Star Wars Galaxy's Edge images

Update: Disney has denied that Hollywood Studios is undergoing a name change. Their statement, and our thoughts, have been added to the original article below.

The Hollywood Studios Park at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida has been undergoing a bit of an identity crisis over the past few years. It’s a park in transition. The new Toy Story Land opens in a few months. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge arrives in a few years. Until then, giant swaths of the park are a construction site. It’s a collection of attractions at the moment, not a theme park with a unified idea connecting the disparate parts.

So a new name feels like the right option, and we’ve known that one was coming since August of last year. And now it looks like Disney has decided on a new name for Hollywood Studios – Disney Cinemagine Park.

Toy Story Land

Disney Cinemagine Park

The latest word on this comes from Orlando Weekly, backed up by the Disney Dish With Jim Hill podcast. The latter has had plenty of accurate theme park scoops in the past, so while this could be subject to change, it’s very likely that this is, at the very least, an active conversation within Disney at this moment.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because we first saw it last year. Disney sent out a survey to guests, asking them to pick a hypothetical favorite park name from a list. You may remember that they were mostly terrible:

• Disney Beyond Park
• Disney Cinemagic Park
• Disney Cinemagine Park
• Disney Hyperia Park
• Disney Kaleidoscope Park
• Disney Legends Park
• Disney Storyverse Park
• Disney XL Park

To be fair, Cinemagine Park isn’t as bad as “XL Park,” but they’re both rotten, stinkin’ names on a list of rotten, stinkin’ names. None of these feel like a good fit for the park, to be honest.

Interestingly, the Disney Dish podcast notes that Imagineers were high on Cinemagic Kingdom, which teases a movie-focused park while making it a direct relative to the neighboring Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks. However, the name proved potentially confusing to foreign and first-time guests who didn’t know one park from another.

So, Why the Name Change?

If you visit Hollywood Studios right now, you may feel a little ripped off. There are only a handful of attractions and shows operating at the moment. It’s the definition of a half-day experience. However, it’s a necessary step as the park reinvents itself to be a place where you can truly experience movies and worlds that exist under the Disney umbrella. Interestingly, this sounds very much like Universal Studios’ old “ride the movies” approach, although Disney will never admit to borrowing from its fiercest theme park competitor.

So Hollywood Studios is essentially being transformed into a new park, so of course it needs a new name. And this wouldn’t be the first time this park has been rebranded. Remember, it opened in 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios, only to become Hollywood Studios in 2008. Identity has been a slippery slope for this park for nearly 30 years. Is it a working film studio with a tourism element? A celebration of the movies? Both? None? Disney Cinemagine Park is a terrible name that’s sure to confuse more people, but it does sell a perspective – cinema plus imagination equals a playground full of Pixar and Star Wars entertainments.

Plus, it may help to remove “Hollywood” from the name altogether, as that has distinct west coast connotations and we’re talking about a Florida park here.

Disney’s Response

Update: A post on the Disney parks blog denies rumors of a name change, stating:

In response to questions we have been receiving, we also want to let fans know that the Disney’s Hollywood Studios name will remain the same for the foreseeable future since we are immersing our guests in a place where imagined worlds of Hollywood unfold around them from movies and music, to television and theater.

Weirdly, that statement is buried in an article about new ride art. Also weird: Disney addressing the rumor at all if they have no plans to actually change the park’s name. However, this doesn’t mean Hollywood Studios won’t receive a name change. It just means it won’t receive a name change right now. I’d still put money on the park having a new name before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens.

But maybe, the internet’s collective eye roll has convinced them that it shouldn’t be called Cinemagine Park?

Meanwhile, Across the World…

Of course, Walt Disney World isn’t the only Disney resort undergoing massive changes at the moment. Tokyo Disneyland already has a slew of new rides and attractions in the pipeline, but it may have a third gate in the works. According to the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi, Oriental Land Co. (who operates Tokyo Disneyland) is mulling over a sky-themed park that will be a one-of-a-kind experience unique to their resort. Since Tokyo Disneyland is already home to Tokyo DisneySea, a one-of-a-kind water-themed park, this makes sense.

If this comes together, an announcement is expected in several months. Construction could begin in 2019 for a 2022 opening.

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