Save THE GREAT MOVIE RIDE (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
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Rumors are circulating that The Great Movie Ride, the centerpiece attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando FL, is scheduled to close this fall to make way for a planned Mickey Mouse ride that will take up residence in the recreation of the Chinese Theatre.
The Great Movie Ride is the premiere attraction and symbol of the park, similar to Epcot's Spaceship Earth and the Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle. The ride encompasses the values of the park, celebrating the history and legacy of not only Disney's catalog of films, but classic films in general. The original concept for The Great Movie Ride began life as a potential pavilion at the Walt Disney World Resort's second theme park Epcot, before ultimately being expanded to serve as the centerpiece of its own theme park, the Disney-MGM Studios, which opened in 1989.
The ride features classic scenes from films such as ALIEN, CASABLANCA, MARY POPPINS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and THE WIZARD OF OZ (currently the only attraction in the world to feature the 1939 hit musical). As a fan of cinema and its rich history, I almost never fail to shed a tear at the attraction's montage finale which features clips from Disney and non-Disney(!) films, new and old. The ride is currently in need of an update and refresh, but in no means whatsoever is the experience worthy of replacing.
Thematically, a Mickey Mouse attraction is a welcome addition to the park; an addition, NOT a replacement at the expense of a classic. Disney's Hollywood Studios has suffered from a bit of an identity crisis ever since actual film production ceased at the former studios. The Great Movie Ride has served as the "glue" to help unify the park and ensure the theme remains to be the celebration of cinema (Disney and otherwise).
With only a handful of rides, and attractions & stage shows that are well past their expiration date (Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular), Disney's Hollywood Studios has consistently been noted as a "half-day park," in need of NEW attractions. The recent success of the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar, a major draw to another "half-day park" (Disney's Animal Kingdom), proves that with no alternative choices, capacity in the park will be a serious issue, even with the planned Toy Story and Star Wars expansions. These sure-to-be-popular expansions will NOT be enough to meet demand. In fact, these expansions will hardly reach the removed capacity of the former attractions these lands and experiences will be replacing. The Great Movie Ride's capacity (2400 riders per hour), ALONG with a Mickey Mouse attraction, would certainly alleviate the stress of the 2 - 4 hr wait times for the Star Wars & Toy Story attractions.
There is no better location for a Mickey Mouse attraction than the former Disney Animation Florida studio, which currently houses a weak throw-away meet-and-greet area for Star Wars characters that will become redundant once the proposed Star Wars-themed land opens. This former studio is housed in an area known as Animation Courtyard, which features the Star Wars Launch Bay area along with Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Junior Live on Stage, all of which (along with the land) are in need of updates and replacements. In the late 1980's, there were plans for a "Mickey's Movieland" area, a recreation of the original Disney Hyperion Animation Studios. If these plans were dusted off, the area would serve as a perfectly adequate and thematically correct home to a Mickey Mouse attraction, allowing The Great Movie Ride to continue to enchant young and old and celebrate the history of cinema.
Please, if you love the Great Movie Ride, sign & share. Not many people seem aware that this change is happening. Get the word out there that you love this attraction and do not wish to see it fall by the wayside.
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