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The exporting of Disney's Hollywood Studios

Looking back on the last year or so, I've noticed a new trend among the Disney Parks that I had never seen before and it struck me as really interesting.  Various elements of Disney's Hollywood Studios have been cloned to Disney's California Adventure, so much so that it brings up a few interesting points regarding the state of the Disney Parks today.

The first thing that struck me is the reversal of fortunes displayed here.  For years, the Disney-MGM Studios/Disney's Hollywood Studios relied on exports from Disneyland to help support the park.  The Magic of Disney Animation, Fantasmic!, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and Star Tours (the original) were all exports from other Disney Parks.  By in large, most of the ideas were coming into the Studios and not really going out.  Now, we see ideas really flowing out of the park.

Disney's California Adventure is leaning heavily on the Studios, from it's new park entrance to its version of the Citizens of Hollywood to the Carthay Circle Theater restaurant, there's a lot of Disney's Hollywood Studios to be found in this park.  

As a fan of Disney's Hollywood Studios, I can't help but notice that Imagineers and their $1 billion budget didn't look to Epcot or Disney's Animal Kingdom for inspiration.  To me, that says a lot about the high regard they hold the Studios. I freely admit that this is a Disney fanboy argument that is similar to debating if Batman or Superman would win in a fight, but for all the people that think Epcot is a better park than Disney's Hollywood Studios, well, we can see which park the Imagineers decided to replicate to some extent and which park remains uncopied.

About a decade ago, some people took issue with the cloning of Disneyland attractions on the east coast.  Cloning attractions in general for some fans comes off as "cheap", while others embrace bringing proven attractions over to an audience that may never have an opportunity to venture west.  Today, I have to look on with pride as some fantastic elements of Disney's Hollywood Studios make their way west.  I'm proud because it says a lot about what Disney's Hollywood Studios stands for and it reminds me of that old saying, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

At the end of the day, the reversal of fortunes is what strikes me the most.  Disney's Hollywood Studios was at one point quite reliant on importing attractions to continue to move forward and today is sending some of its most charactertistic ideas out for other parks to benefit from. On the other end, Disneyland (DCA to be specific) used to send the ideas here but is now looking for help from the Studios.  

P.S. Superman would definitely win a fight against Batman

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About this column

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, April 25, 2012 by