Hollywood Studios – A Sleeping Giant In The Making?
Disney’s Hollywood Adventure is possibly going to become the third name that the park has had in just over 25 years! – Not confirmed
Probably the last two years or more have generated unprecedented speculation about Walt Disney World’s ‘3rd theme park’.
Opened on May 1st 1989, the then CEO, Michael Eisner billed it as “a Hollywood that never was—and always will be“.
In reality, Eisner could not have been speaking further from the truth.
Hollywood Studios, or as it was known then; Disney-MGM Studios, has seen a litigious name change, and from Jan 7th 2008, we came to love the theme park by its current name; Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Perhaps no other Disney theme park has chopped and changed as much over the brief lifetime of Hollywood Studios!
Unprecedented, the name change created lots of chatter in a relatively ‘pre-internet’ era. Something that nowadays might not be taken so lightly, thanks to blogs, websites and social media in general.
Soon we will find out the fate of WDW Park #3, as the humble theme park changes its name yet again at some point in the not too distant future.
This time though, the fan base is much less focused on the mere name change. After years of anticipation, the small theme park finally looks set for a big expansion.
Some content isn’t going to be a surprise. A major Star Wars area is pretty much understood to be a ‘done deal’. Where and what Star Wars land might be is still a big mystery, but we can safely say that something very big indeed must be happening!
Closures Galore at Hollywood Studios
Nothing has so much power to annoy guests than a stagnant theme park, and Disney appear to be seriously intent to shake off criticism that Hollywood Studios is a ‘half day park’.
Of course, guests hate change too, and we cry into our Starbucks cups at the slightest changes to our family favorite attractions and restaurants.
The clue to something big heading its way to Hollywood Studios, lies not just in the scale of closures of areas and attractions, but more to the fact that Disney appear to be marking the incredible disruption as ‘worth it’.
- The Backlot Tour – Closed
- American Idol – Closed
- The Magic Of Disney Animation – Closing July 12th 2015
- One Man’s Dream – Rumoured to be closing in July 2015
- The Sorcerer’s Hat – Now Removed
- A rumoured $3bn expansion – Orlando Business Journal
- Probable major new roadworks are a hint that this will be a BIG upgrade.
Other than an extra circuit being added for Toy Story Midway Mania, the park seems to be in a deep state of hypnosis. Still fun to visit, with fabulous A-Rides and attractions, and a really cool night time Fantasmic show, Hollywood Studios is a great place to spend a slightly shorter day than the other WDW parks.
What Next For Hollywood Studios?
That’s the toughest one of all and we are kind of expecting some big reveals at the next D23 Expo official fan event that will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 14-16 2015 in California.
It’s been two whole years since DIsney hinted at Star Wars with ‘project Orange Harvest’ and Disney fans are getting a little impatient.
Sure, Disney may be making good use of the hype for marketing purposes, but guests paying full admission price probably feel that an explanation is needed when they have much less to visit. Will it be worth the wait and disruption?
For regular visitors, yes, definitely. But for the ‘once in a lifetime’ visitors, it’s maybe time to reveal intentions, to allow them to plan their visits on a more informed basis.
One Man’s Dream – Surely It’s not the end?
For our early visits to Orlando, our family dismissed One Man’s Dream as a bit of unnecessary distraction. As the years passed however, like almost every Disney fan, we fell in love with discovering the heritage behind the creative genius of the Disney brothers.
In case you have not experienced it, this small and beautiful exhibit is crammed full of inspirational artifacts from the early days of Disney.
If you want to slow down and grab a piece of real Disney magic, then quickly pop into One Man’s Dream for what could be the very last time.
We say could, because it seems impossible to perceive that Disney could ever separate guests away from the man that made it all begin with a mouse!
A great article and aerial image showing the extent of the potential changes at Hollywood Studios. – Click here to visit Theme Park Insider‘s insight.
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