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Changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Fall 2015 Edition

Several weeks ago, I wrote an article taking some stabs as to how Disney’s Hollywood Studios might look in several years with the drastic modifications needed to add much needed capacity to the park. I would like to follow up with how that landscape looks now that many announcements have been made about the park’s future.

Star Wars Launch Bay
First of all, let’s point out my biggest mistake in the last article. The closing of The Magic of Disney Animation does not mean the building will be torn down. Rather, the new Star Wars Launch Bay will be opening in this space in December 2015. Therefore, the building will not be demolished.

Toy Story Land

However, my theory of using the space behind Toy Story Midway Mania is indeed happening. If you take a look at the concept art above, those buildings in the foreground are what we now know as the back of TSMM.

Andy’s toy box in the art above now becomes the new entrance to TSMM with FastPass+ and Standby being on either side of the box. Guests are now sent down between the existing two-track version and the new one-track version and the crowds can be dispersed from a merge point there.

Toy Story Land
Even more interesting is the entrance of Toy Story Land in the lower right side of the artwork. The only place for this to go, considering the former Star Wars Launch Bay is sticking around for a while, is where the former Legend of Jack Sparrow currently resides. Is that enough space to enter an entire new land? Hard to say, but the rumors about Mermaid and Walt getting the ax are gaining traction. Could they be getting the ax? We should know fairly soon. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios Streets of America
Shifting gears to the opposite side of the park, Disney recently confirmed that 2015 will indeed be the last year they will display the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America. It stands to reason that this mostly dormant section of the park will be demolished for the new Star Wars land.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Google Earth
All the way from around the Echo Lake area down to the former home of the Frozen Sing-A-Long show can be used for future expansion for Star Wars. Along the way, this means Pizza Planet and Mama Melrose can also be re-themed to Star Wars in order to create an experience like Diagon Alley at Universal, with multiple locations to shop and dine with unique themed options.

Lights Motors Action

This means that from Star Tours down to Lights, Motors, Action! is a fairly massive building that is next to impossible to work around and still keep it in its original form: MuppetVision 3D.

Jim Henson MuppetVision 3D
I know I might be lynched for this, but no matter where you put the Star Wars expansion, the Muppets have to be evicted. Could they be moved elsewhere? Possibly. Would I hold my breath? I wouldn’t. The show hasn’t exactly been popular for years and it may see a spike in attendance with the new ABC series debuting in September 2015, it may be too late to save one of my personal favorites and very beloved attractions.

Walt Disney One Man's Dream
Assuming I am correct and Muppets, Mermaid and Walt are all going to be evicted (perhaps not simultaneously), how can Disney justify keeping guests entertained in the interim?

Premiere Theater
Jumping across the park, there is currently a theater being built designed as a flex space, much like the soon-to-be former Premiere Theater at the end of Streets of America. It can be used for Magic Music Days or special events, but in the meanwhile it CAN be used as a performance space for a daily show to help absorb the crowds.

Whatever daily show goes in there can’t have a huge set or even a large cast in order for it to be struck quickly for special events and then brought back to the daily show within a matter of hours.
Comedy Warehouse
What could go in this theater? Several ideas come to mind. The Comedy Warehouse sure did have a successful run during the 2014 holiday season. It would be a great idea to bring it back. Also, there sure was that one-night-only Villains Unleashed event which featured shows that only ran for one evening. Maybe they could be modified for this new theater.  Your thoughts?

Villains Unleashed
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Photos Courtesy: Mousesteps.com, Theme Park University

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One Comment

  1. fan51
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The only thing we can be sure about is Toy Story Land will be in the former backlot. They most definitely need to demolish either the Jack Sparrow or One Man’s Dream building or both to give access to the new land. Star Wars Land is a bit trickery and unknown. They suggested rerouting the road that gives access to the parking lot. This means Star Wars Land can go further east towards the parking lot or south into the virgin territory. There are other rumors the main entrance could move further east. This means The Muppets could possibly be saved and the HISTA playground could remain, but I prefer they go.

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