Disney Officially Rethemes Hollywood Studios, No Longer About the Movies

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Mickey Mouse inside of Hollywood Studios at Disney World for an After Hours event.

Image Credit: Inside The Magic

A recent post on r/DisneyParks (seen below) pointed out that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has steered increasingly far away from its movie-making origins and that Disney might be forced to rebrand it given how much it has expanded into other territories such as Star Wars and Pixar. While that’s true to some extent, it might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Will we see a Hollywood Studios rebrand?
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Whether guests like it or not, the Disney Parks are changing, which is exceptionally evident at the Walt Disney World Resort. As parks like Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris and Disney’s Animal Kingdom make their transitions, some have suggested that Hollywood Studios is next on the list.

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That might not be an unfair assessment, but a more accurate observation might be that Disney has shifted away from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and more toward the stories that keep audiences coming back for more. In short, it’s become less about making movies and more about becoming a part of one.

Hollywood Studios Makes You the Star

Three adults walking down Sunset Blvd during Disney After Hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Credit: Disney

Back in the days of Disney-MGM, the park was solely dedicated to the golden age of cinema before shifting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2007. While a controversial decision at the time, it did allow the Walt Disney Company to focus more on its expanding IP, resulting in a park beloved by guests for over 16 years.

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Since the contracts with MGM expired, the movie-making elements have trickled out of the park to make room for experiences based on the films themselves rather than how they were made. Sure, Hollywood Studios still has attractions like One Man’s Dream and the Star Wars Launch Bay, but Disney has focused most on bringing its guests into the movies rather than into the process.

Part of Their World

Slinky Dog Dash Disney roller coaster in Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

Consider some of the most recent additions to Hollywood Studios in recent years. Both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land are inspired by beloved film franchises, but they were designed to invite guests in to experience the story.

Related: Changes Are Underway For ‘The Muppets’ at Hollywood Studios

Even the disastrous Galactic Starcruiser Hotel was designed with immersion in mind, and (for a brief while) guests were made to feel like they were a part of the movie instead of just seeing how the galaxy far, far, away was brought to the big screen. As impressive as these elements are, they are also signs that the park is evolving, but is a rebrand necessary?

The MGM sign at Disney World
Credit: Disney

If you know anything about Disney fans, you know they are incredibly protective of nostalgic fixtures and materials they grew up with. However, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been in the process of changing since Disney dropped the MGM. For years, the rides and attractions have shifted more towards the worlds of famous movies than just a massive behind-the-scenes tribute park.

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The comments in the Reddit thread are correct to the point that the park is changing its identity. However, it is still maintaining its love for the magic of movies. What better way to illustrate that concept than by inviting patrons to experience the stories they’ve loved for years from a different perspective?

Do you think Hollywood Studios has lost the plot? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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