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Topic: This week, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios by looking back at the 25 Things We Love, Miss or Remember about the Disney-MGM Studios, including shows, restaurants, parades, attractions and probably a few things that you have never seen… or even heard of before.

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio show. Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

– Lou Mongello

Information and Links from This Week’s Show:

Question for YOU: What is YOUR favorite memory, attraction, show, shop or experience from the past 25 years of the Disney-MGM/Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Leave your reply in the Comments below!

Past Episodes Referenced in this week’s show:

  1. Roger Rabbit in Walt Disney World: What Is, Was, and Might Have Been
  2. The Muppets in Walt Disney World, and The Muppets That Never Were
  3. On the Trail of the Rocketeer – Recorded Live from Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

robin william walter cronkite aniamtion tour disney

  • Listen to this week’s episode for the Walt Disney World Trivia Question of the Week for a chance to win a Disney prize package!
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  • Watch & chat during our LIVE WDW NewsCast Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET at
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  • Get Celebrations Magazine at
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29 thoughts on “Show # 361 – 25 Things We Love, Miss or Remember About the Disney-MGM Studios”

  1. Ana Kurland says:

    2 things: The Dinosaurs (Sinclair family) show/mini-parade, and seeing Pierce Brosnan in the Star of the Day show.

  2. (Then) Disney-MGM Studios was the very first Disney Park I ever went to, back in ’95 when you saw the Chinese Theatre at the end of the street. That is what me and my family were drawn to first. So my very first Disney ride was The Great Movie Ride, which is still one of my all-time favorite attractions today!

    MGM (Hollywood) is one of the biggest inspirations behind my love of art. I met Disney Artist David Rippberger when I went in ’97, and his encouragement and kindness has always been super meaningful and inspiring to me as well. He signed my Lion King how-to-draw book all those years ago, and it’s always a treat to see him still there! He has a desk in the Animation Gallery shop. You have to say hi to him if you haven’t already, he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met :).

  3. Renee Rivas says:

    I REALLY miss the animation tour circa late 90s/early 2000s! I myself was a budding young artist, and it made quite an impact on me. I remember Walter Cronkite narrating, and I got a kick out of seeing the room with Disney artists painting animation cels. I thought that was just about the coolest job ever to make all the Disney characters come to life!

    Also, by chance, while visiting the park another time, I was about ten years old, and I was able to ask a question to my favorite actress Mayim Bialik (“Blossom”) during a celebrity Q & A session.

  4. Maureen says:

    I really loved The Hunchback of Notre Dame show. It was amazing! I was so glad I got to see it before it was taken out.

  5. Mark says:

    My wife & I miss the Miss Piggy travel trailer we found at Disney MGM on backlot tour in 1993. It was pink of course.

  6. Kenneth L says:

    I really miss the Osborne lights on the residential backlot. Seemed like I was walking through a neighborhood. Wish they would bring that back!
    Still love visiting DHS. We did the character drawing class and One Man’s Dream on recent visits. Toy Story still rocks!

  7. Lou Mongello says:

    I LOVED Hunchback (other than when it was really hot outside). The music, the pageantry, the colors… one of my favorite shows ever at Disney-MGM Studios

  8. Mike says:

    I really miss Four For a Dollar, who performed before the Beauty and the Beast show. The first time you saw them, you really thought they were castmembers fooling around, until they got going. Their songs were so good, and they were very entertaining!!

    Great show as always, Lou!

  9. Kay says:

    I loved this show – reminded me of a lot of wonderful attractions and experiences I didn’t even know I missed. Namely, the Pocahontas show. When guy brought it up, I remembered that I took leaves from the show and stuck them in an autograph book during my trip. I hope they are still there!!

    My favourite MGM miss? Well, as you might have noticed- the name. I still call it MGM, and do not let facts stand in my way. 🙂

  10. Wes says:

    My brother and I were chosen to climb onto the giant bumblebee and filmed in front of a green screen for a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids effects section of the Backstage Tour. It was pretty neat.
    Also, we saw an area where they were filming a brand new live TV show called “Adventures in Wonderland”. Ahh, the good old days.

  11. Jamie Lynn says:

    I really miss the old animation tour and remember when it was a working studio. I especially LOVED the short movie with Robin Williams- it always made me laugh! My very first trip to WDW in ’93, we also saw John Stamos and that was super exciting for me, as I watched Full House everyday. 🙂 He did the whole parade and handprint thing in front of the Chinese theatre, and that was my first ever celebrity encounter, which was awesome.

  12. Kelly Z. says:

    I miss the Pocahontas show. Loved Hunchback show as well. Sorcerey in the Skies (I think that’s waht it was called…) where the huge Sorcer Mickey balloon by the Chinese Theater was there with the fireworks and all ——- magical!!! i miss calling it MGM studios…I will ALWAYS call it that (and my kids yell at me – lol!)

  13. Kelly Z. says:

    OMG! YES!!!! Bear in the Big Blue House!!!! Magnificent show. i remember my son trying to catch the bubbles with his little 2 year old hands!! loved that!!!! “CLAMS!!!” 🙂

  14. Daniel says:

    I really miss going through the animation studios and staring at the animators desks, trying to peek at what toys, stuffed animals, or pictures of families they had. I also liked looking at their drawings trying to get a “sneak-peek” at what the upcoming animation movie would look like (I remember seeing drawings of Tarzan and gorillas.) What an amazing experience.

  15. Arthur Allen says:

    While you said that TV shows don’t film the exteriors of real houses, that’s not always true. When Parks and Recreation first started, I was curious about The Pit in the show. I found the location and looked at it in Google Maps. There between the satellite photo and Street View, I could see variations between an abandoned apartment building and a flat vacant lot. Later an updated satellite photo showed the Christmas village used in the show. Wow! When I first explored the neighborhood online, I went around the corner and found Ann Perkins’ house. Again, WOW! Exploring with Street View is almost the same as being there. It will have to hold me until I can afford to travel anywhere again, if I ever do.

    Also, one thing I like about Hollywood Studios is that unlike every other Disney park, they don’t have a train station or tree or something between the gate and the rest of the park. You go in to the DHS gate and you’re immediately plopped down in the middle of the park. I’ve only been there once, so there’s nothing I’ve missed. I would have liked to have taken the animation tour, and I hear Echo Lake may be replaced in the future.

  16. Mark C says:

    While I enjoyed the podcast and it brought back many great memories, I wished there was more time devoted to what you love about the current Hollywood Studios. But then again, that would have made for a very long show! Thanks for all you do Lou and keep it up!

  17. Karen Klein says:

    I really miss the animators’ tour, as mentioned above, where you could see them working on real films (I remember one visit they were working on Hercules). But the thing I miss most about the Studios is Four for a Dollar. While BATB is great, they were the real reason I saw that show so many times and I haven’t been back since Disney didn’t renew their contract. Loved their harmonies, their personalities while singing and the serenades for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I have all of their albums (they go by Return 2 Zero off-property) and enjoy them, but I miss the live performance.

  18. Stephanie says:

    I don’t know if it is still there or not, but my friend and I loved the facade for the Priscilla Hotel for single women. It was the residence of Millie and Miss Dorothy in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” with Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore. We found it when we were at (then) MGM Studios in the early 90’s.

  19. Geoffrey says:

    What I love: I currently love most everything at the Studios. From classic favorites like The Great Movie Ride and Muppet-Vision 3D to big thrills like Tower of Terror to simple pleasures like the Animation Academy.

    What I miss: Two words- Captain Rex. I realize that he’s still there in the queue for Star Tours, currently suffering from faulty wiring, but I miss him being our pilot. C-3PO is fine and humorous, but nothing quite beats Robot Pee-Wee Herman taking the trench run while doing the classic Pee-Wee laugh.

    What I remember: I do remember the Toy Story parade they had back in the 90s. One of my fondest memories is back when I was afraid of Tower of Terror, my mom and sister would go back on it later in the day, and in the meantime, I would get to have some quality with my dad by revisiting Star Tours and more and getting a souvenir in the gift shop.

  20. Jesse says:

    One thing immediately comes to mind… Soundsations: the 3D audio booth. Aaahhhh to be R. J. McBean again.

  21. Bridgette G says:

    Lou will appreciate this because the two things I miss are food related!

    The commissary used to serve a Cubano sandwich with plantain chips. I was very disappointed when I found it was no longer on the menu.

    And the Herbie refreshment stand outside the lights motor action show used to serve some sort of banana frozen smoothie drink. I forget what it was called, but Omg it was so good!

  22. Jackie says:

    Four for a dollar!! I would go to the Beauty and Beast stage show just for the preshow and then leave. Their Christmas show was great too!

  23. Ashley says:

    My best friend lives in Orlando and works at Walt Disney World. I live Burbank and live only a few blocks away from the Disney Studios. I have been wanting to do a photo shoot with her where she would take a picture of something in Disney Hollywood Studios and I would take a picture next to the real thing in LA. Do you have any suggestions of locations within Walt Disney World who’s real life inspirations I could find in LA?

  24. Ray says:

    Wonderful episode! I was young when MGM opened, but I fondly remember many of the attractions mentioned on the show.

    Can anyone identify the arrangement of movie themes that was playing as they wrapped up the show? It had bits of Over the Rainbow, Bridge Over the River Kwai, Chim Chim Cher-ee, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Indiana Jones. It was a great orchestral arrangement that I’d love to find. Thanks!

  25. Emily says:

    I’m not seeing anyone really mentioning it, but I miss the Hunchback stage show more than words can describe! It is one of my favorite Disney movies- if not my favorite! And that is saying A LOT. I’m eighteen years old and was rather young when the Hunchback was still at then-MGM. This being said, I’m sure I have forgotten a whole lot, and would love to have this experience again, and even more than that let my younger sister have the same experience I did!

    PS: Lou, I’m a huge fan of the show. I have been listening since the beginning! Thank you so much for what you do and getting me through the gaps between our annual WDW trip!

  26. Sherry says:

    I loved seeing the wall that visiting cartoonists drew on and signed when DSH was still a working animation studio. You could see it on the old tour. I was told the wall was removed and is stored safely somewhere.
    I also enjoyed the old Super Star Theater. My brother was once picked to be in the “Cheers” portion.

  27. It will always be Disney MGM Studios, and I am sad to see the Backlot Tour us closing. My daughter and I love it. I was chosen to be part of the show back in 2007! FUN! FUN! FUN!

  28. Glenn says:

    Catching up on the shows. Just finished this one. Love it because in a way, DHS is my favorite park. I miss Hunchback show. I’ll never forget being amazed by how great that show was. I also miss the sound booths in the post-show area of Monster Sound. I also remember being blown away by that technology, which really was only sound, but it was amazing what sound alone could do. But the one thing I miss most is actually a lot rolled into one–the aspects of the park being a working studio–or even emulating a working studio. The attractions I miss that would fall into this are: celebrities in the park, hand print ceremonies in front of Chinese Theater, FULL backlot tour (including blue screen, prop houses, ride-through, Residential Street), the possibility of seeing scenes being filmed for movies, stunt performers on New York Street. Something I learned from this podcast–that at one time you could actually WALK THROUGH Residential Street!?! I had no idea that ever existed. Would have LOVED to walk through that–oh the pictures I would have taken! I only ever rode through it. Thanks for this great show! Not my favorite attraction (because it’s not technically an attraction), but my favorite non-attraction about the park? The entrance and the park’s overall look and “theme color–” that teal-like color. I LOVE walking/riding the tram up to the gate and just seeing those retro spires modeled after the Pan Pacific Auditorium. I know I’m going long (like your podcast–but don’t start cutting it short–I love it long!!), but one more thing I want to point out with the removal of the monstrosity known as the Sorcerer’s Hat. I keep seeing people say that the old park icon was the Chinese Theater….but it was NEVER the official icon of the park. Before the Hat, the official icon was the Earful Tower!! I wish they would bring back that as the official icon. With that said, though, the “weenie” of the park, and the wonderful “Main Street view,” should go back to the Chinese Theater. Sorry. There is the nostalgic in me. If you’re still reading this, bless your heart; and thanks! Love Lou and love WDW Radio!!

  29. Chuck Zitta says:

    Here’s a few things I miss from the Studios including:

    1. Art of Animation
    2. The original full length Backlot Tour
    3. Hunchback show
    4. Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
    5. The Gumdrop cocktail from the Osborne Lights show
    6. Worlds largest hidden Mickey
    7. My kids being young and being able to go see Bear in the Big Blue House, Stanley and Rollie Pollie Ollie. (They watched those shows every morning when they were little).

    Thanks again for another spectacular show Lou, Ryan and Suzanna!!!