TV show becomes theme park attraction

To participate in the wildly popular game show, all you need is an admission ticket to Disney’s MGM Studios. The theme park launched an interactive version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Saturday.

For a TV show that hasn’t been on the air for long, putting it on the theme park “is kind of a risk,” said Marc Berman, an analyst for Media Week online. But Tim O’Brien, senior editor at Amusement Business, an industry trade publication in Nashville, Tenn., believes that ” the success of the TV show will drive the park show.”

Disney, however, is confident that Millionaire will be a success because it also draws an older generation. “Older viewers tend to be more loyal, which may help both the show and the attraction, ” Berman said.

“It [Millionaire] continues to be a popular show,” said Mike West, a senior producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. “Even if the TV show goes away, we feel we have a great attraction for our guests.”

Though the attraction is very similar to the TV show, Disney has added some features to make it unique. A computer will tabulate which audience member belongs in the “hot seat” according to who answers the Regis stand-in’s question first. Instead of calling a friend or celebrity “lifeline” for help, Disney has set up two phones in the park where participants can randomly call a randomly chosen person and ask for their help.

The millions are all theoretical, though. Winners won’t walk out of the attraction with extra cash in their pockets. Instead, they’ll win souvenir baseball caps and jackets. The contestant who reaches one million points will win a trip to New York to watch a taping of the real Millionaire.