Ask any Disney World fan you know and they will probably have something to say about the introduction of Disney movie content into the parks, especially when it comes to EPCOT.
Although the Disney Parks did not originally rely solely on films and shows for attractions, now it seems like there are a lot more lands, rides, characters, and even restaurants based on Disney movies, also known as intellectual property (IP). We asked DFB readers to tell us how they feel about Disney movies in the parks and there were some strong reactions! Find out how our readers feel about Disney movies in the parks here.
We asked our readers on Facebook (give us a follow if you want to share your opinion in the future!) and many readers shared their thoughts about Disney movies versus original content in the parks. What do YOU think?
Many DFB readers embrace Disney movie additions to the parks, even if they also enjoy original content. As one reader said, “I like original concepts but I like when they make movies based [on] rides. Any park can have rides without a connection to anything and even make up an intriguing story behind it, but Disney and Universal bring movies to life.”
Other readers noted that Disney movies have always been a part of the parks, so it’s not that unexpected to see that trend continue. Plus, as long as there’s a balance between Disney movies and original content in the parks, many of our readers were fine with having both. A reader commented, “I mean Disney movies were always a huge part of the parks from the beginning. While I love the original ideas and want to see more of them, I also can’t fault them for wanting to bring new classics into the park. As long as there is still original [mixed] with the IP, I’m quite happy.”
Although EPCOT is one of the most controversial spots for Disney movie content, a few readers said that they enjoy the new additions to EPCOT, such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever Ever. A reader commented that involving Disney movies in EPCOT countries is a great way to engage children in culture: “I love to see movies that theme with EPCOT countries included in those pavilions. It’s a great way to have children understand the cultures on their level [and it’s] something they can identify with.”
And if you’re a Disney fan who loves Disney movies, why wouldn’t you enjoy them in the parks? This reader said, “I am a Disney fan who enjoys theme parks more than a theme park fan who enjoys Disney Parks. So to me, the animated movies in particular are the heart of what I love most.”
The general consensus among these readers was that bringing Disney movies to life in Disney Parks can add to the park experience, especially if they continue to strike a balance with the old and the new. As one reader commented, adding new properties “helps appeal to all ages and styles.”
When it comes to readers who hate Disney movies in the parks, it seems to amount to a few big factors. Namely, EPCOT. One reader commented, “While I enjoy Disney movies a lot, I’ve always loved the cultural and educational rides the best. It’s really frustrating to me that they’re getting rid of those types of rides and adding more movie-themed ones.”
A few other readers commented that it’s acceptable in certain parks, but not others: “It’s fine in Magic Kingdom [and] Hollywood Studios. But self-promotion doesn’t fit in EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. EPCOT should represent the world around us or the future; Animal Kingdom should represent the animals and their environment.”
And many readers thought that relying on Disney movies for new content is just, well, lazy. One reader commented, “Basing practically everything off existing IP shows an extreme lack of creativity and imagination. So many great park rides and attractions were original ideas, such as Journey into Imagination, Soarin’, PeopleMover, Space Mountain, and the list goes on. We just don’t see that anymore which is disappointing. Clearly some attractions will be based on existing Disney movies and characters but there appears to be no room for original content.”
If you prefer original content in Disney Parks, you might also feel disappointed by the additions of Disney movies, and many DFB readers agree with you!
On the Fence
The majority of DFB readers ended up somewhere in between loving and hating Disney movies in the parks, with plenty of considerations for both sides of the debate yet not totally thrilled with either option. Still, there were some positive comments even from people on the fence, like one reader who said, “I’m torn. I get they want to promote movies [and the] the original Magic Kingdom was a lot of movie-based rides. But I do like original concepts, like the Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, etc. I like it when they hide movie references in rides. It’s just as fun finding them as finding the hidden Mickeys!”
Some readers pointed out how the addition of classic Disney movies is fine, but newer additions are not as okay with them: “Classic animated Disney movies are fine. Avengers are not Disney to me and I have no interest in rides featuring them.” Not everyone considers Marvel or Star Wars as Disney, and several readers mentioned how the additions of properties like the Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure or Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (on both coasts) can feel odd and forced in the parks.
Other readers had issues with the ways that Disney movies have been added and incorporated into the parks. One reader noted that added properties should be “organic and immersive,” and that Hollywood Studios “is supposed to celebrate movie making yet the Star Wars area is presented as a real place, not a movie set.” Another reader commented that “the parks need find the balance of keeping the classics while finding a way to grow and change with the generations and new movies they bring out.”
As with most of life, not everything can be all one thing, and it’s complicated! Even if you understand WHY Disney has chosen to add certain Disney movies to the parks, it doesn’t mean you have to love it.
Whether you’re okay with Disney movie content in the parks or not, you can see how the situation is complicated! It doesn’t seem like Disney movie content is going anywhere in Disney Parks, but we’re interested to find out what could happen in the future. Keep reading DFB for more Disney news!
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Do you agree with any of our readers? Tell us in the comments!