WDWNT’s Hollywood Studios Appreciation Week Returns April 27th-May 1, 2020 with Presentations from Disney Legends and Imagineers, Great Movie Ride Special, and More!

In 2016, WDWNT began to observe a new tradition called Disney’s Hollywood Studios appreciation day. In 2017, we extended the event into a whole week of special events, and this year will be no different!

Why are we doing this? Well, because even as the Disney-MGM Studios, this park has never had the spotlight it deserves, so we will take a week to remind everyone of all the great things there have been to see and do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From Streetmosphere and Fantasmic, to Star Tours and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, we will cover and celebrate it all!

This year, we will premiere the full presentations from last year’s WDWNT event, Stage 89!

All 3 full-length presentations from Disney Imagineers and Legends will premiere on YouTube throughout the week. Dates and times are listed below.

Here’s a schedule of “coming attractions” for the week:

April 27, 2020

  • Hollywood Studios Watch-Alongs at 11am on YouTube and on WDWNT social media channels – Join Tom for a viewing of some extinct Hollywood Studios offerings including Back to Neverland starring Robin Williams and Walter Cronkite, Disney’s Stars and Motorcars Parade, Star Wars Weekends – Hyperspace Hoopla, and the Hollywood Studios 25th Anniversary Fireworks Show.
  • Cosmic Reid Live at 9pm on YouTube and on WDWNT social media channels – This week on Cosmic Reid Live, Chris, Jeff and Angelina run down their Disney’s Hollywood Studios favorites! From their favorite memories, food, drinks, attractions and shows, you won’t want to miss it. Plus, listen to WDWNTunes at the same time as the hosts will pop on there and play a special Studios music hour!

April 28, 2020

  • Stage 89 Presentation Premiere at 11am ET on YouTube“Backstage Pass” with former Imagineer Brian CollinsAs a Disney Cast Member and Imagineer in the early 1990’s, Brian helped create the magic for some of the most beloved attractions throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including show concepts for such attractions as The Great Movie Ride, Studio Backlot Tour, Jungle Cruise, and Epcot’s World Showcase. After leaving Disney, he continued to earn his stripes in a variety of creative positions within the ranks of corporate America.  A passionate educator, Brian has served on the faculty of several colleges and universities where he has developed and taught courses on entrepreneurship, marketing, innovation, and even “Product Development for Theme Parks.”  Through it all, he has always maintained a “dotted line” relationship with Disney and has continued to work for them in a variety of freelance and contractual projects over the years.

  • Ride Rehab Watches The Grand Opening of the Disney-MGM Studios at 9pm on YouTube and on WDWNT social media channels – Tyler, Thomas, Ben, and more will be watching and riffing along to the Disney-MGM Grand Opening, complete with vintage commercials.

April 29th, 2020

  • Stage 89 Presentation Premiere at 11am ET on YouTube – “Special Effects Workshop” with former Imagineers Jack Gillett and James Mulder: Jack Gillett, a 26-year Imagineering veteran, was a Principal Special Effects Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering.  In that role, he took the creative lead on developing, designing, and installing special effects for Walt Disney Imagineering projects spanning from the opening of EPCOT Center and continuing up to recent special projects and opportunities.  Beginning as Cinetechnician at Walt Disney Studios, Jack quickly transitioned to WED/MAPO in order to bring his one-of-a-kind technical know-how and creativity to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  Among the highlights of Jack’s portfolio is his work as lead on projection effects for Horizons at EPCOT Center, work on projection technology for Star Tours, field installation for Euro Disney, design and installation of special effects for Space Mountain Paris, work on projection and interactive effects for Mickey’s Philharmagic 3-D show, effects work on Expedition Everest, and effects work on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  Jack worked closely with WDI R&D and was part of the “hit squad” that was responsible for the design, implementation, and installation of special effects as part of the Disney-MGM Studios project.  As part of this team, Jack lent his expertise to the classic early Studios attractions including the Backlot Tour, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and The Great Movie Ride.  Jack and his team are three-time TEA award winners for outstanding achieve for Special Effects for Space Mountain in Paris, Expedition Everest, and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. James Mulder, a 30-year veteran of the themed entertainment industry, was a Senior Principal Designer and Principal Special Effects Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering for more than twenty years.In that role, he took the creative lead on developing, designing, and installing special effects for Walt Disney Imagineering projects beginning with the opening of EPCOT Center and continuing up to recent opening of Shanghai Disneyland.Among the highlights of James’s portfolio is his work on visual effects for Journey Into Imagination, The American Adventure, Spaceship Earth, the Living Seas, and the Norway pavilion’s Maelstrom attraction at Epcot Center; management of design, production, and installation of visual effects and theatrical systems for Mickey’s Philharmagic 3-D show at Disney parks around the world; and management of design, production, and installation of visual effects and theatrical systems for It’s Tough to Be a Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.As part of the Disney-MGM Studios project, James contributed extensively to the design, fabrication and installation of visual effects for The Great Movie Ride and MuppetVision 3-D. For their efforts, James and his team won the TEA award winners for outstanding achieve for Special Effects for It’s Tough to be a Bug.James continues to work at the vanguard of visual effects technology in the themed entertainment industry for a variety of clients including work on the Shanghai Disneyland project and with Universal Studios Creative.

  • A special Hollywood Studios themed-episode of WDWNT ParksCenter will air at 9pm on YouTube and on WDWNT social media channels

April 30th, 2020

  • WDW News Tonight – A Spectacular Journey Into the Movies celebrates The Great Movie Ride at 9PM ET on YouTube and WDWNT social media channels. The show will feature The Fan-ly Feud, The Top 7 – Scenes from The Great Movie Ride, and a few surprise twists!

May 1st, 2020

  • Stage 89 Presentation Premiere at 11am ET on YouTube – “Star Conversation” with former executive vice president of Walt Disney Entertainment Ron Logan: As executive vice president of Walt Disney Entertainment, Ron Logan was responsible for creating, casting, and producing all live entertainment products for The Walt Disney Company, including the Disneyland Resort, the Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, The Disney Institute, Disney Business Productions, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Entertainment Productions, and Walt Disney Entertainment Worldwide. Logan also was executive vice president of the Walt Disney Special Events Group, executive vice president of Disney Special Programs, Inc. and the founder and first president of Disney Theatrical Productions, which produced Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and around the world. He was also involved in the following productions which he will be talking about at Stage 89: Disney-MGM Studios Grand Opening, Sorcery in the Sky, The Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure, Aladdin’s Royal Caravan Parade, Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage!, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Fantasmic!, Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and multiple offering from Pleasure Island.

  • WDWNT.com’s Back to the Future LIVE –  The Complete History of the Backlot Theater will air at 9pm on YouTube and on WDWNT social media channels

All Week Long:

WDWNTunes

From Monday through Thursday, we’ll be boosting our WDWNTunes radio station with even more Studios music starting at 9am ET, with a full hour of parade music at 3pm, and from 9pm – 10pm every night, tune in for the Fantasmic! Experience. Of course, May 1st marks the official anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and starting at 9:00 AM, it’ll be non-stop Disney’s Hollywood Studios/MGM music all day long! Tune in for music that’ll take you from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, to the action of the movies!

Paper Collectibles

With Disney Parks around the world closed for the foreseeable future, WDWNT is dipping into our archives of vintage parks materials for a look back into parks history! This week, we’ll take a look at incredible paper paraphernalia from the Disney-MGM Studios. These articles will detail the pamphlets page by page, but WIGS Members will have access to download a full-resolution PDF of each piece. Head on over to Patreon.com/wdwnt to join WIGS, the WDWNT Inner Globe Society, for as little as $2 a month and unlock access to great content like this, and much more!

We hope you will join us for a celebration of “The Hollywood That Never Was, But Always Will Be”, April 27th through May 1st, 2020!

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