In 2021, the Walt Disney World resort will be honoring its 50th anniversary. Yesterday, a lot of announcements were made at D23 Expo 2017 about what is coming in time for this celebration. To get all the new attractions here on time, some abrupt ride closures were announced. The biggest surprise was the announcement that The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will officially close on August 13, 2017. This has already caused a mixture of emotions from Disney park goers. Some people are very excited about what is to come, while others feel that an iconic ride should remain with some refurbishment.
Emily Richards Murphy from Winter Garden, Florida, shared with us her thoughts, “For those of us that worked there, it was more than just an attraction. It was our home, and we became a family. So much time was spent and shenanigans of legend happened in those walls. I find today that I’m sad for the loss of those places backstage as much as I am for what you’ve seen as a guest. There’s a hall that cast use to access some show scenes and the stairs to get to the backstage areas of Gangster Alley and Bandit Land. In my second year there, they started having us put our handprints on the wall, like the handprints out front. Somewhere, my print is still on that wall, and I feel a little piece of my heart is too.”
While the future of Walt Disney World attractions looks exciting, seeing an iconic attraction close to make way for the future offerings of the park can be a somber reality. Still, in today’s ever-competitive amusement and theme park industry, parks must make those tough choices. If they don’t add new attractions, attendance could suffer and pundits might sound off; if they remove classic attractions to make way for the future, traditionalists will let their voices be heard. What do you think about The Great Movie Ride closing its doors? Is it long overdue or an unacceptable decision by Disney?