Another of the many shakeups happening in Walt Disney World is the closing of the Great Movie Ride, which has been a Hollywood Studios staple since well before the park was called Hollywood Studios. The Great Movie ride opened its doors for the first time on May 1, 1989. It is a guided dark ride which employs the use of Audio-Animatronic figures, live actors, special effects, and projections to recreate iconic scenes from twelve classic films throughout motion picture history. And, as seen above, its located inside a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which is one of Hollywood’s most famous movie palaces. Although these days its less of a movie palace and more of a tourist trap.
So with the Great Movie Rideclosing its doors in August, the ride is set to be replaced with the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. Some speculation indicates that the change is due to Disney losing the MGM movie rights featured in the Great Movie Ride, which is a possibility. But with all of Hollywood Studios getting a bit of a facelift, it is more likely that they’re replacing the ride to make the Hollywood Studios park more like the always successful Magic Kingdom and less of the bizarre backlot movie amalgamation that it is today. Part of Hollywood Studios’ history includes being the MGM sponsored Disney’-MGM Studios park, which explains much of the original design and ride choices which featured an obvious lack of any recognizable Disney projects. But now that it is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it makes sense to bring some more Disney properties to the park instead of the MGM attractions it used to have.
So despite the Great Movie Ride being one of the longest standing original Walt Disney World attractions of all time – right up there with Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean, it seems like the right time to see the Great Movie Ride put to rest.
Now for the upside, after 89 years as Walt Disney World’s iconic mascot, Mickey Mouse will finally get a solo theme park attraction built entirely around him. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be Mickey’s Mouse’s first theme park attraction ever, despite the thousands of H
“Mickey and Minnie are getting a state of the art attraction with a theme song,” said Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek said. “We will join Mickey and his friends in their world.”
The Runaway Railway will feature an original story like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, It’s a Small World, and The Haunted Mansion. The ride will take you through the screen into a Mickey Mouse short where “anything can happen.” The animated short film begins with Mickey and Minnie getting ready for a picnic while Goofy tries his hand at being an engineer. Riders then literally step into the movie screen to board Goofy’s train. Mickey and Minnie keep you out of trouble as riders are taken through twists and turns, all set to “dazzling visual effects.” In addition, the ride will be chock full of Hidden Mickey’s that the designers hid in “surprising places.”
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