Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a history of undergoing major changes and the present is no different.
Originally, a team of Disney engineers had been given an assignment for two new pavilions in EPCOT’s Future World. One of the pavilions was to be around The Great Movie Ride and centered on Hollywood’s heyday of the 1930 and 1940. But, when the newly appointed CEO, Michael Eisner saw the plans he requested it to be made into an entirely new park based on entertainment and show business, named MGM Studios. This also coincidentally happened on the heels of Universal Studios announcing its plan for a new Florida park.
The park opened in 1989 with only four attractions (Great Movie Ride, The Backlot Tour, Magic of Disney Animation and the Monster Sound Show) with the Earfful Tower as its icon. A year later Star Tours and Indiana Jones stunt spectacular opened up.
Over the years attractions came and went. In 1994 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened and in 1999 Rock N Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania! opened. These three attractions were the start of the park actually coming to life. The Sorcerer’s Hat replace the Earffel Tower as its icon, but you could still get a glimpse of the ears from the backlot.
Many Iconic Attractions Have Closed
Since 2016 the park has been in the process of undergoing many changes. The hat has been removed. The Earfful Tower and Light Camera Action Show have been removed. The Backlot Tour and the Great Movie Ride have also closed. In March of 2015, the CEO let it slip at a shareholders meeting that the name will also change. Disney has yet to make any announcements to the new name.
Many New Attractions and Character Experiences Are Now Open
While many of the iconic rides and attractions are still open there are many new ones. For a full list of attractions see the official website.
The newer attractions are great for the Star Wars fans and the Toy Story Land lovers. Here are a few of the newer attractions.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars Launch Bay is an area that gives guests a look behind the scenes of the Star Wars films and the new upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There also is a Kylo Ren meet and greet, merchandise and specialty foods available.
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
The Disney site says “Witness the power of a live show that brings legendary scenes from the Star Wars films to life!”
This show takes place at the center stage in front of the Chinese theater. Daily times are posted at the park.
March of the Order
Captain Plasma leads her Stormtroopers up Hollywood Blvd to Center Stage for a demonstration of strength and obedience.
Toy Story Land
Become the size of Andy’s toys and join Woody and friends for a fun filled adventure. A full blog post will be posted soon about this attraction.
Coming Fall 2019
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
This full immersion land is due to open in the fall of 2019. Journey to Planet Batuu and train to be a Jedi, pilot the Falcon, and go to battle with the First Order and the Resistance.