This past Saturday September 27 marked the closing of the Studio Backlot Tour; an original attraction that provided a glimpse behind the scenes of a “working” studio.
Honestly, the “working” part of that phrase was aspirational at best. Yes, the park did provide production facilities to the television and film markets, but it never became what was promised – a Hollywood of the East (I actually was part of Disney’s Production Services at the park during my years as an artist at Disney, so I have a soft spot for the park). However, now that the studio has eliminated the last vestiges of that era, it actually provides a wider canvas on which to plan out the next chapter in its story.
A few months back we posted a bit of wild-eyed speculation about Star Wars expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now that a major section of the park has been opened up, it got us thinking about the use of that space. In the previous post we use a broad pen to outline a potential area for a new Star Wars themed land within the confines of the park. With the Backlot Studios Tour being decommissioned, it opens up even more space for this potential use and our imaginations went pretty far-afield, as you can see below.
There is now a considerable footprint for Disney to expand the park and address some of its obvious shortcomings. Despite being one of the top-10 parks in the world, it still has a limited set of attractions, many of which are high impact but low capacity leading to long wait times.
As Disney expands on a footprint, similar to our wild-speculation above, they could certainly improve the park experience. The big question remains, however, as to what thematic developments they are planning to bring to the Studios. I would hope they consider Star Wars, along with the obvious Cars Land rumors, as they plot out the evolution of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Whatever it is, I do hope they focus on attractions and not the meet-and-greet experiences that seem to be their main focus as of late.
Utlimately, we will just have to wait and see what they plan on announcing at the upcoming D23 events over the next year.