Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
Okay, so the headline might be just a little bit deceiving. Disney is renaming the Disney-MGM Theme Park in Orlando to Disney’s Hollywood Studio. But the park will not just be renamed, but restructured into different lands (almost like how Universal handles Islands of Adventure). According to Jim Hill, there are plans to increase George Lucas’ presence in Disney’s Hollywood Studios into an entire George Lucas Land that will stretch from the Indiana Jones Outpost to the Tatooine Traders.
At the heart of the revisited area will be Star Tours 2.0, complete with a brand-new 3D ride film as well as elements from Disney’s Living Character Initiative. Rumor has it that a scene or two from Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular might be replaced with new stunt sequences from the upcoming Indiana Jones 4.
One of my favorite rides at the California park is the Indiana Jones Adventure. But injury lawsuit settlements unfortunately may prevent this ride from being rebuilt on the east coast.
OrlandoSentinel reported last month that the park will be adding a permanent new stage for the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy, which has been a popular seasonal feature of the Star Wars Weekends. The new Jedi Stage will cover a large patio area outside the Star Tours attraction, and will contain a tech booth and a permanent backdrop. The show features costumed Jedi characters who select children out of the audience to train with lightsabers. Later in the show, Darth Vader shows up with a bunch of stormtroopers. The show will start this fall with up to 8 shows per day.
The movie props in the Backlot Express eatery will be replaced with replicas of well-known costumes & vehicles from various Lucasfilm productions. There are plans for an Indiana Jones themed room, in addition to a Star Wars themed room.
The new Jedi Academy will be taking up a huge plot of land, so I doubt there will be any room to add additional attractions. But you never know. According to Hill, this will be officially announced in 2008, with plans to go live in 2009 – the 20th anniversary of the theme park.