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Dreaming of ABC


Walls have recently gone up around the ABC Theater and perhaps a wish of mine has finally gotten out of my room and made its way the 1500 miles to Walt Disney World to someone in the know because there are definite rumors that something is going into the ABC Theater.  And the something will be an attraction.  No one knows what yet (or at least no one who knows is speaking) and thus, I’m lead to ponder what could be in line for this building.

Clearly this will not be a major “E” or even “D” ticket attraction. There’s no hype or mystery technology talked about here and given the size of the building, you can’t exactly throw a fancy roller coaster or ride system in there.  It will be some sort of a show more than likely.  This building has a history of good at best, to “eww” offerings attractions. Superstar Television was the first, and arguably best, attraction to call the ABC Theater home (Editor’s note: Be sure to read an older column where I reminisced about Superstar Television) and I would love to see this attraction return with updated television shows, but there isn’t a precedent of a long-gone attraction returning exactly as it was when it closed.  Aside from that, you had Doug Live, which was okay but nothing great and Get Happy…With ABC which was a terrible shameless plug.

So I mentioned earlier that I would love for Superstar Television to return but my gut feeling is it’s not going to happen simply because old attractions aren’t brought back from the dead.  Sometimes they’re dug up, “Frankestein’ed” up and shipped out (a la Figment) but never sent the corpse back out for round two (I can hear a collective groan from the Horizons fans out there).  And if you’ve followed my column or ramblings, you’ll know I’ve always said I’d be happy if they put anything in the ABC Theater because anything is better than nothing and that statement is still true.  Let’s be honest, however…we want a substantive attraction.  The sister building is the ABC Sound Stage next door which is home to Sounds Dangerous and the only positive things I hear about it these days are from folks new to the Studios who haven’t experienced it so we don’t need another snoozer in the park.

If we can learn something from experience, it’s that simple can be enough.  Turtle Talk with Crush started out in a teeny theater in the Seas pavilion in Epcot and became so popular they had to expand to a larger theater.  There’s not much to that attraction. No fancy preshow (now they have some jellyfish and stingrays, but it’s not exactly the queue line game from Soarin’) or exciting theme.  It’s a bunch of benches and a screen with a talking turtle but it’s also one of the best attractions in Epcot.  As much as I’d like to think of some sort of interactive Muppets show where you could talk to Kermit or Gonzo, my point is something simple can be just enough to make this building entertaining for all. 

Nothing has been announced (or even rumored) for the building and Disney could very simply rehab the building and keep using it simply for special events like it has been doing for about 5 years now.   But construction walls generally mean something more than painting is going on and the rumors swirling around is something is coming to the building.  So while we wait for the paint to dry and for the announcement to come out from the Mouse’s lips, I can’t help but to be a little optimistic that this overlooked building may finally be used once more and I can concentrate fully on the other thousand dreams I have for the Studios. 


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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 by