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Brian Bennett

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Hollywood Boulevard - Photo Tour

Photos by Brian Bennett (unless otherwise stated)

Entryway  |  East Side  |  West Side  |  The Icons

The "wienie" for this part of the park, of course, used to be the fabulous Mann's Chinese Theater at the end of the boulevard.  The real theater, in California, is actually on Hollywood Boulevard, not at the end of the street like it is here in Florida.  You have to admit, though, it made for a spectacular draw.

The Chinese Theater. Photo by Karl Buiter.
The Chinese Theater. Photo by Karl Buiter.

Just in time for the 100 Years of Magic celebration honoring the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney's birthday, the Walt Disney Company covered up that fantastic reproduction with a humongous sorcerer's hat.

Personally, I think that was a dreadful mistake.

The hat (if you can't say something good...)
The hat (if you can't say something good...)

Here are a few more pictures of both the theater and the hat. The theater is home to the Great Movie Ride...

The Chinese Theatre.
Mann's Chinese Theater.

..."A Spectacular Journey into the Movies" with "A cast of thousands!" and a "Sweeping Spectacle of Thrills! Chills! Romance!" (And I always thought that those three terms were synonymous...)

Great Movie Ride Marquee (inside the attraction's loading area).
Great Movie Ride Marquee inside the attraction's loading area.

Before we get started on the ride, note the detail of the queue area. The switchbacks are filled with movie memorabilia. It's been a long, long time since I had to wait in line, so it's hard to remember exactly what's here to see... but I know that one of the original pairs of Judy Garland's ruby red slippers are around here somewhere (I've been told that five pair were used during the filming of the movie)... and that carousel pony was used in the country fair scene in Mary Poppins, if I remember correctly.

The carousel horse.
The carousel horse.

The ride itself is fantastic, covering all types of movie genre from Westerns...

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.
Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

to adventure...

Indiana Jones recovers the ark of the covenant.
Indiana Jones recovers the Ark of the Covenant.

to gangsters films...

Underworld criminals pack the heat.
Underworld criminals pack the heat.

And others. Of course, this park being at least part-MGM, it's no surprise to see a significant amount of screen time dedicated to the Wizard of Oz.

Munchkin Land.
Munchkin Land.

The Wicked Witch questions guests about her sister's crushing movie debut.
The Wicked Witch questions guests about her sister's crushing movie debut.

Following the yellow brick road...
Following the yellow brick road...

...to the Emerald City.
...to the Emerald City.

What a wonderful tribute to the art of filmmaking!

Unfortunately, the theater is hidden behind the hat. Here's another view of it, along with some other pictures of what's underneath all of that steel.

The hat.
The hat.

The hat has a shop that sells a bunch of 100 Years of Magic logo merchandise.

The hat has a shop that sells a bunch of 100 Years of Magic logo merchandise.
The shop.

One redeeming factor for having the hat (and boy I still hope this monstrosity is temporary), is the Discover the Stories Behind the Magic kiosks that allow guests to read some of the old stories of Walt's life. It's a nice touch... but I suspect that most guests would rather do that on the Internet rather than in a $50-per-day theme park.

Discover the Stories Behind the Magic marquee.
Discover the Stories Behind the Magic marquee.

Discover the Stories Behind the Magic kiosks.
Discover the Stories Behind the Magic kiosks.

The hat's ceiling. Why? I don't know.
The hat's ceiling. Why? I don't know.

Did I mention that I hope Mann's Chinese Theater is again revealed at the end of Hollywood Boulevard?

Entryway  |  East Side  |  West Side  |  The Icons

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