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Disney removes old "MGM studio" signs, logo

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

December 31, 2007

The transformation of Walt Disney World's third theme park into "Disney's Hollywood Studios" is already apparent, though the park does not officially drop its old name, Disney-MGM Studios, until next Monday, with the full transition still months from completion.

Some signs with the old name have already been removed or painted over, including the one featuring the MGM lion trademark that had adorned the archway between the park's central courtyard and the Animation Courtyard. The "Earful Tower" water tower, essentially the park's road sign for traffic approaching from the south, also was painted over last week.

New park maps and merchandise with the new logo should start appearing within a few days, a Disney spokesman said. New "Disney's Hollywood Studios" signs should start going up Wednesday on and around the property, but some, including replacement lettering and artwork for the water tower and the archway, will take weeks to complete. Resortwide, nearly 500 Disney-MGM signs must be replaced, ranging from the giant one on the water tower to small ones at bus stops.

Disney announced the new name in August, saying it better reflects the company's determination to create a broader, updated image for the park, which opened in 1989. The change also will end a rocky, litigious partnership between Disney and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. film company.

The park's new logo dumps MGM's lion and replaces it with the torso, arms and head of Mickey Mouse, who is holding a filmmaker's clapboard amid some simple, brown lettering that gives the whole image a retro-Hollywood look.

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