Thursday, August 9, 2012

If I Ruled the World: Hollywood Studios

When my royal mind needs a break from the daily grind of ruling the happiest place on Earth, I call my lackeys and have then entertain me with films and things of the sort. But all is not well in the little park that could. For what was once the epitome of theming has now turned into one dead-end street after another that barely reflects the Hollywood that Never Was. Of course, I am talking about Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney/MGM Studios).
If I Ruled the World: New Hollywood Studios Map
Hollywood Boulevard:
Not the best photo manip, but
better than the hat.
• Remove the hat! It’s just an eye sore. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. And there is no one in Imagineering you can convince me otherwise.
• The Great Movie Ride once was great, because it mixed classic movies with contemporary ones to give you a long-range view of movies. However, that’s not the case anymore. I think the ride just needs a few new scenes. I personally don’t like the Public Enemy scene nor the western scene, but there are other places to update movies. Disney Studios has many more classic (and modern classic) movies than it did when the park was built, use some of those properties.

Echo Lake:
• I would do something with the Sounds Dangerous building. I have never seen it used for the Drew Cary show. The last time I was in the park, they were doing something with America’s Funniest Home Videos in the space, but I couldn’t get in, so I don’t know what was going on. This unused space could be turned into a preview center. Show exclusive trailers and behind the scenes featurettes for upcoming Disney releases.
Skywalker Ranch with Indiana Ride
from Disneyland Map and Cantina.
• Next, I would rename the area on the left side of the lake to “Lucas Films Land” or “Skywalker Ranch” to better reflect some of the other changes happening over there.
 • Indiana Jones: I love the stunt show and want to see more Indy. Import Indiana Jones Adventure from Disneyland to just behind the stunt spectacular.
• Transform Backlot Express to the Mos Eisley Cantina. It would serve exotic sounding food (but really maintain its current menu of burgers and fries) with an Audio Anamatronic cantina band playing Star Wars music all day long (think Sunny Eclipse at Magic Kingdom’s Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café).
They would play all day!
• Also, at the Mos Eisley Cantina, one might be able to run into Star Wars characters. A meet and greet in one corner of the restaurant would allow fans face time with some of their favorite characters.

Streets of America:
Muppet Hollywood Studios Land.
(Dark ride building is courtesy of
Walt Disney Studios Park Map - Paris)
• Studio Tour: What to do with this studio tour? I understand that nostalgia has kept this here, and what would a studio be without its back lot tour? But this tour used to be something. Now it’s a shell of its former self. Catastrophe Canyon looks likes it’s been through a catastrophe, it’s dirty and your can clearly see where everything is going to fall. And Pearl Harbor? When did that come out? I say, close it down for a lengthy refurbishment. Gut the whole this and start from scratch.
Toy Story playland from Disney Dream.
• Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure: reposition it’s entrance to be part of Pixar Place and change it to a Toy Story Movie Set Adventure, something like the Oceaneer’s Club on Disney Cruise Line’s Dream and Fantasy.

• I would also split this land up. I would take the entire left side and call it “Muppet Hollywood Studios,” where the word “Muppet” was placed on top the world “Disney” in a sign that looked just like the park’s logo.
• Muppet Vision 3D would need updating. A new movie and working 4D effects.
 • Pizza Planet: To better fit the Muppet Hollywood Studio’s theme. Pizza Planet would be turned over to the capable hands of Swedish Chef.
• Mama Mel Rose’s would also be rethemed to Muppets.
• A Muppet themed dark ride. Behind the streets of San Fransisco, I want a new show building for a Muppet dark ride. Muppet’s fit so well with the Disney ride ideology of “then something when wrong.”

Commissary Lane:
• No changes.

Pixar Place:
Pixar Place with new Toy Story Playland
(courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Park Map)
• To help ease the transition from old Pixar Place to the new Toy Story play area, the show building that currently houses Studio Catering Company, would be broken up to create the new pathway to Toy Story play area.
• This show building next to Toy Story Mania will be for the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. It doesn’t belong in Tomorrowland (monsters have nothing to do with the future). But it fits right in with Pixar Place.

Mickey Ave. and Animation Courtyard:
Why doesn't this walk way
already exist?
• Update the Voyage to the Little Mermaid. Use HD footage, create new costumes, etc.
• There would also be a paid experience added to the backstage area new the Magic of Disney Animation. I really enjoyed the area where you are taught to draw characters. The problem here is that the room is too small for how many people want to do it. I would add another studio that required a special admission (perhaps with a backstage tour aspect), which would give you a couple hours of drawing class.
• I’d also add a path between the courtyard to Sunset Boulevard. It is really annoying to go from one to the other – being forced to go to Hollywood Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard:
• Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. The map calls this a musical Broadways-style show. However, I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and I don’t remember seeing any characters that wore masks (or heads). I would just update the costumes for Beast and the Beast’s enchanted servants. Make is a combination between what is there now (very representative of the movie) and Broadway (a bit too fanciful for Hollywood Studios).
• Fantasmic! – If Disneyland can have Fastpasses, so can we!

So ends another day of spending and fixing. I know I did not make Hollywood Studios have a more cohesive theme (in fact, I made it more sporadic by splitting some of the lands), but I believe these changes will help make this park stronger.

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