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Extract from Wikipedia: The idea which led to the Disney-MGM Studios began at its sister park, Epcot. A team of Imagineers led by Marty Sklar and Randy Bright had been given an assignment to create two new pavilions for the park's Future World section. The fruits of the brainstorming sessions were the Wonders of Life pavilion and the Great Movie Ride pavilion. The second of the two was to have sat between the Land pavilion and the Journey Into Imagination pavilion, and was to look like a soundstage backdrop, with a movie theater-style entrance in the middle. The actual attraction is very similar to the plans for the equivalent at Epcot, only, when newly-appointed CEO Michael Eisner saw the plans for the pavilion, he requested that, instead of placing the ride in an already existing park, it should be surrounded by a brand new theme park which extended the showbiz, Hollywood and entertainment theme.

The Walt Disney Company's original concept of the Disney-MGM Studios was to operate it as a full fledged television and motion picture production facility, not just a theme park. When Disney-MGM opened in 1989, the studio/production facilities housed two major components, the first of which was Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida, where Disney produced a number of projects, including Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, and sequences from other 1990s-early 2000s Disney animated features. The second, larger, component was Walt Disney Studios Florida, which consisted of three soundstages used for various Disney projects including The Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club and Adventures in Wonderland. Several third party productions also used the Studios, including Superboy (first season only, from 1988-1989), Thunder in Paradise, one season of Let's Make a Deal, special broadcasts of Wheel of Fortune and airplane interior sequences for the feature film Passenger 57. In addition, a number of music videos and several tapings for World Championship Wrestling were also shot there. Even The Post Group had a Florida-based post-production facility located on the Studio lot throughout the 1990s. All these production and post-production facilities were constructed to be an integral part of the theme park's Backstage Studio Tour as well.

During the closing credits of the Mickey Mouse Club (later, MMC in its final seasons) and Adventures in Wonderland, the lit Disney-MGM water tower appeared on the screen and one of the cast said, "(insert show title here) was taped at the Disney-MGM Studios at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida." Disney management (including CEO Michael Eisner) decided to downsize Disney's Florida operations by closing the animation studio, laying-off personnel and then moving the operations to the main animation studio in Burbank, California.

A radio studio is also located on the lot, appropriately behind "Sounds Dangerous". It original housed the first children's radio network Radio Aahs which rented the studio. Later, Disney founded Radio Disney and essentially forced Radio Aahs out of business. Radio Disney decided it was no longer profitable to operate in Florida so they moved all of their shows from the Disney-MGM Studios to the Radio Disney headquarters in Dallas, Texas and the once bustling Disney Studios Florida radio studios are now used as remote studios for radio shows that are visiting Disney or the Orlando area and need a facility to broadcast from.

In 1992 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company claiming they violated a 1985 licensing agreement by operating a working movie and television studio at the Disney-MGM Studio in Florida. Disney filed a countersuit saying that MGM Studios, the MGM Grand Hotel, Casino and Park and MGM Airlines had conspired to violate Disney's right to exclusive use of the name MGM at the Florida theme park and that it would harm Disney's reputation by building the MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park in Las Vegas, Nevada. On October 23 Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe ruled against MGM and said that both the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida and the then under construction MGM Grand Theme Park in Las Vegas could use the MGM name as long as the MGM Grand does not carry a 'Hollywood' theme like the Disney-MGM Studios. MGM Grand has since dismantled their Las Vegas theme park and is using the land for hotel expansion.

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