Mitchell Stein- Earlier this week for currently unexplained reasons, Walt Disney World officially closed up shop for the Backlot Studio Tour over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Even though the attraction that was operating this year was only half of what it was when it initially opened, the Backlot tour was one of the original attractions that opened with the park in 1989 when it was known as Disney’s MGM-Studios and is one of the main attractions that actually has any tie-ins to the main theme of the park.
The attraction was one of my all-time favorites. I would love being able to spot all of the incredible amount of movie props scattered throughout the ride (my favorite being Beauregard’s taxi from Great Muppet Caper sitting in the pre-show room) from films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Star Wars, Pearl Harbor and dozens of other famous films. The attraction would first take guests through an interactive show called Catastrophe Canyon, where they would pick volunteers from the audience to act in this “movie” about an attack on a Navy battleship. After that was done, guests would be moved into the pre-show room where there are just hundreds of awesome movie props scattered around for guests to get up close and get a look at. It was a movie-lovers paradise. Once you boarded the trams, they would take you around the Backlot of the area showing off some of the larger props, (i.e. airplanes, cars and trucks) and even bring you through Disney’s wardrobe department, where some movie costumes would be created.
As it being one of the original attractions of the park, I’m really going to miss this ride especially. Not only was it a fun entertaining look behind the movies and film props, but it also played a key role in the theme of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which seems to lessen with every park change. With the Backlot gone, the Great Movie Ride seems to be one of the only attractions that remains of the same theme, and the fate of that attraction hangs in the balance as well. The placing of the Mickey sorcerer hat in front of the Chinese Theater changed the icon of the park and seems to be less about the process of making movies, but more about various Disney movie properties that don’t fit in the other parks.
It is currently unknown to the public what will replace the Backlot Tour. Rumors seem to be pointing in the direction of Pixar Place being expanded beyond into the location of the former Backlot area. I’m really sad to see the Backlot go, but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for the park.
As they say in Hollywood….that’s a wrap!
Revisit the attraction one last time with this awesome ride-through video of the Backlot tour by the good folks over at InsidetheMagic.net!