Disney Celebrates Hollywood Studios’ 35th Anniversary

Disney is gearing up for another anniversary), this one for Hollywood Studios, the third of the four parks that make up Disney World. First called MGM Studios when it opened on May 1, 1989, and rechristened in 2008, Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 35th year of operation, and Disney is celebrating with a ceremony on May 1 at the Theater of the Stars, a large amphitheater on Sunset Boulevard in the park. According to WDW News Today, the show starts at 11:00 AM (which means the morning showing of Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage will be canceled), and it will feature “park representatives and surprise characters.”

Additionally, Disney will be selling some merchandise to celebrate the Hollywood Studios 35th Anniversary. So far, there’s a hat, a t-shirt, a baseball t-shirt, and a Loungefly mini backpack. The Disney Parks Instagram page shared images of the merch, which you can see below:

Hollywood Studios 35th Anniversary Hollywood Studios 35th Anniversary

Does this all sound and look lame to anyone else? Why even make a big deal out of the 35th Anniversary if all you’re going to do is have one show and some likely overpriced memorabilia with the same boring design on each item? The design is Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse, the Millennium Falcon, and a building that I can’t quite make out but believe is the Tower of Terror. This park seems to have fallen far from where it was when I went, back when it was MGM Studios. MGM was my favorite Disney park because it had all the coolest stuff; it was all Star Wars (at this time, Star Wars was still cool) and Indiana Jones (at this time, Indiana Jones was still cool) and classic movies; it was much closer to Universal Studios than The Magic Kingdom or Epcot. The Great Movie Ride was probably the best ride at Disney World, and research tells me that it’s gone now, because of course it is. But why not invoke the classic stuff? Make different shirts and hats and whatnot with Indiana Jones and Star Wars (the good ones, not the ones – ironically – made under Disney) and Alien and Alfred Hitchcock and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and all the other great films they used to celebrate. Instead, it’s Toy Story and a generic Mickey drawing, and they’re all jammed together in a boring design I can’t imagine anyone but a collector wanting to buy. Granted, I haven’t been to Disney World in a long time, but it feels like Hollywood Studios is the redheaded stepchild of the parks, and that sucks.

However, another entity is also celebrating the Hollywood Studios 35th Anniversary, and this one sounds a lot better. WDW News Today is hosting Stage 89, a five-day event taking place at Hollywood Studios featuring presentations, former Imagineers, games, shows, and lots of other fun stuff. Stage 89 will run from May 1-5, and you can buy tickets here. Why does it seem like WDW News Today cares more about Hollywood Studios than Disney? Oh, right; they’re fans.

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