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If I redesigned the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

in DC, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Entertainment, Marvel, Movies, Movies & TV, Theme Parks, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World

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One of the oldest attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World is the Great Movie Ride, where you are transported into scenes of some of the greatest classic movies in history, like Public EnemyMary PoppinsRaider Of the Lost Ark and Alien. It has been at the park since it opened on May 1st, 1989.

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The Great Movie Ride poster. Image via Pinterest

Even though the ride was renovated and had a light makeover in 2015 with Turner Classic Movies sponsoring the attraction and TCM personality Robert Osbourne providing some of the narration for the ride, it feels a little dated. There has even been some talk lately about one of the oldest attractions at Walt Disney World possibly even closing. I am a movie buff, but I know not a lot of kids or even adults my age know about some of the movies featured in the attraction like Footlight Parade or The Searchers.

So with that stated, if budget, movie and actor and actress likeness rights were not an issue (have you noticed the catalog from a certain movie studio that runs a rival theme park across town is absent from this ride?), here are the movies I would include if I redesigned the Great Movie Ride!

Annnnnnnd ACTION!

 

Pre-ride que. Image via Disney Tourist Blog.
Pre-ride que. Image via Disney Tourist Blog

OK, I’d keep the pre-ride queue the same, with props from various movies throughout history as well as the movie trailers of the films featured in the ride. This works well and sets the tone for the ride. Never had problem with it. It is actually interesting to see how movie trailers have evolved over the years, from a voiceover telling you the entire story of the movie to now where it seems like they are just jump cuts and characters giving ominous dialogue over a BBWWWAAAUUUUUUUUMMMMM sound effect like in Inception or Iron Man 3.

The Great Movie Ride Marquee. Image via Wikipedia.
The Great Movie Ride Marquee. Image via Wikipedia

I’d also keep the boarding area the same, as well as keeping the tour guide and Osbourne as the narrator. This really sets the tone for the ride and makes you feel like you’re about to be transported into the movies! One aspect I’d add to the ride itself is having the movie poster near the animatronic figures because some old movie posters are genuine works of art. Movie posters are a lost art form in my opinion because older ones used to tell a story as opposed to the seemingly rushed Photoshop jobs that are used today. OK, enough of my cinematic purist rant.

Ready when you are, CB!

Movie I’d Start Off With:

King Kong (1933)

King Kong Poster. Image via Nighthawk Cinema
King Kong Poster. Image via Wikipedia.

When you talk about movie history, you’ve gotta include this guy: the original movie monster, the Eight Wonder Of the World, KONG! This and The Lost World set the standard for stop motion animation and took the world by storm. I’d have the featured animatronic scene be the Empire State Building battle. Sure, tourists saw something like this at Kongfrontation at Universal Studios Florida, but just imagine how Disney Imagineers could recreate this iconic cinematic scene!

Next up, I’d feature another notorious movie monster…

Frankenstein (1931)

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Frankenstein theatrical poster. Image via Fanpop

Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff is a horror classic. So many memorable scenes, like the grave robbing by Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz, the showdown with the villagers and the Frankenstein monster as well as this scene, which would be my choice for the animatronic segment. Here, I’d also make mention of Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon and the Mummy.

After this segment, I’d keep the part where we come across John Wayne and Clint Eastwood from The Searchers and A Fistful Of Dollars, I’d also include another staple of the western genre.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

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The Magnificent Seven theatrical poster. Image via Doctor Marco

This all-star cast featuring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner features a shootout that would certainly fit right in with the ride.

After the shootout, I’d then explore science fiction and this is when the ride would kick into high gear. I’d keep the Alien segment, but update the animatronics. Then I’d have the riders hit 88 miles per hour and get transported to the Twin Pines Mall in Hill Valley, CA and be part of one of my personal favorite movies of all time.

Back To the Future (1985)

Back To The Future theatrical poster. Image via
Back To The Future theatrical poster. Image via NY Times

Not only does Back To The Future have so many memorable lines “Say hi to your mom for me.” “You’re telling me this sucker is nuclear?” “You are my density.” “1.21 GIGAWATS!” “Hey, what the hell is a gigawatt?!?!”, a killer soundtrack with Alan Silvestri’s score and songs like “Earth Angel”, “Power Of Love” by Huey Lewis And the News and “Mr. Sandman” by the Four Aces, it also has amazing special effects that still hold up to this day. I look at this movie and honestly wonder how they pulled off some of the effects shots, like the DeLorean disappearing and reappearing in the space time continuum, or the fire trail left after the DeLorean travels through time. And it’d be the DeLorean’s debut that I’d use as BTTF‘s scene. I’d also mention other notable science fiction movies from the 80’s around the time BTTF came out such as the Terminator, Predator and Robocop.

I’d also spotlight the independent scene of the 90’s, which gave birth to the careers of Quinten Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and another director whose debut movie I’d showcase. First up would be a movie that really found its audience on home video and launched an entire empire. It took the Sundance Film Festival by storm. Of course, I am talking about Kevin Smith’s…

Clerks (1994)

Clerks theatrical poster. Image via
Clerks theatrical poster. Image via JayAndSilentBob.com

You can’t talk about the independent scene in the 90’s without talking about Kevin Smith’s 1994 debut movie about a day in the life of a counter clerk at the Quickstop Convenience Store in Leonardo, New Jersey. Say what you want about Marvel Studios, Kevin Smith really came up with the model of a cinematic universe with his View Askewniverse in Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks 2. I know there aren’t many family friendly scenes, but this one here is a standout scene and would be completely fine.

After the Death Star construction worker debate is settled, I’d then focus on a movie that is life changing once you see it. It features a character that knows a thing or two about bowling. He takes it easy for us sinners and has a friend who can get us a toe if we needed one. The one, the only…

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski theatrical poster. Image via
The Big Lebowski theatrical poster. Image via Imp Awards

Like Clerks, this classic by the Cohen Brothers in 1998 didn’t find its audience until it hit the home video and DVD market. To say this movie is life changing just begins to describe it. Jeff Bridges is incredible as the Dude. John Goodman is equally as great as Walter and the dialogue is so great. I’ll let the Dude do the talking.

 

Now that the riders are acquainted with the Dude, I’d have them take a trip to the Atlantic Ocean and witness the greatest love story of the 90s…

Titanic (1997)

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Titanic theatrical poster. Image via Imp Awards

If you were alive in 1997, it was law you saw this movie. There was no other way to explain how this wound up being the box office champion until Avatar came out in 2009. We knew how the movie was going to end, but for some reason we all went and saw it. There is only one scene that can be its animatronic portion.

After the boat sinks,  I’d take riders to the skies and explore the comic book genre with the movie that started the whole thing in 1978…

Superman: the Movie (1978)

superman 1978 poster
Superman: the Movie theatrical poster. Image via Trailer Addict

If you want to pinpoint where the comic book genre began, look no further than Superman: the Movie. It set the standard for comic book movies. You have perfect casting with Christopher Reeve as Superman. His performance to this day holds up against the heavyweights of today with Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America and even Ben Affleck as Batman. You also have a masterpiece of a score by John Williams (a top three film score of all-time with Star Wars: A New Hope and Raiders Of the Lost Ark if you ask me.) This film also made you truly “believe a man can fly” as the tagline promised with amazing special effects. This also has snappy dialogue and one particular line delivered by Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) from a memorable scene would be featured in its segment in the Great Movie Ride.

After Superman save Lois from the helicopter, I’d make a brief mention of 1989’s Batman and 2000’s X-Men (cause lets face it, we’ve got a show to do and riders have fast passes to use and the clock is ticking!) and then show when the Marvel Age of movies dawned with a web slinger making his big screen debut…

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man theatrical poster. Image via
Spider-Man theatrical poster. Image via Wikipeda

While Superman: the Movie began the genre of comic book movies, Spider-Man kicked off the modern comic book era of movies. Director Sam Rami’s 2002 massive hit, which was the first movie to gross over $100 million in it’s opening weekend, is responsible for all the Marvel movies you’ve loved since. As for its segment, I’d choose a romantic moment between Spidey and the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson.

After seeing your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and MJ make out in a back alley, I’d then go to 2008 and feature the most talked about sequel in the past ten years…

The Dark Knight (2008)

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The Dark Knight theatrical poster. Image via Joblo

Sure, 2005’s Batman Begins reinvigorated the Batman franchise, but director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 sequel took the genre to a whole new level with great action sequences (who could forget the opening bank heist?) and superb acting, especially by the late great Heath Ledger as the Joker. If there is one scene that stood out beyond the rest, it’d be the suspenseful interrogation room showdown between Batman and the Joker.

And of course, we all know Iron Man hit theaters that same summer and that laid the building blocks for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which lead to the cinematic event that was …

The Avengers (2012)

Avengers 2012 poster imdb
The Avengers theatrical poster. Image via IMDB

Like I said, this wasn’t just a movie…this was an event. A lot of you reading this remember the hype surrounding this movie. Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor all together in the same movie! Like Spider-Man before it, Joss Whedon’s 2012 movie made cinematic history by BREAKING the debut box office weekend record by raking in over $200 million! After four years of hype and anticipation, it all came together in one scene…

Then, I’d have one more scene from probably the biggest movie to come out this decade. A movie that was hyped for over two years. And when it was finally released, boy did fans love it…

Star Wars: the Force Awakens (2015)

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Star Wars: the Force Awakens theatrical poster. Image via Star Wars

Why have the final animatronic segment be the Force Awakens? Well, I’d want to have the final segment be exhilarating and make the riders leave on a memorable note. Plus I’d want to end the ride with a current “great” movie as opposed to an old movie like how it currently does with the Wizard Of Oz. Plus I’d want to give the ride a mostly linear narrative and show them this is how movies were and here is how they are now. As for the animatronic segment for the Force Awakens, I’d use the final battle between Kylo Ren and Finn and Rey.

After the final fight, I’d then end with modified montage of famous movie clips, including stuff from Guardians Of the GalaxyBatman  V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Jaws, Dracula, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas then the tour guide would bring the riders back to the marquee, wish them all a wonderful day and tell them “And behalf on all of us, we’ll see you at the movies.”

So that is how I’d redesign the Great Movie Ride at Disney Hollywood Studios. I know my personal movie choices will be different from everyone else’s, so please chime in in the comments section and tell me what movies you’d showcase on your version of the Great Movie Ride.

23 Comments

  1. EricJ

    Wouldn’t it just be easier to say “What if Universal designed a Great Movie Ride” as a post concept?
    Or “What if they built Millennial-Land, what GMR would you put in?”, and -then- the jokes about Clerks, Lebowski and Dark Knight being considered “classics” would make sense.

  2. Melissa brown

    Your bro is showing, dude.

  3. JB

    How about starting off with Charlie Chaplin? How about the famous scene from Some like it Hot? I like the Titanic idea. How about the carousel scene from Mary Poppins? There are so many good films that span time that they could use! Heck even a classic Ghostbusters!

  4. FJ

    Man. You’re really high…

  5. Ron

    If you built that No One would come

  6. JimJ

    Your selections are really really bad. Not realist, have conflicts, and licensing issues, and quite a departure from movies most people might have seen. I never seen “The Big Lebowski” so I want to get that out of way. I would fix the queue. It looks very much like a movie theater, but not stately and should have more interesting things to look at. King Kong belongs to Universal. Marvel will never make it. Star Wars already represented. Not another James Cameron movie. Batman belongs to Six Flags. No more movie montages. They are as boring at the Oscars and equally boring in the ride.

    1. EricJ

      I’ve never seen Lebowski or a Kevin Smith comedy, because I’m sober.

  7. Greg

    Is this a serious list of what could and should go into that attraction, or just your list of favorite movies. Because it is almost entirely unrealistic for it to be the former. Honestly, the list leaves commons sense almost completely behind. License issues, the fact that Star Wars makes no sense when they are building an entire Star Wars land. Clerks – enough said. Titanic is perhaps the only one I agree with. Congrats.

  8. Frostysnowman

    Clerks? Really!? Also, this is definitely a dude’s movie list.

  9. Grant

    There needs to be a scene from The Room with Tommy Wiseau and also a human centipede scene.

  10. Chaz

    I love how the snobbish elitist comments here completely ignore that this list also has older movies like King Kong and Magnificent 7.

  11. Sean Pultz

    I would’ve love to have seen a moment devoted to Ghostbusters. Just as the car turns around and you see the Temple of Gozer and you see Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston looking at something and then the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man comes up and is about to attack the car and then they start blasting him.

  12. DC

    Would never work. The only movie I would agree on seeing from this list is Back to the Future (Universal is dead because they got rid of BTTF The Ride for a ride that is Fox and therefore doesn’t belong). I might be alright with replacing Singin’ in the Rain with Grease and Casablanca must never be removed. The only movie that I’d ever be ok with replacing it would be Gone with the Wind as it is a fact that it’s the greatest film of all time. Everything else is untouchable, especially The Wizard of Oz because any film buff knows that it was the success of Snow White that inspired MGM to make Oz.

  13. DTO

    This article is a waste of time. Anyone who gets how amazing this ride is knows that all of the movies should be left. Starting off talking about a movie whose rights universal has is absurd.

    All it needs is a freshen, replacing those cheesy suits and dialogue and bringing back some of the rides great original features.

    The word is CLASS. (Titanic?????seriously?is this a joke.)

  14. “John Goodman is equally as great as Walter and the dialogue is so great”
    I don’t agree. Read:
    http://filmmakeriq.com/2010/04/101-photoshop-movie-poster-tutorials/ Best regards, Maryann

  15. Disney’s crosstown rival is Universal and Universal’s crosstown rival is Disney

  16. Your selections are really really bad. Not realist, have conflicts, and licensing issues, and quite a departure from movies most people might have seen. I never seen “The Big Lebowski” so I want to get that out of way. I would fix the queue. It looks very much like a movie theater, but not stately and should have more interesting things to look at. King Kong belongs to Universal. Marvel will never make it. Star Wars already represented. Not another James Cameron movie. Batman belongs to Six Flags. No more movie montages. They are as boring at the Oscars and equally boring in the ride.

    1. Your selections are really really good. But realist, have conflicts, and licensing issues, and quite a departure from movies most people might have seen. I never seen “The Big Lebowski” so I don’t want to get that out of way. I would fix the queue. It looks very much like a movie theater, but stately and should have more interesting things to look at. King Kong and Godzilla are being belong to Warner Bros. and Universal. Marvel will make it. Star Wars already represented. There will be another James Cameron movie. Batman belongs to Six Flags and Universal. There will be alot of movie montages. They aren’t as boring at the Oscars and equally aren’t boring in the ride.

  17. This article isn’t a waste of time. Anyone who gets how amazing this ride is knows that all of the movies should be left. Starting off talking about a movie whose rights universal has isn’t absurd.

    All it needs is a freshen, replacing those doggy suits and dialogue and bringing back some of the rides great original features.

    The word is CLASS. (Titanic?????seriously?is this a joke.) and Would never work. The not the only movie I would agree on seeing from this list is Back to the Future (Universal isn’t dead because they got rid of BTTF The Ride for a ride that is Fox and therefore does belong and please they need to make BTTF The Ride for a ride to re-come back and to come back to be re-new and to be re-fresh is Fox and therefore does belong). I might be alright without replacing Singin’ in the Rain with Grease and Casablanca must never be removed. The only movie that I’d ever be ok without replacing it would be Gone with the Wind as it is a fact that it’s the greatest film of all time. Everything else is untouchable, especially The Wizard of Oz because any film buff knows that it was the success of Snow White that inspired MGM to make Oz.

  18. It Would Work. The not the only movie I would agree on seeing from this list is Back to the Future (Universal isn’t dead because they got rid of BTTF The Ride for a ride that is Fox and therefore does belong and please they need to make BTTF The Ride for a ride to re-come back and to come back to be re-new and to be re-fresh is Fox and therefore does belong). I might be alright without replacing Singin’ in the Rain with Grease and Casablanca must never be removed. The only movie that I’d ever be ok without replacing it would be Gone with the Wind as it is a fact that it’s the greatest film of all time. Everything else is untouchable, especially The Wizard of Oz because any film buff knows that it was the success of Snow White that inspired MGM to make Oz.

  19. I love how the snobbish elitist comments here completely please don’t ignore that this list also has older movies like King Kong and Magnificent 7.

  20. Is this is not a serious list of what could and should go into that attraction, or just your list of favorite movies. Because it is almost entirely realistic for it will be the current. Honestly, the list leaves commons sense almost completely behind. License issues, the fact that Star Wars makes sense when they are building an entire Star Wars land. Clerks – enough said. Titanic is perhaps the only one I agree with. Congrats. and I’ve never seen Lebowski or a Kevin Smith comedy, because I’m sober. and Wouldn’t it just be easier to say “What if Both Disney and Universal designed two Great Movie Rides” as a post concept?
    Or “What if they built Millennial-Land, what GMR would you put in?”, and -then- the jokes about Clerks, Lebowski, BTTF, Jaws, and Dark Knight being considered “classics” and “universal studios classics” are going to make sense.

  21. Your bro is showing, dude. and How about starting off with Charlie Chaplin? How about the famous scene from Some like it Hot? I like the Titanic idea and the Universal Monsters idea and the Snow White idea and the Pinocchio idea and the 007 idea and the Ocean’s 11 idea, and the Planet of The Apes idea. How about the carousel scene from Mary Poppins? There are so many good films that span time that they could use! Heck even a classic Ghostbusters and a classic King Kong and, alot of classic Universal Monsters!

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