It feels as if Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in an awkward adolescent phase. Wanting to no longer be a half-day park, but not yet ready for the responsibility of being a full-day park. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is undergoing some of the growing pains we expect from such maturation. The (yet to be officially named) Star Wars and Toy Story lands are in various stages of development, requiring construction walls everywhere. Restaurants are changing themes, stage shows changed locations, and the Streets of America are coming down. Beyond all of those changes, there are a pile of unconfirmed rumors of additional transformation. (Even the name of the park appears vulnerable to this metamorphosis.)
Rumor Has It
Rumors swirl around the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Will it remain? Will it be replaced, or even updated? The Spectacular features stunt people (and a “film crew”) recreating scenes from film classic, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Meanwhile, audience participation bits offer some comedic relief from all the action. Officially opened only a few months after Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1989, the show is performed five times daily. And, it remains virtually unchanged since it’s opening, nearly 28 years ago. (Although, there was a six month closure in 2000 to update the special effects and prepare the attraction for FastPass implementation.)
Still a Fan Favorite
Our family prefers to visit Walt Disney World Resort® during predicted “low-to-average” attendance weeks. This helps us avoid the crowds (and the heat, which usually accompanies them). Though I enjoy the show, prior to the birth of my son, I’d only attended the Spectacular a handful of times. However, for the last few years, my son has insisted the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! be a “must see attraction” each visit. And, he’s not alone. The amphitheater, which is expansive, accommodates 2000 Guests. Still, I’ve never seen it looking empty.
Packed with explosions, simulated fights, and gunfire, I understand why my little guy never tires of it. Check out the suspenseful opening scene here:
Reason to Relax
Amid the park’s upheaval, the good news for my son (and fans everywhere) is there’s no evidence the Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! will (itself) become an artifact in the annals of Disney Parks history any time soon. The release of a new film in the Indiana Jones franchise is expected in 2019. I don’t think Disney will do anything to “booby trap” the potential synergy between the new movie and their park’s attraction. That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the plot and characters updated to bring it into the new millennia. Just no snakes. “I hate snakes.”
Fun Fact: This past fall, movie geeks in line for The Great Movie Ride enjoyed a special treat. In the replica lobby of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, in all its golden splendor, sat the actual Ark of the Covenant used in filming Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark! Exhibits (props and other pieces of film history) along the queue for The Great Movie Ride undergo regular updates. You never know what you might find. So, be sure to include (at least) a walk through the lobby on your next visit!