Ideas for Improving Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios Edition

Welcome to Part 3 of my on going series, Ideas to Improve Walt Disney World.

When it comes to the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, I think I had some fairly constructive criticism for the folks at Walt Disney World to think over.  But now I’m writing about Disney’s Hollywood Studios and…  well, the center digit on either of my hands kinda sums up how I feel about the situation.

The B Squad
So what’s the situation I’m referring to?  Disney’s Hollywood Studios kinda sucks, that’s what I’m referring to.  Maybe it’s just the experience that Dr. Girlfriend and I have had, but it seems like every post at DHS is always staffed by Walt’s B Squad Employees.  (On the other hand, if I had to work at The Great Movie Ride for any length of time greater than one day, I’d probably try to fly the plane from Casablanca out of there, but we’ll get to that in a second.)  Here’s a few brief examples of outstanding service at DHS:

Muppet Vision 3D
Another park guest not only made sure that everyone had 3D glasses, but when she discovered that we didn’t, she went and got them for us.  No employee noticed… because none were around.  A few slack-jawed yokels finally wandered in to the theater and shut the doors behind them, but did not acknowledge us.

Guest Relations
I went over to Guest Relations near the park entrance to inquire about showtimes for the Osborne Family Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which kicks MAJOR ASS, by the way), which I was not able to find elsewhere.  I’m sure they get a million dumb questions a day, and I hated to add to their workload, but with no other alternative, I headed inside.

“Hello.  I was wondering if you could tell me where to view the Osborne Family Lights show from.”
The gentleman pointed to his left in response.
“So… I walk that way?”
He nodded.
“OK.  Could you possibly tell me about when the showtimes are?”
The tiniest of sighs escaped him.  “Now.”
“Now?”  I was surprised – it was still daylight.  “Right now?”
“Right now.”
“Uhm… OK.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.”

Now keep in mind that I went to the guest relations building which is denoted on the map with a big ‘i,’ which I presumed stood for information, but perhaps that’s my fault for making an assumption.


I wasn’t talking to a kid, either – this man had to be at least twenty years my senior.  However, he seemed to neither be interested in information or dissemination of information – his only passion seemed to be for getting me the hell out of his face with as little effort as possible.

The Circle of DEATH
I don’t think the circle at the end of Hollywood Boulevard has name, but it should, and it should be The Circle of DEATH because for such a large area, hardly anyone is every around in that area and it’s host to only one attraction:  The Great Movie Ride, which sucks.  SUCKS.  This thing is beyond out of date – it treats Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as the most recent movie in the franchise – and it makes the same presumption with Aliens.  The effects, presentation and animatronics are so behind Disney’s current level of capability that I am embarrassed for them – but probably not as embarrassed as the poor sucker who has to interact with the guests during the ride.  Sometimes an attraction is a classic, and sometimes, things are 25 years out of date and it shows.  This is the latter.


Also, there’s something embarrassing about the centerpiece to the park being Mickey’s Hat from The Sourcerer’s Apprentice and once you get over there, you realize it’s just a gift shop – and a crappy one at that.  No rabbits inside that hat.

Holy ass, there’s only a few things worth doing in this park and the lines for all of them can get out of hand easily – although I do want to be fair and point out that the wait for The Tower of Terror is actually well planned and almost fun.  However, the more recently constructed Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has one of the most excruciating waits I’ve ever experienced, even when using Disney’s fast pass service.  If you’ve ever wondered what the back of a stranger’s head looks like, this the line where you’ll find out.  The line for Toy Story Midway Mania! is so bad that we’ve never been able to visit the attraction – we’ve headed there first thing in the morning and found that there were no Fast Passes left.  Twice.

Why does everything but 3 attractions SUCK?
To say that MGM/Disney’s Hollywood Studios was poorly planned is putting it mildly.  Even with the editions they’ve made in the last few years, it’s still half a park at best when there are only 3 things worth doing and one of them is crowded that you can’t even do it.  Everything sucks because no one has ever bothered to do anything to make it not suck.  Maybe they’ll get on that some day.

At least this park has booze.  You’re going to need it.

Ideas for Improving Walt Disney World:
Magic Kingdom Edition  |  EPCOT Edition Disney Page  |  Disney posts tag

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on June 9, 2012, in walt disney world blog posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. DHS (forever MGM)! Is awesome. It’s one of the best themed parks! And, it’s not all about the rides (TGMR is a classic, btw!!). What about Sci-Fi? Where can you eat in a drive-in theater? Fifty’s Prime Time?! Mama Melrose’s? Or grab a snack from Starring Rolls and eat by the lake in the middle and hang with the ducks!!! I will give you that some of the attractions of yeasterear were better. I miss the original Monster Sound Show with Chevy Chase and Martin Short!

    Looking for your Animal Kingdom post.

  2. *Looking forward to your Animal Kingdom post!

  3. It’s simply completely different. I guess awhile ago they redid it w/out Figment and then a few years later they added Figment back in but the ride is absolutely ridiculous compared to what it once was. I think you can find the original on YouTube. Have you been on the original? I can’t wait until your Animal Kingdom post!

  4. Here’s a post that answered my question when we got back. I agree with the poster – the original was by far Disney’s best work.

    “Here’s some background-

    Kodak, the original “Journey Into Imagination” attraction’s corporate sponsor since the opening of Epcot, had an agreement with Disney that stated the attraction must be “updated” for the year 2000.

    Little did anyone know that the “creative minds” in WDImagineering would not be nearly as creative in 1998 as they had been in 1980!

    The new “Journey Into Your Imagination” ride was one of the biggest disappointments in the history of Disney parks. There was NOTHING left of what had made the original ride such a major crowd pleaser (and that also meant that there was no Figment in that version!)

    So, they finally “re-did the re-do” and you now still see the result:
    “Journey Into Imagination With Figment.”
    Its “cute,” (and, obviously, Figment is back) but the current ride is nothing but a far too short, sliver of the amazing first version of the ride.

    In the grand scheme of these kind of things, re-designing the original ride was a colossal blunder.

    There’s a saying that goes, “Do you want to trade the devil you KNOW for the devil you DON’T know?”
    (Meaning that if you don’t like your situation NOW, how do you know that you won’t move into a WORSE one by making a change?)

    I’ll paraphase it in the case of “Imagination” to say to Kodak/Disney…
    “Do you want to trade the ANGEL you KNOW for the POSSIBLE devil you DON’T know?”

    The original version of this ride is my all-time favorite attraction at Epcot.

    It was so RICH in details that I’m sure that I never saw “everything” in it, even after literally dozens of ride-throughs.

    The scenes were diverse and always surprising.
    The musical arrangements were complex and interesting.
    The characters were engaging.

    There was even a “ride photo” that displayed as you rode along near the end.
    What a tragedy that this was “lost” in an untimely and entirely AVOIDABLE set of missteps.

    I’ll assume that there was an entire CHAIN of memos and meetings where warnings of
    looming problems were ignored (or not spoken strongly enough.)

    I have seen so many majorly ill-advised corporate decisions made in all kinds of companies.

    So sad that in a “vast bastion of creativity” like Disney, could they make such an unfortunate move
    as to lose the original artistic creation that was the first version of Journey Into IMAGINATION.

  5. i guess this is the original figment

    • Without watching it, I’m assuming it is! There’s Dreamfinder! Did you ever see this version in person?

  6. wow. just finished watching the original figment – way different than the one i know, much more ball-trippy

  7. i dont remember ever seeing it, but I’m sure I did, when i was a kid

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