Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 276: Making Movies, Kind of

The Disney Blog the other day featured a blast from the past about Disney's Hollywood Studios...then Disney's MGM Studios, and about the making of it. It was a promotional item for the park way back from who knows when, but I assume sometime around 1989 when it opened.

Of course, when I was sick this past week I just had to sit down and watch it because I didn't really feel like doing anything else, that's for sure. That's kind of what I do when I'm sick. Sit and watch stuff about Disney or TV or movies because I don't feel like living otherwise. It's really hard to do your homework for music theory when you feel like you're head is going to explode. It just doesn't work.

So here's the video, if you wish to watch it...

The entire video talks a bit about Disney World in general, but then goes into deeper detail about the Studios. I think it's really really interesting to see how much stuff has changed...and how much hasn't changed. For instance, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is featured in this video. That's still there today. As is The Great Movie Ride. Neither have really changed much at all since opening day. But then there are things completely missing, like Star Tours and the Muppets. 

And then there's the Backlot area. That lovely portion of The Studios that was still there when I was a kid that I really miss now. 

But the question asked on The Disney Blog is "If you were in charge of an extreme makeover for DHS, what theme would you give it?"

It's a tough question, it really is, and honestly I don't know what my answer would be. I talked about this a while back, and I still agree with what I said then. I don't want to see a Carsland at Walt Disney World, and I really don't wish to see a giant Star Tours land either. I don't think it would fit. So what does that say about what I think would fit? If I had to change Hollywood Studios, I turn it around. Go back to what it was originally. 

I'm not saying that it needs to be a movie studio anymore. Not a complete one at least. But make new, thrilling attractions that excite people about movies. I love movies, I really do. So let's make it a big mix of it, right? It seems that, in general, the idea of educating people about how movies are made is fading, and it's fading quickly. There's talk of Indy going, and I really hope to never see that. Unless they have plans for a new Indiana Jones attraction that's just as thrilling but different from the wonderful things at Disneyland. 

So take some of the most famous movies and make them into a bigger thing. Make Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard a really Hollywood. Bring it back to walking right onto the set of a movie. More street actors, and make it a community of Hollywood. 


I never thought I hated it so much, but the more and more I look at the Great Movie Ride, the more I find the beauty in it. In fact there's an entire portion in the video just about creating the building, and they go back and forth from the real Chinese Theater and the one at Disney and YOU CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE except for it tells you. Why in the world should all of that beauty be covered up? And with the use of the Chinese Theater, why not make the entire area different from Buena Vista Street by making it the Hollywood of the 1950's instead of the Hollywood of the 1920-30's. It would be completely different and authentic. It would be beautiful with the theater at the end. 

Then refurbish the entire Backlot Tour. Make it exciting again. Super exciting. Bring in new movies that are popular now. I don't know what, but something. Not movies from 10 years ago or longer, movies that were made this year or last year. And then relate those stunts to that. Remake Catastrophe Canyon, but use some of the same technology. Get the audience involved, and make for less walking! Bring back real people instead of a recording! 

Actually, now that I'm getting into it, there are so many things I would change. Things I would keep, take away, bring back or invent. But all I know is that the Studios of today is a far cry from the spectacular place imagined in 1989. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1971: Peter Pan's Flight opens at Walt Disney World, on the park's third day in business. Based on the 1953 animated film, guests board vessels (Attached to rails above) and "soar" over the skies of London. 

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on October 12 because I was sick).