The Future of Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios park is, as the name would suggest, all about movies. When it opened in 1989–as Disney/MGM Studios–it gave guests a fun look at their favorite films and also offered a look at how they were made. Over the years, though, the park has edged away from behind-the-scenes to instead focus more on celebrating the films themselves and attractions like Toy Story Midway Mania and Star Tours offer guests the chance to be a part of the worlds created by movies.

Lately, with the closure of older attractions (such as the Backlot Studio Tour) and with rumors swirling about what might be coming next, the park has been going through a bit of an identity crisis. In fact, at a recent shareholders meeting CEO Bob Iger accidentally let slip that the park will even be changing names yet again.

While at that time he didn’t divulge what the new moniker would be, Magic & Misadventures has since managed to get an exclusive meeting with Iger about the future of the park!

“We’re getting away from the behind-the-scenes aspects of the park” he explained, “and focusing the experience more as being about movies. What we wanted to do was find a way to capture the imaginations of all sorts of people and allow them to relive special cinematic moments.”

“So with that in mind, we’re reimagining the park as the Disney/John Hughes Studios! We’re going to be rebuilding the park entirely as an homage to that filmmaker’s movies from throughout the years.”

According to Iger, highlights of this new park will include:

– A restaurant based on The Breakfast Club, featuring breakfast all day. Similar to the current 50s Prime Time Cafe, in which servers play character archetypes from that decade, the new Breakfast Club restaurant will feature staff playing the roles of the nerd, the princess, the jock, the basket case, and the criminal.

– A spinning ride with scenes from the Vacation series. Riders will go around Big Ben and Parliament several times.

– A Planes, Trains, and Automobiles ride, based upon the movie which featured comedy icons Steve Martin and John Candy. In that movie, the duo had all sorts of misadventures on a cross-country trip. The attraction is planned as a slow ride humorously narrated by a cast member (like Jungle Cruise or Great Movie Ride) that follows a similar journey as the characters in the film.

Iger said that they will also be creating attractions based upon Sixteen CandlesHome Alone, and more. He then stressed that they weren’t forgetting live shows in the new park and that they were hard at work on a Weird Science musical extravaganza to replace the current Beauty and the Beast show in the Theater of the Stars.

“We’re obviously going to have a parade, too, based on that classic scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  Iger then mimed holding a microphone, singing a few bars of Danke Schoen before continuing.

“The films of John Hughes,” he explained, “run the gamut from comedy to drama, action to romance, and everything in between. They’re loved by kids and adults, and they’ve really become a part of our cultural zeitgeist. So it seemed like a natural fit for where we wanted to go with our park.”

While no timeframe has been announced for the conversion from the current Hollywood Studios into the new Disney/John Hughes Studios, it was hinted that work is already well underway and that we could see at least some of it (including a meet & greet with characters from Pretty in Pink) by April 1, 2017.

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