Orlando Attractions Update – More Disney theme park rumors abound regarding the state of Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, but the latest story circulating is beginning to pick up a little traction according to the Orlando Weekly. The Great Movie Ride, one of the original attractions at the park when it opened in 1989, may be getting closer to its end credits. Rumors of the attraction closing for good have swirled around for years but things looked promising when it was announced that the ride was forming a partnership with Turner Classic Movies in 2015 which gave the ride a little facelift and an improved movie clip portion at the end of the ride, but not much more. Now it appears that the TCM partnership will end in 2018 and the ride will be shuttered.On the bright side, it looks as if plans to create a new Mickey Mouse-themed ride within the replica Chinese Theater building is becoming more of a reality for Disney Hollywood Studios. Disney has long wanted to build such a ride, but it has never worked out until now. The new ride could use the existing ride system or use the newer trackless system that is being featured in newer attractions in other Disney theme parks throughout the world. Exactly what this new ride will be or what it will look like remains a mystery but it is one fans can look forward to unfolding over time.
While not an official announcement, the new Mickey Mouse ride is just another change happening at Disney Hollywood Studios which is becoming a whole different theme park from when it first opened. The concept for the Disney MGM Studios (the original name of the theme park) was to operate much like Universal Studios Hollywood where both movies and TV shows would be filmed on site and guests could see the magic of movie-making on tram tours and stage shows. A handful of TV shows and movies did actually film there once upon a time, but it didn’t continue for long. The Art of Animation building actually featured Disney animators and guests to watch them working on upcoming Disney films. Over time, the park began to phase out certain shows, took out the animators, cut down on the length of the tram tour and then took it away completely.
Recent changes to Disney Hollywood Studios have included the increased Star Wars presence including the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show, the construction of an all new Toy Story-themed land and the latest news regarding the old Pizza Planet restaurant being re-themed as PizzeRizzo, named after the Muppet character Rizzo the Rat.
All four the Florida Disney theme parks and the two southern California parks are being re-tooled in big and small ways to keep up the completion that Universal’s theme parks are creating, but not all of the plans are sitting well with fans.