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  • [Question] Backlot Tour: What Happened?

    I road the backlot tour in 2002 and I liked it at the time. For the most part, people seem to dislike this attraction though. Someone even went as far as saying, "They neutered it." What exactly did the neuter. What is the whole experience like now a days as compared to in 2002? What could make it better?
    Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

    If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

  • #2
    Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

    they hacked like 80% of it out.

    It used to be three seperate phases... including moving through working studio facilities.

    Now you have the pearl harbor effects stage... which hasn't seen any real updates since god knows when... you ride through what used to be the costuming shops.. do catastrophe canyon.. which too.. has seen no real changes... then you ride past some dilapidated props.

    You no longer see the streets of america as a movie set... the entire backlot area was removed for lights motors action...

    It's trying to take you through a backlot tour of something that no longer is a studio. It's a albatross around the park's neck.

    It needs to go all together so the charade can stop.

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    • #3
      Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

      Flynnibus summed it up quite nicely. Basically the way I describe it is it was neutered 3 times.

      Neuter #1: In the early 2000's the studio closed and now you tour the backlot of a theme park and former movie studio. Not nearly as exciting as a current movie studio, but still somewhat interesting.

      Neuter #2: In 2003 the entire backlot section was ripped away in favor of Lights, Motors, Action. Well now we're touring half of a former movie studio, cool, I guess? The attraction is essentially on life support at this point but still worth doing for a first time visitor.

      Neuter #3 (aka the final nail in the coffin): Upon returning from refurb in 2008 the real life guides are removed and the spiel is automated. Taking out the last touch of anything interesting with the attraction. Now Guests can visit half of a former movie studio with no live tour guide. At this point, it has become an unbearable waste of time.

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      • #4
        Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

        If they are going to keep the tour, they should at least drop the lie that there are still any working studios. The only part of the park that is still used for continued production is the radio broadcasting booth.

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        • #5
          Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

          The only things keeping the "Tour" around are the Effects tank and Catastrophe Canyon, both of which are mildly entertaining, but definitely not enough to be their own attractions. Since there's no longer a working studio, I'd like to see Catastrophe Canyon given some new elements, and a couple more set piece "effects" experiences built before it. Maybe two more disaster sequences to ride through or some such. That way they could call it a special effects experience, drop the studio tour malarkey, and they can market it as a "new" attraction.

          Oh, and please change out the tank tour theming to the new Pirates movie or something. It's bad enough it still reflects a 9 year old movie, but the fact that it's also considered one of the worst movies of all time just makes it laughable.
          Last edited by Disney Romantic; 07-19-2010, 06:33 AM.
          "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

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          • #6
            Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

            That's exactly what I've been begging to see happen. Change it from a backlot tour and make it the Hollywood Studios Special Effects Tour or something like that. My plan would be as follows:

            1. Keep the water tank special effects but rip out all of the Titanic stuff and just make it a generic water effects show. If it has to keep a movie tie in, change the ship to the Black Pearl and make it a Pirates special effects show.

            2. Move on to the tour but add two more special effect drive through scenes. Maybe have one scene where we drive through a typhoon complete with tidal wave and another where we enter a building that looks like a city scene and see an alien invasion or something like that. Make those special effect stops be fairly amazing however.

            Along the way you could keep the more interesting props along with narration for what movies they were used in. It still wouldn't be as good as the original 2 hour tour that opened with the studio, but it would be something worth visiting.

            Oh yeah, and bring back the live tour guides.

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            • #7
              Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

              Well seems like I got there right before Neuter 2. When they got rid of "half of it" in 2003 what all did they get rid of? I am seeing if I can remember seeing that half. How long does the tour take now a days? Is it still popular as it was in the early 2000's?
              Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

              If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                In addition to being themed to a terrible, terrible movie, the tank scene is also very jokey, very laugh-at-your-fellow-tourists having fun scene that is based on the attack on Pearl Harbor (OK, based on a movie based on the attack of Pearl Harbor). Anyone else find this kind of offensive?

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                • #9
                  Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                  Originally posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
                  In addition to being themed to a terrible, terrible movie, the tank scene is also very jokey, very laugh-at-your-fellow-tourists having fun scene that is based on the attack on Pearl Harbor (OK, based on a movie based on the attack of Pearl Harbor). Anyone else find this kind of offensive?
                  If Pearl Harbor had been a dramatic, Oscar winning masterpiece like Saving Private Ryan, I might find it a little distasteful. But Pearl Harbor the movie is such a joke, and is emphasized so much in the queue (Curse you Disney for forcing me to watch parts of that movie), that it neuters the offensiveness. I think after watching Pearl Harbor, your brain is so numb they could say or do anything horrible and you really wouldn't notice.
                  "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

                  Newest Post- Epcot 30x30: Club Cool

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                  • #10
                    Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                    Residential Street was demolished.
                    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever

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                    • #11
                      Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                      Also, going way back in time to the earliest incarnations of the Tour, was the on-foot tour of working studios part of the overall Backlot Tour, or a separate attraction? It's been so long now I can't remember, I just have vague memories of looking down into sets for the mini-series From the Earth to the Moon.
                      "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

                      Newest Post- Epcot 30x30: Club Cool

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                      • #12
                        Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                        I think it was separate. When I saw it in 1997, they had sets and props from 101 Dalmations there. A CM even let me go right up to a miniature of her house and photograph it on the inside.

                        The only bit of the backlot tour I remember - other than the burning tanker bit - was seeing the house from Golden Girls.
                        temp_39091_1443218350388_737

                        Mike and Karen ran toward the old house, through the old iron gate, and onto the porch for protection. Protection...? If only they had known...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                          Originally posted by Maverick View Post
                          Residential Street was demolished.
                          What all was on residential street?

                          I remember the burning tanker bit too. That's really about it haha.
                          Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

                          If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                            All I remember is the Golden Girls house, and the house across the street that was from a Golden Girls spin-off. Can't even remember the name of the show, but the dad was a dentist, and had two adult daughters. I think the dad used to be on the old show "Soap" with Billy Crystal.... Dang it! What was that show???
                            temp_39091_1443218350388_737

                            Mike and Karen ran toward the old house, through the old iron gate, and onto the porch for protection. Protection...? If only they had known...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                              Originally posted by ecdlanddude View Post
                              Basically the way I describe it is it was neutered 3 times.
                              Neuter #3 (aka the final nail in the coffin): Upon returning from refurb in 2008 the real life guides are removed and the spiel is automated. Taking out the last touch of anything interesting with the attraction. Now Guests can visit half of a former movie studio with no live tour guide. At this point, it has become an unbearable waste of time.
                              but the "best" part is - THERE IS STILL A CM ON THE RIDE!! That's right... they sit there and stare at the audience instead of spieling. So Disney STILL has to pay for a CM to sit there, when it would cost them NOTHING to have that CM talk.

                              The second I saw that, it was over for me I still really liked the ride, I was even part of the show a few years ago, but that was the final straw for me
                              Good morning, son
                              In twenty years from now
                              Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                              And I can tell you 'bout today
                              And how I picked you up and everything changed
                              It was pain
                              Sunny days and rain
                              I knew you'd feel the same things...


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                              • #16
                                Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                                Originally posted by Disney Romantic View Post
                                If Pearl Harbor had been a dramatic, Oscar winning masterpiece like Saving Private Ryan, I might find it a little distasteful. But Pearl Harbor the movie is such a joke, and is emphasized so much in the queue (Curse you Disney for forcing me to watch parts of that movie), that it neuters the offensiveness. I think after watching Pearl Harbor, your brain is so numb they could say or do anything horrible and you really wouldn't notice.
                                Pearl Harbor is such a cliched movie made by a bad director.

                                As for the Backlot Tour, I went 2003 to Disney World, and what they had was props, Catastrophe Canyon, and pretty much what everyone else said.

                                During that time, they added San Francisco and other areas to make the Streets of America. If you ask me, they should just scrap the studio backlot all together and make a new themed area based on a movie or simply just give the park a new direction. The Backlot is bland, and Disney had very limited success with filming there all because they wanted to compete with Universal.


                                AUTOPIA: Fan Since 1991

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                                  Add me to the list of folks that would prefer a "Special Effects Tour." Ditch the whole idea that this is a "backlot" or "studio" tour--because it's not anymore. I first rode the tour back in 91 and it was kind of fun---almost entirely because of seeing people at work in animation, filming a kids show, and working on costumes. Even then the "sets" were weak because I knew that wasn't where the Golden Girls or Empty Nest were actually filmed--they were recreations.

                                  Anyhow, Catastrophe Canyon paired with two or three other experiences could make for a compelling, fun experience and also be pushed towards the back of the park, allowing for expansion of the Pixar Place area. One of these new experiences could be done along the lines of the new Universal Hollywood Kong (using mostly video screens), one could involve essentially an active diorama (similar to the Primeval World from Disneyland's Railroad but with a new theme--I like the aliens destroying a town idea)....the ideas here are truly limitless.

                                  I would probably ditch the water tank area altogether at this point--it's just not an entertaining experience. Keep Catastrophe Canyon, but all the rest can go.

                                  The Tram Tour is just sad in its current state, but with a minimum of investment it could work again....

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                                    Originally posted by Grinning Ghost View Post
                                    All I remember is the Golden Girls house, and the house across the street that was from a Golden Girls spin-off. Can't even remember the name of the show, but the dad was a dentist, and had two adult daughters. I think the dad used to be on the old show "Soap" with Billy Crystal.... Dang it! What was that show???
                                    Empty Nest.

                                    And I agree that this is a weak attraction. You see the trams, and expect a "backlot tour" somewhat comparable to what Universal does in Anaheim. At least when they had the houses it felt like a bit of a tour.

                                    Loading everyone onto trams for the dated Catastrophe Canyon is a waste.
                                    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                                      Some fond memories that stick out in my mind from the rides heyday will always be seeing the Golden Girls and Empty Nest houses, the bulldog cafe from The Rocketeer, the cars from Dick Tracy....some other prop like stuff that at the time made me very excited.

                                      The best was right after NMB4XMAS came out and they had all the puppets and sets laid out to look at and you could take pics of it all. I loved that.

                                      I really so wish it would all be re-done....it's kind of sad seeing it like that.
                                      There's Always Room For a 1000.....Hurry Back


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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Backlot Tour: What Happened?

                                        Originally posted by Grinning Ghost View Post
                                        All I remember is the Golden Girls house, and the house across the street that was from a Golden Girls spin-off. Can't even remember the name of the show, but the dad was a dentist, and had two adult daughters. I think the dad used to be on the old show "Soap" with Billy Crystal.... Dang it! What was that show???
                                        That spin-off show would be Empty Nest.

                                        I haven't been on the backlot tour since Residential Street was still there. I remember some props/facades from The Rocketeer were there too. I have photos somewhere from the 1993 (I think the last time I rode it was 1994).

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