Time for another entry in the Looking Back series! This time, we take a look at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in these photos from our visit in 1992.
Here we are just inside the park at the Crossroads of the World. I have always liked how this photo turned out with the balloons in the foreground. I would like to say I spent lots of time working on the composition here. But honestly, that was over 20 years ago, and I really don’t remember how much time I spent on it. Turned out pretty well either way, though.
Providing some musical entertainment is a group known as the Tuba Fours. And from what I remember, they were just as good as their name was clever. Being a low brass instrument player myself (trombone, because who wants to keep it simple with just three valves?) I enjoyed listening to these guys and girl for a few minutes before moving on along.
On up ahead of us is the Chinese Theater at the end of Hollywood Boulevard. As you probably know, this view hasn’t been available since 2001 and the addition of the Sorcerer Hat, but the hat is now gone, and hopefully this view will once again be around for a nice, long time.
Taken from almost the same spot but looking the other way is this view down the other end of Hollywood Boulevard, back toward the entrance and the Crossroads of the World. These two photos were obviously taken at different times during the day, but I thought they went together pretty well and give a good view down both directions of Hollywood Boulevard. You can also see the 20 Years banners hanging on the light poles, as Walt Disney World was still celebrating its 20th anniversary that year.
MuppetVision 3D had opened the previous year at Disney-MGM Studios, but it seemed to be drawing larger crowds this year than it had in the previous year. Personally, I like how this photo shows the eyes painted on the soundstage building behind the MuppetVision Facade. One of the many nice Muppet touches in the area.
Here is a view of the Muppets fountain outside of the attraction. While the attraction had been there on our previous visit in 1991, this fountain was a nice new addition to the area this year. Another of those nice Muppet touches. Too bad they didn’t make this entire area a Muppet Studios area as they had originally planned. Oh well.
You can’t visit MuppetVision 3D without stopping by its attraction neighbor, Star Tours. Well I guess technically you can, but why would you? Even though by this time I knew every little tilt and turn that the simulators would make, I still enjoyed Star Tours. And I still do, even though it is different now.
A new attraction on this visit was Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We went in not entirely knowing what to expect, and everyone in my family really enjoyed the show. The highlight was the blacklight production of “Under the Sea,” but then the whole show was cool with its mix of puppets and live actors. And lasers!
Over by MuppetVision 3D was a new Studio Showcase, housed in the building that is now home to the Toy Story Pizza Planet restaurant. This big shoe on display was used in the movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, which was Disney’s big summer release that year. But to me, the shoe was much bigger than the movie itself was. Still, it was pretty neat to see something from the movie.
However, I was much more interested to see these props from the big movie of the previous year, The Rocketeer. That is still one of my favorite movies, even if it didn’t make quite as much money as they hoped it would. Which just goes to show why I am not a paid movie critic, I guess. Nice to see the various rocket packs that were used in the movie, though.
After previously using the actual Plaza Hotel sets from the movie Big Business, the Soundstage Restaurant received a renovation so that it would have a Beauty and the Beast theme, since that movie had been released the previous holiday season and had made lots of money, of course. Actually, most of the Plaza Hotel sets were just modified to look like the Beast’s castle, but if you had been there before you could tell they were the same.
When you are at Disney-MGM Studios, you never know what celebrities you might see. Here are those perennial celebrities, the Citizens of Hollywood. They were doing some sort of game show, and these five were the panel. We spent lots of time watching the different citizens do their different things during our visits to the Studios. They were some great entertainment.
Speaking of celebrities, here is the start of the latest Disney animated movie, the Beast! As mentioned earlier, Beauty and the Beast had been released just seven months earlier, and the Beast was quite popular. So popular that instead of getting our own photo with him, I just settled for this stalker photo instead.
And continuing with celebrities, is that Ed McMahon with Mickey and Minnie? Why yes it is! We just happened to walk by a publicity photo shoot for Ed to promote that the filming of his Star Search show was moving to Disney-MGM Studios. Remember Star Search? Remember when they actually used to film things at Disney-MGM Studios? Remember Ed McMahon?
One more celebrity for this issue of Looking Back is Dinosaur Gertie, star of the famous cartoon by Windsor McKay from 1914. Gertie has been enjoying the retirement life selling ice cream here from the side of her stomach. And she doesn’t show her age at all.
Before we leave, here is one more look at the Disney-MGM Studios Gate, because I have always liked that logo. It looks much more bland now without the MGM lion logo. But they couldn’t very well keep that when they dropped MGM from the name, could they?
That’s it for this visit to the Disney-MGM Studios. Be sure to check back later for more from the Looking Back series! And if you haven’t, be sure to check out all of the previous Looking Back posts as well!