Hollywood Boulevard - Photo Tour
Photos by Brian Bennett (unless otherwise stated)
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.
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.
Here are a few more pictures of both the theater and the hat. The theater is home to the Great Movie Ride...
..."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...)
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 ride itself is fantastic, covering all types of movie genre from Westerns...
to gangsters films...
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.
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 has a shop that sells a bunch of 100 Years of Magic logo merchandise.
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.
Did I mention that I hope Mann's Chinese Theater is again revealed at the end of Hollywood Boulevard?
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