In a recent Studios Weekly column, Matt defended the Studios in response to criticisms from the Progress City blog. One of the items in Matt's response caught my eye, as he and Progress City see eye to eye on at least one point: The park needs more dark rides.
So.....what dark rides would I like to see at the Studios? Well, my first thoughts were of dark rides based on some of my favorite old Hollywood films, but I don't think we'd see Walt Disney World adding attractions based on Sunset Boulevard or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes anytime soon (even leaving aside the licensing issues). But given the wealth of material in the Disney vaults, aren't there classic films that could provide the basis for more dark rides at the Studios? Absolutely.
For example, how about a Love Bug ride? Disney's been flirting with Herbie in the parks for a while, but hasn't made a real commitment. Sure, if one's thinking about a car-themed ride these days the obvious choice is, well, Cars, but the Studios have always been nostalgic.
Or, if the mania over Toy Story Mania suggests that more Pixar is a better idea (and I just can't stomach Cars, sorry!), how about bringing over the Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek currently available at Tokyo Disneyland? The Imagineering's already in place, and it sounds like a better attraction than Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue, currently installed at Disney's California Adventure.
(Scanning through a list of Disney movies, I come across Pirates of the Carribean and think hey, that could be a great ride! Oh. wait.....)
But the idea closest to my heart? I'd like to see a Fantasia ride, with rooms each themed to a scene from the original 1940 film. Not only is it classic Disney, it's classic Hollywood, well-themed with the time period of the Studios. Yes, we can skip the Intermission/Mee the Soundtrack section....I'm always tempted to fast forward through it anyway. But given the extensive presence of Sorcerer Mickey in the Studios (hello, hat! hello, Fantasmic!) wouldn't it make sense to better exploit the other sections of the film as well? The baby pegasus in the Pastoral Sympony section is one of my favorite Disney animations ever (in fact, when I first found the baby pegasus from Hercules in the Studios gift shop, I mistook it as a Fantasia reference). And I can only imagine what fantastic things today's Imagineers could do with the final Night on Bald Mountain scene! Borrowing from the original animation could be just a beginning; today's projection technologies could create truly fantastic demons and ghosts.
What about you? What new dark rides would you like to see at the Studios? Drop me a note if you like, or better yet leave a comment below.