13 October 2011

Prime picture-taking location

Over the past couple of years we have pointed our shutters at both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, using early maps to explore the picturesque scenes set up for the parks by GAF and Kodak. It’s high time that we took a look at formative years of Disney’s Hollywood Studios through the lens of today. For this photographic odyssey we’ve chosen a 1991 guide map to light our way.

Between the Disney-MGM Studios’ opening in 1989 and this 1991 edition of the map there had already been some changes. Not the least of which was the ability for guests to make their way down New York Street and Mickey Avenue. Of course, the changes between then and now have also been quite sweeping.

In my walk around the park, every 1991 photo spot captured something of interest, though I highly doubt some of these are the images they had in mind during the first couple of years in Disney-MGM Studios. For instance, the Ewok village and AT-AT have been supplemented by the addition of the bunker, the view of the Chinese Theater is now of the Sorcerer’s Hat, and what I assume was a spot dedicated to the Theater of the Stars now offers a panorama of Sunset Boulevard. The one spot that confused me from the 1991 map appears behind The Magic of Disney Animation sign, from this vantage point the only available view is of the cluttered, claustrophobic Animation Courtyard. Weighing the options, I decided the photo spot may very well have been for the sign itself, though any insight from Photo Spot aficionados would be welcomed.

I am a bit confused by the inclusion of only 10 Kodak Photo Spots in the 1991 guide map. As a general rule, the Photo Spots try to capture as much as they can, such as each pavilion in World Showcase, or are arranged in sets of 12, the number by which most film rolls contain exposures (12, 24, etc.). This is especially baffling when you consider the vistas in and around New York Street and the Muppet area.

So, let’s tour through the 2011 Disney’s Hollywood Studios like its 1991.

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