Farewell Old Friend

The Great Movie Ride

My family and I are no stranger to Disney.  My Grandfather started buying me their films when my Mom got pregnant and my parents first took me to Magic Kingdom when I was 18 months old.

We used to love Magic Kingdom, Minnie’s House, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cinderella’s Castle. We were content with the familiar. So, we didn’t pay too much attention to the newest addition, “MGM Studios” which opened in 1989. In fact, due to an Islander/Lightning game we rushed through our first visit. I can still remember playing with my new Tinker Bell doll while looking out the back window as the park shrank into the distance.

It was a funny introduction to our future favorite park. Because it was just that. MGM aka Hollywood Studios quickly became our favorite.

Being huge Movie Buffs we loved everything about the cinema themed park. Muppet Vision, Animation (with the Robin Williams cartoon), Superstar Television. Remember when that was changed to Doug? What about the original Studio BackLot Tour, complete with the houses from The Golden Girls, Adventures in Wonderland and George of the Jungle tree house. Remember when the Osborne family would decorate for Christmas? The List just goes on and on.

But even counting Indiana Jones, Star Tours, Tower of Terror and even after they put in the Rockin Roller Coaster.

Our ultimate, all time favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World was always:

The Great Movie Ride

And today is its last ride.

It’s a moment I’ve been dreading for years.  I’ve heard rumors about changing it and closing its doors but the rumors always turned out to be just rumors.

A part of me is happy that our beloved ride will be closing with some dignity instead of being dragged and picked clean of all its uniqueness as The Studio BackLot tour was.

But that’s not without saying, the Great Movie Ride has lost some of its charm over the years.

It went from feeling like you were really riding the movies to the tour guides just going through the motions. And that was truly a sad sight to see.

Everything about The Great Movie Ride was perfect. It had history, music, bubbles, horror, romance, animation, action and adventure….and air conditioning. The fact that it took place inside one of, if not the most famous movie theater of all time is just the icing on the cake.

My Dad and I would make it a point to ride it more than once. During one visit we rode our favorite ride four times. A feat we still reminisce.

It got to the point where I could recite every word, even the lines from the trailers in the beginning and hum the music from the movie mashup at the end. I’ve gotten signatures in my autograph book from different tour guides over the years. And for the first 10 years I definitely closed my eyes and jumped in between my parents during the Alien scene…but let’s keep that under our hats, shall we?

My Dad and I would count the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz scene on every ride…16, 18! No, 17? (We enjoyed it 🙂 )

We thought it was the coolest thing when they added the Western Bank robbing scene to spice things up. So it got to be a thrill to see if we’d get Gangsters or Cowboys.

The ride has gone through so many transformations and we’ve embraced each one. I was even ready to give Robert Osborn’s voiceover a try.

But as I said, I’m glad the ride won’t be dragged through the mud any longer. I just wish they would put another movie ride in its place. What’s wrong with having Mickey visit different Disney films?

But I digress.

I’m glad we have the memories. Disney has so much history for generations of so many families. We’ve ridden The Great Movie Ride with Grandparents, Cousins and friends. I’m glad I was able to ride it with my husband.

I only wish my son could have seen it. I wish so much that we could’ve counted the munchkins together.

But at least we got to go on one last ride. Just us.

The original Three.

Thank you for Reading.

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