Walt Disney World’s third theme park turns 30 on May 1, and Disney has a parade, exclusive merchandise and the debut of a new projection show lined up to mark the occasion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened on May 1, 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios. The 30th anniversary celebration will be “the perfect opportunity to celebrate the past, present, and the new, exciting future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios as the park continues to evolve into a thrilling destination where you can let your adventure begin,” according to a post on the Disney Parks Blog.
Here’s what Disney is offering to guests at the park that day:
- Star-Studded Celebration Parade: Described as a “cavalcade starring Mickey and friends,” this parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. on the park’s Hollywood Blvd.
- Exclusive merchandise: Guests will get the chance to buy 30th anniversary merch in Grand Park beginning at 8 a.m., one hour before the park opens, including an exclusive shirt, hat, and MagicBand.
- Special food and drinks, including Kylo Ren cupcakes and Incredibles macarons.
- The debut of “Wonderful World of Animation,” the new nighttime projection show on the park’s Chinese Theatre celebrating Disney animated films. The show begins at 9:05 p.m., just before the “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show.
Guests can also purchase tickets to a newly-added After Hours event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For $125 per adult (plus tax), guests can catch the two nighttime shows and then enjoy much shorter lines at select attractions around the park until 12:30 a.m.
The park’s 30th anniversary comes after a long transformation that moved it away from its roots as a working TV and film production studio. Unlike Disney World’s other three theme parks, no attraction that was available on the Studios’ opening day remains operational.
Yet it may soon be the most in-demand theme park in Central Florida. On August 29, the park’s overhaul nears completion with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre expansion hyped as Disney’s most immersive theme park experience. The land will open with one ride, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, along with a variety of shops and dining locations, including a cantina.
Another big addition promised for the park’s anniversary year may be delayed. BlogMickey.com reported earlier this month that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the replacement for The Great Movie Ride, will not open until 2020. Disney has yet to make any official announcement and still lists the ride for a fall 2019 opening.
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