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Those Studios rumors that wont go away

Over the years we hear a lot of different rumors related to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Walt Disney World as a whole that cover nearly every aspect of the park.  From new attractions to expansions to ride updates to new additions, there's a rumor for nearly every aspect of the park.  Some rumors manage to remain "out there" long enough to become one of those rumors that just become categorized in the "I'll believe it when I see" group.  Let's go over some of those perpetual Hollywood Studios rumors that we've heard for years and are part of that dubious category.

Soundstage One Coaster

Ever since Toy Story Midway Mania was announced and later opened, there's been rampant speculation that another attraction is going to be added right next door in the vacant soundstage one.  Soundstage one is the building on Pixar Place that says "Hot set" and is between Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania.

The two most common rumors are that it will be a Monsters Inc coaster or a clone of the Crush Coaster from Disneyland Paris.  We've even heard once or twice that the project was greenlighted by Disney to go.  Clearly, nothing has been announced yed.

We do know that the building is being used for something by Imagineering.  Speculation points to Imagineers using the space for their NextGen project until at least a budget allows for an attraction to be built there.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure Makeover

This twenty year old playground is based on a film series that hasn't stood the test of time very well and it's lead to rampant claims that it's set to be refurbished and have its theme changed to reflect something more contemporary.  The most common suggestion is a "It's a Bug's Life" overlay.  Same basic concept as the current attraction but it would look like you're in the Pixar film instead of a Rick Moranis setting.

Thus far, we haven't seen much to get excited about.  Aside from the occasional planned rehab to clean things up (which almost always spurs the rumor mill of claims that it will get this fabled re-do), it's all quiet at this fun attraction for kids.

Backlot Tour will be removed to make room for something

Ever since the Backlot Tour started to get more and more irrelevant with parts of it being removed, reduced or shortened, there's been rumors that Imagineers want to bulldoze the entire area and add a newly themed area in its place.  Given the sheer size of the Backlot Tour, there's plenty of room for a new themed land similar to the Carsland that is being built in Disney's California Adventure.

Like so many of the rumors on this list, there's just not much to point at in terms of evidence.  It's a classic rumor that is based on ideas that "sound good" but no real plans we can point to.  In the meantime, the Backlot Tour continues to chug away with regular rehabs and small updates that dash the hopes of many that this depreciated attraction will be laid to rest.

The Sorcerer's Hat will be removed

When the Sorcerer's Hat was added to the Studios as part of the 100 Years of Magic celebration, people have been guessing when it would be removed.  Citing the fact it breaks the theme and look of Hollywood Boulevard, many guests felt as though it's always been a temporary structure.  Combine that with bits of opinions from Imagineers who also aren't big fans (during the Studios' 20th anniversary talk, one Imagineer mentioned he wished it were gone), and you have rumors that are ripe with claims of its imminent demise.

At about ten years old now, the Sorcerer's Hat remains despite the fact its oversized Epcot wand cousin has since been removed for similar concerns over its obscenely large size.  There's also further rumors and conspiracy theories as to why the Hat is still in its place, but that wont stop others from speculating that its days are numbered.

If you're reading this column and feeling depressed that these rumors may never be anything more than rumors, take solace in the fact that in the recent past we've seen two major rumors finally take shape and become fact.  The Star Tours 2 and ABC Theater (American Idol Experience) rumored updates were the subject of message board fodder for years before Disney finally announced them.  So it's not impossible for these rumors to become true, but at the same time, I'm not going to believe any of them until I see construction walls and an announcement from Mickey.

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About this column

A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by