No pressure for creative executive: Bring Star Wars to Disney theme parks

Posted Sunday, February 14, 2016 8:59 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Scott Trowbridge, 50, is creative portfolio executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, which makes him the innovation guru assigned to expand the $4-billion "Star Wars" franchise throughout the Disney theme parks. That assignment includes creating Star Wars attractions that will soon be under construction at Disneyland and at Disney's Hollywood Studios near Orlando, Fla.

Read more from The LA Times.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 9:47 AM

I'll tell you one thing...Disney Hollywood Studios is a mess right now. The casual observer may not care but they have basically just thrown Star Wars anywhere they can put it. The old Monster Sound Show building has a 10 minute Star Wars Clip film running.

The old Animation Building has the Star Wars Launch Bay with a couple of Storm Troopers walking back out front throughout the day directly in front of the Little Mermaid theatre and the Playhouse Disney Jr show. Inside the building is another 10 minute film, this one slightly better since it incorporates interviews with producers and writers of the films and tv series. There is also a Meet n Greet with Chewbacca and other characters.

With the pending closure of Lights, Motors, Action (still a good show), Pizza Planet, and rumors of other closures that park is going to be an interesting place over the next couple of years and one has to wonder why anyone would buy a single day ticket to go?

On the upside...most of the guests I saw didn't seem bothered by the fact that the park makes absolutely no sense right now. People were still having fun, lines were long for the big attractions, and even the long-in-the-tooth shows like Indiana Jones, Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were drawing a crowd.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016 10:52 AM

So... there's something to do at Studios besides Tower of Terror? :-)

Studios, I think, is going to be spending a few years in a state of flux. Didn't Iger say/imply that the name will be changed?

Can't blame them for throwing Star Wars anywhere it will fit. With a hugely successful movie, it makes sense.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016 11:29 AM

Yes, Star Wars is hugely successful but it just reeks of opportunism in my opinion. I guess I'm still a sucker for theme and flow. Maybe it never really existed in any meaningful way at the Studios...but this was the most stark example of it that I can remember.

I guess they need to do something. They certainly won't close the park during the transformation but right now it is just plain weird.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:22 PM

There are lots of Disney billboards in central Florida proclaiming "Star Wars Lives Here", or "Where Star Wars Lives" or something like that. (made a big impression on me, I guess) Anyway, they're jumping right on it it seems, and rightly so, but visitors will have to wait how many years for the real deal? In the meantime they get dribs and drabs and I hope there's not too much disappointment...

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:25 PM

And speaking of Mr. Trowbridge, I can't imagine that kind of pressure. It's like being project manager on Celebrity Apprentice. Win, or get fired.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:56 PM

On our visit last year, Hollywood Studios felt a bit like a jumbled mess. That and we ran out of things to do seemingly quickly (by 5:00 we were pretty much out of stuff). In fact, it's not even on our agenda when we get to Disney in 12 days (not that I'm counting).

It just didn't feel like it was planned out very well with regards to flow and foot traffic, and our idea is to plan another visit once Star Wars land is done.

It's a strange reality to live in as a Star Wars fan. So many films coming out in close succession, and a theme park in the works? It does reek of opportunism for now, I suppose, but at a park like that I think I could live with it.

Last edited by OhioStater, Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:00 PM
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 4:48 PM

I'm all for them taking the opportunity so long as they offer a good product.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:19 PM

OhioStater said:

That and we ran out of things to do seemingly quickly (by 5:00 we were pretty much out of stuff).

As I recall, Studios was opened as a quick answer to Universal Studios opening up the road, and was developed as a park where one might spend half a day. While there are things I enjoy beyond Tower of Terror -- Muppets, the bar at Prime Time Cafe and even, on occasion, the Movie Ride -- it's not a park where I intend to spend a lot of time.

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