Apparently, it’s attraction closing season at Walt Disney World. Late Friday afternoon, Disney confirmed that the Studio Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios would be permanently closing on September 27. Along with American Idol (closed on August 30) and Maelstrom (closing Oct 5), Disney is now shutting down three attractions in just over a month. When you also include the fact that the World Showcase’s entertainment lineup is getting a major overhaul, it’s clear that it’s a time of change for Disney’s theme parks in Orlando.

It’s unclear what will replace the Studio Backlot Tour at this time. Wandering Oaken’s Trading Outpost will be expanded once the Backlot Tour is closed, but that is not replacing the entire attraction. Due to the tour’s proximity to Toy Story Midway Mania, some are guessing an expansion of Pixar Place as the ride’s permanent replacement. That makes sense, but no details have been officially announced.

In some ways, the Studio Backlot Tour’s closure feels both like an end of an era and long overdue. When Disney MGM Studios opened in 1989, the Backlot Tour was the thing to do in the park. In its original incarnation, the Studio Backlot Tour consisted of both a tram tour and a walking tour, and it took about 3 hours to complete. However, MGM Studios was a much different park back then, with aims of being a fully functioning movie studio. Those goals have long since been abandoned, and the park’s once-signature ride eroded because of it. Without real productions to witness, what was there to tour? The Backlot Tour of today feels like a relic of a bygone era. While there are still highlights such as Catastrophe Canyon, this closure feels somewhat inevitable.

Guests will have until Saturday to say goodbye before the trams putter into the sunset.

(Source: Studio Backlot Tour to Close at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Touring Plans)

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James
James

James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.

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