Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith has maintained its status as one of Hollywood Studios’ most beloved attractions since its grand opening in 1999.
So when recent news confirmed that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will soon undergo a considerable period of refurbishment, fans were puzzled as to what this extended closure could mean. Compound this with allegations made against Aerosmith frontman, Steve Tyler, and many have begun to speculate that the band’s tenure as the faces of this attraction could soon be coming to an end, prior to the 2028 expiration date of their IP contract.
For now, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is expected to reopen at some point this summer with nothing stated by Disney to suggest that the ride’s theming will be changing. This refurbishment is likely to be a general refresh, however, with speculation currently rife as to just what the future could hold for this attraction, let's take a look at some of Disney’s options if they were to decide to switch up this much-loved attraction.
1. Retheme To Another Band
Perhaps the most obvious option would be to replace Aerosmith’s presence within the attraction with another rock band. Back when Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was first conceptualized, Disney reportedly approached The Rolling Stones first when deciding who to feature in the attraction. This might even suggest that Disney have toyed with the idea of swapping out the ride's theming for another band, given that the attraction wasn’t immediately destined for Aerosmith.
Other major bands have had their names floated about by fans as potential replacements for Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster, such as AC/DC or Red Hot Chilli Peppers. However, given the lengths that Disney would likely have to go through to replace Aerosmith in this scenario, it may be the case that this option could prove to be more hassle than just replacing the attraction completely.
2. Remove The Band Altogether
An easy way to keep Rock 'n' Roller Coaster true to its beloved rock roots while also giving it a refresh could be to remove the band involvement altogether and simply shift the attraction into a general rock ‘n’ roll-inspired ride, à la Rip Ride Rockit over in Universal Studios. Each ride through could yield a different rock song from a playlist of different artists, similar to EPCOT’s Cosmic Rewind, a ride that has proved particularly exciting for fans who then seek to “collect” all of the songs.
This option would be among the easier options for Disney as anything Aerosmith-related could simply be omitted, while much of the race-to-a-concert theming could remain.
3. Bring In Another Disney IP
In 2019, Disneyland’s Paris’ version of the attraction closed its doors to make way for an all-new Avengers-themed ride. At the time, this decision had many wondering whether Hollywood Studios’ iteration was also up for a complete overhaul at some point in the future.
This poses a third option for Disney - an entire overhaul centered around another major Disney IP. Many have suggested characters such as Powerline from The Goofy Movie, or even 4*Town from Turning Red if Disney were looking to stick to a more general music theme.
Alternatively, a popular but highly under-utilized property such as Big Hero 6 could be the perfect replacement for this thrilling coaster if Disney were looking to bring in an all-new overlay.
4. OR: Start From Scratch
Of course, there is always the option to flatten the attraction completely and bring something entirely new to Disney's Hollywood Studios. However, many parks fans would likely deem this a huge waste of potential given that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has yet to dwindle as a popular attraction at Hollywood Studios.
What do you make of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’s imminent refurbishment? Would you like to see any of these scenarios play out for the Hollywood Studios attraction in the future? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.