As we're all aware, the backlot tour at DS is a horrible waste of time. I rather enjoy the water special effects sequence and the catastrophe canyon portion but the rest is very boring since they removed all the houses from backstage. I've had an idea running around in my head that would seem like fun. I've been told that it would never happen because it's too much like what Universal does in California (which I've never been to, so I don't know) and that there's not enough space. Anyhow I could see it bringing some life back into the tour. Anyhow, here's my idea.
Instead of making the tour be the backlot tour (which it isn't really anymore), why not change this into the Disney Studios Special Effects Tour. The basic premise would be that we would take a tram through several set pieces where we would see special effects demonstrated before us.
We'd still start at the water special effects sequence and take in that entire show (which I think is still promising. I just wish they'd drop the Pearl Harbor tie in). After that we'd move to tram loading and start our tour. During this tour we'd still go through catastrophe canyon but we'd drop the silly idea about it actually being a production set and just make it a special effects simulator which it functions well as. In addition, several sound stages would be added to the backlot area that the tram would travel through. Each of these soundstages would demonstrate some other fun special effect such as a major storm, explosions, etc... I'm not smart enough to figure out what each soundstage would have but I'd think you could probably build at least 3-4 more little attractions in that backstage area similar to catastrophe canyon.
Between the soundstages we could still have props scattered around and the tour guide could give us information about what kind of movies these props were from and how these special effects are used in the movies, etc... I think it could make the tram tour a fun attraction again and with some creativity, it could be different enough to not be declared a copy of USH's tour. Is there enough room to add something like this backstage anymore?