Toy Story fans, get ready to take a step into your childhood. Continue reading
There is a defining moment in every writer’s career and this is mine. Continue reading
You can’t complain that nothing new is being added to the parks and then complain when new things are announced. Continue reading
The incredibly popular Red Rose Sipper, which originally debuted at Disneyland, has made its way to Gaston’s Tavern and is now available to purchase. Continue reading
Rivers of Lights has officially debuted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and I had the opportunity to experience it for myself. This is a show you do not want to miss. Continue reading
Halloween Horror Nights. Did a chill run down your spine? It should have- this is the nation’s premier Halloween event. In its 26th year at Universal Orlando, Halloween Horror Nights has a stellar lineup of houses, both original and intellectual … Continue reading
Today was an exciting day for two of Orlando’s major theme parks- SeaWorld and Universal, to be exact. SeaWorld hosted its Media Day for its newest coaster, Mako, which has been marketed as the fastest, longest and tallest roller coaster … Continue reading
It is no secret to anyone that knows me, or reads this blog, that I am in love with Disney. My time on the Disney College Program only made my love for Disney stronger and ever since I left, I’ve … Continue reading
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will have its final dance tonight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before its lights go dark to conclude its 20th, and last, season.
A spectacle that has become a family tradition for many guests is going away as construction on Star Wars Land is expected to start some time this year in the very area where the lights have danced every holiday season for the past 20 years.
Even though I only had the pleasure of visiting the lights the past two years, I am still deeply saddened to see them go. They truly are a special sight and you can’t help but feel happiness as you stand in the middle of their twinkling beauty.
While Disney has said that this is the final year for the lights…there has also been some signs that they might not be gone forever!
First, Disney extended the date of the lights from the 3rd of January until tonight, the 6th.
Second, when asked on Twitter if this was, in fact, the final season, they replied that this season was currently planned to be the final season. And, as the crazy theme park fan and lover of Disney that I am, I certainly read that as there being a slight chance that they could, in fact, bring the spectacle back in the near future.
Whether they choose to bring the lights back or not, guests have been blessed with 20 years and I think we can all agree it’s been quite a run. But, even if they put some new holiday festivity in its place while construction is underway, it just won’t be the same.
Here are some pictures from my final trips (yes, I made two trips from Naples to see the lights because necessary) that I hope bring a smile to your face as we all say goodbye to the Osborne Lights.
I am a journalism major at Florida Gulf Coast University, and I was given the opportunity to write an article about ANYTHING for one of my classes. Surprise, surprise–I decided to write about Disney.
I’ve seen a lot of articles about the changes coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but they focus on the what is happening and when it’s happening aspect of it, completely failing to speak to guests and get their reactions, which I believe is an important part of the story.
I wrote a story highlighting the changes and what guests are saying about them. Feel free to sound off in the comments and let me know if you agree or disagree!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Gets A Face Lift
By: Monet Massa-Sena
If there’s one thing fans of Disney are used to, it’s change.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is in the process of getting a much-needed park update. Some attractions are closing their doors, some are getting changes, and the sorcerer’s hat—the park’s icon—will be removed in early 2015.
Guests who have been going to the parks for many years welcome the new changes. Priscilla Perez, an annual pass holder and journalism major at Brooklyn College, said that it’s about time for an update to the park.
“Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been a cry for help for many years,” Perez said. “There are empty buildings, attractions that haven’t been updated since opening, uncompleted ‘lands,’ a lack of restaurants and a lack of entertainment.”
Perez isn’t wrong. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the least amount of attractions of all four Walt Disney World theme parks, 15 to be exact, and hasn’t added a new ride since they opened Toy Story Midway Mania in 2008.
While new attractions haven’t been announced just yet, Disney has removed several attractions thus far, including the Studio Backlot Tour, which was one of the only attractions in the park when it first opened in 1989, the American Idol Experience and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.
The most shocking change that has been announced, and the most controversial in the Disney community, is the removal of the sorcerer’s hat in early 2015. The icon made its debut in 2001, blocking the view of the Chinese Theatre replica that houses The Great Movie Ride.
Christie Teague, a former Disney College Program cast member and communications major at the University of Northern Iowa, said that she’s not excited about the hat being removed.
“Disney’s Hollywood Studios was my home park for my first college program, so it has a special place in my heart,” Teague said. “I’m sad to see so much change with something I know so well.”
Some Disney fans, however, feel that the hat has overstayed its welcome.
“It was only supposed to be in place for a year or so, probably more, but of course time ran its course,” Perez said. “Essentially, I think Disney has realized that the hat is an icon, but not the right icon for the original envision of the 1989 Studios we were introduced with.”
Another former college program participant and Fairfield University graduate, Jen Fiorillo, said she’s also excited about the removal of the park’s current icon.
“I’m so glad that The Great Movie Ride will be the icon of Hollywood Boulevard again,” Fiorillo said.
The Great Movie Ride, another attraction that has been a staple of the park since its grand opening, will not only be the focal point of the park once more, but will also be getting an update of its very own.
According to the New York Times, the changes include a remake of the video guests see while they’re in line for the ride and the classic movie montage they see at the end of the ride. These changes will be introduced within the first few months of 2015, and guests are both excited and nervous to see what’s in store.
“Whatever they have up their sleeve with the Great Movie Ride will bring back the classic feel to the park,” Perez said. “The start of refurbishment and partnership with TCM is a perfect start for the new and improved DHS.”
Josh Reyes, a student majoring in the dramatic arts at the University of North Carolina and a Disney Vacation Club member, said he’s looking forward to the changes but is also a bit skeptical.
“I’m excited for the Great Movie update, but that’s one of my favorite rides,” Reyes said. “I’m also a little nervous about the updates coming from TCM.”
Teague said she thinks the update is necessary in order to attract younger fans and keep them engaged while waiting in line.
“I’m excited for the Great Movie Ride refurbishment because I love the concept and I know many people younger than my age have no idea what the movies are that are featured on the attraction,” Teague said.
Even though Disney fans are in the dark on what the concrete plans are for the expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it doesn’t stop them from dreaming about what changes they’d like to see.
“I would love to see Cars Land from Disney California Adventure and additional Pixar attractions and shows be added to the Pixar Place area of the park,” Fiorillo said.
“I’m excited mostly for the ‘Star Wars Land’ concept they’ve announced,” Reyes said. “I think it will be a great addition to the pre-existing elements.”
But for some fans, it isn’t about what they plan to put in place—they’re just excited that change is on its way.
“I hope that The Walt Disney Company takes a distinct look at each corner and crevice of the park,” Perez said. “What was originally envisioned in 1989 has quite honestly gone down the drain in the 21st century, so it’s about time for some change.”