Chad H

Published: July 22, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Funnily enough... This is what Disney got right in the first place.

Walt realised that a studio would be a boring place, and rather than create the studio tour the letters he received from fans suggested, he created disneyland instead.

I'm fairly sure at Warner Bros Movie World Australia they don't bother with the Studio tour or special effects demo anymore.

Rob Pastor

Published: July 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM

This park doesn't even seem worthy of a Six Flags banner. Pretty pathetic.
AJ Hummel

Published: July 22, 2012 at 9:01 PM

When I went to Disneyland Paris a couple weeks ago, we planned to spend about a third of the day in this park and 2/3 in Disneyland Park. It turned out that we only did 2 attractions here before switching over (Crush's Coaster and CineMagique...we would have done Rock 'n' Roller Coaster as well, but it was closed). While the park is still decent, it just isn't up to the Disney standard of quality, and the whole place feels somewhat tacky. I have a feeling some of the other attractions would have been fun and I would have liked to see a couple other shows, but nobody else in my group was interested in them. If I were to go back and only had one day for both parks, I would probably plan about 3-4 hours for this one, but it isn't worth any more unless you have a full day to devote to seeing everything. I don't feel like I did enough to judge the park, but from what I did do it seemed like a decent park, but a lousy Disney park.

Fortunately, I learned from another website that this park doesn't do the traditional rope drop, so we arrived 45 minutes early to be sure we'd get on Crush's Coaster with a short wait (hopefully under a half-hour). It ended up taking 50 minutes, and the ride was posting around 90 for the rest of the time we were in the park. It's worth a 50 minute wait, but it's not worth over an hour wait.

Dominique Mol

Published: July 23, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Wow Robert,

That is a very well written analysis of why studio parks don't work as wel as they want them to.

As for the WDS park, I actually do like this park a lot,
besides the horendous queu; Crush's Coaster is actually one of the best rides at the entire resort! It's just so sad the capacity is as low as it is. Cinemaque gives me teary eyes every time I see it. The Stitch encounter is much funnier then the Crush encounter in the U.S. parks (they run french and english sessions), I much prefer the WDS version of the Rock'n roller coaster over Florida's, Animagique is one of the better Disney character shows!

What is really not working in this park for me is; Armageddon, what could have been a great experience is fun for a one time visit.. the placing of the TOT ride, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ride and the theming.. but the placement is just completely affull.. who thought that putting such a huge building smack in the middle of the park would be a good thing? The should have extended a boulevard, even if it would have been with facades only and put it at the end, like Walt's much talked about Weenie system.

I guess they did put it right in the middle to make sure people could see it when arriving at the parks and become a weenie to lure people in the park.. but once inside it just doesn't fit into the area.

Still you can have a fun day at the WDS park, and to point out a little gem there: Cafe des cascadeurs is a original roadside diner right behind the TOT, they serve the best burgers in the entire resort and feels ike you ust walked into an episode of happy days.. but since it is a tiny little venue the queu can get pretty long.

Carl Fox

Published: July 23, 2012 at 4:13 AM

Went to DLP in March last year and out of the the 4 days we were there we had 1 and a half days in the Studios Park.

We want we a then 2yr old and a 4 yr old

Overall the park was good we had the best character meets and parade experiance here and the rides we went on we're good (other than Crush) it is however a mish mash of areas and themes.

You didn't,t really miss anything not riding Crush our 4yr old rode it twice and thought is was ok first time and came off crying second time for me the first 30 secs or so are great but once you leave the launch hill it's a dark jolting mess. The majority of the ride is just to dark pitch black in fact with a few missable video scenes.

Toy story land went down really well and by all accounts it's improved with parachute videos and better flooring. We didn't make RC due to size but the kids would have loved it.
The Cars ride is great, wonderfully themed and fun little ride.
The shows we saw were good playhouse Disney and the blacklight show (as a time killer on the last day)

We ate in the restaurant and saw a little Remi (AA figure on a table) the food was good and the kids loved Remi.

I never got to ride the rock&roll coster but my wife did on a previous trip and said it was great.

Ultamitly it depends on what you want from the trip with two kids it keeps the time fun and different, for me a lot about going to Disney is character meets and the park was the best for that including a whole host of princesses.

If we were to go again I would certainly budget the same about of time for the studios park as the kids may be tall enough to go on a few more rides but I does need some big rides or experiance to make it a huge destination and I don,t think ratatouille will be that ride.

DLP is however the poor poor relative of the other Disney parks the financials are poor meaning lack of investment and the prices are sky high meaning people go but not often return it's certainly not a year on year destination.

Overall the park served as a taster of the great Disney parks experiance and just made me want to go to Florida although now I'm obsessed with going to Disneyland (yes I have the right name)

Published: July 23, 2012 at 6:03 AM

You are so right about the movie parks. I like how USF is changing into a movie themed themepark instead of a movie making park (although there have been movies made in the Orlando park). The only movie explaining attractions now are Disaster and the horror make-up show and the animal show and I would love to see them changed.
I hope Disney will invest heavily in the Studio park in Orlando. It's the worst park of the 4 but has the most potential to become awesome.

The studios at DLP is doomed to stay cheap. Europeans don't buy enough food and souveniers in the parks to earn enough money. The resort is in deep depths and trowing more money at the parks is to big a risk.

Robert Niles

Published: July 23, 2012 at 6:51 AM

After visiting four Disney resorts in the past year, here's how I would order them in terms of the best ones to visit, for high-quality, unique attractions and overall service:

1) Tokyo Disney Resort
2) Disneyland Resort
3) Walt Disney World Resort
4) Disneyland Paris Resort

Jason McLaughlin

Published: July 23, 2012 at 7:10 AM

It's certainly got better since it opened.

I remember me and my partner going way back in 2002 when it had first opened and being hugely disappointed, they had little there beyond the RnR Coaster, the Studio Tour, the awful Armageddon attraction (Disney's version of Twister IMO)and a few other smaller attractions.

We went back earlier this year with our two year old and were surprised at how much its been expanded, the Toy Story land and the Cars area is a great addition as is Crush's Coaster (we were lucky to avoid the queues as my partner is registered disabled so she was able to have a special pass) The Tower of Terror is a great addition too but I agree its in completely the wrong place, it should be in one of the corners of the park, not slap bang in the middle of it.

Yes it may be the least popular of the Disney parks but its still worth a visit.

Anon Mouse

Published: July 23, 2012 at 7:24 AM

What Universal Studios Singapore is doing is essentially going back to what Disneyland is. 180 degrees Back To The Future!!! Movie narratives as theme park rides. Disney never should have gone the studios route. If Disney Studios in Florida is ever revised, I think it should be renamed as Disney's Hollywood Adventure. Dissolve any references to movie making.

At Universal Studios Florida, they removed their most classic movie references. Jaws and King Kong are gone. I'm disappointed, but they do have Harry Potter X2 (times two).

Michael Owen

Published: July 23, 2012 at 7:40 AM

My main problem with Walt Disney Studios is that it seems to be a large collection of half-baked attractions as opposed to a more focused collection of quality attractions.

For those who have visited both American Disney Resorts, it's really not worth your time. it has the somewhat watered down version of the Tower of Terror, a Rock n Roller Coaster which is less visually appealing from the outside and Crush Coaster which, whilst fun, is far too short.

For me, having done both U.S resorts, the only saving grace is the fantastic cast members who work the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios. Questions have often been raised about the French staff at DLP, but the "bellhops" at WDS are by far the best of all the Towers.

Dominick D

Published: July 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM

This park needs a DCA like renovation. Fast.
Shaun Fisher

Published: July 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Great article. I agree that an immersive experience is something that audiences crave. If we want to see how something was made, we can look up the bloopers/extras on YouTube or DVD/Bluray.
Rob Pastor

Published: July 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Just about anyone that has spent much time on an actual studio filming will attest to how boring film making is. I've been on a number of sets, and watching a 15 second clip that takes one or two days to film is not very exciting or immersive. Your points are well taken Robert.
Eric G

Published: July 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I don't know how anyone can really call California Adventure a runt. Walt Disney Studios Paris was and still is a dud. Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios both after all these years are severely lacking of attractions. California Adventure was a pretty good park from the start and has only gotten better after a decade of refinement.

It's only flaw was the close proximity to one of the best theme parks in the world.

Published: July 23, 2012 at 9:19 PM

This is an excellent article've hit the nail on the head with this one. Sure these Parks will get visitors, they have good attractions. But great attractions don't make a great theme park. Great themeing makes a great theme park. How ironic that Disney has lowered their standards and followed universal, while universal has improved their standards and followed Disney. Tragic actually now Disney has all these problems that it could have avoided if it followed its tried and true formula that Walt pioneered. Oh and without a doubt your order of best Disney resorts is correct as well.
Oh and these parks cannot be rethemed like CA adventure because they have no theme. Hollywood or a movie studio is not a theme, or a bad one at most. Whereas CA adventure always had a theme, CA history and culture, it was just the execution of the theme that was weak. I really don't see how they could be rethemed because there's too many contrasting themes piled on top of eachother toy story mixed with nemo mixed with cars mixed with tower and rrc yeesh what a mess. As long as these Parks turn a profit Disney will not retheme them. They're better off building a 3rd park in Paris from scratch and improving animal kingdom and Epcot at wdw.

Published: July 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Thank you Robert for this very interesting post. I can agree on almost everything that has been said on this page, comments included.

Several months ago, I wrote a post on my on blog explaining the major reasons why the WDS park was such a failure. Of course no reason is good enough to excuse the total lack of taste and things to do in this park but it can help you understand how they came to this complete mess.

Guillaume - Parcorama

Published: July 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Excellent article! I have visited DL Paris many times, ioncluded the oft quick jaunt to the Studios. Attention to detail is sorely lacking and the park seems sparse and lacks in any kind of magic. And don't feel too bad, Crush's Coaster is pretty fun but not 120 minute-wait-fun! I've heard rumours they would be using that ride mechanism fir a future ride at the Studios in orlando. Hmm, perhaps a Monsters Inc ride?

Published: July 24, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I agree with most comments made, and with the general thesis. My caveat would be that I think what really works at Disney's Hollywood Studios is Hollywood. That portion is made to be as immersive as any experience elsewhere. I think Disney's California Adventure got it right the second time with Buena Vista Street. It's when you step into their Hollywood Backlot, or in the backlots and studios of Disney's Hollywood Studios, is where it falls apart. I think the thought of calling it Disney's Hollywood Adventure is short of brilliant.

And as for Walt Disney Studios Paris, I will say that the backlot concept there actually works better than the one in Orlando or Anaheim. But that's not saying much.

J. Jeff Kober, Disney at Work

Anthony Murphy

Published: July 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

You really missed out on the Crush Coaster, one of the best Disney attractions out there! It is bascially a mix between Primevel Whirl (better themed) and THe Seas with Nemo
Alfredo Bucciante

Published: July 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I know the Studios were actual movie studios in the past, but maybe just a small part of them, and it could be just for animation productions.