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Disney Hollywood Studios getting renamed/rethemed?

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
Hey everybody, I'm new to the WDW forums.

When I first went to Disney World at the age of 9, Disney's Hollywood Studios (known at the time as MGM studios) was my second favorite of the WDW parks (my favorite being Animal Kingdom). I have always been a huge movie nerd so an entire park dedicated to show business, classic Hollywood and the movie industry was right up my alley. However, in recent years I've been getting the feeling that the park has slowly been drifting away from its original identity and towards ... well, something else entirely. Although I think Star Wars Galaxy's Edge and the Toy Story land are both impressive additions to the park, I don't think there is anything about either of those lands that feels like it has anything to do with how movies and shows are made.

And with the closure of the Great Movie Ride — the wonderful tribute to classic cinema and the defining attraction of the park — I can't help but feel that in a few years Disney may entirely rebrand Hollywood Studios into a more generic "adventure" type of theme park. I know Universal Studios owns the theme park rights to most of the Marvel characters in Florida, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Disney will try to find ways to incorporate any Marvel content it can into Hollywood studios, and possibly expand the presence of Star Wars and other acquired properties into Hollywood Studios.

Furthermore, a few weeks ago I read an article that said rumors have been swirling about the Rock n' Roller Coaster — another major attraction — potentially getting a retheme.

While I'm saddened by this apparent shift, I think it seems inevitable. Does anyone else think there may soon be a rebranding of Hollywood Studios? Have there been any rumors/leaks about it? I've been browsing these forums since last year (when the Splash Mountian retheme was announced) and it seems like everyone believes Epcot is the park with the identity crisis, but I believe currently Hollywood Studios feels the most thematically incoherent. Do you think a complete overhaul of Hollywood Studios is in the cards within a few years?
 

Rk2k5

Active Member
Hey everybody, I'm new to the WDW forums.

When I first went to Disney World at the age of 9, Disney's Hollywood Studios (known at the time as MGM studios) was my second favorite of the WDW parks (my favorite being Animal Kingdom). I have always been a huge movie nerd so an entire park dedicated to show business, classic Hollywood and the movie industry was right up my alley. However, in recent years I've been getting the feeling that the park has slowly been drifting away from its original identity and towards ... well, something else entirely. Although I think Star Wars Galaxy's Edge and the Toy Story land are both impressive additions to the park, I don't think there is anything about either of those lands that feels like it has anything to do with how movies and shows are made.

And with the closure of the Great Movie Ride — the wonderful tribute to classic cinema and the defining attraction of the park — I can't help but feel that in a few years Disney may entirely rebrand Hollywood Studios into a more generic "adventure" type of theme park. I know Universal Studios owns the theme park rights to most of the Marvel characters in Florida, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Disney will try to find ways to incorporate any Marvel content it can into Hollywood studios, and possibly expand the presence of Star Wars and other acquired properties into Hollywood Studios.

Furthermore, a few weeks ago I read an article that said rumors have been swirling about the Rock n' Roller Coaster — another major attraction — potentially getting a retheme.

While I'm saddened by this apparent shift, I think it seems inevitable. Does anyone else think there may soon be a rebranding of Hollywood Studios? Have there been any rumors/leaks about it? I've been browsing these forums since last year (when the Splash Mountian retheme was announced) and it seems like everyone believes Epcot is the park with the identity crisis, but I believe currently Hollywood Studios feels the most thematically incoherent. Do you think a complete overhaul of Hollywood Studios is in the cards within a few years?
For the past few years Disney has been rebranding Hollywood Studios from being behind the scenes of movies to being apart of your favorite movies. With tons of budget costs and being under staffed, Disney is already struggling to finish attractions such as Tron. I doubt Hollywood Studios will get a drastic overhaul in the next few years. I could definitely see Rock n' Roller Coaster getting a retheme sooner rather than later because it has been rumored for years and is cheaper than building a whole new ride. (RIP to the old Hollywood Studios! As much as I love the new lands, I miss the old rides so much 😕)
 

Cadbury

Well-Known Member
It will always be Disney MGM Studios to me.

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ohioguy

Well-Known Member
For all intents and purposes, the "studios" aspect of the park is gone. It seems that this park is the dumping ground of intellectual properties that might not fit logistically or creatively within the other parks. They also appear to be re-theming the Studios to a park that compromises various lands centered around those properties ("Star Wars", "Toy Story"). This is the park that needs some TLC, and would be perfect for expansion of the Marvel and Indiana Jones properties into their own lands; maybe even a land based on old Hollywood with film properties from 20th Century Fox.
 

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
For all intents and purposes, the "studios" aspect of the park is gone. It seems that this park is the dumping ground of intellectual properties that might not fit logistically or creatively within the other parks. They also appear to be re-theming the Studios to a park that compromises various lands centered around those properties ("Star Wars", "Toy Story"). This is the park that needs some TLC, and would be perfect for expansion of the Marvel and Indiana Jones properties into their own lands; maybe even a land based on old Hollywood with film properties from 20th Century Fox.
Maybe this is where the Alien/Predator/Planet of the Apes movies could find representation in the parks?

I think Universal will hold onto Marvel being in its parks for as long as it can. Disney would either have to offer Universal an obscene amount of money or Universal would have to acquire a property of equal value to Marvel. Honestly, I think Marvel — more so than Star Wars — is diverse enough that it could sustain its own theme park and in my ideal dream world would be a 5th gate for Disney World. But if Marvel had to be transferred to an existing park I agree that Hollywood Studios seems like the most logical choice.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I think that DHS is actually closer now to being within it's identity then it has been since MGM left the picture. What's there that isn't part of a movie, music or TV... All connect with Studio's. With the massive expansion including Star Wars and Pixar it has it's purpose. Being in the movies instead of seeing how they are made (with the possible exception of the Indy show), which could easily just be a show instead of make believe they are making a movie, instead be a live recreation of a movie that they chose members of the audience (plus one) to be part of.
 
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Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
The whole "working studio" concept was almost dead on arrival, since few productions wanted to film in such a fish bowl atmosphere. And although I enjoyed the movie production related attractions the first time I visited, most of them besides the Great Movie Ride really didn't hold up after one or two repeats (the Backlot Tour in particular, although interesting and fun the first time, was definitely a one-and-done ride). I think the original theme behind MGM/Hollywood studios backed itself into obsolescence even faster than Epcot, so a course-correction was inevitable. The park never really had a logical or well-planned layout even from the beginning, so its development into a dumping ground for mix-matched IPs seems like an inevitable conclusion.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
No surprise that its a park thats going through a lack of identity. Its been slowly progressing in that direction for some time and with a lack of money combined with being unfocus in a relevant direction that is until the SW deal fortunately landed. TSL brought some interest back but SW really started the turn it around. A RnRC change over has long been talked about, rumored, speculated and discussed with many different opinions but no one knows what the outcome will be. Just dont touch my ToT Disney !!!
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
It will always be Disney MGM Studios to me.

View attachment 569782
I feel that like my daughters when they got married and decided to change their names to match their husbands I have never said I don't care what you call yourself you'll always be (my surname) to me and will always address you that way. Shakespeare once said, " A rose my any other name is still a Rose", however, it is called something else.
 
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doctornick

Well-Known Member
No surprise that its a park thats going through a lack of identity. Its been slowly progressing in that direction for some time and with a lack of money combined with being unfocus in a relevant direction that is until the SW deal fortunately landed. TSL brought some interest back but SW really started the turn it around. A RnRC change over has long been talked about, rumored, speculated and discussed with many different opinions but no one knows what the outcome will be. Just dont touch my ToT Disney !!!

I don't think it has a "lack of identity" - I think it's actually moving to be more cohesive than ever. The identity is the basic "ride the movies" aspect similar to Universal Studios. Have full lands corresponding to specific properties/worlds works well and is distinct at WDW (with the exception of Pandora at DAK, but that land is more focused on the environment of the IP as opposed to the plot and characters of the actual movie).

The former studios concept became dated and obsolete very quickly once it was evident that few productions would actually occur there. The "magic" of a place like Universal in Hollywood is that you are in an actual studio backlot where real things have been filmed - and are actively being filmed. It doesn't work when its a fake representation of fake placement used in films.

I wouldn't mind if the park had one section devoted to movie making, but as a park wide concept it left way too much to be desired. The park is better now than it has ever been, it just needs another land or two devoted to a different property and the shows to be refreshed. but the park concept is far improved.
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
It is a park featuring IPs from the various studios owned by Disney. Seems pretty apt to me. The only other acceptable alternative name to me was Disney Hollywood Adventure but the cost of implementing a name change like that (signs, websites, brochures, marketing, re-recording material, etc) never seemed to make sense.
 
If they expanded Indiana Jones (replaced the stunt show with a ride and maybe replace Star Tours with an attraction as well) and then somehow got Marvel rights (or figured out a few characters they have rights to, ala Guardians) to make a Marvel section in the Animation courtyard, they would have areas for Indy, Star Wars, Pixar, Muppets and Marvel. Then voila! ---

IGER ACQUISITION-LAND!!!
 

Model3 McQueen

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
And with the closure of the Great Movie Ride — the wonderful tribute to classic cinema and the defining attraction of the park — I can't help but feel that in a few years Disney may entirely rebrand Hollywood Studios into a more generic "adventure" type of theme park. I know Universal Studios owns the theme park rights to most of the Marvel characters in Florida, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Disney will try to find ways to incorporate any Marvel content it can into Hollywood studios, and possibly expand the presence of Star Wars and other acquired properties into Hollywood Studios.

For all intents and purposes, the "studios" aspect of the park is gone. It seems that this park is the dumping ground of intellectual properties that might not fit logistically or creatively within the other parks. They also appear to be re-theming the Studios to a park that compromises various lands centered around those properties ("Star Wars", "Toy Story"). This is the park that needs some TLC, and would be perfect for expansion of the Marvel and Indiana Jones properties into their own lands; maybe even a land based on old Hollywood with film properties from 20th Century Fox.


This isn't just a Hollywood Studios thing.. We're seeing it already with Pixar Pier, Marvel Land in DCA, and PatF Mountain, Hyperspace, SWL at Disneyland. EPCOT as well.

Coherent theming or originality isn't a priority. Advertising Disney's latest IP is, and the higher ups don't care what's being replaced so long as Chapek and his cronies keep crapping out whatever they're trying to advertise next.
 

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
This isn't just a Hollywood Studios thing.. We're seeing it already with Pixar Pier, Marvel Land in DCA, and PatF Mountain, Hyperspace, SWL at Disneyland. EPCOT as well.

Coherent theming or originality isn't a priority. Advertising Disney's latest IP is, and the higher ups don't care what's being replaced so long as Chapek and his cronies keep crapping out whatever they're trying to advertise next.
In defense of Pixar Pier/Marvel Land in DCA, the general public didn't really respond that well to the park when it first opened. Why would local Californians want to go to a "Californian" adventure and see cheap imitations of the real thing?

As far as the Princess and the Frog mountain, I agree that it doesn't really fit in with Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. However, I wonder if Frontierland might be eliminated at some point in the Magic Kingdom. With the Country Bear Jamboree rumored to be permanently shut down and the closure of the original version of Splash Mountain, I wouldn't be surprised if Frontierland was completely rebranded. I don't think Big Thunder Mountain would close, but it could potentially be repainted and re-themed to be more cohesive with the new version of Splash Mountain.

The Main drive to retheme Splash was so Disney could erase ties with a problematic IP (even though the ride itself removed much of what was offensive about Song of the South). With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the Disney company of today felt the entire theme of Frontierland was problematic and negatively tied it with themes of colonialism and mistreatment of Native Americans. With the changes to Jungle Cruise and Splash, they might find the Indian Village (seen in the riverboat journey) and references to "Injun Joe" on Tom Sawyer Island to be out of touch with their desire to be inclusive.
 

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