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Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Past, Present, and Future

New Year’s Day is fast approaching. People are busy making New Year’s Eve plans, while also listing goals for themselves in 2020. With a new decade comes a new era for Disney Parks. One place that certainly changed this past decade is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a theme park of cherished memories and joy for many. For 30 years, I’ve been visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) with family and friends. Because I’ve been going since it’s opening year, I’ve seen how the park has transformed. Much has changed, but the magic and thrill is still alive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That’s why I chose to quickly review the theme park’s past and present before moving into a new decade!

Hollywood Studios

Remembering the Past (and the theme park formerly called MGM Studios)

Lights! Camera! Action!

On May 1st, 1989, a new Disney Park called Disney-MGM Studios was opened to the public. The park was dedicated to the movie industry and the era of movie legends in Hollywood. Attractions such as The Great Movie Ride took guests through tour in cinema history. The ride was a great way for families to introduce classic films to their children and spark interest in cinema. Another attraction, The Backlot Tour, took guests through a tour of what a working studio looks like. It showed model houses, props, and vehicles used in both movies and television. Experiencing these rides ignited my curiosity to learn more about the movie industry and storytelling. Also, the annual events, such as Star Wars Weekends and The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, were amazing to see.


The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was a beloved Christmas tradition for many visitors. Even though the show ended four years ago, it’s still fresh in the hearts of its fanbase. The Streets of America featured this display for 20 years. Miles of dancing Christmas lights and decorations delighted guests each Christmas season. It was an awesome experience to walk throughout the streets while studying each nook and cranny to make sure I found every detail.


Present Day

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has undergone a massive transformation in the past decade. Some new attractions and lands have popped up to replace former attractions. For instance, Star Wars Weekends may be gone, but we now have Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as an immersive themed experience for guests. Galaxy’s Edge is comprised of 14-acres of land dedicated to Star Wars and offers guests the chance to live their own adventure in a galaxy far, far, away. This year gave fans two new attractions in the form of Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Both rides have state of the art technology and take guests on an experience that will delight Star Wars fans of all ages! There are also interactive characters, specialty foods, and fun merchandise throughout the land.

Another recent addition to the theme park is Toy Story Land. Slinky Dog Dash is a fun roller coaster ride that takes you through Andy’s backyard and features many of his iconic toys along the way. Fans of the Pixar fans enjoy seeing the land, as well as the Green Army Men marching around.

The Future and Journey Ahead

Another reason why there’s excitement for the new year is because of the new attractions coming in 2020! Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is making its grand debut in March 2020. It’s a first for Mickey Mouse to get an attraction of his own for guests to ride and experience. The new ride is based on the animation and humor of the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts released in the past decade. The ride system is said to be a new type of experience for guests since it’s a first-of-its-kind ride. Between new visuals and a runaway train adventure, guests will be excited to see this new ride in a few months!

To Infinity and Beyond

What else is in store for Disney’s Hollywood Studios? We may not have a crystal ball, but we can bet new experiences will come to the park before it reaches its 40th anniversary in 2029. It will be a fun journey to see what kind of new entertainment and annual events come to Hollywood Studios?

 

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Kevin Koszola
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