If The Great Movie Ride Has to Go

Nearly three years ago I wrote this article about the rumored demise of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, which so far has remained unscathed.  The newest Studios scuttlebutt predicts the replacement of The Great Movie Ride with something completely different.  I’ve got mixed feelings about this one.  Let’s discuss!

If The Great Movie Ride Has to GoThe Great Movie Ride

Like much of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in recent years, The Great Movie Ride hasn’t received a whole lot of love.  New intro, change in narration, and nothing else.  The scenes are stale, some of the animatronics don’t work, and the scripts on the two versions are exactly the same…every. single. time. The Great Movie Ride

The premise of this attraction makes it perpetually ready for awesome updates and theme/action changes at regular intervals.  So much Hollywood greatness to be showcased, incredible potential for an infinite number of scene changes and movie genres to explore.  None of that has happened and I still ride it on nearly every visit.  Why?  Nostalgia mostly.  I have a love/hate relationship with many of the scenes.  I love the Casablanca scene, hate Tarzan, love John Wayne and Mary Poppins, hate The Public EnemyThe Wizard of Oz is my absolute favorite and so well done!  If other fans are like me, nostalgia alone probably isn’t enough to keep this ride alive.

If the Rumors are True…

According to speculation from August, 2016, The Great Movie Ride may be replaced by The Great Mickey Ride.  Think about the possibilities!  Trackless vehicles moving guests through the history of Mickey in all his lovable forms.  He’s recognized world-wide and has yet to have his very own attraction!  The original spirit of the Studios would live on and new generations of Mickey fans would learn the story of the world’s most famous Mouse.  Makes sense as Mickey will celebrate his 100th birthday in 2028.  With so much to showcase, this could easily be one of those attractions guests would ride again and again to see what they might have missed on previous visits.The Great Movie Ride

With money and resources currently allocated for Star Wars and Toy Story lands, it seems doubtful that anything will happen in the near future.  Goodness knows, the Studios can’t handle anymore closures without new attractions to fill in the gaping holes.  I can see how the long-term survival of The Great Movie Ride in its current form is unlikely though, and I’m prepared for it to go away.  In the meantime, I intend to ride it a few more times and enjoy one of the last vestiges of what Disney’s MGM Studios originally used to be.

How about you?  Are you a fan of The Great Movie Ride?  Are you ready to see it replaced?

 

Disney World Attractions For Mature People

Kona-Coffee-To-GoWhen I say “mature people” it’s my nice way of saying older-and-slowing-down people.  Like me.  Raymond and I have reached the age where we don’t have to keep up with our kids or make concessions for nap times (that aren’t our own).  We can do what we want, when we want to and now that we’ve arrived at this part of our lives, we find we do want to slow down and take it easy.  Where Disney vacations were once about seeing and doing as much as humanly possible for 15+ hours a day, we’ve earned this time of soaking in the little details, meandering, leisurely exploring, going to bed early and sometimes getting a late start on the day.

Don’t get me wrong – we are thrill ride junkies and book FastPasses for our favorites.  Today’s list is more about the attractions we enjoy when we’re between FastPasses or have an unscheduled half-day for going with the flow.

Disney World Attractions For Mature People

RM-Mickey's-PhilharMagic

Mickey’s PhilharMagic – It’s a fantastic show.  Plus the queue’s short and indoors where it’s nice and cool.  All our favorite Disney songs, a 3D movie, smell-a-vision and a comfy seat.  Yup, this one’s a perennial favorite. RM-PeopleMover-Cruising

The PeopleMover – So underappreciated by young whippersnappers!  This thing’s the bombdiggety.  Sure, it’s outdoors, but there’s no ride in the World more relaxing to me than this gem of an Omni-mover taking me on a Tomorrowland tour.  No thrills, no water, no animatronics, no worries.  (BTW – The tunnel-of-love aspect should not be ignored!)RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Dad

Carrousel of Progress – An attraction as old as I am!  The awesome theme song and the unforgettable moments through American history make this classic…well, classic.  Campy?  Cheesy?  That may be your opinion.  I think it’s perfect.Epcot-Manatee-at-Surface

The Seas With Nemo and Friends – No, I’m not talking about the ride, but the Seas pavilion itself – although there is something to be said for a nice relaxing ride in a clam-mobile.   It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Epcot’s manatees and their home in the Seas.  Indoors with multi-level viewing areas, this Future World pavilion is a great place to chill during a hot summer afternoon and soak up the surroundings.Epcot's World Showcase

World Showcase Shops – Maybe not an “attraction” in the strictest sense, but a very fun way to spend an afternoon.  I don’t care if we start in Canada or Mexico, wandering through the pavilions’ shops never fails to delight.  Even if I don’t buy anything (oh, who am I kidding…I always buy something!), the shops are interesting and the Cast Members, if not too busy, are full of awesome information about each country along the way.The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride – While parts of this kill me (Tarzan, I’m talking to you!) with their need for an update, I enjoy the experience.Gorilla at Animal Kingdom WDW

Pangani Forrest Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek – Sure, during the warmer months the entirety of Animal Kingdom is almost unbearably hot, but these two trails are irresistible to me!  So much to see and if we go when we’re not pressed for time, the experience is so much better!  To get the most of both the Pangani Forrest and Maharajah Jungle, you need to have plenty of time and patience.Rhino on Kilimanjaro Safari

Kilimanjaro Safari – I’m crazy stupid on this attraction no matter how many times I experience it.  Every. Single. Time.  I take a bajillion pictures and am captivated by each and every animal we encounter.  Added bonus – I can rest my feet from walking the trails.

How about YOU?  Have you reached the older-and-slowing-down people phase yet?  Which attractions do you love the most for their relaxation factor?

If I haven’t told you lately…thanks so much for visiting my blog.  I’d love to interact with you over on Facebook too!

 

The Rumors Swirling around Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Darth Vader on Star Wars Weekend PosterI love a good Disney rumor, don’t you?  Some juicy tidbit of really-true, might-happen, or totally-fabricated gossip is FUN to think about – imagine if it actually happened!  I love to mentally weigh in on the possibilities –  Am I okay with it?  Horrified by the very idea!  Or jumping up and down with anticipation.  One of my favorite places to hear about all the possible happenings at Walt Disney World is on a podcast called The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill“.  Unlike all the other Disney podcasts I’m addicted to, the Disney Dish with Jim Hill doesn’t come out on a regular schedule.  An episode might come out once or twice a month…then skip a month….then magically reappear.

While I’ve been hearing a LOT of bits and pieces of what may or may not happen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Star Wars, ride closures, attraction removals, updates, refurbs, and so on.  One of the last Disney Dish episodes really made me sit up and take notice – it was “Episode 62: Disney World’s Next Five Years”.  Keeping in mind that it’s all “unofficial” – there was a lot to chew on in that 73 minutes of commentary.  Basically, the discussion is basedSorcerer's Hat on what may potentially happen at Disney World now that Universal has really upped their game.  Much of the discussion focused on Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

So – based on the information I gleaned from Mr. Hill’s revelations, there are some major changes headed to the studios while some long discussed rumors appear to be just that – rumors – and will not become reality.

Here are the one’s I was most interested in (listen to the show for all the rest of the details):

The Sorcerer’s Hat – Source of much debate between the hat lovers and haters, the big blue centerpiece of the Studios has long been rumored to be on the way out.  Seems like it’s actually staying.  I understand its purpose – a place to draw crowds away from other areas of the park, a centrally located performance venue, etc.  And if you believe the other rumors about the hat’s original purpose – it was put there to actually HIDE the Chinese Theater due to legal issues with Disney’s use of a replica of the California original.  I’m not necessarily offended by the hat – I would LOVE DHS Imperial Speeder, Jasonto see an updated version though.  It’s so 2001 – cartoonish and hardly designed to fit in with any of the existing park theme.  I imagine that its removal would be a bit of a headache considering it reportedly weighs 156 tons.

Star Wars Land is a GO – And I am ecstatic!  I’m not much of a Star Wars geek, but I appreciate the broad spectrum of potential, the plethora of possibilities, if you will.  Now, this exciting news means big changes to the landscape of Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Echo Lake will be no more allowing the new land to begin much closer to the park entrance than the Star Wars area is now.  Think about it though!  All those lands, worlds, creatures, vehicles, andWookie in Star Wars Parade characters that are wonderfully amazing and unique!  This is what Disney Imagineers do best and I can’t wait to see how they transform elements from the Force (and the Dark side) into rides, attractions, restaurants, and shops.  The epic battle between good and evil…in the Studios!  Wookies and Ewoks and Sand People, oh my!

Indiana Jones may STAY – Can you believe it?  I braced myself to tell Indy so long and I may not have to! (See that blog post here)  Personally, I’m confident that Indy’s presence in the Studios will be updated.  Disney’s ownership of the Indiana Jones franchise opens the door to a lot of possibility…it would be a shame to waste it.

The Great Movie Ride is on its way OUT – Take a deep breath and think about it for a minute.  The Great Movie RideIt’ll be okay!  Original to the park, this 25 year old tour through classic movie genres was fun and edgy in the beginning.  Over the years though, no updates were made, no new movies were added, no new scripting for those poor Cast Members was written, things that stopped working correctly weren’t repaired (just adjusted to try to hide the problems).  Have you been on this ride lately?  Tarzan makes me feel embarrassed – he’s just awful.  The good news, though, is that according to Mr. Hill, the ride won’t be leaving anytime soon, so you can go and say a proper farewell.  My favorite part has always been the final scene from Casablanca.  What’s yours?

Still hungry for more scoop?  Check out The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill!Star Wars Weeekend's Parade  Download from iTunes or Stitcher.  Every episode is interesting.  Most recently (#63), the discussion was based on the history and future of DVC with information about plans that never happened and what DVC options may be available in the years ahead.

How do you feel about the possible changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  What would you be most excited about?  Would you be disappointed by any of the proposed changes?