Great Movie Ride Out, Mickey In

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World News, Rumors and General Disc' started by FerretAfros, Aug 4, 2016.

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  1. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    Some well-connected posters over on WDWMagic are reporting that Disney didn't allow TCM to renew their sponsorship of The Great Movie Ride because they're planning to close the attraction. It will be replaced by a big splashy trackless ride themed to various Mickey Mouse shorts through the years. Details are still vague at this point, but it sounds like this would definitely qualify as an E-ticket, probably have a 5-10 minute runtime, and not have a height requirement

    Personally, I think it sounds like a fun ride, with a lot of potential for fun. That said, I think it's ludicrous that they feel the need to shut down one of the few rides in the park to add it. While GMR could stand to have some updates, I think it's still a worthwhile attraction and a fitting centerpiece to the park. One of GMR's greatest strengths and weaknesses is it's long runtime, which gives a lot of payoff for a relatively-short wait; I suspect the replacement will have a much longer wait for a much shorter ride.

    Considering that the park only has 5 rides right now (and will only bring the total to 9 after Star Wars and Toy Story open), this seems like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, rather than actually trying to change something. I thought the advantage of WDW was its blessing of size, so they didn't have to close things down to add new attractions

    They're also saying that the new ride may or may not go to DLR as well, hinting that it would wind up somewhere in DCA. I'm not sure how well it would fit in the park, but it sounds like a fun ride and probably wouldn't require losing an attraction on the west coast
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Finding more and more reasons why my planned October visit to WDW could very well be my last.
     
  3. Jim in Merced CA

    Jim in Merced CA Moderator

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    'The Great Movie Ride' never quite worked for me. Conceptually, the idea of 'stepping into the movies' perhaps seems like a good one, but the final attraction - meh.

    Are we on the set of a movie? Are we 'in' the movie itself (a la 'Purple Rose of Cairo' or 'Last Action Hero') - I'm not sure. And maybe it doesn't matter.

    I always felt it should have moved chronologically. Random musicals, gangster movies, Westerns, then 'Alien' 'Tarzan' and 'Casablanca' -- huh?

    And the conceit of having the cast members part of the action was always cringe worthy.

    In my mind, it never reached the level of 'Pirates' or 'Haunted Mansion' - it mostly seemed like a bona fide wax museum.

    It's time for something new in that space.
     
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  4. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    I agree that this has always been a little vague and confusing. It also strikes me as odd that the AA's are referred to by the actor's name, rather than the character they're portraying. The exposed ceiling is clearly supposed to look like the inside of a soundstage, but unless you've been in one it just looks unfinished (I had a big eureka moment when I was inside one and realized why the ceiling looked so familiar); but there aren't any cameras or production equipment around so maybe we're actually in the films. It was just never especially clear

    I also agree that the "acting" has always been kind of hokey, but it really hasn't aged well. Perhaps I gave it leeway because I was a child, or because I hadn't ridden it much, but years ago I remember the schtick being more engaging. The last few times I've ridden it's just been painful. At least if you get the western scene, you have the fire to look forward to, as a reward for sitting through it

    In a way, I think they were trying to make it a glorified wax museum. Wax museums are quintessential Hollywood, so why not have an over-the-top one as the centerpiece to the park? That would certainly explain why the Sigourney Weaver figure looks so shiny and has such mechanical movements

    I don't think the concept is beyond saving (especially since the Mickey concept also sounds like it will be "memorable moments from familiar movies", just movies starring a single character), but it does need an overhaul to freshen it up. The additions with the TCM sponsorship seemed to be a step in the right direction, but also highlighted how far they still need to go
     
  5. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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    Have never forgiven them for the half-a$$ed (oh heck, eighth-a$$ed) job they did with the Footlight Parade waterfall sequence. It's one of the most decadent (and budget-busting) musical numbers Busby Berkeley ever created, and representing it with a dozen still mannequins and a bubble machine is criminal negligence.

    Footlight Parade (1933) - "By the Waterfall" — Critical Commons

    (The scene they were going for in the GMR starts at 8:15. Yes, it's a long number. It is, BTW, supposed to be taking place in front of a live audience in a movie theater, before the movie. Making sense was not a requirement in the early 1930s.)
     
  6. Yookeroo

    Yookeroo Active Member

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    They should've hired actors if they were going to ask the cast members to act. This was the worst thing about the ride. Would've played much better without this.
     
  7. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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    >They should've hired actors if they were going to ask the cast members to act.

    (1) The talent pool in Florida ... is all in Los Angeles. Finding talented actors with stunt experience to play those rather thankless roles day after day can't exactly be easy. There are lots of better gigs in the parks and vicinity.

    (2) Those actors are one reason that it's a particularly expensive ride to operate. Add in maintaining all those AAs, and needing to pay royalties to MGM and the music publishers, and the fact that most guests are only mildly impressed with the whole thing, and you can easily understand why it got put on the chopping block. Frankly I'm astounded it's lasted as long as it did.
     
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  8. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    The scene was originally more elaborate, with fountains and the mannequins spinning in different directions. Of course, this combination of water and mechanics turned out to be problematic and the scene was reworked into the current version behind the scrim after just a few months. It was always a smaller scene, as part of the bigger "musicals" section of the ride (as opposed to other genres which are all represented by a single film), but the original intent was more impressive than what's there now. You can see it about a minute into this video:


    From my understanding there was some determination with the union (particularly in recent years) that designated the ride operators as spieling roles rather than acting roles (I'm not sure about the gangsters/cowboys), so they're instructed to keep the acting to a minimum. That said, a little bit of feigned enthusiasm could go a long way into selling the experience. I don't think true "stunt" actors would be required for firing a cap gun and walking down some stairs, but it wouldn't hurt if they at least had a limited acting backgorund
     
  9. dagobert

    dagobert Well-Known Member

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    While the idea sounds interesting, I'm not so sure about the project myself, because I really enjoyed TGMR. For me it is a great ride, especially the parts with the actor. I guess I have to wait to judge. The Guardians Tower is already growing on me, since I saw the movie again recently. The new Mickey shorts are great, so maybe that ride might turn out good too.
     
  10. mrkthompsn

    mrkthompsn Member

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    The ride that started as an EPCOT concept... then moved to start a new theme park... then removed.
     
  11. Dis-Philip

    Dis-Philip Member

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    Like LiceRat, those phony "insiders" at WDWMagic are wrong and creating lies once again. Ignore those morons at all costs! Great Movie Ride is not going anywhere!
     
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  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Regardless, I've got a GMR FP+ booked for both the first and last days of my fall WDW stay. I've also noted down the closing times for CoP, Ellen, Imagination, and American Adventure for the full six days.
     
  13. RoadTrip

    RoadTrip Active Member

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    I really enjoy the Great Movie Ride and hope it stays. It clearly needs updating, but is a much needed dark ride at The Studios. Some of the AA may seem cheesy and wax-museumish, but on the other hand the big Wizard of Oz scene is one of the finest examples of AA at any U.S. park.

    :) :)
     
  14. mrkthompsn

    mrkthompsn Member

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    The Great Mickey Ride, the way it is described, sounds very similar to an original "Mickey's Animation Studio Tour" ride concept that Ward Kimball recommended as The Great Movie Ride was being conceived.
     
  15. wahooskipper

    wahooskipper Member

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    Whatever they do they need to wait until Star Wars and PIxar expansions are complete. That is a shell of a park right now and if they close yet another attraction, one that is high capacity at that, before the new lands are built it will be embarassing.
     
  16. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    I did run into some surprises on GMR, all of them pleasant.

    I like most of the changes from the TCM sponsorship, especially the Robert Osborne narration; the improvements are well worth the occasionally heavy-handed plugs for TCM.

    And the last time I was in WDW, they mainly ran the "western" scenario, only running the "gangster" scenario on busy days. Now, it appears that the odds tend to favor gangster over western, but I'm happy to note that the CMs were more than happy to accommodate a request for western after I'd done gangster twice. (I did GMR a total of three times, one standby and two FP+; over at Epcot, I also did Ellen twice.)

    And I agree completely with what "wahooskipper" said: there's currently not much there at Studios, especially if you have no interest in doing ToT a second time, don't bother with attractions that also exist at DLR, and have precisely zero interest in ever doing RnR.

    (Over at AK, I'm still extremely puzzled that, when they decided to shut down Dinosaur after I already had a FP for it, they gave me TriceraTopSpin, or whatever that spinning wild mouse is called: if I have zero interest in ever riding a wild mouse, why would I want to ride a spinning one?)

    And besides, the TCM enhancements are practically brand new. Why scrap them, when they've got enough traffic to run both scenarios on a weekday in October?
     
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  17. Phroobar

    Phroobar Moderator

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    There is even less to do at the Studios if you take out shows that appeared first at Disneyland. BATB.
     
  18. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Correction: at Epcot, I did Ellen 3 times. And please don't take that as an innuendo. It was American Adventure, Hall of Presidents, and CoP that I only had time to do twice.
     
  19. dagobert

    dagobert Well-Known Member

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  20. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Well-Known Member

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    I'm also sad that GMR is leaving. It did a good job of defining the park's mission; even though that's shifting some, it seems like GMR still mostly fits. It will be interesting to see how it works with the Mickey ride in the park's centerpiece space. I hope they're able to keep the capacity high (though I doubt they will), and give the new attraction a message that's more than just "a fun romp with Mickey and friends", applying more to the park in general. I'm excited about the idea of a new attraction theme song

    I'm also going to be a pathetic excuse for a park while they're building this. With only Star Tours, TSMM, TOT, and RNRC, they better hope that none of those experience technical problems that close them down for any amount of time; given the fairly low capacity of the upcoming Toy Story Land rides, I don't think they'll help much either. I wonder how much attendance will drop in the coming months, and how many guests they'll have to refund because they thought there was something worthwhile in the park

    If I'm not mistaken, this will be the first time that a Disney park has no remaining opening day attractions or major entertainment. Obviously there were only two "rides" at MGM's opening, but none of the presentations and bigger shows are still around these days either. I guess the Citizens of Hollywood will remain, as will some original shops and restaurants, but there's really not much left from the early days
     

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