Let's take a trip in our time machines and look back at what the Disney-MGM Studios were like back in 1993. These look backs are always interesting for nostalgia and to also see the differences in the park then compared to today.
The cover of the park map features the Genie from Aladdin, which has opened in 1992 and was a popular hit. More surprising to me is that all four of the attractions highlighted on the cover are all still operating today in Disney's Hollywood Studios (although it is a different version of Star Tours).
These informational pages that were typical of park maps back then are something I miss. Today's park map is just that - a map. In the 1980s and 1990s, park maps were informational as well and gave brief descriptions of everything in the park. The photos are probably the most obvious thing that stands out and the parade is the old Aladdin's Royal Caravan parade that opened in December 1992 and would run in the park until 1995.
There's photos of the Great Movie Ride sans giant hat, Sorcery in the Sky and some old Streetmosphere characters that look more like Canadian Mounties than LA cops.
The guide itself does list some interesting entertainment options. Sorcery in the Sky was listed as being show nightly during summer and holidays and the Star Today program was still in effect. Star Today brought C and D-list celebrities to the Studios for guests to meet them.
Here we have a listing of all the restaurants and shops at the Studios and the now-extinct locations is what I'm always drawn to. The Soundstage Restaurant and Catwalk Bar are the most interesting. The photo shows the restaurant had already changed to the Aladdin character meal. Just like Sorcery in the Sky, it's listed as seasonal.
As for the shops, a vast majority of the shops remain in Disney's Hollywood Studios today. There's a few that are now gone, such as Fototoons, Lakeside News and Sweet Success. There are others that had their name changed but surprisingly most are still around today.
I don't know why but references to film always seem so nostalgic and here we find the different films you can use and which is best. All I can say is thank goodness for digital cameras.
Once again, the photos here are the most interesting aspect with another picture of the Great Movie Ride facade with no Sorcerer's Hat and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The right side of the page tells what's new and happening around the rest of Walt Disney World and it's amusing to see what Disney was pushing in 1993, such as River Country and "Broadway at the Top" dinner show.
Finally we have the park map and there's a few big differences here. First, Beauty and the Beast is being shown in what used to be called the Backlot Theater. It was moved here temporarily while the stage was being constructed on Sunset Boulevard, which had yet to open. In addition, the Studio Showcase sounds a lot like the AFI Showcase that we have today at the conclusion of the Backlot Tour. Lastly, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were on New York Street to meet.
The state of the Backlot Tour is the most interesting aspect of this part of the map. Inside the Magic: Special Effects and Production Tour is comprised of the water tank portion of today's Backlot Tour and other parts of what would later be called the Backstage Pass tour. Most of what is on this tour is no longer accessible, with many of the soundstages converted over to attractions.
The Backstage Studio Tour is the tram portion of the tour and still boarded where today we have the Magic of Disney Animation. Just a few years prior, the Inside the Magic: Special Effects and Production Tour and the Backstage Studio Tour were one giant, two-hour long attraction.
By far the most interesting part of this map is the coming soon look at Sunset Boulevard. The map only references one attraction, the Tower of Terror, which would not open for another year. You can see the Theater of the Stars on the map, which would be the future home to Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage. The artist's rendering is also interesting because of the layout of the road. It's curved and no room for the restaurants or other attractions that would eventually call Sunset Boulevard home.
No park map is complete without a gratuitous advertisement for Kodak film. I do find it amusing that you could have rented a Kodak camera back then.