31 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Soundstage 2

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 standing in for the Big Apple in various feature films. We remember The All New Mickey Mouse Club, or MMC as it was known at the time, and the number of pop stars it launched. We may even recall fondly Residential Street and its famous house facades, not the least of which was that of the house belonging to The Golden Girls. There was a time, however, long before the American Idol Experience came to the park, even before Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? when game shows and other variety shows were regularly filmed throughout Disney-MGM Studios. Everything from Hollywood Squares, Let’s Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, and 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, was likely Soundstage 1. This is where sets from The All New Mickey Mouse Club also resided and could easily 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.

Another of the feature productions to call Disney-MGM Studios home on a more permanent status was Ed McMahon’s Star Search. Plans called for the show to move from Los Angeles to Walt Disney World for Star Search’s tenth season. In its first year in Florida the production schedule called for the taping of 156 shows, with five half hour episodes being filmed for weekdays and an hour-long weekend edition. Unlike Let’s Make a Deal, Star Search would have a longer lifespan, from 1992 through at least the 1994 season, the show was filmed at the park’s Soundstage 2.
The talent search showcase would uncover talents likes Beth Hart, Lizé, and Britney Spears, who would stick around Disney-MGM Studios to film The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. In fact, Ed McMahon was so excited about his new digs for his showcase that he even helped set up the advertising campaign at Disney-MGM Studios! Well, for publicity’s sake anyway.
Eventually game and variety shows at Disney-MGM Studios would become more of guest attractions, such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Play It and American Idol, than actual broadcast productions. Most guests who visited Disney-MGM Studios in the early years remember that several feature length animation projects, including Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, and Brother Bear were created at the park. They may even remember being put inside of a sitcom themselves, but the game shows were where the real entertainment could be found. For those of us who were able to see Star Search, Let’s Make a Deal, or Hollywood Squares, or some of the other productions it was a real treat to behold!

30 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Holy Cow

In the history of Disney critters, from Cinderella’s mice to Copper and Tod, nothing compares to seeing and interacting with a living and breathing creature. That said, of all of the magnificent creatures that have called Walt Disney World home, whether it has been in the Magic King, Discovery Island, or now in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, perhaps there is none more beloved than Minnie Moo.

Let’s dispel with this photographs side story, right off, shall we? Yes, that is Harry Caray in the photograph. In 1990, when this picture was taken, Caray and several of the Cubs’ players were taking a special vacation with fans of the Chicago Cubs. They happened to be on hand as Minnie Moo was welcomed into the Disney family.

Minnie Moo came to Walt Disney World via Edgerton, Minnesota, where she had lived on the Brockberg family dairy farm. Melvin and Dorothy Brockberg had a niece, Jody Kline, who began writing letters and sending photographs of Minnie the Cow to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 1988. It wasn’t until September of 1990, however, that Walt Disney World contacted the family about purchasing the Holstein. Minnie’s markings had been visible since birth and saved her on more than one occasion. According to Brockberg at the time, “She’s not a top producer. At different times we’ve talked about hauling her off to market, but she’d turn around and we see the spots. The spots saved her.”

Minnie Moo’s first home, as visible in this photograph was in Mickey’s Starland at Grandma Duck’s Petting Farm. The farm was shuttered in 1996 to make room for the children’s rollercoaster, The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm. Minnie Moo was then moved over to the Tri-Circle D petting zoo at Fort Wilderness. While the expected lifespan of a Holstein is 12 years, Minnie Moo lived to the ripe old age of 15, before passing away of natural causes in August of 2001.

Minnie Moo has a special place in the hearts of guests who visited her in either Mickey’s Starland or at Tri-Circle D. Even Brockberg, who had seen thousands upon thousands of cows in his lifetime, had never seen another cow with a spot pattern like Minnie Moo. Somewhere down the line there may be another cow with mouse-eared spots, but there will never be another Minnie Moo.

29 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: WED Transportation Services

Getting around during the early decades of Walt Disney World was a much different experience. There were no phone apps to tell you how to get from one place to another and there weren’t screens at each bus station telling you when the next bus would arrive. In fact, in order to access some of the transportation you had to present an identification card proving you were a guest of the resorts. These paper cards didn’t unlock room doors, although as time went on they could be utilized for charging privileges.
As for knowing where you were going. Well, you had to rely on a different card, the Bus Transportation Route cards. These foldable, postcard size guides would give you a description of each bus route in and around Walt Disney World. Paired with each route was the image of a flag, this would be the flag on the side of the bus that you would need to identify in order to get on the right bus. Even when inside of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, you had to make sure you were catching the right line to get to where you were going. As the years went by and the resorts and destinations expanded, the cards got more and more complex.
Whenever I talk about the bus cards, I always feel like the grandfather in the Carousel of Progress talking about not even having a car phone. That said, there was something almost magical about having to utilize the cards to get around. Perhaps it was only in my mind, and certainly it was from a time where children roamed around on their own a bit more safely, or as least with the idea that they were safe. Whenever I set off somewhere with my sister, usually the Meadows Swimmin’ Pool or a Trading Post at Fort Wilderness (our parents didn’t let us run that far amuck), it always felt like we had a map, cryptic clues, and our own wits as we set off on an adventure.
What about you, do you remember trying to decipher what bus was approaching using these cards?

28 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Seekers of the Weird

Between 2014 and 2017, Marvel worked with Disney to create a series of comics based around attractions, characters, and concepts for attractions under the banner of Disney Kingdoms. The result was 6 limited series that focused on The Haunted Mansion, its predecessor in concept, Museum of the Weird, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and Journey Into Imagination.
The Disney Kingdoms series brought in some amazingly talented writers and artists to craft these stories. While each tale was different from the next, they were popular amongst those individuals who reside at the crossroads of comic and theme park enthusiasts. That group, while large, was not enough to keep the printers running past the first 6 stories. As I stated at the time I started the series reviewing these books, "Graphic novels and comics are not always the easiest form of storytelling to get behind. Even my wife, who is a voracious reader, has never been able to complete one as it just doesn’t jive with her literary sensibilities."
While the form of comics wasn’t enough to entice in the middling theme park guest, if you were to acquire each of the collected volumes there were some rewards to be found in the bonus materials, beyond the script pages, cover art, and art progression. From concept art for the attractions to letters and notes from Imagineers, there was definitely enough to justify the cover price.
I’d love to see this series return and delve deeper into some of the other corners of the Disney Kingdoms, but I think they’re time has passed. If you want to go back and explore them yourselves, give a quick read through our reviews for each volume below before you pick one up. I, myself, may just need to reread Big Thunder Mountain Railroad this weekend!

27 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Refreshing Combination

We provided a couple of recipes earlier this week from Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge that would be perfect for whatever protein you’re preparing for an end of summer barbecue. Today, let’s stick with this same corner of Walt Disney World, specifically Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma, and prepare a side dish that is sure to spice up your plate. Boma’s Watermelon Rind Salad is often overlooked by many dining guests, but for those who know it is must.


2 Pounds Watermelon Rind (sliced thinly)
1 Cup Fresh Ginger (sliced thinly)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Cup Grenadine
1 Cup Water


In a small pot, heat all ingredients, except the watermelon, until the sugar melts.
Remove from stove and let cool.
Add sliced watermelon rind.
Let marinate at least one hour.
A word about the ginger, make sure you take the skin off of the ginger before peeling. We used a combination of vegetable peeler and knife for the more fibrous sections. The thinner the slices the better, because you don’t want to surprise yourself with a hunk of ginger when you’re eating this dish.
As a child I was very fond of a local Chinese restaurant that had a marinated cucumber salad. While different, this brings back those memories in the best way possible. It has that tart, acidic taste from the vinegar partnering up with spiciness of the ginger, with just a twinge of sweetness to soften the blow. It pickles my fancy, and works well as a side dish for any number of entrees, but I can also see where it isn’t everyone’s favorite dish.

26 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Common Interest in Rose Growing

A small corner of the hub area of the Magic Kingdom once held two peaceful attractions that reminded us to stop and smell the roses and to enjoy the little things in life. While one has been extinct since 1983, the other lived until the recently hub renovation in 2014, both of which are well worth taking a moment to remember.
One of the earliest attractions in the Magic Kingdom took guests down the lazy waterways of Main Street U.S.A., near enough to almost touch Tomorrowland, and venturing briefly into Adventureland. This experience was in operation for just over a decade, from May of 1973 until August of 1983, and yet it is one of the most under-documented attractions from the parks. I am, of course, speaking of the Plaza Swan Boats.
The Plaza Swan Boats originally docked near the Plaza Restaurant, in what has become an outdoor seating area along edge of the canal. Once the permanent dock was built, the green roofed pavilion that can be reached by walking through the Plaza Rose Garden, the original dock was repurposed. Guests could board one of the twelve boats named after popular Disney heroines for a D-Ticket during the peak summer season, although one boat would be refurbished as a vacuum boat for cleaning the canals.
A solitary image of the Plaza Swan Boats, which ran on natural gas, would provide a glimpse of grace plying the channels of the Magic Kingdom. In truth, however, these swans roamed more like odd ducks. An electrical guidance system failed early in the attractions history, calling for an alternative navigation approach. The new steering mechanism consisted of two jets, one each in the front and rear, which could be employed by their own steering wheels by the piloting Cast Member. While these jets answered the problem caused by the failings of the electrical system, they also included the addition of user error. There were many accounts of boats running ashore, crashing into support beams and even spinning in circles.
With problems ranging from popularity that could not be supported to ever-increasing maintenance costs, the herd of swans were permanently docked after the 1983 summer season. While there were flaws in the Plaza Swan Boat’s system, a scenic tour of the waterways surrounding three lands of the Magic Kingdom, especially in such a regally designed craft, would have been a lovely way to spend some time in the park.
The second attraction to occupy this space was the Plaza Rose Garden. Recognized by the All-American Rose Selections, Inc. in 1985 for “contributing to the common interest in rose growing through its efforts in maintaining an outstanding public rose garden,” the garden featured a splendid assortment of gorgeous, and sometimes rare, roses.
The trail was a loop that made its way down to the waters edge, with the pavilion once used as the loading station for the Plaza Swan Boats, and back up towards the walkway to Tomorrowland. It was fragrant, but not overpowering to the point that it could be smelled by most passersby, and really was a wonderful spot catch your breath. While the roses are gone, it doesn’t mean that we can’t take our own stroll through them today.

25 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Stand Right Here on This Trap Door

When I was growing up, I was always fascinated by the shows that asked for volunteers from the audience. No training required, you could literally take part in one of your favorite television or movie production. Disney-MGM Studios, and even today’s version of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, excelled at this. In fact, it was home to one of two experiences that I kept hoping would be around long enough for me to take part in one day; the other role I wanted to check into was down the road at a competitor, but the attraction was slashed before I was able to secure the audience volunteer role. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has always held a special place in my heart, but the chance to get on that set as a marketplace extra would be a dream come true.
The moment I turned 18, I started trying to make that role mine. I’m a mild-mannered person as a general rule, but not in that amphitheater. I would jump up and down, stand on the stadium benches, holler and yell, and wave my hands wildly about. It took a while, the casting director for the show never seemed to notice me no matter what I did. However, in 2006, at the ripe young age of 25 I was able to secured a chance to stand on that stage.
That first time through was a whirlwind. In fact, I got so wrapped up in the moments that followed getting selected, from costuming, to signing the waver, and trying to internalize what I was supposed to do when on the set, that I made a minor mistake while out there. The role seems simple enough, pretend that you’re shopping, cheer on Indy as he fights off the henchmen, and keep an eye on the casting director who is in the scene with you as another extra. To say I was enthusiastic about being feet away and getting to cheer on Indy would be an understatement. So, it should come as no surprise that my boisterous encouragement of Indy, while still trying to take my cues from the casting director, led to me missing the moment when I was supposed to cover my ears when Indy fires his pistol. Just a word of advice to all of you who get chosen, when they tell you to cover your ears, they mean it. If you think that shot is loud when you’re in the audience, let me tell you it is ear ringing to say the least when you’re up close to it without covering your ears or having ear plugs!
Over the many years since, I have had several opportunities to take part in the Epic Stunt Spectacular as an extra. Probably more than my fair share. My favorite experience, however, would have to the one I had on May 1, 2009, the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On that day, I was given a larger role as a feature extra in a scene called “Ryan’s Death Scene.” Okay, sure, I knew it wouldn’t be a recurring role, but it was a step up from my usual marketplace character. If you haven’t seen the show, this is the extra who is clearly connecting with the cues their being given and then provided a chance to act out a death scene. I was told to use as much of the stage as possible, and to make as much noise as possible. Check and check. In fact, I took so long, and took up so much space, that the eventually had to use the machine gun to get me to stay down. The only problem with the scene? Apparently, I had way too much fun dying. You know what though? It was a milestone anniversary for the park and I got to live out a dream I’d had for a long time, that makes it a pretty special day and is a call to be happy. Even in death…

A couple of behind the scenes details for those of you who haven’t had the chance to be an extra in the show yet, or are curious but have no desire to take on the role. When they make the joke, as I did earlier, about signing the waiver, they mean it. You do have to signa waiver stating that Disney is not at fault if you were to injure yourself doing something outside the scope of what you have been tasked to do.  Say you decided you wanted to have a larger role and try to jump on the exploding truck to save Marion. Your injuries are on you at that point. The costume that you wear goes over your regular clothing, and it is extremely hot. You will sweat, and you will sweat a lot. As a reward four your service to the stunt show, you will receive two things for being an extra. One, the overwhelming joy you were able to be an extra in the Epic Stunt Spectacular. And two, all the free water you can drink from their water cooler.
The past couple of years I’ve opted to not scream, shout, and make a fool of myself in order to get on the set with Indy and Marion. This mostly has to do with the fact that I can’t move as easily as I once did. That said, maybe it’s time to come out of retirement for one last run at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular when I’m down later this year for my 40th birthday.

24 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Saucy Views

When EPCOT Center opened it brought a whole world of flavors Walt Disney World and began changing the landscape of what theme park dining could be. When Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge opened, in 1998 and 2001 respectively, that food revolution continued with flavors and spices that hadn’t been previously been featured in the parks and resorts. Some of these are complex recipes and preparations, others are simple and are easy to bring home with you. Especially if you like using fire and smoke to prepare your meats, otherwise known as barbecue.
The recipes we’re featuring today have been featured on the Gazette before, but not for at least a decade, and we’ve never actually shown the final product to you. While I’m giving you the full recipe size here, we definitely halved both of these recipes. Let’s start at Boma, with their Coca-Cola Barbecue Sauce.


4 Cups Ketchup
2 – 12 Ounce Cans Coca-Cola
4 Ounces Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Ounces White Vinegar
1 Ounce Olive Oil
2 Jalapeno Peppers (minced and seeded)
1 Spanish Onion (diced)
1 Ounce Garlic (minced)


In a heavy-bottom saucepot over medium high heat, combine the olive oil and onions.
Cook for three minutes, or until onions are brown.
Add the garlic, jalapeno peppers, brown sugar; cook for an additional minute.
Deglaze with the Coca-Cola, cooking until mixture reaches a syrup consistency.
Add the ketchup and white vinegar.
Lower the heat and simmer for twenty minutes.
This is a tomato, or ketchup, heavy sauce with a nice kick in the background. The Coca-Cola adds some sweetness and acidity to the party, but not enough to bury the spices from the Coke and the heat from the peppers. Notice that it doesn’t call for you blend the sauce at any point, so it will have pieces of onion, garlic, and jalapeno in it. If we were to make this again, and we did enjoy it, we would definitely consider blending it all for a couple of seconds once it was cooked. Also, we would likely start playing with the ratios of ketchup to vinegar, but we also live in western North Carolina so vinegar sauce is in our blood.
Next up, we venture into the park and the original barbecue haven in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue. The rub they use for their meats, particularly on their chicken, has always been a favorite of ours and we typically mix up a batch at the beginning of each barbecue season.


2 Pounds Sugar
8 Ounces Season Salt
2 Ounces Chili Powder
2 Ounces Ground Black Pepper
2 Ounces Paprika
1 Ounce Cumin
1/2 Ounce Garlic Salt
1/2 Ounce Onion Powder
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Apply to meat at least 1 hour before cooking.
A couple of tips, I typically make the half batches by combining all of the ingredients in a mason jar, seal the lid tight, and shake it like a Polaroid picture. No, actually, I shake it a lot harder than that and with both hands, but you get the idea. Secondly, I try to add the rub to the meat the night before I’m going to cook with it. This will create a liquid in the bottom of the marinade container. Don’t throw it away. I use that syrup to coat the meat while it is cooking.
This is a wonderful rub, that gives you sweat, spicy, and savory in every bite you take. We love it, and I think you will too. It also includes a lot of ingredients most people already have on their spice rack, meaning there is very little that you’ll have to buy before whipping up a batch.

23 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Fictional Animal Stars of America


The Muppets have a storied history with Walt Disney World. From the early Disney-MGM Studios’ attractions of Here Come the Muppets and Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses, to their long-running 3D spectacular, Muppet Vision 3D, the Mobile Muppet Labs, and the most recent addition of The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History, the ragtag group of entertainers have had a place in the parks for more than 30 years. Of course, it helps when you film a television special in the parks too.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World aired on The Magical World of Disney on May 6, 1990. The show’s premise was that Kermit was going home to the swamp for his family reunion, but once everyone found out that the swamp was right next door to Walt Disney World they proceeded to sneak in to experience the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, and the recently opened Disney-MGM Studios. As would be suspected, they were pursued by Disney security in the form of Quentin Fitzwaller, also known as Charles Grodin. A young Raven-Symone also played a crucial role as a young girl who cheers up Kermit by singing Rainbow Connection.

One the Muppet side of things, all of your favorites are present and accounted for: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, the Electric Mayhem, and the list goes on. The special, which was only one hour long, also featured some deeper cuts like Beauregard, Kermit’s nephew, Robin, and Fozzie Bear’s mom, Emily Bear. The collection gets into all sorts of antics and experience a ton of attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, trash cans (a paper and straw exhibit according to Gonzo), and Miss Piggy even manages to get herself stuck in cement outside of the Great Movie Ride.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World also has a bittersweet place in Muppets history, as it is the last time Jim Henson would perform as Kermit, along with other characters in his repertoire. In fact, Henson would pass away only ten days after the special aired.

Below are a selection of photos from the special, posed publicity shots, and even a behind the scenes look that includes Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson portraying Kermit and Robin respectively.

22 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Pookie Bear Needs Cuddlewinks

The Adventurers Club was the much beloved predecessor to today’s Society of Explorers and Adventurers. In fact, the member rolls for both groups share many of the same individuals with that pioneer spirit. Although the physical embodiment of the Adventurers Club has been gone for almost 15 years, the spirit of it lives on in those who knew it well and those who wished they’d known it better.
Some of the sheer delights of the Pleasure Island staple were the intimate interactions with the various members of the club. Although I am the first to admit that what sometimes started as a quiet moment definitely could become something raucous for the whole club to enjoy. That bit comes from personal history. The characters themselves were remarkable, and they were given life by actors and actresses that had the wit to be able to grapple with any situation they found themselves in.
The Adventurers Club also featured a multitude of memorabilia that was highly sought after by those who frequented the club, and almost none of it was available for purchase. Membership badges, checks, and even expertly penned letters could be yours if you were amongst the chosen. The letters, presented by the club’s always refined butler, Graves, on a silver platter, were treasures. I was lucky enough in my experiences in the club to have been bestowed with two of the four letters. And since I believe treasure is worth more when it is shared, here are the letters in their entirety for you to enjoy.

P.S. - My favorite is from Hathaway. Again, personal history.

21 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Cup of Disney

In 2014 it was announced that Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Co. would begin releasing some of the Disney coffee blends for home consumption. Available in their stores and online, it was a chance for you to have a little reminder of your favorite restaurant or resort in your cup at home. Not the blissful sit on your porch and dream about your last vacation moment, as much as we'd all love to have one of those each day, but more of a lingering memory in your tumbler on your way to work, getting the kids ready for school, or caught in traffic on the interstate somewhere. Enough to put a smile on your lips even if you don't recognize it.

For me, it was also a way to engage someone else in the Gazette. We had done weekly news recaps or questions of the week with a plethora of talented writers and bloggers from other corners for a while. The Gazette even featured a second regular writer for a time. As all good things must though, it came to an end. This allowed my wife, Aileen, to actually give us her insights into how each coffee ranked in her mind.

I'm not going to post all 23 reviews directly here, but I am including her final ranking, and yes we're aware that there are very few from outside of Walt Disney World, that was intentional. We may revisit with some cups of Disneyland joe at some point, but that's not today. If you're looking for a new coffee to try from Walt Disney World, a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary at home, we invite you take a gander at the reviews below. If you are unlike me, and actually like the taste of coffee, I assure you that you will find something to please your morning palate with in Aileen's reviews.

Overall Cup of Disney Rankings:
– Alto Mayo Protected Forest
2 – Aulani
3 – French Bistro
4 – California Grill
 Flying Fish Espresso
– Trattoria al Forno
7 – Flying Fish
8 – Sanaa
9 – Yachtsman Steakhouse
10 – Kona Blend
11 – Artifact Blend
12 – Citricos
13 – Victoria & Albert's
14 – Narcoossee's
15 – Tusker House
16 – Jiko
17 – Artist Point
18 – French Roast
19 – Riviera Blend
20 – Le Cellier
21 – Flavors of Africa
22 – Hollywood Blend
23 – The Wave

Previous Reviews:

20 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Made-for-the-Movies Spectacle

 In 1989 when Disney-MGM Studios opened, it was a massive, star-studded affair. It took the studio park concept that worked well for Universal in California, and soon to be in Florida at the time, and gave it a Disney makeover. The media blitz was all out and included specials, interviews, tours, and, of course, press kits. I love press kits, the way they offer carefully framed moments that you aren't likely to see yourself in a park as a guest, the way the hype up new attractions, and the way they utilize words to send our emotions into a feeding frenzy of "I must go and see this!" This look back at the Disney-MGM Studios press kit photos is in a league of its own, if only for the fact that almost every single image here features a view, attraction, or experience that is now extinct at the park.

STROLLING ON THE BOULEVARD -- Moviemaking is one of the major themes at the newest Walt Disney World theme park, the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Guests enter the park onto a re-created Hollywood Boulevard of the ‘30s and ‘40s. At the end of the street is a full-scale Chinese Theatre -- exactingly modeled after the famous theater of the same name in Los Angeles -- which is the entrance to The Great Movie Ride, and Audio-Animatronics showcase of some of the most famous movie scenes in Hollywood history. Other attractions include television, sound-effects and stunt theaters and a Backstage Studio tour. On the tour, guests ride past costume and crafts shops, through special-effects areas and onto residential and New York backlot street before beginning a walking tour through working soundstages, post-production facilities and a complete animation unit.“GILLIGAN’S ISLAND” RETURNS with guest stars from the audience during [a] performance of SuperStar Television at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. More than 35 years of television are recalled during the fast-paced show.VERY CHIC -- The décor of the original Brown Derby on Hollywood’s Vine Street is re-created in the 224-seat restaurant with teak and mahogany accents at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Florida.M-I-C-K-E-Y! – On Soundstage 3 at the Disney-MGM Studios, kid cast of the new Mickey Mouse Club sings and dances for the cameras -- and for theme park guests who can view the action from an elevated corridor as part of the Backstage Studio Tour. The show is featured on the Disney Channel.BRINGING DISNEY CHARACTERS TO LIFE -- Visitors watch as cels of Mickey and other Disney characters receive their final coats of paint in the “Magic of Disney Animation,” a full-production animation department at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park.THE REEL THING -- A production crew transforms a backlot location at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park into a busy New York street filled with activity, proving that looks can be deceiving. Guests visiting the newest addition to the Walt Disney World Resort will be able to view production similar to this as it actually happens, as well as catch a sneak peek of filming or taping on soundstages. It’s all part of the behind-the-scenes-look at the movies that is part of the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park.RAMPAGING WATERS ARE UNDER CONTROL in Catastrophe Canyon, a special-effects thrill show for guests aboard the Backstage Studio Tour shuttle at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Rain storms, earthquakes, flash floods and fires are all part of the made-for-the-movies spectacle.SCENE-SHOOTING -- When an inquisitive tour guide (center, wearing white shirt, suspenders and bow tie) leaves the tram taking Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park guests through The Great Movie Ride, he receives an abrupt introduction to moviemaking. The ride takes the new Walt Disney World park’s guest past Audio-Animatronics re-creations of famous movie scenes. In the gangster-movie set, the tour guide is surprised when what appears to be an Audio-Animatronics character turns out to be a real thug -- an armed one who “shoots” him before hijacking the tram and its riders. Just like the movies, though, the tour guide plays a major role in the ride’s happy ending.“ALIEN” ENCOUNTER thrills guests who have ventured aboard the spaceship Nostromo during The Great Movie Ride at Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. The Great Movie Ride includes scenes featuring Hollywood’s greatest films and stars, such as: “Singin’ in the Rain,” starring Gene Kelly; James Cagney and John Wayne in signature roles; Tarzan and Jane in a jungle adventure; “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” featuring Indiana Jones; the dark labyrinth of the spaceship Nostromo from “Alien” and the memorable characters who travel the yellow brick road in “The Wizard of Oz.”