Disney has just announced that Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at the Hollywood Studios is going to be closed for a refurbishment in the first half of 2024. As often happens, this has inspired discussion on whether Disney is finally going to give this ride an overhaul and one artist in particular might make it hotter than ever.
When it opened in 1999 at what was then the Disney-MGM Studios,
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster was a marvel. The story involved guests visiting a music studio with Aerosmith showing up on video to offer free passes to a show. Guests then boarded a "super stretch" limo, taking them on a wild ride across Los Angeles to get to the arena.
At a time when thrill rides at Disney parks were rare, an indoor coaster going zero to 60 in seconds and (a first for WDW) loops was spectacular. It made the Studios a busy park, and the ride has maintained its popularity since.
But as it's about to hit its 25th anniversary, there's been talk of Disney needing to give the ride an overhaul. The first issue is some controversies around Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler that could overshadow the band. Also, while some of Aerosmith's music may seem timeless, the band isn't as hot now as they were in 1999.
There's been scores of suggestions on a new theme for the ride, with the Muppets often cited as a favorite. Yet if Disney wanted to make the Rock n Roller Coaster bigger than ever and maintain the music theme, there's one artist who could dominate above all others:
The power of Taylor Smith is infectious.
Taylor Swift is not merely a music star, she is a full-fledged cultural phenomenon. The former teenage country singer has now become one of the most successful pop stars in history. Yet Swift's power seems to transcend music, as 2023 proved.
Take what happened when Swift was seen attending a Kansas City Chiefs game with reports she and Chiefs star Travis Kelce were dating. Instantly, ratings for the game shot up despite how it was a totally lopsided win by the Chiefs over the Chicago Bears. NFL broadcasters buzzed about Swift as much as any of the players, and sales of Kelce's jersey went up a whopping 400%.
In short, this woman is having a huge moment, and Disney should capitalize on that to remake Rock 'n' Roller Coaster for her.
Swift is the perfect fit for Rock n Roller Coaster
Swift's songs lend themselves well for the Coaster. Sure, she's known for her ballads but also for great tunes like "Bad Blood," "Shake It Off," and even her older songs like "Should Have Said No." Those are just the songs guests can enjoy when rocketing down the twists and curves. Swift could even be talked into making up a new tune for the ride, which would be great.
Swift could also provide new video intros to the ride, and anyone who's seen an interview with her knows how delightful she comes off talking to folks. Just the very name of Swift on the building roof will get folks in.
Indeed, if folks can flock to see Swift's concert movie or tune into NFL for the first time to get a glimpse of her, imagine how packed the Studios would become to ride an attraction featuring her. The lines might outdo Rise of the Resistance, but they mean big stuff for Disney.
Just think of the merchandising potential. Taylor Swift themed to Mickey/Minnie outfits/posters/jewelry and such? That is a cash cow too good to pass up and make Disney more than enough to offset any box office bombs.
Maybe it's a bit daring to imagine Swift and Disney teaming up. But not only is Swift's music a good fit for this ride but marrying Disney to the mega-stardom of Taylor can aid both and make Rock n Roller Coaster the hottest ride in all of Walt Disney World and an idea just waiting to be used.