Part of my daily routine is to check the WDW Today emails that our listeners send in to prepare them for a future show. One email I recieved was directed at me and I thought it was interesting enough to discuss here because it's a different sort of question that I'm used to. Jeremy Muse sent in this email..
I was wondering, now that Matt is a father, if his opinion of the Studios had changed. I use to really enjoy the studios, spending at least a full day there on any of my many vacations. But when I had kids, the things that interested them were few and far between. Sure, they enjoyed Fantasmic, Little Mermaid, the character meet and greets and Disney Playhouse Live. They were too small for Star Tours, Tower, Rock N Rollercoaster, and the stunt shows frightened them. Even the Great Movie ride took some convincing to ride a second time. And the Backstage Tour is not a great attraction for a potty training toddler. So the park turned into a half day park.
So my question, now that you are a father, is there any changes that you would make to your beloved park? I personally would love to see a dark ride or two be added. Interested in your thoughts.
To start with, my daughter is almost 9 months old so she really doesn't ride anything, be it at Hollywood Studios or the Magic Kingdom. She doesn't have the attention span yet to really enjoy what an attraction offers so going to the parks with her isn't as dire a situation as Jeremy alludes to as it is with his kids. That being said, Jeremy brings up the idea that Hollywood Studios doesn't have enough for the young kids. Frankly, I think he's wrong.
I think one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that outside of the Magic Kingdom, there's not a lot for young kids to do. Or more to the point, not as much to do. In Hollywood Studios, I think there's a lot to do but it's not the same as the Magic Kingdom. I'll be the first to admit that if you want to simply look at how many rides/shows young kids can tackle in a day, yes the Magic Kingdom probably wins. However, if you look beyond the ride count, you'll find lots for your young children to do.
There's the obvious attractions for young kids that we don't need to talk that much about, such as Disney Junior - Live on Stage, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Toy Story Midway Mania and the rest. Where Jeremy thinks the attractions end, there's more to it. One thing kids adore is doing the same thing over again. I'm sure Jeremy, like many fathers out there, has heard this phrase ad nauseum, "again daddy! again!". No attraction gets that phrase more than Toy Story Midway Mania. Once children learn to pull the string and watch their canon shoot, they want more and more time on this interactive ride.
Another really fun activity for the kids are the Citizens of Hollywood. Their various shows are really entertaining for adults but I've found kids, even the young ones, really get a kick out of the experience. Quite often when I'm watching a show, the streetmosphere performers will interact with the kids and all the kids watching have smiles on their faces.
Jeremy did ask a question at the end of what changes I would make and I'd agree another dark ride or two would be great. I do think what Hollywood Studios needs is that Monsters Inc coaster idea to go into Soundstage One, next door to Toy Story Midway Mania. A family coaster would be the icing on the cake and really give Fantasyland a run for its money. Beyond that, I don't really think there's a need, per se, as much as something labeled "it would be nice to have". Between everything in the Studios now, I really think Hollywood Studios has the most it's ever offered to its guests in one day. And if they could add one more family attraction (that is actually fun), I firmly believe the young children demographic could be just as happy as those looking for thrills in Hollywood Studios.