That’s a Wrap! Saying goodbye to The Great Movie Ride


The curtain has come down on the last remaining original ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from opening day. It’s kind of a bittersweet ending, with the ride being replaced by an all new, high energy Mickey Mouse attraction. Still, it’s always sad when you have to say goodbye to an old friend, which is what the Great Movie Ride was for a lot of Disney fans, and visitors.

While we didn’t have the chance to visit on the final day, we did get the chance to ride one last time during the final weekend.

Watch the full ridethrough, that we filmed live, in the player below:



The Great Movie Ride was pure and simply nostalgia, in probably one of it’s best forms. The ride looked back on the movies that kind of started, and pushed the genres of their time. They were the best of that era, and a great look at what once was, and how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

As time passed on, the ride wasn’t updated, probably as it should have been. Several great scenes no longer worked, and the ride became very dated as we moved into different directions in cinema. The use of computer generated effects, more animation and modern actors caused many people to disregard the ride, and in many ways ignore it. Sure, it was a classic, but without the attention grabbing for modern audiences, most visitors and guests just didn’t really care. It wasn’t a must do.

While it’s reminiscent of a by-gone era, it’s also a reminder of the past, and how far we’ve come. Most importantly, it’s a reminder that we don’t see movies in the same way that we used to. Going to the movies, even when I was a kid, was a really big deal. While we didn’t get dressed up or make a huge evening out of it, it was still an event. Going to the movies was special.

What changed?

For starters, the  movies did. Instead of one big film every month or every few months, we now have big movies every week…sometimes two or three a week. Movies lost their special feeling. You can blame sequels and adaptations, but there’s always been sequels and adaptations. No, it’s just the way that movies are made and marketed that have made them lose their appeal.

The other major factor is that we no longer have to go to the movies. Home video, streaming, and huge televisions have taken away the need to go to the movies. We can see a movie at home cheaper, and in the comfort of our own home, without the need for huge concessions and a big price tag. Still, without that, theaters and the movie industry does suffer, and we end up with less original ideas.

What does that have to do with the Great Movie Ride? Everything! The fact that the way we see movies changed also changed how we saw the Great Movie Ride. Instead of being a celebration of the way that movies are made, it became a purely nostalgic trip and lost some of it’s luster. Because movies were made in a much different way, at a more rapid rate, it also became near impossible to update and keep updated. That was the death knell.

The ride also signifies the death of Hollywood Studios as we know it. The ride was built as the premiere ride in the park, and the centerpiece of everything. The park was an actual working movie studio, and actually had films and TV shows created there. Of course, all that went away over time, with the final pieces being stripped away in 2015 when the animation studio closed it’s doors forever.

The park was themed around a working studio, with most of the rides representing different parts of that studio.  What will it become now that the final original opening day ride has closed?

What can it become? Star Wars and Toy Story will dominate the park’s offerings, while the future of Tower of Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster remains up in the air. Does Rock n Rollercoaster even fit the theme anymore? What IS the theme?

So many questions. The answers are really difficult to come by, because we don’t know. Disney has always been a master of theme, but the parks are becoming more and more disheveled by properties that are just being crammed in there. I guess we could take a “Hollywood Adventure”, because by the time everything opens, that’s what the park will be…an adventure through different types and times of Hollywood.

Then there’s also Cinemagic Kingdom…what’s the theme there?

The future of the park is uncertain, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see what the park that was MGM originally, finally ends up turning into.

Slideshow-Check out more from The Great Movie Ride

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