Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Celebrating 30 Years of Magic

by | May 4, 2019 | Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World News, WDW Blog

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is celebrating 30 Years of Magic with specialty food, exclusive merchandise, new experiences and attractions!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomed its first guests three decades ago on May 1, 1989. This year, the park formerly known as MGM Studios is celebrating its 30th Anniversary knee-deep in a massive transformation that is expected to propel it into its most successful decade yet.

This transformation began with Toy Story Land, which opened last year and will soon be celebrating its own anniversary. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy opened earlier this year on Sunset Boulevard. At this new attraction, guests can learn what it takes to be a champion racer from Lightning McQueen himself.

Still to come are Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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A day before the anniversary, Disney invited us to a special media event highlighting all things Hollywood Studios. At the event, we checked out some of the 30th Anniversary food and merchandise, attended an exclusive early showing of the new “Wonderful World of Animation” projection show, and were even given a sneak peek of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

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Concept art for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, courtesy of Disney.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

To start off the event, we attended a special presentation about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which is expected to open Spring 2020. This attraction is replacing the Great Movie Ride and will be housed inside the Chinese Theater. Phil Holmes (Vice President, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) spoke briefly and  introduced us to Kevin and Charita, who gave us some insight about what to expect on the attraction.

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Phil Holmes (Vice President, Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Charita and Kevin (Walt Disney Imagineering). Photos by Courtney Reynolds.

We were given a glimpse of the animated neon marquee that will be displayed outside the attraction entrance.

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Marquee for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, guests will burst through the Chinese Theater movie screen and join Mickey and Minnie on a wacky adventure. This attraction will feature state-of-the-art visual effects, family friendly twists and turns, and a catchy theme song composed by Christopher Willis.

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Guests will step inside this Mickey Mouse cartoon short in Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Concept art courtesy of Disney.

Fun Fact: The antique whistle used to create the boat whistle sound in the original Steamboat Willie cartoon will also be used to create the train whistle sound in Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

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The original whistle featured in the Steamboat Willie cartoon. Photo courtesy of Disney.

At the end of this presentation, Phil Holmes announced that a new table-service restaurant called Roundup Rodeo BBQ is coming to Toy Story Land!

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The Sorcerer’s Hat: lemon sponge cake with vanilla swiss buttercream, lemon curd, and white chocolate glaze. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Specialty Food and Exclusive Merchandise

Disney conjured up a few special treats for Hollywood Studios’ 30th Anniversary!

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A selection of specialty verrines are available. Photos by Courtney Reynolds.

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Playful Luxo Ball: mango mousse, banana sponge cake, caramel chocolate, and rice croquant. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

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Incredibles Macarons: macarons filled with mango passionfruit filling. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

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Mickey and Minnie themed cupcakes. Photos by Courtney Reynolds.

Exclusive 30th Anniversary merchandise is also available while supplies last.

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30th Anniversary limited release pins. Photos courtesy of Disney.

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30th Anniversary limited MagicBands. Photos courtesy of Disney.

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30th Anniversary limited release apparel and accessories. Photos courtesy of Disney.

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30th Anniversary limited release ornament. Photos courtesy of Disney.

*Some of these items may have sold out since this post was created.

Sneak Peek of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Yes, you read that right! We were given a peek behind-the-wall at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

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Entrance to Galaxy’s Edge during the Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary media event. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Click here to read about our experience.

Special Preview of “Wonderful World of Animation”

At the end of the day, we attended a special media reception party inside the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular theater. We enjoyed a buffet dinner, a live DJ, and tons of photo ops.

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A media reception dinner took place at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular theater. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway photo op. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

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Media reception lighting and decor. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

After the reception, we were given a preview of the new nighttime projection show, “The Wonderful World of Animation.” We live-streamed this show for fans on our Facebook page, so make sure you’re following along so you don’t miss out on our live content!

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“Wonderful World of Animation” is the newest nighttime projection show to debut at Walt Disney World. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Guests can now see this amazing new projection show nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

30 Years of Magic

There has been so many changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the years with many more to come!

If you’d like to learn more about the recent additions to Hollywood Studios, check out these blog posts:

By Courtney Reynolds
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Posts by Courtney Reynolds

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Courtney is a Photographer for WDW Magazine and former Disney Cast Member. She is originally from New England, but is currently enjoying life in Orlando where you will often find her with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other. She also loves tacos, Donald Duck, riding roller coasters, and celebrating Halloween. For more about Courtney, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
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Authored by
Courtney Reynolds

Courtney is a Photographer for WDW Magazine and former Disney Cast Member. She is originally from New England, but is currently enjoying life in Orlando where you will often find her with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other. She also loves tacos, Donald Duck, riding roller coasters, and celebrating Halloween. For more about Courtney, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
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