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If I could turn back time

 While on my drive to work today, I was flipping through radio stations and happened to hear Cher's classic/annoying song "If I could turn back time". It's one of those songs that surely I would never admit to actually liking, but it was on and I was busy nagivating the central Florida interstate and with any Cher song, sooner or later it gets stuck in your head. Being the nerd that I am, instead of mindlessly repeating the lyrics in my head, I began pondering what I would do if I could turn back time at Disney's Hollywood Studios (make that Disney-MGM Studios) and re-experience something in the Studios that is no longer there.

The first stop on my mental journey was all the way back to park opening and the first few years of the attraction. If there's something I've always regretted it's that I never experienced enough of the smaller attractions that the Studios had when it first opened. As propietor of this site, I always feel like I'm missing out on some obvious references to older attractions that I would know about if I had paid more attention to the details when the park was opening up. There have been a lot of attractions that came and went so quickly, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, the Ace Ventura show, the Aladdin-Pocahontas-Hercules parades, the Goosebumps attraction and the many itterations of the Backlot Tour. If you were around for these shows, I'm sure you can recall a detail or two from them but since video of these are rare (and therefore not on Youtube), it's hard to get a real sense of these long-gone side shows.

While we're back in the early 90's, I may as well take some more time to "stop and smell the roses" by experiencing some of the more famous attractions that are no longer here. Chief among them has to be Superstar Television for it's unique approach to immersing guests in the show. Making the show interactive was a first of it's kind back then and it's something Disney strives for now and I would love to be see the show again and be a part of the show as well (I love to ham it up). Let's not forget to stop next door to see the Monster Sound Show with Chevy Chase. I fondly remember trying to scream as loud as I could so when they recorded the audience screaming just so I could make out my voice in the recording that was subsequently played back later on in the attraction. It's the little things that entertained me back then I guess.

So far I've talked about attractions that I've missed but I wouldn't mind just going back in time to experience the old Great Movie Ride courtyard, which beyond looking very classy in my opinion, also formed the largest hidden Mickey known to man. Of course, we'd have to go back before 1994 or so to ensure that Sunset Boulevard wasn't built (it really was Sunset Boulevard that wrecked the hidden Mickey long before the Sorcerer's Hat did it in). While I wish the Sorcerer's Hat would leave, I don't mind it as much as I once did, but I do miss the beautiful landscaping the old Great Movie Ride courtyard had to it. It reminded me of an urban park.

While enjoying the view of the Great Movie Ride, I would definitely enjoy one more showing of Sorcery in the Sky. I'm talking about the show that featured the countdown, patriotic music and culminated with a giant inflatable Mickey Mouse behind the Great Movie Ride. Fantasmic! is a nice show and I do enjoy it, but sometimes you need a barrage of fireworks in the air to simply awe you with entertainment in the form of black powder exploding. Again, it's the simple things for me.

By now my time machine is likely running low on energy and I do need to make it back to the present to write this article, however, if I have enough fuel for one last stop (I can always just charge the batteries with 1.21 gigawatts of electricity in the form of a bolt of lightning, right?), I'd stop at 2004 so I could play Who Wants to be a Millionaire one more time. I picked 2004 because I want the version of the show where the grand prize is a Disney Cruise (for the first few years, the grand prize was a trip to New York City to go see a real taping of Who Wants to be a Millionaire) and get one last shot at it. I made it into the hot seat 3 or 4 times and only got as far as 250,000 so I wouldn't mind just one more crack at striking it big (although more than one wouldn't be bad either).

I suppose until someone converts a Delorean (or some other cool looking car) into a time machine, I suppose I'm stuck here in the present and will have to head to Youtube to get my classic Studios nostalgia fix. It's not the end of the world, but sometimes I can't help but long for the attractions that are no longer here, even the dinky ones that I likely panned over way back then, because now that they are gone, it's hard not to miss them.

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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, August 13, 2008 by