Disney's Hollywood Studios 1989

A Photo Tour of Disney’s Hollywood Studios From 1989

On May 1, 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially opened and let guests enter the world of movies when they visited Walt Disney World Resort. Within a couple of months of opening, Daps Magic team member Doug visited this new park with his 35mm camera. Below is a look at this day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios through the lens of Doug’s camera.

Has it really been 35 years since Disney Hollywood Studios opened their doors? Join as we share our rare images of the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (as it was known then) through the day!

Despite glowering skies, guests prepare to swarm the entrance gates at the newly opened Disney-MGM Studios in this June, 1989 photo. Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened on May 1, 35 years ago today!

When the Disney-MGM Studios opened 35 years ago today, the Great Movie Ride led guests under a glowing marquee and into the magical world of Hollywood films.

Just to the right of the Chinese Theater, guests at the Newly opened Disney-MGM Studios would find a courtyard with some sights that have changed a lot in 35 years, and some not at all.

The iconic “Earfull” Tower, as seen from the studio courtyard of the original Disney-MGM Studios 35 years ago, and a slightly closer view, as well. Today marks the anniversary of the opening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Once upon a time the Disney Junior Dance Party was the Soundstage Restaurant, with actual sections of the Plaza Hotel set from Big Business. Up above was the Catwalk Bar, where mommy and daddy could party. A toast to the 35th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Yes! When the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park opened on May 1, 1989, there was a tram tour. And here are a few of the sights guests would see along the way, 35 years ago.

We certainly hope nothing awful will happen to that tram full of guests as it bypasses all those warning signs at the Disney-MGM Studios. They are headed into Catastrophe Canyon as it was 35 years ago at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

35 years ago the Disney-MGM Studio tour included a stop off at the Acme warehouse. Fun fact: many of the props and set pieces were sent over after their use in the live action-animated Disney hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit!

Two of the larger prop/set pieces from Who Framed Roger Rabbit that could be seen during the original 1989 Disney-MGM Studio tour. Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates 35 years today, May 1, 2024.

Part of the 1989 Disney-MGM Studios walking tour involved the studio tank, and a wet surprise for an audience volunteer! Disney’s Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 35th anniversary today, May 1, 2024.

This was the view looking down Hollywood Blvd. from the Chinese Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few weeks after their opening on May 1, 1989. Happy 35th anniversary!

Continuing our celebration of the 35th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we take a peek into the Hollywood Brown Derby. Cobb Salad (prepared table side) and Grapefruit Cake, anyone?

35 years ago at the Disney-MGM Studios, Lakeside News could be found at the end of Hollywood Blvd. and just around the corner. This full service newsstand offered trade papers, magazines and a big selection of comic books.

Attractions around Echo Park Lake at the Disney-MGM Studios in 1989 were sponsored by Sony. Superstar Television and The Monster Sound Show were opening day attractions on May 1, 35 years ago today.

On May 1, 1989 the Theater of the Stars was located right next door to the Brown Derby. 35 years ago the inaugural production was Hollywood, Hollywood! starring the Disney Girls!

In 1989 the Backlot Express restaurant at the newly opened Disney-MGM Studios featured a staggering array of tools and props. Sharp eyed guests could spot the “scooter” used for Benny the Cab in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Not ready on May 1, 1989 was the Disney-MGM Studio’s Star Tours attraction. But guests were invited to gaze upon the construction wall and even take a peek into the construction field office. (It was worth taking a look!)

Where else would we end our all-day coverage of #DisneysHollywoodStudios 35th anniversary but on glamorous Hollywood Boulevard. We hope you have enjoyed this look back at the opening of the original Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park.

Just one more to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Before there is a park, there must be a plan. This Imagineering study model of the Disney-MGM Studios could be found in a preview center at the Opera House in the Magic Kingdom.


What do you think of this special tour of Disney’s Hollywood Studios from 35 years ago? What is your favorite part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!