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What I'm thankful for this year

With Thanksgiving this week, it makes sense to look back on the year and say what we're thankful for.  Families across the United States will do just that and for the Disney World fan, things shouldn't be any different.  Even ridiculously obsessed Hollywood Studios, such as myself, should show some modesty and say what in this park we are thankful for since last Thanksgiving.

Block Party Bash

By this time next year, we will have had almost a year's worth of the new parade that has replaced Block Party Bash, so it makes sense now to be thankful for the time we had with this wonderful parade.  As someone who really doesn't enjoy the traditional afternoon parade, Block Party Bash is (was?) a refreshing change from the norm.  It's unique presentation and style changed me from someone that loathed 3pm to someone that was excited for 3pm.  Block Party Bash is the sort of parade I will hold all future parades to because the level of enthusiasm from the Cast Members really made a connection with me and I fed off that energy and I think that's why I enjoyed the show so much.  Thank you to the Cast Members who make Block Party Bash happen every day and make it feel like it's still amazing.

Last Tour to Endor

Okay, it wasn't really the last ride on Star Tours, but it's hard to deny how incredibly cool and fun this hard ticket party was. It was the sort of event that grizzled Star Wars Weekends fans like me kept repeating "Why can't they do this for Star Wars Weekend?".  Last Tour to Endor was well worth the cost of admission and if not for the next thing I'm thankful for, it would be the best event in Hollywood Studios I had attended.  The really adventurous and original events presented at Last Tour to Endor were such a nice change from what we had been used to. It still amazes me how Disney can take a park that we've spent so much time in and make it all new, even for just one night.   Thank you Disney for embracing the passion that we Star Wars fans have and giving us such a fun outlet.

Tower of Terror Summer Nightastic AP Event

As I mentioned above, this was my favorite event thus far in Hollywood Studios and it's hard to explain why.  Let me paint this picture for you, imagine Hollywood Studios completely empty except for you and some of your friends.  I'm talking way less people than any Extra Magic Hour event or hard ticket party in the Magic Kingdom.  I'm talking laying down in the middle of Sunset Boulevard and not even feeling footsteps coming near you.  That's how empty the park was for the Tower of Terror Summer Nightastic Annual Pass Event and it's every self-respecting Disney World geek's dream to experience a Disney theme park on that kind of a level.

I'm not sure Disney had planned for it to be as sparsely attended as it was, but this Annual Passholder event allowed those of us there to ride the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Roller Coaster without any inhibitions whatsoever.  It honestly felt euphoric and it's an experience I will truly relish, so thank you Disney for putting on such an amazing opportunity.

Menu change at Studios Catering Co.

While Studio Catering Co restaurant isn't in my top five list of favorite restaurants in Hollywood Studios, the menu change we saw earlier this year as a tremendous improvement. I won't wax poetically about the menu all that much, but when you had a menu I wouldn't recommend to anyone, regardless of how much I dislike them, and now it's definitely a place to stop by and try, I can't help but be thankful for the improvement.  Thank you for not letting this restaurant languish in mediocrity.

Digital Film at Muppetvision 3D

When I heard that the Muppetvision 3D film was going to be digitized, I really had no idea how much better the film would look.  I knew it would be an improvement, but what we have is almost a brand new film.  So many Disney World fans were excited to be able to notice details in the film we had never seen in the nearly 20 years prior we had seen the attraction.  The new film is a tremendous improvement and it looks great and I think it gives the attraction a new lease on life.  Thank you to whomever thought of the idea as well as to whomever cleaned up the film because it looks outstanding.

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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, November 24, 2010 by