May 08, 2019 4 min read

On May 1, 1989, the third theme park opened up at the Walt Disney World Resort. This third theme park which was named “MGM Studios” at the time, was built and centered around bringing you behind the scenes of your favorite movies. Back when it was first opened, MGM Studios was a “Hollywood that never was and always will be.” This year, this famous park will be celebrating 30 years of movie magic, so to honor this park’s amazing legacy and rich history, here are 4 facts you may or may not know about Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM Studios)!



1.Hollywood Studios Almost Never Came to Be

Under the leadership of Michael Eisner, plans were being developed to bring in new pavilions to Epcot. Marty Sklar and Randy Bright who were the ones working on this project came up with the Wonders of Life Pavilion and The Great Movie Ride Pavilion. When Eisner saw plans, he had thought a fully-fledged theme park surrounding movies would be a better bet. Thus, Disney’s MGM Studios was born and opened on May 1, 1989. In 2008, the park’s name changed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

hollywood studios


2. Hollywood Studios Has Had Many Park Icons

In the 30 years of movie magic that this park has had, this park has had numerous park icons. Every single Disney park regardless of if it is a international park or national one has a park icon. The icon is usually the “centerpiece” or landmark of the park. At Magic Kingdom, you have Cinderella Castle, at Epcot you have Spaceship Earth, and at Animal Kingdom you have the Tree of Life. Now, what about Hollywood Studios? Well, when the park first opened, the original icon was the Earffel Tower.

hollywood studios


No, it was not a clone of the Eiffel Tower, but instead it was a water tower that was symbolizing the many water towers almost all movie studios have on their studio lot. This was the true park’s icon from May 1, 1989 till April 29, 2016. However, in 2001, a new park icon made its debut to the park. This icon was commonly known as ‘The Sorcerer’s hat’ and was a 122 foot tall version of the hat from Fantasia. This was in the park from September 28, 2001 till January 7, 2015. If both of these icons closed 4-5 years ago, then what is the park’s icon today? Well, sometimes it varys. Depending on how Disney feels, they could say that Tower of Terror is the park’s icon and others say that it is the Chinese Theater. Either way, the park has had more than icon and is a unique attribute to Hollywood Studios only as it is the only park to have more than one icon.


3. Rock N’ Roller Coaster Was Built Inside Out

If you have ever been on Rock N’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, you would know then that the entire ride is inside and in the dark. What you may not know is the roller coaster portion was built first, then the enclosed building. Normally, the building should be built first and then the stuff added inside, but that is not the case with Rock N’ Roller Coaster. Because of how big the coaster is, Disney wanted to make sure that a coaster this size would fit properly inside a building, so they built the coaster ground-up first. Then, once the whole coaster track was built, they enclosed the ride. In a way, it was a smart move because had they built the ride building first and then the coaster, they may have found the coaster wouldn’t fit. If that happened, there would be a very huge problem on Disney’s hands.

 Rock N' Roller Coaster


4. Hollywood Studios Has Had Many Parades In its 30 Year History

Hollywood Studios has had numerous parades make its way throughout the park over the course of its 30 year history. If you visit the park today, you may be wondering, what parade, Hollywood Studios doesn’t have a parade? Well, they have actually had 10 different parades. The very first one did not debut until 1991, two years after the park opened. On September 26, 2991, “Dinosaurs LIVE!” debuted at the park. This parade only lasted for one year as on August 29, 1992, the parade ended. It wasn’t until December 21, 1992 that the second parade debuted in the park. This time around, it was themed to Disney’s Aladdin which was called “Aladdin’s Royal Caravan Parade.” It closed on August 27, 1995. On November 22, 1995, which coincidentally was the same day the movie came out, Toy Story Parade debuted at the park. It lasted until June 8, 1997.

 Hollywood Studios Parade


Hollywood Studios’ 4th parade was called Hercules “Zero to Hero” Victory Parade and lasted from June 27, 1997 and went until April 18, 1998. For their 5th parade, Mulan Parade debuted on June 19, 1998 and went until March 11, 2001. Thier 6th parade was called Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade which lasted from October 1, 2001 and ended on march 8, 2008. Taking over that parade was the Block Party Bash and that lasted from March 14, 2008 till January 1, 2011. The last three parades were the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade, 25th Anniversary Parade, and the Frozen Royal Welcome Ceremony Parade. Since the ending of the Frozen Royal Welcome Parade in 2015, there has not been a parade at the park since.

How Will You Celebrate 30 Years of Movie Magic?

With Hollywood Studios celebrating 30 years of movie making history on May 1, 2019, you should get in on the fun and celebrate with them! If you are wondering how, take a trip to Hollywood Studios! At the park, there will be all sorts of festivities happening all day such as special merchandise, special food, an anniversary ceremony and even the debut of the new nighttime show, Wonderful World or Animation! However, if you cannot make it out, one way you can celebrate is by showcasing your favorite Disney movie by wearing a shirt that represents your favorite Disney Movie! At PerfShirts, we have just that as we have many different shirts and designs with many Disney characters! At PerfShirts, we take Disney themes, Disney Characters, and more and turn them into amazing clothing! Don’t just love Disney, WEAR it!




Agus Suhendra
Agus Suhendra

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