Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World’s third park, is celebrating its 29th anniversary. The park officially opened May 1, 1989.
A lot has happened to Disney’s Hollywood Studios since it opened 29 years ago. Today, the park is once again in a flux as it readies for two new lands where guests can create their own adventures: Toy Story Land, which will debut June 30, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is set to open in 2019. Work is also underway on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction, the first Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, set to open in 2019.
In honor of the park’s 29th anniversary, let’s take a look at how Disney’s Hollywood Studios has evolved over the years:
The park, which was originally called MGM Studios, enjoyed some major attractions its first few years including Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, which opened in August of 1989. Star Tours opened that same year in December, followed by Muppet Vision 3D in 1991. Voyage of the Little Mermaid opened across the park in 1992.
But it wasn’t until 1994 when people really started to flock to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park’s first major thrill ride, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was added along the new Sunset Boulevard. Sunset Boulevard also became home to Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, Fantasmic! and eventually the park’s 2nd thrill coaster, Rock ’N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.
In 2001, the park gave visitors a glimpse into Walt Disney’s life with Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. The attraction featured memorabilia from Disney archives.
Seven years later the park underwent another huge change when it was renamed Hollywood Studio on January 7, 2008. A short renaissance of the park took place in the years that followed with the additions of Disney/Pixar Block Party Bash, Toy Story Midway Mania and The American Idol Experience. In 2011, Star Tours was updated to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
In 2014, the park started removing some of its attractions, many of which were non studio-themed. The park began to go in a new creative direction and continues to do so today with the soon-to-be-open Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and several other new attractions and hotels.
To celebrate Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 29th anniversary, look for discounted tickets here on Best of Orlando.