My idea on how to fix the backlot as I desperately want it to stay, but just in a good form is this. Change it to the Backlot Special Effects Tour.
Keep the water scene, but *gasp* change it to a pirates of the carribean special effects show where guests are used in filming as they currently are, but dressed as pirates and have other stuntmen who do things during this show. The idea could be that the Black Pearl is under attack or something like that.
Then when we move onto the tram tour it could be all about how special effects and stunts are done in the industry. We could still keep props along the way but also build several warehouses that we enter where special effects for upcoming movies are being worked on and we're just lucky enough to see in action today. That way we could keep catastrophe canyon but also add a lot of different special effect things similar in nature to twister, Backdraft, and Earthquake at Universal as well as a few buildings where some major stunts are performed for us.
This could help to make driving past the lma show make sense. Finally the walkthrough at the end would be rethemed to be a walkthrough dealing with some of the most amazing stunts and special effects we've ever seen in the world of movies.