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Thread: May 1, 2009:

  1. #1

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    May 1, 2009:

    Walt Disney World’s third major park, Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (now Disney's Hollywood Studios), opened May 1, 1989. That’s now 20 years ago.

    Do you have two hours to spare? Then get in line for the original Backstage Studio Tour at Disney-MGM Studios.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    Thanks for the information. I never understood why those studio gates were located inside the park.

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    Werner,

    There's a whole other story to be told about the original concept behind Disney's studio theme park and why it quickly failed.

    Disney's studio theme park was originally designed to be an actual real working (and busy) movie studio - much like Universal's property in California. Disney's plan was to shift much of its movie and TV production from its California studios to its new Florida studios where production costs were much lower. (Universal Studios had the same idea with its new studio theme park in Florida.) A continuous slate of films and TV shows would be shot there. And the studio tour would allow theme park guests to see all of this "glamorous" production up-close and personal.

    But it never came to be. So why did the Florida studio theme park fail as an actual movie production studio? Because Disney quickly discovered that:
    1. Most California-based movie stars, actors, writers, directors and other assorted highly-paid production artisans/craftsmen did not want to re-locate to humid, sterile, flat, and "un-hip" Orlando.

    2. Even if Disney did shoot a movie in their Orlando studios, most movie stars, actors and production people would not want - and would not allow - the general public watch them work.

    3. In reality, film-making is a very tedious slow process that is certainly not fun to watch.
    So the "studio theme park as an actual working movie studio" concept very quickly failed. And Disney was sadly left with a studio tour that showed guests movie production facilities that were rarely, if ever, used for actual movie productions. And so, over time, the park morphed into whatever it is today.
    Last edited by Mark Dewd; 05-01-2009 at 05:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Dewd View Post
    . . . 3. In reality, film-making is a very tedious slow process that is certainly not fun to watch.
    Thanks for another interesting article, Werner!
    And great post, Dewd!
    #3 is so true, most of the time.

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    Its odd that the formula seems to still work for Universal Studios Hollywood which has been giving studio tours in certain ways since 1906 IIRC

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisFL View Post
    Its odd that the formula seems to still work for Universal Studios Hollywood which has been giving studio tours in certain ways since 1906 IIRC
    Yes, but:

    1. Universal Studios does not promise that you'll be able to see actual production up close, as Disney did when their studio theme park first opened. From Disney's studio theme park guide:
    "Specially designed stages let you look in on movies and television shows in production."
    2. Universal Studios Hollywood is a real working studio with lots of production going on. Even though the park guests may never see the actual filming, they can see and sense the activity. Universal Hollywood also has a long history of film-making. Disney's Florida studio theme park has neither of those factors.
    Last edited by Mark Dewd; 05-02-2009 at 02:52 PM.

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    If only the park still had a small remnant of its old animation department, it wouldn't feel so pointless. As it is today, I don't get the point. The same goes for the Walt Disney Studios in Paris.

    A fake movie studio hardly seems like a good idea for an entire theme park.

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    Re: May 1, 2009:

    Quote Originally Posted by pussnboots View Post
    If only the park still had a small remnant of its old animation department, it wouldn't feel so pointless. As it is today, I don't get the point. The same goes for the Walt Disney Studios in Paris.

    A fake movie studio hardly seems like a good idea for an entire theme park.
    Yet somehow even after MGM never did as intended, Disney decided to do the same thing yet again in Paris!

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