Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are discussing how we would improve a few Disney attractions.
Hollywood Studios has gone through a lot of changes through the years, and the themeing of it has struggled a bit. I love the “old Hollywood” feel that many sections of the park have, and the importance of the movies. That’s why I always enjoy the Great Movie Ride. That being said, there are certainly some issues with it that I think could use some changing. So when one of the topics for this month’s blogorail was to “be an imagineer for a day” on an already existing ride, I knew I wanted to do the Great Movie Ride.
There are a couple of overall things I would want to fix or change. The first is to get rid of the new “audio guide” that plays on the ride. It’s much better when your real life guide is talking to you. It feels much more personal. Also, assuming that we have a good budget for this project, I’d upgrade a lot of the animatronics overall. They re-did the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz scene to make her much more lifelike, so let’s do the same to the others in this attraction.
I think my overall goal for re-doing the ride would be to make sure that all popular film genres are included, and are represented by popular films that will stand the test of time. That being said, the very first scene of the ride is one of the more difficult to deal with. We start with movie musicals, which includes Footlight Parade, Singin’ in the Rain, and Mary Poppins. I’m a huge musical fan (if you don’t follow the blog regularly, I do a lot of community theater) so this genre is very important to me. Singin’ in the Rain and Mary Poppins are absolutely some of the best movie musicals. Footlight Parade hasn’t really lasted as well – many people haven’t heard of it. And in the Great Movie ride, this scene never worked correctly. It’s now set behind a scrim and looks rather sad. I’d replace the whole thing with a scene from The Sound of Music.
Then we go through the gangster and western scenes, which are both important genres in the history of movies. I’d pretty much leave them alone, as I think they’re well done, very immersive, and it’s where the exciting part of the ride happens. I think both these genres work really well for the interactive element of the ride, even if they’re not super popular genres in today’s movie world.
Then it’s on to the Alien scene, which represents horror/thriller/sci-fi films. This is totally not my genre at all so I’m going to leave it alone, as I wouldn’t know what to replace it with or how to fix it. Plus I don’t think you can do anything too scary, because we still want the ride to be kid-friendly. And Sigourney Weaver is awesome, so there’s that. And because I’m not creative enough to figure out a good way to get our guide back in place of the gangster/cowboy that took over, I’ll leave Indiana Jones alone as well to represent adventure films.
Here’s where I’d switch things up a bit. Previously you’d go through a room with mummies and stuff next, but I don’t think that does a lot for the ride. So I’d change this room to represent sci-fi films. I know some people will say Alien is Sci-Fi, and maybe it is, but I think we need more. Instead of focusing on one film I’d put a couple of different scenes together that kind of would blend in to each other. Back to the Future, Star Wars, and Star Trek would all have a place here.
Next would normally be the Tarzan room, but I’m axing that too and changing it to the Fantasy room. Here we’d go into a scene from Lord of the Rings. I’d love to put Harry Potter in here too, but with Universal’s hold on that of course it wouldn’t be possible – but if we’re dreaming let’s add Harry in too. The Lord of the Rings films are stunning and I know Disney could do some beautiful things with it.
Casablanca stays as it is (maybe with updated animatronics) because there is no better representation of a romance movie than Casablanca. The screen with Fantasia can stay, but I would rotate between some different Disney clips to represent animated movies. I’d try to tie in some “4D” elements, like feeling water splash on your face or adding smells. Basically like they do in Mickey’s Philharmagic.
Before we get to the Wizard of Oz scene, I’m going to add an extra room. I really hesitate in doing this because it’s already a pretty long ride, and adding another scene would just make it even longer. But I do think it’s important to represent the comedy genre in this ride. And the movie I’d pick? Ghostbusters! I know Disney would be capable of some really cool special effects with the ghosts and all. It wouldn’t have to be a long scene, just a quick pass-through on the way to Oz.
The whole Wizard of Oz scene is classic and would remain the same. I also like all of the movie clips at the end, but I think I’d cut it down to make it a bit shorter. Some of them get repetitive and if I’m adding in an extra room I don’t want the ride to go on forever.
There are many parts of The Great Movie ride that I love, and some things I think could be improved (replacing the Tarzan scene tops my list). There are so many movies that would work well here, but we don’t have the time to feature them all!
What scenes would you add or change to the Great Movie ride?
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Imagineer for a Day Loop:
- 1st Stop – Disney Nouns | Updating Rock n Roller Coaster
- 2nd Stop – Disney in Your Day | Re-imagineering the Great Movie Ride
- 3rd Stop – Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze | The Future of Future World
- 4th Stop – Mousekatools Mom | Re-Imagineering Disneyland’s Toontown
- 5th Stop – Superheroes and Teacups | 4 Great Reasons Why Epcot Should Add a Greece Pavilion