26 July 2017

What a Deal

When we think of entertainment productions that came out of the early years of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then Disney-MGM Studios, we most often think of animated features or New York Street and its uses in various feature films. We think of The All New Mickey Mouse Club and the number of pop stars it launched. We may even think about Residential Street and the famous house facades, not the least of which was that of the house belonging to The Golden Girls, or the way guests could be implanted into other sitcoms. There was a time, however, long before the American Idol Experience came to the park, when game shows were regularly filmed throughout Disney-MGM Studios. Everything from Hollywood Squares to Star Search could be seen filming at the park.

One such show to jump on the game show revival train and to film at Disney-MGM Studios was Let’s Make a Deal. The show premiered in 1990 with host Bob Hilton. While most people remember the original host of Let’s Make a Deal, Monty Hall, Bob had his own game show pedigree that included announcing for Win, Lose, or Draw, The $25,000 Pyramid, and The Price Is Right, as well as hosting the 1977 reboot of The New Truth and Consequences. Let’s Make a Deal’s original host, Monty Hall, didn’t totally leave the show, however, instead he took on a producer role alongside Dick Clark.

The show, which saw contestants dressed in outlandish getups wheeling and dealing with Hilton in the hopes of taking home cash and prizes. Sometimes a junk item in a purse could be worth a car, but there was also the chance that behind those big doors or under than giant box was a great big goose egg. It was the ultimate game show of chance.

Guests of Disney-MGM Studios could watch the show being taped in Studio 1 according to the opening announcement of the show, which was likely Stage 1 where sets from The All New Mickey Mouse Club also resided, but could be switched out for the various productions. Let’s Make a Deal began shooting in July of 1990 and filmed every other week on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with the production wrapping by the end of September that same year.

Sadly, the show would only make it through that first season and was not renewed. Eventually game shows at Disney-MGM Studios would become more a guest attractions, such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Play It, than actual broadcast productions. For those of us who were able to see Star Search, Let’s Make a Deal, or Hollywood Squares, it was a real treat to behold!


nathansmart said...

I went to a taping of this and all I remember is one of the contestants picking the door and an animal was in there instead of a prize. The thing is, during a commercial break you could hear animals squawking in the back so I never understood why they went with the door!

Mini-V said...

Wasn't Tool Time also filmed here at one point?

Mini-V said...

Research shows - no - Tool Time (Home Improvement) was not filmed at Disney Hollywood Studios.