Hollywood Studios........a history.

Florida Guide > Hollywood Studios

If Walt Disney missed the opening of Magic Kingdom by a whisker then he missed the opening of M. G. M. by a mile for he had been dead for 23 years.

But his magic and influence continue to live on in all of the later projects.

It will always be M. G. M. Studios in my heart but I guess we have to learn to call it Hollywood Studios and indeed that does seem to suit its current mix of film and TV attractions rather better.

It was renamed in 2008 and seems to be the result of some wranglings between the 2 movie giants (not to mention lawsuits)

M. G. M. opened in april 1989 and like the preceding 3 Disney parks was an instant success; indeed it is the 7th most visited attraction in the world.

It covers 135 acres which is only a small part of the land Disney owns in the area. In fact it does feel a little more cramped than its sister park Epcot for instance.

Just as the castle symbolises Magic Kingdom and the silver ball Epcot, Hollywood Studios has a sorcerers hat as its symbol (this is from the legendery film Fantasia, at which mention is normally preceded by ' ahead of its time' )

The genesis of this park was based on a single ride. The Great Movie Ride was meant to be the newest attraction for Epcot. However, once it was placed before the incumbent C. E. O. (one Michael Eisner) it was decided that this was a basis for a whole new park.

This park is divided into 6 flowing areas. They are Sunset Boulevard, Streets of America, Echo Lake, Hollywood Boulevard and Animation Courtyard.

These are full of the usual mix of rides, restaurants and live shows.

There are regular live theatre shows here and when we were last here we had a very pleasant sit down to watch the heats of American Idol.

Today, this park has been kept fresh with new attractions and innovations. One of these is ' Lights, Motors, Action' which is truly mind (and eardrum) splitting! This is based on car stunts and gets pretty smelly!

For me the best thing about the 3 main Disney parks is the end of day show and the Hollywood Studios offering is truly awesome.

You sit in a horseshoe shaped outdoor auditorium and are treated to a breathtaking display of lasers, fireworks and lit up boats which stars, who else, but Mickey Mouse.

This sends everyone home happy and planning their next visit to this engaging park.

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