Whats New at Disneys Hollywood Studios for 2008

By: Kingston Amadan

Since it opened on May 1, 1989 as the third major theme park at Walt Disney World(r) Resort, Disney-MGM Studios has celebrated the golden age of Hollywood with such classic attractions as The Great Movie Ride, Magic of Disney Animation and the fascinating Backlot Tour. However, starting in January 2008, Disney plans to change the theme park's name to "Disney's Hollywood Studios," which reflects "how the park has grown . . . to a celebration of the new entertainment that today's Hollywood has to offer - in music, television, movies and theater," according to Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton (August 9, 2007, press release).

Along with the name change to "Disney's Hollywood Studios," the 135-acre theme park will launch a slew of new attractions, live shows and special events in 2008 to complement such classics as Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show; Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Major attractions and live entertainment venues to be added for 2008 at Disney's Hollywood Studios include the following:

Block Party Bash
An all-new Disney-Pixar inspired parade, Block Party Bash, will enable guests to sing and dance along with their favorite characters from such hit Disney animated films as A Bug's Life, Cars, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille and Toy Story. The Block Party Bash also features high-flying acrobatics and is a must-see for guests visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios starting in the spring of 2008 (replacing the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade). .

High School Musical 2: School's Out!
The interactive High School Musical 2: School's Out show makes it debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios with a lively cast that dances and sings to hit songs from the wildly successful Disney Channel original film, "High School Musical 2: School's Out!" Catch "Wildcat fever" at the High School Musical 2: School's Out show, which will be presented multiple times daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Jedi Training Academy
Based on the incredibly popular Star Wars films, the Jedi Training Academy at Star Tours features an intergalactic entertainment experience that gives young Jedi students the opportunity to learn the "ways of the force" in order to battle and defeat the evil Darth Vader and his minions. The Jedi Training Academy will take place multiple times daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Play House Disney-Live on Stage!
A whole new Play House Disney show at Disney's Hollywood Studios will include a host of new Disney Channel characters from such programs as "Handy Manny," "Little Einsteins" and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." Designed for preschoolers, the live Play House Disney show will last approximately 20 minutes and take place multiple times daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Playhouse Disney is located on Soundstage 5 in the Animation Courtyard, directly across from The Magic of Disney Animation.

Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Mania! takes the interactive ride-game experience to infinity . . . and beyond! Inspired by the classic Disney-Pixar animated movie, Toy Story, Toy Story Mania! will make its debut in the summer of 2008 as the newest attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. With state-of-the-art, 3-D technology, this thrilling interactive ride will take guests on a wild adventure through a video game where they use spring-action shooters to toss rings at aliens, throw eggs at barnyard targets and launch darts at balloons (scoring points in the process just like at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin). Toy Story Mania! will feature all your favorite Toy Story characters such as Woody, Hamm, Rex and much more.

In addition, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be an integral part of Disney's Year of a Million Dreams celebration, which has been extended throughout 2008. Disney's Year of a Million Dreams celebration will feature the Disney Dreams Giveaway, which boasts "more dreams that only Disney can make true" such as a night's stay inside Cinderella Castle Suite at Disney's Magic Kingdom, a star-studded trip to the "High School Musical 3" film premiere, a flight in a hot air balloon high above a Disney World theme park or a private day at Disney's tropical island paradise, Castaway Cay.

Special events such as ABC Super Soap Weekend (November), the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (November-January), ESPN the Weekend (late February) and Star Wars Weekends (June) will continue to take place at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2008. In addition, Night of Joy at Walt Disney World will be hosted for the first time by Disney's Hollywood Studios. Held in early September (September 5 and 6 for 2008), Night of Joy features some of the most talented singers in contemporary Christian music for a magical celebration full of joy and inspiration. Four popular acts have already confirmed for the 2008 Night of Joy: MercyMe, tobyMac, Chris Tomlin and Rush of Fools.

Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2008 will also continue to feature opportunities for kids of all ages to meet and greet their favorite characters such as the Power Rangers, JoJo and Goliath and Little Einsteins as well as Lightning McQueen and Mater from Disney-Pixar's animated movies, Cars.

"Make plans to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2008 and experience all of the new entertainment options that this dynamic Disney World theme park has to offer," said Kyle Collins, Director of Interactive Marketing at HotelsCorp.com. "And by booking your Disney World vacation online today, you can enjoy unbeatable savings on discount Disney tickets, hotels near Disney and Disney World vacation packages."

Orlando, Florida Guide, the best guide to Orlando, offers discount Disney World tickets, discount Universal Orlando tickets and discount Sea World Orlando tickets, as well as discount Orlando hotels and individually tailored Orlando vacation packages.

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