Disney/MGM Studios in 1996

When the Disney/MGM Studios opened in 1989, it was a substantially different theme park than what you find today at the renamed Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I missed seeing it the first several years it was opened — my first visit was probably 1994.

There are many things about the park that remain unchanged, but here are some that were still there in 1996 that are now long-gone.

Super Star Television on August 26, 1996.

I only saw Super Star Television a few times, but basically you’d see members of the audience up on stage in recreated sets from TV shows. They’d “perform” some lines and their footage would be intercut with footage from the actual show. I believe there was a Home Improvement segment, but none of this really stuck around in my memory. Perhaps that is why it was ultimately replaced, rather than just being updated with more current shows?

Disney article from 2014: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/04/a-hollywood-classic-superstar-television/

Monster Sound Show on August 26, 1996.

The Monster Sound Show was a look at how sound is added to movies. If I recall, this was the show that had Chevy Chase in it. It was later replaced with a Drew Cary show, Sounds Dangerous, which featured the audience in a dark room listening to binaural sound effects through headphones. (Disney got on a binaural sound kick for a bit. It was used in Alien Encounter at Magic Kingdom, and even a version of Great Moment’s With Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland. But I digress…)

Some may recall the news about the Alien Pizza Planet opening at Disneyland a few years ago. If I recall, they had to add “Alien” to the name because there was a real pizza business called Pizza Planet. (True? Internet “detective” rumor?) But, Pizza Planet was at the Studios park before then…

Toy Story Pizza Planet on August 26, 1996.

I don’t think I ever ate there. I did like seeing the Toyota Pickup truck outside, though:

Pizza Planet delivery truck at D/MGM on August 26, 1996.

There once were some “spitting” camels in a Disney parade… They ended up on display at the Studio park:

Decommissioned parade camels on August 26, 1996.

I believe those, or some others, were eventually inside the Animation Courtyard restaurant when it had an Aladdin overlay. Today, I think the same ones still live on at Magic Kingdom at their Aladdin flying carpet ride.

ABC’s hit show, Ellen, was causing an early IP overlay to happen…

Costume Shop on August 26, 1996.

Buy the Book was a location featured in the show. Today that building is home to the Baseline Tap House.

The Animation Courtyard included a tour where you could see Disney animators working on upcoming features. Thus, the entrance was far more … animated.

D/MGM Animation Courtyard on August 26, 1996.

There is much more to explore, but I’ll save that for future installments.

Until next time…

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