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What I'm thankful for at the Studios

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought it would be appropriate to give thanks to some of the things at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that I’m thankful for and explain a little why.  I know I’ve been hard on the Studios lately with many cuts occurring at the various parts of the park, but I think it’s also important to remember the good that has come from the Studios and on this, the eve of Thanksgiving, give a hearty thank you to our favorite park.

First, I’d like to thank the many folks who had their hand in bringing Toy Story Midway Mania to the Studios this year.  Without a doubt it has been a homerun success.  I never really imagined a scenario where another non-thrill attraction could sway the mass crowds away from Sunset Boulevard but that is certainly the case now and it’s as easy as it’s ever been to ride Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n Roller Coaster on any given day thanks to this little attraction.  Let’s not overlook the value of the attraction in itself; because Toy Story Midway Mania is a technological marvel and it’s simplicity is the beauty of the attraction.  It never ceases to amaze me how much fun it can be to ride and clearly many, many, many other guests agree.

I’m also thankful for re-investment in attractions at the Studios that we’re currently seeing.  Going back to the addition of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show in 2005, we’ve seen a number of new attractions, including the aforementioned Toy Story Midway Mania, Narnia walk-throughs, Block Party Bash and the upcoming American Idol Experience.  Regardless of your opinion of any of those attractions individually, you can’t be upset that change isn’t abound at the Studios and that is a good thing, for sure.

This year has also seen a change from Thanksgiving last year, and that’s of course the name change so I’m also thankful this year for a change in scope of the park.  While I did like the idea of showcasing how movie magic was made, I wasn’t in love with the shell of production that was left.  Unfortunately cuts were made in attractions like the Backlot Tour, Magic of Disney Animation and others that removed real Hollywood production, but if that’s the hand we were to be dealt, I’d rather the Studios move on into it’s new direction than try to pass off watered down attractions as the real deal.  Let’s be clear here, I wish they would bring back the animators and use the soundstages for production again but since they won’t, I’m thankful Disney has moved on and embraced a whole new aspect of the Studios.

Last, but not least I’m thankful for the wonderful job the Cast Members at the Studios do every single day.  When you consider these folks have to do their jobs, not just with a smile but with enthusiasm, it really stands out and overall I’m always pleased with the level of service they deliver, from the Cast Members that do their dead pan one liners on Tower of Terror to the ones who always give me a smile with my food and the rest in between, they truly do a wonderful job and if not for them, I would not find the Studios nearly as lovely as I do.  A hearty thank you to everyone who works at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

As Thanksgiving 2008 draws in, I’m thankful for a lot of things this year when it comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  For those of us who hold the Studios in the highest esteem, it’s our favorite park because of the vast uniqueness that it enjoys and draws back for visit after visit.  While this is the first Thanksgiving since the name change to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’m still very happy with the park that I love to visit.

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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, November 26, 2008 by