Theme Park Insider

Let's embrace the worst idea in the history of theme parks

November 7, 2017, 10:40 AM · Disneyland loves holiday overlays. Disney is building a Star Wars land. See the possibility here?

In my Orange County Register column this week, I go there and entertain what might be the worst idea I ever have had about a major theme park: Would Disneyland ever do a Christmas overlay based on the horrible 'Star Wars Holiday Special'?

When life gets too routine, we often look to the extremes for excitement. We want to ride the fastest roller coaster, go through the scariest haunt, or eat the most indulgent meal. But it's not just the biggest and the best that entertains us. Sometimes, it's fun to go slumming on the opposite end and embrace the campy fun of the worst that entertainment has to offer.

And the Star Wars Holiday Special might be the worst two hours in the history of television. If you've never seen it, my colleagues at the Register have been kind/despicable enough to embed a bootleg video of the entire show within the online version my column. We shall see if this incurs the wrath of Disney and gets the Register on the corporate blacklist, too.

I swear, people associated with the Star Wars franchise have spent more time over the years talking about how no one talks about the Star Wars Holiday Special than the whole crew probably spent putting the thing together. The Wikipedia entry for the special includes this incredible line about the show: "I'm not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine."

Hey, it was the 70s — a time when someone could pitch the idea of Bea Arthur co-starring in a Star Wars-themed television musical... and get the idea green-lit.

Why not embrace the crazy, creative spirit of the decade that gave birth to this franchise, and pass the time between now and the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge by dreaming up the most awesome, amazing, and ridiculous idea to totally ruin it... while staying 100% on theme?

Imagine a temporary, holidays-only Tree of Life in the middle of Galaxy’s Edge, with red robed-Wookiees gathered around several times a day singing about the meaning of Life Day. And then imagine the stunned, confused looks of anyone under the age of 45 in the crowd as a few older, Gen-X visitors around them double over in laughter.

Maybe, on his last day at Disney, Bob Iger can green-light this idea on his way out the door, just like that Twitter employee who deleted President Trump's account. Because the idea of a Star Wars Holiday Special overlay to Galaxy's Edge makes me laugh more than just about anything else I've seen from Disney's theme parks all year.

Is this the worst idea in the history of theme parks? (Well, at least since someone at Disney said, "Hey, let's take Figment out of the Imagination ride!"?) Hit us with your worst ideas in the comments.

Read Robert's column, and watch the entire special:

Replies (18)

November 7, 2017 at 10:55 AM · I swear to The Maker - if this happens and it's your fault you will suffer Robert! SUFFER! :P
November 7, 2017 at 11:08 AM · Noooooooooooooo!
November 7, 2017 at 11:15 AM · Just torture Robert...torture.
November 7, 2017 at 11:22 AM · Oh, Robert .... I don't know whether to curse you or thank you. Somehow, even though I was a Star Wars-obsessed 6 year-old when this originally aired, I completely missed it. I've been "regretting" this lapse in my life experiences for years.... Now you've made it possible for me to waste two hours I'll ever get back :-). I've already checked out the first 5 minutes and all I can say is.... WTH?????? Did it never occur to them to use subtitles for the Wookies??
November 7, 2017 at 1:34 PM · Crazy idea: let's have a Star Wars dance off! Dump some random Star Wars characters on stage and have them do silly dances on contemporary Disney Channel music, that would be awful. Or have a dessert party un-inspired by Star Wars while random clips are projected together with lights and firework. The dessert will be cupcakes with chocolate on it in the shape of Darth Vader or a cinnamon stick in the form of a light sabre. That would all be awful. And when we are at it, a Star Wars christmas tree with globes in the form of the Death Star because nothing says christmas like a weapon that killed billions.
November 7, 2017 at 1:52 PM · Nope. The worst idea ever was to take the beautiful and perfectly themed Tower of Terror, and slap a pile of metallic garbage on it to retheme it to a flash-in-the-pan Marvel property, viewable from everywhere in the park. But Star Wars Christmas comes in a close second.
November 7, 2017 at 1:56 PM · Oh, you mean Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, which ended up becoming one of the highest-rated attractions by guests in the history of Disney theme parks, much higher than the cut-rate version of Tower of Terror that it replaced? Yeah, that switch turned out to be a spectacularly good idea by Disney, not a bad one.
November 7, 2017 at 2:36 PM · You all laugh, but the SWCS has some great theme park potential:

1) Tedious holographic circus parade
2) Jefferson Airplane concert
3) Inexplicable switch to 2-D animation = Dark Ride with 2.5-D
4) Audio animatronic of Harvey Korman in Alien drag.

November 7, 2017 at 2:41 PM · As long as it beat out Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, then I'm happy. :))
November 7, 2017 at 2:47 PM · Marvel overlay of It's A Small World!

(singing)
It's a world of Cap'n
It's a world of Hulk
It's a world of Iron Man
and a world of Hawk

There so much to destroy, if you're a bad boy
It's a harsh harsh world...

November 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM · It's as good as of an idea as changing a charming, impressive, 189-foot fairytale castle into an ugly pink birthday cake, but they did it anyway. Hopefully they have learned their lesson. It holds the record for the most guest complaints in the history of the magic kingdom
November 7, 2017 at 3:29 PM · Disney is going to sit on this one then use it to punk us at the next D23.
November 7, 2017 at 4:24 PM · If Kwanzaa can be invented, so can a Star Wars Holiday be invented. Actually, just dust off the video and put it into heavy rotation at Disney Channel. Dedicate the movie to Han Solo who everyone knows shot first.
November 7, 2017 at 7:42 PM · Happy Festivus.
November 8, 2017 at 5:54 AM · Will there be a virtual reality attraction featuring Dihann Cannon whispering seductively to us? Or how about adding Jefferson Starship music and holograms to HyperSpace Mountain? And while it's sad that Carrie Fisher passed away this year, Disney should play 'The Life Day Song" as guests leave the park at closing time.

The possibilities are endless! :)

November 8, 2017 at 10:52 AM · Star Wars Holiday Special - what a great show!!(tongue firmly in cheek) and my parents thought I would love to have the album. So I still have the album sitting in my chest of childhood treasures - Mom put it there- and it will remain there. Unless I can get a zillion dollars for the only copy in almost prefect condition. Yes it did get played on Christmas morning along with the rest of the seasonal albums we had - until the record player broke.
I like the idea of a holographic Life Day parade which can then be broadcast throughout the US on Christmas morning during the Disney holiday show (which they shot sometime in August).
November 8, 2017 at 4:36 PM · Still a better idea than Superstar Limo (more like Superstar LAME-o, amirite?).
November 8, 2017 at 5:21 PM · Overlay of Soarin with the Howard the Duck (the 1986 movie), especially the ultralight aircraft sequence. As Howard the Duck is a Marvel IP... ;)

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