29 years ago today on May 1, 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially opened its gates! As we ring in this special date in theme park history, there certainly is a lot to celebrate. As of going to print, Hollywood Studios is in the middle of a multi-year transformation that will see the addition of two captivating new lands. The first, Toy Story Land, is just under two months from opening ( June 30th) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is slated to open in 2019.
To ring in this momentous occasion, we are delighted to share with you 10 reasons why this theme park remains one of our favorites.
1. Fantasmic! – (pictured above) This dazzling nighttime spectacular features over 50 performers, one million gallons of dancing water and a 40 foot-tall dragon. Mickey undergoes 5 costume changes during the course of the show and guests will be wowed by the incredible pyrotechnics and laser lights that help bring the show to life!
2. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Visitors heading to this indoor coaster are first greeted by a mighty impressive 40 ft. tall guitar. Be prepared for an adrenaline rush as the feature that sets this attraction apart from Disney’s other coasters is the fact that it takes you from 0 to 60 mph in mere seconds. If that doesn’t get your heart pounding, the 0ver 900 speakers blasting out the hit tunes of Aerosmith definitely will!
3. BaseLine Tap House – We can’t get enough of Hollywood Studios’ newest watering hole. Here guests can enjoy refreshing beer flights, delicious snacks and watch the world pass by from the outdoor patio. The Taphouse also has a fun backstory. As the story goes, it was once the Figueroa Printing Company, a successful mom and pop print house from the mid-late 20th century. Part of the fun here is seeing how many little Figueroa remnants you will still find scattered about the property.
4. The Chinese Theater – Modeled after the famous Hollywood Chinese Theatre, this iconic landmark is 9/10 scale of the original building found on Hollywood Boulevard. The theatre is currently in a state of transition as work is being carried out on the all-new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This indoor 4D attraction will be the first Walt Disney World ride dedicated to Mickey!
5. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – If you had dreams of being Indy as a child then you won’t want to miss this incredible stunt show. The production takes your right into the heart of the action as you join the 2nd Unit of the “Raiders of the Lark Ark” film crew and get to witness first hand what its like to be on a live set!
6. The Hollywood Brown Derby – Get a dose of old Hollywood glamour at this Hollywood Studios Fine/Signature Dining restaurant. The highlights on the menu are the mouthwatering Cobb Salad, the Shirly Temple Cocktail and for dessert Grapefruit Cake!
7. Gertie the Dinosaur – Another iconic Hollywood Studios landmark, Gertie looms large over Echo Lake and pays tribute to a 1914 animated film created by Winsor McCay. Many film historians consider Gertie to be the first animated character to show a distinct personality, paving the way for many of the animated characters you know and love today!
8. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage – Fans of Belle and Beast won’t want to miss this Broadway-style live show. The production premiered the same day as the animated feature film – November 22, 1991. It also holds the title of being the longest-running stage show at a Walt Disney World theme park.
9. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – For this journey into the unknown, Imagineers watched 156 episodes of “The Twilight Zone” to get the feel of this iconic attraction just right. As you plummet down an elevator shaft during your journey to the 5th dimension, I think you’ll agree they got it just right!
10. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – A must-do for Star Wars fans, guests climb aboard a starspeeder and travel to a galaxy far far away during this incredible simulation. The latest version of this attraction even finds visitors landing on a planet on the outer rim of a Galaxy known as Batuu. Never heard of it? Its the name of the planet from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
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Image copyright Disney.
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