Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Happy 30th Birthday Hollywood Studios!

Can you believe May 1, 2019 is the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

I feel like it was just yesterday that we were all freaking out about the name change from Disney's MGM Studios to Hollywood Studios.  Disney-MGM Studios changed its name in January 2008, after the license to use the MGM name expired....but here at Picturing Disney we still fondly refer to MGM!
Photo Credit:  The Jersey Momma

We've all have had so many fun memories at Hollywood Studios that we thought it would be fun to share some and the end of this post.  In addition to all the info on celebratory events, we hope you enjoy some of  our magical memories that we hold dear.
No one can ever forget their first hug from Mickey!

The park will celebrate its 30th anniversary with an celebratory ceremony and the debut of the new nighttime projection show, “Wonderful World of Animation.”  The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation!  
The fa├žade of the Chinese Theatre will transform into a dazzling tribute to animation. The show will run at 9:05 ET before the Star Wars fireworks show and  feature themes of magic, family, adventure, romance, and friendship. 

HollyWood Studios- Photo Purchased:  Memory Maker, Disney

That's not all of the fun!  

Hollywood Studios will also offer the following:

  • The Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Star-Studded Celebration with Mickey and friends will parade down Hollywood Boulevard at 10 a.m.
  • Commemorative maps and buttons. Guests entering the park can pick up a special 30th-anniversary commemorative guide map and button.
  • Exclusive 30th Anniversary merchandise – Special 30th Anniversary merchandise will be available, including a new adult T-shirt, baseball cap, Tervis 24 oz. tumbler, MagicBand, ornament and more. Annual Passholders can purchase exclusive items created just for them. Merchandise will be found in Grand Park while supplies last.

  • Event-inspired food & beverage items – A variety of anniversary food & beverage items will be available, including Light Saber churros, Kylo Ren Cupcakes, Incredibles Macarons, Tres Leches Verrine, and more.

Guests will have the option to purchase tickets for a special Disney After Hours Hollywood Studios Event. Attendees can enjoy little-to-no-wait for park favorites like Toy Story Land attractions and Rock n Roller Coaster.
Hollywood Studios- The fun always carries me away!

Guests can meet Disney characters throughout the park from 9:30p-12:30a on the following dates: 
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019: Special offerings will be available to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Saturday, May 4, 2019: Celebrate Star Wars May the fourth be with you!
  • Friday 5/10/19
  • Friday, 5/17/19
  • Friday 5/24/19
  • Friday 5/31/19
  • Friday 6/14/19
  • Friday 6/21/19
  • Friday 6/28/19

Picturing Disney's Magical Hollywood Studios Memories:


I'll never forget watching my son experience Jedi training at HollyWood Studios.  He was 5 years old and terrified that he might see Darth Vader.  When Vader came out my son froze on stage.  Once he realized that there was no place to run, he mustered up his courage and fought hard!  It's been 6 years since this moment and I think his heart is still palpitating.  26 of us were on a family trip and everyone got to cheer him on.  It was a thrill that we will all never forget.


My favorite Hollywood Studios moment was when I got to ride The Great Movie Ride with my kids.  The ride may be gone but the magical memory will live on in our hearts and replayed forever.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios (or MGM Studios as I still call it) has always held a special place in my heart. Out of all the Disney Parks, I have memories of so many unique character time meeting a group of 8 characters together including Mulan, Meg (Hercules), and Clopin and Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Norte Dame). On another  trip my family ate at the Aladdin restaurant (now the Disney Junior Dance Party) and later during the parade, Aladdin spotted us in the crowd and waved enthusiastically. 

But none of those memories compare to our last trip to Disney. It was the first time Gus and I took our son Marcus to a Disney Park. Going to the park with a 4 month old was a different pace than we were used to.  It allowed us to really slow down and enjoy details of the park that we would have otherwise missed while running to the next attraction. One of the biggest moments from that trip was visiting Star Wars Landing. We had a ton of fun meeting Kylo Ren, BB8, and Chewy but it was the interaction with a Storm Trooper while waiting in line that made our entire vacation. An encounter that lasted only 48 seconds allowed our son to  interact with the Storm Trooper and touch his helmet!
I can’t wait to take Marcus back after the completion of Star Wars: Galaxy Edge!  Once he’s old enough we'll see how he fares at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. While we don’t know his midi-chlorinated count, we’re pretty sure our youngling is sure will be taught in the ways of Jedi. 

Debbie- (aka: The Jersey Momma)

I was fortunate to visit MGM Studios in 1990, just shortly after it had opened. It was also the first Disney trip we took without my parents (it was just myself, my sister and her college friend). We stayed at the Swan, which had also just been built. The Dolphin was still under construction! I remember everything being so exciting and new! I feel so lucky to have seen it in its early stages like that. I still refer to it as MGM Studios!


I'll always remember my daughter CJ (Vader) leading the Storm Troopers through Hollywood Studios like the boss she was born to be.

Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming the special star-studded event with some of your favorite characters and a special announcement you don’t want to miss on Wednesday at 9:55 am. ET.  
Photo Credit: The Jersey Momma
What do you think of the new park Logo? Drop us a line to let us know!
Photo Credit:  Disney

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