Walt Disney World
Walt Disney--The Man
Trip Planning Tips
The Walt Disney Company's original concept of the Disney-MGM Studios was to operate it as a full fledged television and motion picture production facility, not just a theme park. In 1988, among the first feature-length movies filmed at the facility, prior to its completion and opening as a theme park, were Ernest Saves Christmas and Newsies.
When the park opened in 1989, the studio/production facilities housed two major components, the first of which was Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida, where Disney produced a number of projects, including Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and sequences from other 1990s-early 2000s Disney animated features.
The second, larger, component was Walt Disney Studios Florida, which consisted of three sound stages used for various Disney projects including The Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club, Teen Win, Lose or Draw and Adventures in Wonderland. Several third party productions also used the Studios.
In 1989, the theme park opened adjacent to the production facilities as the Disney-MGM Studios. The only affiliation MGM had to the park was the original licensing agreement that allowed Disney to use the MGM brand name and lion logo in marketing, plus separate contracts that allowed specific MGM content to be used in The Great Movie Ride.
The park's name became Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2008. WDW President, Meg Crofton said, the "name reflects how the park has grown from representing the golden age of movies to a celebration of the new entertainment that today's Hollywood has to offer--in music, television, movies and theater."
Recently Disney has closed a few of the park attractions--The Studio Backlot Tour, American Idol Experience--and it is rumored that the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular will also close soon. With the closures and rumors comes buzz about park expansion--maybe introducing more Star Wars attractions now that Disney has acquired Lucas-Film. The Disney Parks Blog has reported that a Toy Story Midway Mania track expansion is slated to open late 2016.
To accompany the parks closings, rumors, and known expansions, in March of 2015, at Disney's annual shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked by a 6-year old shareholder if the park will be receiving another name change. "We're doing some significant work there right now that I guess will result in a name change," Iger said, and then after conferring briefly with his colleagues added, "we'll announce that we're changing the name, but we won't announce what we're changing it to. How's that?" It is possible the new name will be announced at the D23 Expo in mid-August.
Streets of Disney's Hollywood Studio
Streets of America
Next: Hollywood Blvd. or Animal Kingdom