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The Future of Hollywood Studios

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  • News The Future of Hollywood Studios

    *Caution: this is not a direct comment from the company, however it comes from a rather reliable source and should be considered more as news then rumour*

    Not sure if everyone heard the recent unofficial guide podcast, however the most recent episode discussed a rather prevalent topic here I thought everyone would be interested in: DHS. THIS is the potter swatter we have long been waiting for, with a roughly 800 million dollar budget.

    Supposedly disney has now turned their attention to the long forgotten Disney's Hollywood Studios and are about to commence a 5+ year, California adventure level cross park refurbishment with a long list of different elements. the overall theme of the park, as many predicted, is changing to finally do away with the working studio guise and it will be finally turned into a true theme park, and also there will be a focus on making things more family friendly with B through E ticket attractions going in. here are some of the elements:

    STAR WARS: The first project to break ground will be the long anticipated Star Wars land which will break ground as early as january of next year, turning the entire echo lake area into the new Tattooine land and expanding back into the current backstage area. the land will also take over the old sounds dangerous theatre where the jedi training will be given a permanent home as well as the soon to be vacated american idol theatre which will receive a yet to be named star wars attraction of some kind. indiana jones however is safe and will remain indefinitely with even some possible updates to spruce up the show as supposedly the stadium that houses it is indispensable for special events and is booked solid for years in advance. the hollywood and dine will also stay for the kids character dining. the exact design of the land was not entirely known but it will be given a side street to keep traffic patterns better through the parade zone and will include a mos eisely cantina which supposedly will have unique menu items on level of those found at potter land in universal, unique merchandise, an x-wing fighter plane spinner, a series of next gen experiences that will allow you to "use the force", and a new top secret e-ticket yet to be named along with star tours. all in all maybe slightly tailored back then some wanted but still exciting nonetheless.

    THE HAT: At this point the hat is truly square in the centre of the fence between staying and going, its a battle between the communal shows group and the group that wants the view down hollywood blvd to change back to the graumans chinese theatre. the stage is considered an important element to keep for special events like the villain party and big daily party-shows which are popular and disney is now doing the math on whether it is worthwhile to take the hat down and make a better stage or leave everything as it is now. its a true waiting game to see what happens at this point but the hat may finally be dead for those of you that want it gone.

    GREAT MOVIE RIDE: With a sad heart I regret to inform you all that after current bookings for special events are up, one of the final major projects in the refurbishment is the removal of the great movie ride. Supposedly a brand new state of the art attraction rumoured to be using the trackless technology found in the new rattatouille ride, mystic manor and poohs hunny hunt will replace it but it will be sad to see this great ride go.

    OSBOURNE LIGHTS: another thing that could happen is the updating of the osbourne lights show at christmas time. disney purchased the rights and now if they want can remove the osbourne name in favour of supporting an ABC gameshow called "the great christmas light fight" where people compete in decorating their houses with the winner being able to design a portion of the disney world display.

    SUNSET BLVD THEATRE: There is a strong chance at this point the Beauty and the beast theatre show will be replaced by a new 30 min scaled down version of Tangled. the show is extremely old at this point and a change is supposedly needed to be made.

    Thats all that was mentioned thus far, however one would expect elements like the backlot tour would also be removed and some other elements added in currently unoccupied areas as Jim stated there will be "a lot of turn over" before the 50th anniversary in 7 years time. they are trying to get as much done in this park as possible before then so don't totally throw out the idea of a fleshed out pixar place or a muppet land just yet, however everything above is going to happen before any of that comes.

    I know that this news will gain some different reactions so I would love to see your thoughts, what do you guys think about the future of the studios?

    some other elements that Jim announced in other areas of the resort are as follows:

    -at epcot there is going to be some interesting activity involving marvel. the Imagineering pavilion theatre is set to close very soon and will be replaced with a guardians of the galaxy experience. supposedly because it is purely a screen based thing and no ride elements the theatre has will be utilized and it is not one of the comics explicitly licensed to universal by marvel, it does not violate the contract

    -international politics are in play at the norway pavilion. disney has apparently made an offer to the norwegian government to fund the maintenance of the current pavilion as is, however if they decline, disney is prepared to close malestrom as early as late next month, early october in order to refurbish it with a frozen based theme.

    -wilderness lodge is next to get the DVC treatment. supposedly several floors of the hotel will be taken over by the DVC program and made into their exclusive rooms along with the construction of more over the water cottages like the ones they are building at polynesian currently.

  • #2
    Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

    You got this information from Jim Hill and he is not a reliable source. He said all of this information in a podcast about a week ago. Jim Hill just takes rumors that he hears on the internet and makes a podcast discussing the rumors. All of the stuff he has been talking about in his pod casts have been discredited before. He has as much insider information as anyone has on these boards.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

      Originally posted by Lakerfan3224 View Post
      You got this information from Jim Hill and he is not a reliable source. He said all of this information in a podcast about a week ago. Jim Hill just takes rumors that he hears on the internet and makes a podcast discussing the rumors. All of the stuff he has been talking about in his pod casts have been discredited before. He has as much insider information as anyone has on these boards.
      meh to each their own. I personally have never seen anything he says being incorrect, the issue comes where people play broken telephone with what he says and extrapolate their own meaning from him. if i had actually heard something he has said that has been proven definitively false then I would not promote him as a reliable source but until that day comes I will still stand behind the information. what he is saying is entirely realistic here and backed up by valid points. furthermore everything he has said regarding universal projects thus far in recent history has been correct so not sure where the hate is coming from. regardless the point of this isn't to attack the information itself but to comment on wether fans feel this is the apropriate direction for the park or not.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

        also a comment made by Len Testa, president of touring plans (the unofficial guide) and close friend with jim:

        "Jim's a great guy. I'd read his site online for a while before crashing one of his (now defunct) in-park tours of the Animal Kingdom.

        I knew I wanted Jim to write for us when we both said that we waited through the entire presentation of Israel's Millennium Celebration ride for Mel Brooks to take off the Moses costume and go into his schtick.

        I've seen samples of the source material Jim has used for certain articles. Some of it is incredibly well-sourced. For example, Jim wrote for us in 2007 (for the 2008 edition of the Unofficial Guide), that the old 20,000 Leagues area and Pooh's Playful Spot would make way for an Ariel-themed expansion of Fantasyland.

        Jim's been right on everything from minor issues such as improved water cannon at Pirates, to how FASTPASS+ is supposed to work.

        Is Jim wrong sometimes? You bet. Disney is a huge corporation, and plans and priorities shift when market conditions and people change. Anyone who has ever tried to do a three-year budget at a large company has experienced this. But the idea that Jim makes stuff up is absurd.

        Len"

        sure not everything is set in stone and therefore plans change, but hes been clearly right about much of what he says and through speaking in such vague terms it gives one a very clear general idea of what disney is planning on doing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

          All of the rumors that Jim Hill mentions in his podcast have been talked about for more than two weeks on the WDWMagic forums. Jim Hill isn't known for breaking information on new attractions for theme parks. He does take the latest information and tries to make it like he received the exclusive scoop.

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          • #6
            Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

            Also according to RSoxNo1 on WDWMagic Forums he gives proof as to where all the information that Jim Hill reported on was said by somebody else.
            Well for starters, 90% of the stuff that Jim Hill mentioned on the most recent Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish, he (or others) have mentioned previously. I track rumors on my site. This is what Jim said on the Sunday show and in paranthesis are when and where the rumor was first heard according to what I have:
            Hollywood Studios
            • $700 Million investment (June 4, 2013 - Mice Age said DHS changes could be $1 billion+ or a more modest #)
            • A major overhaul to the park is expected. This will include a selection of new smaller attractions (B/C-ticket level attractions) as well as other more substantial changes and additions. This will also include the removal of any of the former movie making components/history of the park. The timeline for major construction will wait until components of the Animal Kingdom/Avatar changes are on line. (Similar concepts mentioned int he same June 4, 2013 Mice Age article)
            • Star Wars is a major component of this, but it will take several years to do. Construction could begin on Star Wars content as soon as January. It will be the first component of the Hollywood Studios Changes brought on line.(Again, first really mentioned in June 4th, MiceAge article)
              • Echo Lake will become Tatooine (July 1, 2013 - Jim Hill on Disney Dish Podcast)
              • Jedi Training Academy is expected to move into the Sounds Dangerous theater. (Hard to tell, but July 1, 2013 Disney Dish seems accurate)
              • A direct road to Star Tours is expected to be built from Hollywood Boulevard directly to Star Tours. It will be a diagonal street from the Hollywood & Vine area to Star Tours. Side streets will come off this area. It is expected that RFID technology will be used for guests to "Use the Force" as they interact with the environment. (this particular detail is somewhat new, but interactive components were mentioned previously, I'm just not sure when).
              • Hollywood & Vine is expected to remain. (New)
              • Indiana Jones is expected to remain for the short term because it is booked for corporate events through 2018. (New)
              • X-Wing Spinner attraction. Vehicles can move up and down and wings can open and close. (First mentioned by Hill July 1, 2013)
              • Mos Eisley Cantina (Hard to tell what was fanboy wish/actual rumor, but June 13, 2013 by Robert Niles seems to be the first definitive source)

            • The Great Movie Ride is expected to close, but it will be among the last elements that change. It is also booked through 2017 for corporate events. (New, previous rumors of refurbishments seem to be different rumors)
            • The Christmas lights will remain, but it may be rebranded to the Great Christmas Light Fight. They may be taking the Osborne name off the show and have considered a Frozen theme. They could also be looking at other names in focus groups (first mentioned by Jim Hill Disney Dish on December 23, 2013).
            • Ride system used in Ratatouille ride in France will find it's way to Hollywood Studios, but the theme has not been determined. (New)
            • Beauty and the Beast may remain because a theatrical show is in the works for Broadway. However, there have been discussions about a Tangled themed show. (September 24, 2012 - @drew81 posts rumor about Tangled replacing Beauty and the Beast)
            • Frozen Sing a Long could potentially move to The American Idol Experience theater. (This was discussed on these boards recently, this podcast seemed to be the first place to sort of go on the record)

            Epcot
            • As expected, Maelstrom will be closing on September 28th. This will be to change the attraction over to a Frozen themed attraction. The time frame for completion is 18 months with an expected opening date of Spring 2016. (December 23, 2013 Disney Dish Jim Hill mentions the exact possibility. One month prior@WDW1974 mentioned possible permanent Princess Meet and Greet between Mexico and Norway)
            • Steve Davidson (designer of World of Color and Festival of Fantasy Parade) is working on an upgrade to IllumiNations. The time frame for completion of this could be as soon as 18 months. (July 25, 2013 - Orlando Parks News says possible show changes based on site ballon tests, August 4, 2013 - @wdw71fansites $23.6 million budget to improve IllumiNations)

            Animal Kingdom
            • $600 Million for Pandora (December 7, 2012 - Tom Staggs said $400-500 price tag)
            • Might open with one ride (Simulator), with the boat ride coming on line 18 months later. (June 2, 2014 -WDWThemeParks.com reported that the boat ride will open as part of a Phase 2 for Pandora)

            Wilderness Lodge
            • A large segment will be converted to Disney Vacation Club. (June 17, 2014 - @WDW1974 starts a thread on this)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

              Great review of the podcast, goofy donald​.

              Approximately 1.2% of the posts in the Walt Disney World Resort MiceChat forum have been contributed by PlutoHasFleas

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                Originally posted by Lakerfan3224 View Post
                Also according to RSoxNo1 on WDWMagic Forums he gives proof as to where all the information that Jim Hill reported on was said by somebody else.

                lol dude thats just far too conspiracy theory for my tastes, you go with that if you want but lets keep this on topic. again this post is more for gauging the reaction of the fan community then anything and what people think about the direction that the parks are headed if this very well is the way they are going.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                  Jim Hill is far from reliable... like when he reported that there would be a Nightmare Before Christmas themed event at the then Disney/MGM Studios to counter Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights among other things
                  The fountain of youth really is in Florida... thats why they built Walt Disney World where they did.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                    Originally posted by seafaring_ghost View Post
                    Jim Hill is far from reliable... like when he reported that there would be a Nightmare Before Christmas themed event at the then Disney/MGM Studios to counter Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights among other things
                    i can't comment to the exact wording he used but in the fast majority of scenarios unless its a done deal he illustrates clearly that this may or may not happen. again projects that go on in the parks are extremely fluid, just look at what happened in new fantasyland and things get cancelled or shuffled around and added all the time, he can only give us a window into the current climate and whats going on right now, not whats going to happen come d-day, he doesn't tell the future. I have yet to find a more accurate or reputable source out there then him.

                    AGAIN though regardless I wanted this to be more of a discussion on what fans thought of this particular direction, is it what you expected? not aggressive enough? some elements you like/don't like? what else would you have liked to see etc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                      If any of this is true, I will be sad to see TGMR go. I love it, cheesy actors and all. I think of it as a classic and deserves a massive refurb.

                      On the Star Wars front, it's what I expect. The spinner is still a bit baffling as to how it will fit into the land, and hopefully this "unnamed E Ticket" will be amazing and on the same caliber of Star Tours in showing respect to the franchise.

                      Oh, and I'm glad that Indy is staying for the time being. I still think they should build an attraction or Indy sub land that merges into the Tatooine (Star Wars) land.
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                      • #12
                        Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                        Originally posted by LordVader View Post
                        If any of this is true, I will be sad to see TGMR go. I love it, cheesy actors and all. I think of it as a classic and deserves a massive refurb.
                        agreed, it is truly one of my favourites. the possibility of new trackless technology FINALLY coming to orlando though is extremely exciting at the same time so it serves to soften the blow a little bit. with its central location and the exterior of the chinese theatre remaining, I would have to think that the new ride would share a similar general theme as the GMR but we will have to wait and see.

                        On the Star Wars front, it's what I expect. The spinner is still a bit baffling as to how it will fit into the land, and hopefully this "unnamed E Ticket" will be amazing and on the same caliber of Star Tours in showing respect to the franchise.
                        the spinner seamed blah to me too but again they have to find a way to get more attractions into that park for the younger demographic, otherwise its not a true full day park for the whole family. between this the interactive elements and the jedi academy that should go a long way to solving the problem. theres still a lot we don't know about this land like what will go into the current american idol theatre nearing the end of the build and of course the main event people eating attraction to highlight the land. it will probably be a little while before we find out just what is happening completely in the end, again with a seven hundred million dollar budget I'm sure there are a few elements involved here that were not yet discussed.

                        Oh, and I'm glad that Indy is staying for the time being. I still think they should build an attraction or Indy sub land that merges into the Tatooine (Star Wars) land.
                        agreed there as well but then you have to wonder just where you could put anything else in that area.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                          I hope that the rumored trackless ride has a theme similar to the Great Movie Ride too goofydonald.

                          I also agree on the need for more family friendly rides for the park to take some pressure off of TSMM, and yes, we do not know all that much about the land, and the info could be false for all we know. It's always fun to speculate.
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                          • #14
                            Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                            Originally posted by LordVader View Post
                            I hope that the rumored trackless ride has a theme similar to the Great Movie Ride too goofydonald.

                            I also agree on the need for more family friendly rides for the park to take some pressure off of TSMM, and yes, we do not know all that much about the land, and the info could be false for all we know. It's always fun to speculate.
                            what i was most surprised about outside of the great movie ride honestly was no information regarding the future of the backlot tour area since you would have to assume due to the new design change to move away from the working studio concept it would be shutting its doors very soon as well and in turn what would go in its place. with the amount of empty space left by the gutting of the old studio areas backstage, the empty area beside midway mania and now the backlot tour's space becoming available, you would have to think the expansion to create a true pixar land is inevitable at this point.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Future of Hollywood Studios

                              I think the Backlot Tours demise is inevitable. There could be a few things I see going there. The Pixar Place expansion (as you suggested), or use some of that space for both a PIXAR and Muppet expansion. I know that the last Muppet movie wasn't amazing or a big success, but I still think the Muppets deserve better.

                              Or they could just use all that space for Star Wars, who knows?
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