On May 1st, 2009, Hollywood Studios will be taking a page out of the Walt Disney World playbook and celebrating something special. The promotional commercials you've likely seen from Disney to encourage you to celebrate something this year is being taken to heart at Hollywood Studios because a special group is doing just that and celebrating the anniversary of Disney's Hollywood Studios and you're invited to participate!
The group hosting the celebration is WDWCelebrations, a fan group that has been puting together celebrations for park anniversaries for a couple of years now. You may recall the Epcot 25th celebration that they organized not too long ago and since then, they've celebrated Animal Kingdom's 10th anniversary as well as a "World Wide Weekend" to just be fans of Walt Disney World in general. The group is chaired by Jason Diffendal and Adam Roth, who are once again at it with plans for a 20th anniversary celebration for Disney's Hollywood Studios. WDWCelebrations is joining forces with Studios Central, to help commemorate this important occasion and I took some time to talk with both Diffendal and Roth about this year's event.
To begin with, Studio 20, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Adam Roth describes the event as, "Studio 20 will offer some new twists on some of our traditional schedule activities, all the while offering guests a chance to meet and mingle with like-minded fans in the ultimate Disney environment. Customs for our event such as group photos and group rides will return once more in addition to some special events that I am personally thrilled to see among our offerings." Diffendal described what sort of events guests can expect that day, "The History Walk is a guided walking tour of significant landmarks in the park chock full of information, including tidbits of trivia as well as interesting facts about how the park was envisioned and developed. The Scavenger Hunt is fun event in which teams tackle a list of challenging questions based all around the park. No prior knowledge is required for the Scavenger Hunt, just an observant eye! In addition, we'll have our standard group rides as well as a group lunch at Backlot Express. And as is typical at our events, there is always the possibility that there will be a couple surprises thrown in too! "
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Studios is important to both men and Diffendal outlined some of the goals of the event, "More than anything, our events are for the fans. We want people to have a great time with other Disney park fans; that is our ultimate goal. Along with that we hope that through activities such as the History Walk and Scavenger Hunt, attendees will come away with a greater appreciation of the park and its history."
The Studio 20 event is more than just the WDWCelebrations guys commemorating the event. Moreover, Studios Central as well as everyone at Walt Disney World is invited to attend the event and registration is open to everyone. For a nominal fee, you can help celebrate the event as well as be part of the Studios history by being a part of this important event, "We hope to bring fans together once more to celebrate another amazing asset in Disney’s catalogue. Personal ties to each of the parks can be found with every guests, whether a memory or special experience; the reasons to celebrate are already existing. Our job as event planners is to offer a schedule of events that allows guests to share their experiences and memories with others while creating new memories… My only hope is that another 20 years down the line, our event guests can remember Studio 20 as another special experience they shared at Disney’s Hollywood Studios."
Both Adam and Jason have been fans of Hollywood Studios for some time now and I wanted to get a sense of what both of them remembered from their early days at the Studios. For Adam, his earliest memory of the Studios goes to the Great Movie Ride, "Every scene and every minute fascinated me as a young child. I remember being truly petrified of the Alien that popped out at you from overhead, but also amazed at the finale scene with the 'downfall of Mugsy.' And the final film montage was another highlight for me. I made it a goal at that point to see as many of the movies pictured as possible… Its just a shame I haven’t gotten that far!" Jason also recalls fun first trips, and memories of the Backlot Tour are firmly with him, "The backlot tour was definitely one of my favorite attractions. I remember being awed at seeing Walt Disney's plane as well as the house from the Golden Girls, and Catastrophe Canyon was definitely a highlight."
If this event sounds fun to you, then you should definitely be part of the fun. As I mentioned earlier, Studios Central is going to be part of the event this year and all members of the Studios Central community are invited to join myself and the WDWCelebration staff for what is sure to be an event to remember. If you want to be part of the fun, head over to the WDWCelebration site and register.
So what's next for the WDWCelebrations guys? Well, they're not saying quite yet but both Adam and Jason were quick to note that they do have something up their sleeves. Adam hinted at their plans, "WDWCelebrations has an amazing slate of events lined up for the coming years, and while I can’t give it all away just yet, I can say that whatever we do, our events will continue to help guests celebrate the “magic of the past, present and future together."