of (IMHO lackluster) 3D/4D movies and a few half descent rides. I would only go to USH for the studio tour which is a one time visit is enough type deal but DCA really ropes me in several times a year. (thanks to my AP) When Universal ran the buy one time admission and get the year free promotion, I only visited twice, (second visit was a go unwillingly with friends visit) but I went to the DLR 20+ times last year. The two are VERY different types of experiences. And as said ^, Hollywoodland definitely needs a touch up. my peeve is that large sky painted mural... looks very DCA 1.0.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Does DCA's Hollywood Land present any threat to Universal Studios Hollywood?

    Is it Disney's answer? Both are movie studios presenting a version of Hollywood to the public.

    What succeeds and fails at each, and in the end which one is better?

    And how does it stack up against the front lot section of DHS in Florida, for those who want to go there.

    Ultimately given all the available space, what blue sky proposals could fit to make this a truly world class destination?

    If Disney's going to do Hollywood - in Southern California - how can Imagineers do it right? I'm interested in your ideas.

    Um, no.

    Universal Studios Hollywood is an actual working movie studio with a small theme park attached to it.

    Hollywood Land is a theme park land with no production what so ever.






    And Universal will always have something that Disney will NEVER be able to come close to matching, The Studio Tour. The Studio Tour is the reason why that small park pulls 6+ million people a year.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Uhm yes, at its base The Walt Disney Co. is a Hollywood movie producer and distributor.

    I never said DCA or Hollywood Land was an actual motion picture studio.

    When people say "Disney" it's short for the Walt Disney Co.
    Last edited by CaliforniaAdventurer; 02-23-2013 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Comparing a park to a land is a little absurd, in my opinion. Disney's answer to Universal was DHS, and the so-called studio there completely pales in comparison to USH's studio. There's really no comparison at all.

    Hollywoodland is a mess, IMO. Disney portrays Hollywood very poorly through that land, which is odd since Hollywood is just thirty minutes away. I think they should just start over with the entire land.
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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    I think they present different products.

    USH presents a working movie studio with movie themed attractions attached to it. They, as far as I can tell, try to present a present day Hollywood.

    DCA presents, at least I think it tries to, a stylized Hollywood of the past. This theme is confused in the "Hollywood Studios" section of Hollywood Land, but I think a redo in the near future will reinforce this theme.

    Overall the intentions are different. USH offers an opportunity to "ride the movies", while DCA offers the chance to step back into a 1930s/1940s Hollywood.
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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    I dont think its fair to compare a land to an entire theme park, however I think DCA as a whole poses an enormous threat to USH. DCA (with World of Color, Carsland etc) has already surpassed USH, bigtime. I can spend an entire day at DCA now, however i dont think I could find enough to do at USH to fill an entire day.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    The Walt Disney Company has a better product, it's a successful Disney Park (TM).

    But does it do a better job of showcasing its position as a major movie studio in Hollywood in this recreation of Hollywood - and if not, how can it?

  11. #11

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    The Walt Disney Company has a better product, it's a successful Disney Park (TM).

    But does it do a better job of showcasing its position as a major movie studio in Hollywood in this recreation of Hollywood - and if not, how can it?
    Disney doesn't really showcase its position as a major movie studio, and they don't need to.

    That's Universal's job. Sure, USH isn't the best theme park in the world, but Universal's film legacy is absolutely amazing, and they take pride in that and that's where their main focus goes. Disney prides itself on their ability (and sometimes inability) to create themed environments for their guests, and storytelling. There are two different motives here.
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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Disney thought DCA 1.0 would beat Knott's, Six Flags and Universal.

    Does DCA 2.0 beat any of these 3 at their own game? No.

  13. #13

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    as much as i love california Adevture....actually its my favorite theme park in the world i Have to give this one Universal studios hollywood. Hollywood land is just missing way to much there isnt very many dineing options there and think about nit, its probably the least exciting land in the park....yet you can argue grizzaley peak dosent have much besides frizzaley river run. But hollywood land only has Tower of terror and monsters inc. Everything else has been there since opening day and i know we all believe its time to add new attractions to this land. Universal studios Hollywood has despicable me and harry potter coming to the park.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Like others have said, USH has authenticity going for it, of course a reproduction isn't going to be as good. Hollywoodland could have stellar theming that would blow USH out of the water, but DCA 1.0 was too cheap to allow for that. For one thing, the land has pretty much retained the backlot theme throughout DCA's history...that's stupid if it's fake. The only cool thing about looking at boring old warehouses is if there's actual history or production going on in them...in the case of DCA there isn't, but USH is.

    If Hollywoodland was re-themed as a 1930's (maybe late 1940's to accommodate the Tower of Terror's run-down and abandoned look), with vintage cars running down the street, glitzy movie theater facades, and street entertainment with mobsters, private eyes, and showgirls, then Hollywoodland would be top-notch...but then you really wouldn't be able to compare it to USH, would you, considering those are two different aims and aesthetics.

    Basically, USH will always win the 'better backlot' theme competition because it's an actual backlot, just like Yosemite is better than Grizzly Peak. However, I do question some people's sentiments that USH is entirely bland in its theming. The European street and New York facades are very well done, and the rest of the park nails the studio motif on the head. If you've ever actually been to USH, you'd know some areas actually compete with or exceed Disney theming.

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    Re: DCA's Hollywood Land vs. Universal Studios Hollywood

    [QUOTE=TylerDurden;1056924512If Hollywoodland was re-themed as a 1930's (maybe late 1940's to accommodate the Tower of Terror's run-down and abandoned look), with vintage cars running down the street, glitzy movie theater facades, and street entertainment with mobsters, private eyes, and showgirls, then Hollywoodland would be top-notch....[/QUOTE]

    If instead of mobsters, private eyes, and showgirls you had drug dealers, corrupt cops, and hookers you wouldn't have to re-theme it to the 1930s. It would be exactly like the present day.

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