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Disney-MGM Studios

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

History of Disney-MGM Studios
Disney-MGM Studios opened in May 1989 as Disney's pre-emptive strike against Universal Studios Florida, which opened the next year up the road in Orlando. This was the first U.S. theme park built under Michael Eisner's term as Disney CEO, but Disney relied heavily upon other film studios, notably MGM, for "grown-up" films to license in the studio's attractions, as the company feared Disney's films at the time wouldn't appeal beyond kiddie audiences.

The park's original layout mimicked Universal Studios Hollywood, with a "backstage" tram tour providing most of the entertainment. A few stage shows and one dark ride rounded out the attractions. Rumors soon swirled that Michael Eisner had seen Universal's plans for its Florida park when he was working at Paramount and lifted them for Disney-MGM. Whatever the case, Universal abandoned the tram tour model for USF, opting instead for a more traditional theme park layout. And within a few years, Disney-MGM did the same, chopping the tour and loading the park with popular thrill rides, such as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

How do you get to Disney-MGM Studios?

Disney-MGM is located 30 minutes south of Orlando, off Interstate 4. The Orlando International Airport is the closest to the Walt Disney World resort. Take the GreeneWay toll road from the airport for quickest access to Disney-MGM. From Orlando, take I-4 to the Epcot exit, then follow the signs to Disney-MGM. From the Tampa area, take I-4 to the Magic Kingdom exit.

When is the best time to visit?

The least crowded seasons are from Labor Day to Thanksgiving and from the week after the President's Day holiday (in mid-February) to the start of Spring Break, in mid-March.

Where should I stay?

You can read reader reviews and check room rates for hotels in and near Disney-MGM Studios on our Walt Disney World hotels page.

How do I get tickets to Disney-MGM Studios?

In January, 2005, Disney changed its ticket structure for Walt Disney World, introducing the "Magic Your Way" plan that added more options and increased prices for most selections. You can choose a ticket length from one day to seven, then add a variety of options at additional cost, including the ability to visit multiple parks on each day and the ability to have your unused days not expire within 14 days of the ticket's first use. Please take a look at our analysis of "Magic Your Way."

Disney sells Disney World tickets on its website, but you cannot print the tickets at home, meaning you must order early enough in advance to have the tickets mailed to you.

You can also buy tickets through your local auto club, Disney Store or through a school or work activities office. Many offsite hotels also sell Disney passports at their front desks.

Whatever you do, though, buy your tickets before you get to the park. No sense wasting the first couple hours of your first day's visit waiting in line at the ticket booths.

What's new at Disney-MGM Studios?

Lights, Motors, Action!, a clone of the Disney Studios Paris auto stunt show, opened earlier in 2005.

Plan your day at Disney-MGM Studios

Head down Hollywood Boulevard for the park's two most popular attractions, the Rockin' Roller Coaster, Starring Aerosmith and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Grab a Fastpass (ride reservation) for one then ride the other.

You'll also want to see Fantasmic, the park's night-time show, at the end of the day. Several park restaurants offer a package that includes a dinner reservation and reserved seats to the show. If you don't take that option, arrive 60-120 minutes early, depending on how busy the park is, to get a seat.

Ride and restaurant reservations at Disney-MGM Studios

Call (407) WDW-DINE 90 days in advance to make dining reservations.

Is Disney-MGM Studios safe?

Like at all major theme parks, you'll be safer in Disney-MGM Studios than you'll be on the highway driving there. Check our Accident Watch section for recent injury accidents at Disney-MGM Studios.

Parents should also be sure to take a look at our list of rides with height restrictions at Disney-MGM Studios. For more tips to help ensure that you and your family stay safe, visit our theme park safety tips page.

What's coming next to Disney-MGM Studios?

Rumors said that Disney will build Indiana Jones Ride without remove the Indiana Jones show.It will come at 2008/2009.Also the old Star Tours will be remove and change the name into Star Tours 2.It will have new film and perhaps new experience of bump,movements and G-Force.

Millionaire seems to be removed.It will change into a family-friendly stunt show.

And this is confirmed A Narnia attraction will be coming to Mgm

This article was submitted by Gabriel Perez on October 3, 2005.