Walt Disney World changes are on the way after the company announced big plans for new lands on their property in Orlando, Florida. With these changes, however, it seems as though some hopes have been dashed. Many Disney fanatics were hoping that Storybrooke, Maine, the land made famous by ABC’s Once Upon A Time, would come to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios after a couple of hints popped up around the park.
Visitors of Hollywood Studios in Orlando may have noticed a couple of small indications that Storybrooke was on its way. If you were walking through the Streets of America, for instance, you may have noticed one very particular storefront: Gold’s Pawn Shop.
Walt Disney World made this change after the show became wildly popular. Thousands of Once Upon A Time fans have stopped by the storefront, many hoping that they could enter, but soon realizing that it was just a façade. Even still, it gave plenty of people hope that Disney Imagineers would turn this area into Storybrooke, a fictional town in Maine where magical things (both good and bad) happen to your favorite Disney characters, all of whom live two lives. Snow White (played by actress Ginnifer Goodwin), for example, is known as Mary Margaret in Storybrooke, where she worked as a school teacher.
On March 14, Theme Park Tourist pretty much ruined the idea that the Streets of America would turn into a real-life Storybrooke. With the additions of Toy Story area and the new Star Wars land, Disney will be getting rid of the Streets of America.
“Though the Streets of America were [formally retired/closed] in 2016, we can trace the beginning of the end for this area back to 2008, when the partnership between Disney and MGM ended, and the park could no longer function as both a theme park and actual production center. As a result, the Backlot Tour, and by proxy the Streets of America truly became remnants of their former selves.”
Walt Disney World could have wild success if they ever choose to make an area that is dedicated to Once Upon A Time, but the challenge would be making the area appealing to all Disney goers, not just ones who are familiar with the television show.
Storybrooke is a quaint town that has many cool features that would fit in perfectly at Hollywood Studios. Gold’s Pawn Shop could easily be a retail store carrying items specific to the show (like a Swan key or Henry’s story book). Granny’s Diner could be a quick service eatery (since it’s the main restaurant on the show), and there could be an attraction inside the clock tower library. Of course, Disney has probably thought about all of these things, but it looks like it’s going to be a long while before they revisit the idea.
Walt Disney World changes are already underway at Hollywood Studios. Soon, the Streets of America will be nothing but a memory of Disney-goers past.
“With another name change, and two major expansions and renovations planned for the park, it is safe to say that we are officially coming to the end of an era. The Hollywood that never was but always will be, might continue to exist only as an idea in the park’s turbulent history, however the legacy of the Streets of America will definitely live on in the hearts of the cast members and guests who made valuable memories here over the years.”
Will you miss the Streets of America? Do you want Disney to bring Storybrooke to their parks?
[Photo by ABC/Eike Schroter]