In today's show, Mark and Mike talk about what works and what doesn't work at Disney's Hollywood Studios, in honor of the park's 20th birthday tomorrow, plus a special report from yesterday's Disneyland window dedication ceremony.
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Today's show is sponsored by:
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Steven Ng reported from yesterday's ceremony at Disneyland for the dedication of windows for Disney Legends Don Edgren and Rolly Crump. Images will run in next week's Disneyland Resort Update.
Disney's Hollywood Studios opened 20 years ago tomorrow as the Disney-MGM Studios with a few attractions, billed as a half-day park, so we're going to go clockwise around the park as we take a look at what we think works and doesn't work.
Starting with Hollywood Boulevard, Mark and Mike pretty much agree that the entry boulevard works well, with the exception of the Sorcerer's Hat blocking the view of the Chinese Theater. They like the mix of shops and the overall atmosphere of the street.
Over in Echo Lake, Mark likes the locations of the dining establishments, and enjoys the Folly architecture of Min & Bill's Dockside Diner and Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction. He was surprised by how much he enjoyed The American Idol Experience, though he misses Superstar Television. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours are both fun attractions, but both are in need of refreshing. He's not so thrilled with Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey, however. Mike feels somewhat the same on the dining, but isn't a fan of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Mike also thinks that Star Tours is in need of refreshing, but he likes Sounds Dangerous.
Moving around to the Streets of America Backlot, Mark prefers it around the holidays as the Osborn Lights make the area much more special. Mark feels bad that they enclosed the old Hunchback Theater but then only use it for special events. He's also not a huge fan of the Lights Motors Action show. He loves MuppetVision 3-D. While Catastrophe Canyon is still cool, Mark thinks that the Backlot Tour as a whole is a pale shadow of what it used to be and that inevitably colors how he feels about it. Mark also noted that his favorite storefront on the Streets of America Backlot is Youse Guys Moichindice. He also likes the "Singing in the Rain" umbrella, even if they have changed it to a more cartoonish experience. Mike only marginally remembers the original, but he feels that the new tram tour appears that Disney is trying to kill it off slowly.
The end of Mickey Avenue has become Pixar Place, which has had an amazing amount of placemaking to turn it into a copy of Pixar headquarters with life-size tows taking over. Mark loves Toy Story Mania and Pixar Place, and he enjoys One Man's Dream, though he doesn't have much use for the Narnia walkthrough. Mike loves One Man's Dream, and he loves Toy Story Mania. He'd love to see it on a coast-to-coast tractor-trailer tour to bring the exhibit to more poeple.
In the Animation Courtyard, Mark feels that the Playhouse Disney show is great for the little kids that watch the shows in the Disney Channel. Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a great show, but it doesn't really do it for him. Mark likes the Disney Animation attraction, but it's not nearly as good as it used to be when you took a gour past working animators. Mike also really misses the Florida animation studio, though he does recommend the animation class at the current attraction. He also really likes Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
Sunset Boulevard, which was added to create a place for the Tower of Terror, the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater (for Fantasmic) and the enlarged Theater of the Stars. The addition of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster makes the addition even better. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror make a great one-two punch. Mark thinks that the recent reduction in schedule for Fantasmic was ill-advised and expects them to return to a more frequent schedule. He thinks that Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage is good but it's not something that he seeks out. Mike pretty much agrees with mark.
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We're continuing our new trial of spending the Thursday Listener Feedback time reviewing the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.
If you could change one thing about Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park, what would it be?
Mark would prefer that the hat be moved, rather than blown up.
What is the change made at the Studios over the years that you like most?
Mark and Mike both agree that Sunset Boulevard has been the greatest addition to the park thus far, though Toy Story Mania and Pixar Place may eventually prove itself out as time goes by.
Mark's walk for the March of Dimes over the weekend went well, though he did not make his goal. MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners made up more than half of the non-Mark-contributed money - thanks so much! The donations page should remain active for another month, so you there's still time to donate, if you'd like. Just go to Mark's fundraising page and help to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely.
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).