The Great Movie Ride is No more

I and my wife are so sad to see the GMR closed forever. I hear it is going to be a 3D Mickey Mouse theater. I know Disney is trying to keep up with Universal but sometimes I think some of the changes are go to hurt rather than help. The Ellen DeGenus thing was bound to go but you got to admit the Dino’s were quite good. Wonder what will go there? They take out the Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Carb. and that will about do it for me. Soar’in is still good but I liked the old one better. Can’t beat Tink at the end. New one is Cockeyed unless you happen to get the right seat in the right theater. DocHopper

The replacement for the GMR will be a new ride featuring Mickey and the gang. It will be a next-generation trackless vehicle ride using new technology sets and projections. The “replacement” for Energy will be an an attraction based on Guardians of the Galaxy. The Energy building will be the queue and pre-show area, and the actual show building will be where the “Festival Pavilion” (formerly Wonder of Life) building currently sits. No details about the attraction have even been “leaked”, but the belief is that it will be some sort of coaster. There are no plans to remove HM or PoC.

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Thank Goodness it is going!!!

I’m not “glad” to see GMR closing, but it was no longer a “star” attraction in its current state. Most of the AAs needed replacing with new technology, and several of the sequences needed to be updated with films that are more current now, vice current back in the 80s when the ride was designed. My “ideal” refurb would have been to make it the history of Disney (only) movies from the first “Laugh-o-Grams”, Alice, Oswald, Mickey, and on to the features and Pixar. But even at that, it still wouldn’t really fit all that well in what the park is becoming. When Disney-MGM Studios first opened, the unifying theme of the whole park was the history of Hollywood and how movies are made; it was an actual functioning studio. Then the studio closed. Then MGM left. Then almost every attraction that was focused on how movies were made was removed/replaced (Indy is the lone survivor). I can’t even recognize a unifying theme to the park anymore. And rumors are that when the park gets renamed in the next couple of years “studio” will not even be in the name.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the new Mickey ride. I don’t like that they are using the trashy new artwork vice a more classic look, but given the nature of the ride system, the new artwork may be more appropriate. I guess I’ll just have to wait a few years an see…

Sad, but true. Same with Epcot, really. Education doesn’t sell. Thrills and excitement does. So, while us old-timers enjoy, understand and long for the original purpose of these parks, they have new generations of people to appeal to, and they want current themed thrills and excitement. Walt himself said that the parks will never be finished, because they are constantly evolving. And that is true. Many classics remain, but they add/change stuff to keep people coming back for the new stuff while also appealing to the new generation of park goers.

The thing is we, the older folks go to Disney World, not so much for the rides, but the entertainment factor. The Great Movie ride, though dated, was Hollywood studios, or what was originally intended to some degree. In my opinion, if you want trill rides, go to Universal Studios. Now some 3D mouse ride doesn’t seem like it belongs in HS. Surprisingly Disney World is doing just fine in family entertainment, and money wise the parks and resorts are still booming. Let’s not stray too far from the dream in order to attract the trill ride crowd.

If you keep in mind that they are moving/have moved away from the park’s original intention, then it does belong. Disney has moved on. We have to too if we want to enjoy the parks.

I could ask what does “belong” in DHS? We have Star Wars (and are about to get more), Twilight Zone, Aerosmith, a couple of live Princess shows, Toy Story (soon), an Indiana Jones stunt show, three TSs with their roots in the 50s, a “main street” with it’s roots in the 30s, the Chinese Theater from the 40s. a “downtown LA” street from who knows what decade with a 21st century retro brew pub. It’s such a confused mash-up right now that virtually anything could “belong” there.

If, in fact, the future goal theme of the park is to “experience” the movies (vice “learn how they are made”), then a ride that starts with you watching a Mickey Mouse short in the Chinese Theater and then having you get “sucked into” the action along with the cartoon characters would seem to be a very good “fit”.