You all know that I love Disney theme parks. Disney’s Hollywood Studios park (originally known as the Disney-MGM Studios park until 2008) located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. I first visited this park in 1992 and completely fell in love with its concept, scope, scale, and design. It was like a Disneyland park created as a love letter to the movies with a grand movie palace serving as its castle and centerpiece.
Here’s a pre-opening day image of the park from the Disney Parks Blog.
And here’s a shot of the glorious Chinese Theater, a replica of the original Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, which is still today the ultimate movie palace.
The park has tremendous potential but continues to struggle due to many factors, including Walt Disney World’s unwillingness to spend the money necessary to make some much needed changes and upgrades to the park’s attractions. One of the things I hate most about the current park is the giant “Sorcerer Mickey” hat (with a pin store underneath it, of all things) that was plopped in front of the Chinese Theater (the park’s “castle”) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth in 2001. Well, the anniversary promotion/celebration came and left and, 13 years later, the hat is still wrecking the glorious vistas that once were in place.
Since the Walt Disney World team is probably never going to get rid of this egregious structure, I’m just trying to come to terms with it. In fact, here are some ideas that I came up with that Walt Disney World can use in the future for the structure.
Well, enough of that cynical gibberish… My sincere hope is that Walt Disney World guests will be able to enjoy a view of the Chinese Theater again someday that is free of the henious giant Sorcerer Mickey hat (and that the park’s attraction roster will get some TLC, too).
Final image also from the Disney Parks Blog.