Classic Cinema

Farewell to The Great Movie Ride

Another attraction is biting the dust at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Great Movie Ride presented by TCM closed permanently yesterday. It’s making way for a new attraction called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railcar.

The Great Movie Ride made me really happy. It’s a merger of two of my favorite things–a Disney theme park attraction and classic movies. Plus, it was housed inside the Disney theme park version of the world famous Chinese Theater (which still exists today on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, and is still one of the best places in the country to see a movie; in the context of this park, the Chinese Theater served as its symbolic castle).

I was able to score a ticket to a special farewell event for the attraction sponsored by the TCM Backlot and D23 fan clubs held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, one day before the attraction’s closure. They took us into the Disney’s Hollywood Studios park early in the morning before the park’s regular opening, gave us a walking tour of the entire attraction, and then gave us one final ride.

While this attraction was a bit long in the tooth, so to speak, it was grand, it was ambitious, it was one-of-a-kind, and it was all about the love of classic Hollywood movies. Needless to say, I loved the ride and will miss it.

Here are some photos from the farewell event I attended (all photos taken by yours truly).

Our group was taken into the park at 7:00 a.m.–two hours before park opening

 

The Chinese Theatre — Disney World style

 

The ride’s marquee

 

The ride’s poster

 

Getting some instructions and some historical context before entering the ride

 

We’re going in

 

In the queue room with the great film genre intros by Robert Osborne, long-time host of Turner Classic Movies

 

The queue room

 

Load room

 

Walking through the attraction!

 

I love TCM

 

The Busby Berkeley girls from FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933; the bubble machine was turned off so people wouldn’t slip on the floor)

 

Gene Kelly in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)

 

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in MARY POPPINS (1964); this is only one of two Disney movies represented on the ride–not counting the movie montage at the end

 

James Cagney in THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931)

 

The gangster film room

 

Clint Eastwood, from any number of films, probably one of his Spaghetti westerns

 

John Wayne, most likely from RIO BRAVO (1959)

 

The western film room

 

The Nostromo spaceship room from ALIEN (1979)

 

Signourney Weaver from ALIEN (1979)

 

The RAIDER OF THE LOST ARK room

 

Harrison Ford and John Rhys-Davies from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1982)

 

Cheetah and Maureen O’Sullivan from one of their TARZAN movies from the 1930s (Tarzan was a no show)

 

The CASABLANCA scene! My favorite.

 

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in CASABLANCA (1942). “We’ll always have Paris.”

 

Mickey Mouse in FANTASIA (1940). The second and final Disney movie represented in the ride and precursor of things to come (the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railcar attraction looks to be a screen-based attraction).

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ room

 

More of THE WIZARD OF OZ room

 

You know what to do

 

And we did

 

Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Judy Garland, and Jack Haley in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

 

The movie montage/finale room (which nearly as fun when it’s turned off)

 

Have I mentioned lately how much I love TCM?

Disney hasn’t wasted any time. Today (August 14, 2017), these new signs were added at the Chinese Theater. (Photos from BlogMickey.com and wdwnt.com; used without permission.)

I’m hoping that with the Chinese Theatre in the background, the existing facade will remain with the new attraction. Time will tell.

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