I have an idea, but it’s too late for it to ever come to fruition, so I figured I’d write about it here to share with all of you so that in some little way it exists.
A bit of background; The first Disney Park I remember being built during my childhood was Disney-MGM Studios. As a kid obsessed with Hollywood and theme parks, this was the park for me. I have such great memories of my times there and among them is The Great Movie Ride. I understand that attendance was low for the attraction, so it eventually had to be replaced (a moment of silence). But it was a hard blow to see the theme park’s flagship attraction close its curtains forever.
But I had an idea: What if we didn’t have to lose The Great Movie Ride entirely? We all know that Disney loves to reuse skeletons and pieces from animatronic figures in new attractions to save some money. But what if they could save more than just the skeletons and instead reuse the full figure in a new, sort of profitable way. I introduce to you, “The Great Movie Restaurant.” Dream along with me for a minute…
Imagine if The Great Movie Restaurant had been built in Disney Springs, where all of the different scenes from The Great Movie Ride (and perhaps some new ones) were installed inside of a restaurant. Better yet, let’s make it a rotating restaurant. Think The Great Movie Ride meets Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, where guests dining would slowly rotate past these iconic movie vignettes. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited just thinking about this possibility.
I know that there’s a Planet Hollywood restaurant already in Disney Springs, but I think it speaks volumes that this restaurant chain, which once had 90 locations, now only has seven in existence — and one of them is in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. The tourist crowds clearly enjoy their Hollywood- and movie-themed environments, so instead of displaying props and costumes from the movies, let’s now showcase recreations of these scenes as guests once were able to enjoy in The Great Movie Ride.
Now if you’re going to have a movie-themed restaurant, you’ll need some movie-themed food selections as well. Would anyone care for a “Chim-Chim-Cher-Cheese Pizza?” Or how about a slice of “Here’s Looking at Blue-Berry Pie” or “Follow the Yellow-Cake Road?” If you’d like to be a bit adventurous with your food choice, try some “Alligators of the Lost Ark.” Ok, I’ll stop now.
My point is, The Great Movie Restaurant could be a lot of fun for people who don’t even remember The Great Movie Ride, but also a nostalgic throwback for guests who enjoyed this beloved, and now lost, attraction.
What do you think? Do you think this restaurant idea would be a blockbuster hit, or do you think it would get two thumbs down? If they were to add a new scene for the restaurant, which Disney movie would you like to see featured?
Jeff DePaoli is a producer and voiceover artist living in Los Angeles. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of “Dizney Coast to Coast,” the ultimate, unofficial Disney fan podcast. Get your FREE gifts of “America’s Hidden Mickeys,” “On the Rohde Again,” “Theme Park Comfort Kit” and more at DizneyCoastToCoast.com.