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