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Old 23 Aug 21, 10:39 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Seven – Disney MGM Studios – 16th September 1993

Today was Disney MGM Studios as it was called way back then and something we were looking forward to visiting. It was the newest Disney park at the time and had only been opened 4 years previously, with part of the park still under construction – Tower of Terror would only open another year later. It is remarkable looking back at the park map that we have with the photos, that at that time, there were actually very few attractions and the park was considered a ‘half day park’. I remember that it was a very popular park because it was so new and because of the size of the park at that point, it felt very compact and crowded. You can see from the photo below that there were quite a few people there the day we visited and because it was so small at that point, it did feel more crowed than anywhere else we had experienced. At this point, Sunset Boulevard I think it is called and all that area where ToT, Rock and Rollercoaster and Fantasmic is, was a building site and ToT was under construction.

Aladdin was the big Disney release at the time and the genie was on the cover of the park map and magazine thing that we have. When you went to the parks, there were maps, show times and kind of magazines that described the attractions and showed photos of loads of celebrities in the park. We stopped off for some breakfast somewhere up towards the Chinese Theatre as we had gone straight to the park today and as if by magic (see what I did there), the genie appeared through a door at the side of us in the restaurant. He stopped for a few photos and then we carried on with our coffee and muffins from memory.

We headed straight toward the Chinese Theatre for the Great Movie Ride and we met queues for the first time in the holiday, but the queue there wasn’t too bad, as we watched the movies and cartoons in the theatre before being ushered forward to board the ride. I thought it was quite a cool ride with the integration of the actors, but by the end of its run when we last visited the park, I thought that the ride had aged badly and the success or not of your individual ride, depended on the skills and ability of the actor in your car. I am not surprised it was replaced and when you look back now at how many rides and attractions had human actors, you can see that most of those have been replaced. We headed out of there and continued left round the park and into Indiana Jones. We saw a few people opening the crates in the queue and had a bit of fun working our way through those. I remember this was a very hot day and we were grateful for the shade under the stadium roof. Again, I think the show was unique at that point in time and with the effects and live actors and it was probably the biggest show/attraction in the park at that point.

Onto Star Tours which I thought was really cool and at that time a state of the art simulator. It felt very realistic to blast of and travel through space on board the ship. We carried on round to Muppet Vision and watched the show, but I was never a great fan of the Muppets growing up so the whole thing was a bit meh to us, but we enjoyed the 3D experience. We walked down to the Backlot Tour and there were a few characters milling about. I guess that is what is so different to recent times in that now the characters have a designated meeting spot which is fenced off and well organised. In those days the characters just seemed to walk around at random and it was absolute chaos around the more popular characters if you wanted a photo. I don’t recall they had Disney minders as well in those days and were just left to their own devices, but I am happy to be corrected on that one. We witnessed a fight between two Mexican kids who were trying to have a photo taken with Tigger, before it was broken up by parents and a bunch of other people who the kids had pushed in front of. We edged away as it turned into a shouting match in Spanish.

Here, we had dared my wife to touch his beard and he didn’t like it and pulled her hand away.

The Backlot Tour was a great ride and you boarded these huge trucks which took you past various film sets, houses and props, eventually ending at Catastrophe Canyon where gallons of water were released towards the cars. It was around 30 minutes long with a guided tour so was a nice change from walking around the park. You drove through various houses, film sets, Catastrophe Canyon and eventually through workshops where you could see people making costumes and working on animatronics as it was billed as a working studio.

We had a bit of lunch at this stage and then headed towards the Inside the Magic attraction. This had three parts – the first was a huge water tank where an audience member was selected to be the star of the show on a boat that was covered by a huge wave. It was filmed and played back to all the audience. The second part again was a volunteer segment where two children were selected to ride on the back of a huge bee and finally, as the park was a working film studio, you had a tour of people at work in the sound studios and film editing units. It was really good at the time. We then went into the Monster Sound Stage which was an experience presented by a sound effects expert against a short film starring Chevy Chase. It showed showed you how sounds were made in the movies and from memory that audience members got to join in and use various props to make the sounds which were overlayed onto the film and which was played at the end.

Finally, we doubled back on ourselves and watched the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Shows. That was the end of the park and indeed it was about 3pm in the afternoon. We watched the parade at 3pm and then headed for the exit. It would be a few years before Tower Of Terror, Rock and Roller Coaster, the Toy Story attractions and finally Galaxy’s Edge appeared.

We left the park and headed back to Kissimmee and Watermania. We had noticed that entry into the waterpark was only $5 dollars after 4pm as the water park shut at 6.30pm, so we had a couple of hours there to cool off and experience the water slides for a second time. It seemed that families on their way home from school took advantage of this and there were a lot of locals in there.

We headed back the hotel and got changed and with apologies to our vegetarian friend, the meat eaters all fancied a steak, so we went to Key W Kools once again for a 25 day aged steak.
Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013
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Old 23 Aug 21, 08:37 PM  
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Hubby was the skipper on the boat before catastrophe canyon. It's a shame that they got rid of that area, it was great to see how films were made
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Old 26 Aug 21, 02:39 PM  
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Key W Cools! Literally loved this place - best steak EVER
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Old 28 Aug 21, 08:55 AM  
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