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Disney-MGM Studios

Disney-MGM Studios is a theme park owned by the Walt Disney Company at Walt Disney World in Florida. It opened on May 1, 1989. 135 acres (546,000 m²) in size, the park's theme is Hollywood classic movies and popular TV entertainment.

It is not owned by MGM, but Disney does have a contract with MGM to use the MGM name as well as some MGM content in a ride called The Great Movie Ride. It is unknown about the future of the park's name, as MGM was sold to Sony Pictures on April 8, 2005, as well as the fact that many merchandise and other material refer to the park as either Disney Studios or Disney Studios.

Disney-MGM Studios Attractions

Disney-MGM Studios theme park consists of five themed areas. Major attractions are listed below.

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Blvd. is lined with shops selling Disney merchandise and food. This is also the location of the "Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade." It could be seen as a Hollywood version of Main Street USA, as it operates on the basic principle.

* The Great Movie Ride, a dark ride paying homage to several classic films is located at the end of Hollywood Blvd.

New York Street

* Sounds Dangerous, a show following Drew Carey through a day as an undercover detective when his video camera fails and the audience is left in the dark, following his adventure through sound cues
* Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, a live-action performance showing how movie stunts are done
* Star Tours, a motion ride identical to the one at Disneyland
* Jim Henson's MuppetVision 3D, a 3-D movie experience similar to Epcot's "Honey, I Shrunk The Audience"

Mickey Avenue

* The Disney-MGM Studios Backlot Tour, showing how movie special effects are done
* Lights, Motors, Action!, an auto stunt show imported from Walt Disney Studios Park
* Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It!, a theme park version of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game show with real prizes for contestants. The current grand prize is a three-night cruise on Disney Cruise Line.
* Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, a biography film of Walt Disney's life narrated by Disney himself

Animation Courtyard

* Voyage of The Little Mermaid, a live performance using puppets
* The Magic of Disney Animation, a short presentation showing how animated films are made
* Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!, a live performance featuring Disney children's television characters

Sunset Boulevard

* Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, a live performance of a simplified version of the film
* Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, an indoor roller coaster in the dark with three inversions
* The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a thrill ride which drops guests in an elevator
* Fantasmic!, a nighttime show with characters and fireworks held in the specifically-built Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre off Sunset Blvd

Disney-MGM Studios Operations and Production

The Walt Disney Company's original concept of the Disney-MGM Studios was not only to operate it as a theme park but also as a full fledged television and motion picture production facility. The studio/production part would house two major television and motion picture production facilities, Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida, where a number of Disney animated projects, including Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and sequences from the other 1990s-early 2000s Disney animated features, where produced, and the Walt Disney Studios Florida which consisted of several soundstages and backlot buildings, which were used for various Disney projects including The Disney Channel's All New Mickey Mouse Club and several third party productions including tapings for World Championship Wrestling and the TV series seaQuest DSV and the Golden Girls.

A radio studio is also located on the lot which original housed the first children's radio network Radio Aahs which rented the studio until Disney founded Radio Disney and essentially forced Radio Aahs out of business. Unfortunately Disney management including CEO Michael Eisner decided to downsize Disney's Florida operations by closing the animation studio, laying-off personnel and then moving the operations to the main animation studio in Burbank, California. Radio Disney decided it was no longer profitable to operate in Florida so they moved all of their shows from the Disney-MGM Studios to the Radio Disney headquarters in Dallas, Texas and the once bustling Disney Studios Florida soundstages now sit vacant and unused.

In 1992 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company claiming they violated a 1985 licensing agreement by operating a working movie and television studio at the Disney-MGM Studio in Florida and Disney filed a countersuit saying that MGM Studios, the MGM Grand Hotel, Casino and Park and MGM Airlines had conspired to violate Disney's right to exclusive use of the name MGM at the Florida theme park and that it would harm Disney's reputation by building the MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park in Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 23 Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe ruled against MGM and said that both the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida and the then under construction MGM Grand Theme Park in Las Vegas could use the MGM name as long as the MGM Grand does not carry a 'Hollywood' theme like the Disney-MGM Studios.

In 2005, as part of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, the Happiest Celebration on Earth, Disney-MGM Studios received a copy of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show attraction from Walt Disney Studios at the Disneyland Resort Paris. The stadium for the stunt show was built in the backlot area.

Disney-MGM Studios Trivia

* Each year, Star Wars Weekends bring Star Wars fans and celebrities for special park events. Star Wars Weekends are generally held for five consecutive weekends (including Fridays) through late May and early June; they feature a local Star Wars fan club parading through the park in Stormtrooper costumes, a "Star Wars Edition" of the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It!" game where the game begins with Greedo answering questions and a Gamorrean Guard in the audience cheering him on, two Star Wars actors appearing each weekend for photos and autographs, Jedi Lightsaber Training classes for kids, and other assorted events.

* As far as Internet urban legends go, while Michael Eisner was working for Paramount Pictures, he saw the early plans for the Universal Studios park in Florida (Paramount has always been closely associated with Universal, and Paramount provided much needed finance into the Universal Orlando Resort). After moving to Disney, he took some of these ideas and used them in early plans for the future Disney-MGM Studios. As Disney-MGM narrowly opened before Universal (as mentioned above the park and its resort had finance problems), it was seen that Universal copied Disney-MGM - or was it the other way round?

* The Magic of Disney Animation attraction originally allowed spectators to watch Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida artists at work on actual Disney productions. From behind glass panes, visitors were allowed ot peer into a small section of the studio, aptly called the "fishbowl."

* It is believed that 2005 will see Disney-MGM Studios receive a new name, due to a senior management change at MGM, which is now owned by Sony. The park will become either the Disney Studios, Walt Disney Studios Florida or Disney Studios USA.

* Disney-MGM Studios has a sister park at the Disneyland Resort Paris called the Walt Disney Studios Paris.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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