In recent years I have taken to looking up refurb schedules for while I'm in town and deliberately making sure that I do everything that's about to go into refurb because these days you never know quite what state it will come out in. So it was yesterday when I watched The Enchanted Tiki Room and rode the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Today, though, wasn't about visiting attractions about to go into refurb. It was about visiting an attraction that has been through many refurbs and finally saw its last guests today. The Backlot Tour.
Today was the last time that I would get to ride those red trams. Unlike a few people I know, I never worked the attraction but I have a lot of memories of it and in many ways it has had a huge influence on my life and decisions that I have made. Maybe that seems overly deep to have that kind of relationship with a theme park attraction but nonetheless that is my bond with the Backlot.
I watched the water tank and remembered getting drenched with water while wearing rubber boots that you had to try to stretch over your trainers. In that same tank years later I would also watch one of my friends release a water tank onto another.
I walked through the prop house, saw the Binford Tools logo and thought of Tim the Tool-man Taylor. I boarded the tram that used to have the live spiel. Drove past the Earful Tower that used to wear a Santa Hat, past the planes that used to be Pearl Harbor props not characters from an animated movie, past the costume house I once walked into, past the boneyard that was twice the size, past the stunt show that covered up Residential Street, looked down New York Street that used to have an archway, and exited past the old AFI exhibit.
The Backlot Tour today was a shell of its former existence. I thought I would feel sad today. I didn't. Instead I was just full of nostalgia for what once was. The Backlot Tour belongs in Disney-MGM Studios not Disney's Hollywood Studios. Sleep well my old friend and thank you.
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Location:Disney's Hollywood Studios