Disney - Can they see the forest through the trees?

December 23, 2015, 12:36 PM

Disney should take Hollywood Studios and transform it into something much better. Close it down for two years or so…

Does anyone go to Florida for Disney Hollywood studios? Or is it simply an afterthought since you have 5 days of park hopper tickets and decide to spend some time there.

Yes, this often forgotten not talked about park needs a huge change. Disney bought Star Wars, well Lucas Films anyway. They have the rights to Star Wars. So why not make this boring often forgotten park the New Star Wars – The Park Experience.

Keep some of the attractions. Key word - Some…. Tower of Terror will become Emperor of Terror. Rock and Roller coaster will become The X-wing fighter ride. I guess they will have to keep Toy Story because of its popularity, But all else has to go.

This new park will be relevant for the next 20 years. Disney will finally have an answer to Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Disney can keep the current Star Wars stuff in this park but most of all - add many attractions. All Star Wars related. Attractions, planets, foods, stores, interactions with creatures and music everywhere. How about special Guest stars picture taking and autograph signing sessions.

Why build a Land when you could have a Park… A whole entire beautiful Star Wars park.

Replies (12)

Edited: December 23, 2015, 2:29 PM

This is a terrible idea.

Edited: December 24, 2015, 12:30 AM

There is a major danger to creating an entire theme park based on a single IP. While fans of the property will flock to the park, it is entirely possible that those with little or no interest may choose to skip it, even if the park is part of a larger resort. This is one of several reasons why Harry Potter, which was originally pitched as an entire theme park, ended up getting reduced to a couple themed lands inside existing parks. That said, Star Wars is the one IP that might actually be able to carry an entire theme park on its own. However, the idea of redoing an existing theme park as Star Wars is a recipe for disaster.

If a Star Wars theme park were to be created and be successful, I think it would need to be designed like no other theme park in existence. Naturally, each land would likely be themed after one of the various planets in the franchise (I'd say Tatooine, Dagobah, Bespin, Naboo, Coruscant, and one or more sequel trilogy planets would be the likely choices), but simply connecting them in the traditional manner would ruin the immersion. Instead, each planet would be isolated, and in order to travel between them guests would need to board a spacecraft and jump through hyperspace to get there. Obviously, this would present logistical challenges, but perhaps a super high capacity version of the PeopleMover mixed with the technology of the Hogwarts Express would work. Of course, the whole park wouldn't be on one loop, but perhaps routes could run between 2-3 planets and a border route could loop the entire park, stopping at each location. With this setup, expansion could be a little difficult but with careful pre-planning it could work.

Will this ever happen? I highly doubt it. However, if there is ever to be a Star Wars theme park this is how it needs to be done.

December 24, 2015, 7:28 AM

TH Creative - Actually any idea can be a great idea. I will give you 4 words... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Not many would think this is a great idea - Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello have made Billions.
Yes Billions....

AJ - nice write up, I would love to see plants as themes (especially one with 2 suns). But to save a few dollars, Disney can use this crappy park and land that no one really cares for.

Star Wars has been around since 1977. And will be around for many more decades. Why not take advantage of it...
Instead of having some low rated park with a Muppets exhibit, why not plan big for the future.


December 24, 2015, 9:19 AM

Close down the entire park? Disney won't close down Everest to fix the Yeti for fear of driving people away!

DHS is fine. They are putting a Star Wars Land there (as they should). Park will continue, circle of life....

Edited: December 26, 2015, 8:31 AM

Reversing direction after more than two years (and millions of dollars) of concept development, design, logistical planning with active operations and construction. Closing a park for two years. Ending a revenue stream. Laying off hundreds -- if not thousands. Directing crowds to the three other parks -- that are already stressed to capacity.

Yeah, this is a bad idea.

December 26, 2015, 3:17 PM

As a huge star wars fan I would love for this to happen but not to Hollywood studios , I would love to see an all Star Wars park as Disneylands 3rd gate. In the case of Hollywood studios now they will add Star Wars land , toy story land and probobaly more things to come in the future so it will be a better theme park and will get more visitors than Epcot and Animal kingdom.

Edited: December 26, 2015, 3:55 PM

Brian, if nobody really cared for DHS it wouldn't have ~10 million visitors per year. I am sure this number is inflated because it is part of a theme park resort, but the fact that it's attendance is not significantly behind the other WDW parks indicates that while it may be the least popular of the four, it is still enjoyed by the masses. While I have not visited the park myself, my family members who have all said it was a really good half-day park and just needed more to do. Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land will help that.

Think about it this way...if Disney were to close the park for a couple years, how much money would they lose during that period? When it reopened, would attendance and revenue actually increase or just return to where it was before? How would that result compare with building a whole new park? While I don't have the numbers, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that creating a new park would have more long-term benefits than simply redoing an existing one, especially if there is ample space to do so.

Another question to consider...if you're going to build an entire park based on a single IP, is it worth it to chance something the fans would reject? Sure, redoing DHS as Star Wars Park could probably be done for around $1-1.5 billion while building a new park like I proposed would likely be a $2.5-3 billion project, but is it worth it to save the money if fans reject the product? We have entered a phase of fully immersive themed lands, and with DHS there would be no way to make that a fully immersive Star Wars Park unless the entire thing was themed to one planet, which would likely disappoint a lot of fans. You also may be hard pressed to find convincing stories that fit existing attractions (Emperor of Terror? What the...?) and you absolutely could not keep a single non-Star Wars attraction (even Toy Story Midway Mania), which would disappoint fans of those rides.

And even if you want to ignore all logic, when it comes down to it would you rather have a 4 park WDW or a 5 park WDW?

December 28, 2015, 9:22 AM

Great Point Anthony - the Yeti... Broke forever.. hahaha

AJ - If you take away the park hopper option (just an example) how many folks would go to this park, Pay $90.00 for three rides\attractions? My guess is that you will pretty much only get annual pass holders there. Almost no one would buy 1 day at that park as it stands.

Yes I understand it will cost monies to close a park to do a rebuild... My point is why build a land with a limited attractions? When you can have an entire park...

It will be based on one thing. One Huge thing that is strong 38 years later... People would now actually have a reason to buy a ticket for this three ride park.

Water Parks are based on one thing - Water... You think folks care about a Blizzard Theme in a water park, or do they do to get wet and have fun.

Animal Kingdome is bases on one thing?

This is just an idea to be discussed, no need for all the usual Disney fan boys to freak regarding change.

So I guess it has been decided - A 5th park it is...
Star Wars - The Park Experience.

December 28, 2015, 10:39 AM

No need for a fifth gate at WDW. The Magic Kingdom regularly rocks capacity. DAK has Pandora and the oft overlooked 'Rivers of Light.' DHS has Star Wars. EPCOT's events-market (the flower show and food & wine) has been crazy-busy. Plus you have the sports events (marathons, etc.). And the Disney Springs expansion (which is gonna be HUGE).

No need for gate number 5.

December 29, 2015, 9:17 PM

Maybe I see the parks, especially DHS different than the regular visitor. Yes, DHS is a bit of a work in progress, but there is still quite a bit in regards to shows and rides. The only "ride" they really have taken down has been the backlot tour. Then again, was anybody really riding it?

I think DHS's biggest mistake was building that Lights Motors Action theater.

January 8, 2016, 10:51 AM

I think that DHS has a lot of potential, but they just havent added much over the last 10-20 years.

January 9, 2016, 3:22 AM

As a pie in the sky idea with no need to be realistic about anything, yes a Star Wars park is a great idea. In reality though, no. Star Wars is one of the few IPs that would have the backing to support this idea but the other comments have brought up points to quash the actual possibility. One thing that was not mentioned above was the fact that at some point Star Wars will become irrelevant or not quite as popular at the very least. At which point Disney would have all their eggs in one basket and be screwed. You can't just replace one ride with a completely new and different IP and solve the problem. It would take the park to close down again and be completely redone. It's easy for parks to close down one ride that has an outdated IP and replace it with the next new big thing, but a whole park would be a nightmare.

Star Wars as a 5th gate or a 5th park in general should only be done once they fix up the other 4. Ok the Magic Kingdom is good but Epcot has very few rides and the good ones always have ridiculously long wait times, Animal Kingdom will have Avatar soon which will help, but that's still only going to add a few rides and the Yeti will still be broken!!! And of course Hollywood Studios is a real problem hence the reason the discussion topic! I agree that Hollywood Studios doesn't have much to offer right now, but I don't think that a complete Star Wars layover is the answer.

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