Disney’s Hollywood Studios is undergoing a significant expansion and redesign with two major projects currently in development:
We won’t include the details of those projects in this tracker but the links above will detail each project individually.
Additional Park Changes
Additional details that have not been confirmed about park changes are as follows:
- The park is not expected to be renamed, but a new logo has been created.
- The budget for the total makeover is expected to be roughly $2.8 billion.
- A $3.5 billion budget was rumored to have been approved for the entire resort with $300-350 million allocated to improvements at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- The budget reportedly includes Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land, Infrastructure improvements, and other potential projects taking place between 2016-2022. It does not include projects that were already approved like the third track for Toy Story Midway Mania or the Sunset Showcase Theater.
Beyond the content mentioned above, additional projects are rumored to be in earlier phases of development. These rumors should be considered Blue Sky, but they include the following:
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage is expected to be replaced. Rumors include a Villains inspired show, a Tangled show, or upgrades to the existing show related to the Broadway production.
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is rumored to receive updates
- Muppet*Vision 3-D is rumored to close
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is rumored to be re-imagined
- Rock ‘N Roller Coaster is rumored to be re-imagined
- Monster’s Inc Area Rumor Tracker
- Updates to the Animation Courtyard area of the park.
- Longstanding rumors include the replacement of Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
- The expected timeline is after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, “by 2022”.
The following changes have already been made:
- The American Idol Experience had it’s last day of operation on August 30, 2014.
- The Studio Backlot Tour had it’s last day of operation on September 27, 2014.
- The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow had it’s last day of operation on November 6, 2014.
- Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post had it’s last day of operation on January 4, 2015
- The Sorcerer Hat Shop had it’s last day of operation on January 5, 2015.
- Construction walls were put up around the Sorcerer’s Hat on January 6, 2015.
- The Great Movie Ride had been updated with new narration, new marquees and a new finale film as of May 30, 2015.
- For the First Time in Forever a Frozen Sing-A-Long Celebration was relocated to the Hyperion Theater (Former Superstar Television/American Idol Experience theater) on June 17, 2015.
- The Magic of Disney Animation had it’s last day of operation on July 12, 2015.
- The Animation Gallery had it’s last day of operation on August 23, 2015.
- Watto’s Grotto re-opened on September 4, 2015
- The Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet officially opened near Disney Junior Live on Stage on October 8, 2015.
- Mulch Sweat ‘n Shears had it’s final performance on October 10, 2015.
- The Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet officially opened along Mickey Avenue on October 26, 2015.
- Star Wars Weekends have been retired. The official announcement was on November 9, 2015.
- The new scenes for Star Wars: The Adventures Continue debuted November 16, 2015.
- Star Wars Launch Bay debuted December 1, 2015.
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple debuted December 1, 2015.
- Club Disney soft opened in the Sunset Showcase Theater on December 1, 2015. The official opening is December 5, 2015.
- The Phineas and Ferb and Cars meet and greets had their last day of operation on January 4, 2016
- J.T. Co. Service Station had it’s last day of operation on January 4, 2016.
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will have their final run in 2015. The lights will be in place from November 6, 2015 through January 6, 2016.
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Herbie’s Drive In, Youse Guys Moychindice, and the Pretzel Garden had their last day of operation on April 2, 2016.
- The Monster’s Inc Meet and Greet had it’s last day of operation on April 2, 2016.
- The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playset had it’s last day of operation on April 2, 2016.
- The Earffel Tower had it’s last day of operation on April 2, 2016.
- Studio Catering Co. and High Octane Refreshments had their last days of operation on April 2, 2016.
- Watto’s Grotto had it’s last day of operation on April 2, 2016.
- A new meet and greet called Celebrity Spotlight opened across from Star Tours featuring Olaf from Frozen. This debuted May 4th, 2016.
- A new meet and greet is under construction across from Sci-Fi Dine In confirmed that this will become home to Mickey and Minnie. This opened May 8th, 2016.
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular debuts with a new launch area for fireworks directly west of the park. This debuted June 17, 2016.
- The Writer’s Stop had it’s last day of operation September 25, 2016.
- The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza had it’s last day of operation September 25, 2016.
- PizzeRizzo replaced Toy Story Pizza Planet on November 18, 2016.
- The Great Movie Ride had it’s last day of operation on August 13, 2017.
- Grand Avenue and BaseLine Tap House officially debuted on September 29, 2017. The former Muppets Courtyard area was reclassified as part of Grand Avenue.
- A new mobile stage in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater debuted on October 23, 2017. The stage is used for the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away show and replaces the permanent stage that was previously used.
- New background music debuted around the park on January 11, 2018.
- Toy Story Land officialy debuted June 30, 2018.
- A new auto entrance plaza debuted November 8, 2018. The new entrance is located off Osceola Parkway and the previous World Drive entrance was repurposed for cast member use only.
- A new road off Osceola Parkway behind the Art of Animation Resort.
- A temporary entrance road from World Drive to the theme park entrance toll plaza area for construction vehicles.
- A temporary bridge spanning the Canal L-402; and wetland impacts within these construction areas.
- Significant land clearing immediately Southeast of the park related to parking lot and park expansion.
- Two new bus loops opened on March 19, 2019
- The new parking lot tram drop off area and security checkpoint debuted May 14, 2019
- Parking lot sections were renamed to Mickey, Minnie, Jessie, Buzz, Olaf and BB-8 on May 19, 2019
- The old logo was covered on October 28, 2019 on the Animation Courtyard marquee and the new logo debuted November 4, 2019.
November 4, 2019: The new marquee for Hollywood Studios debuted. WDWMagic.com posted photos of the archway.
November 3, 2019: The new Hollywood Studios debuted on the Times Guide. OrlandoWeekly.com posted photos of the new logo.
October 28, 2019: The logo on the Animation Courtyard marquee is now covered and BlogMickey.com posted a photo of the change. The new logo is expected to be installed.
May 19, 2019: Parking lot sections were renamed to Mickey, Minnie, Jessie, buzz, Olaf and BB-8
May 14, 2019: The new tram loop and security area debuted.
May 1, 2019: As part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary celebration, Disney unvealed the new logo for the park. The logo features BB-8, Mickey Mouse (stylized like the recent cartoon shorts) and Woody appearing in the three “O’s in Hollywood.
March 19, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos of the new Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot signs and details of the new bus drop off areas. The parking lot sections were renamed to Disney characters:
Two new bus loops also opened next to the main entrance.
March 13, 2019: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the new bus drop is expected to be unveiled next week, as are the new names of the parking lot sections.
The previous Studios related names for the parking lot sections (Stage, Film, Music, etc) are being replaced with character names.
January 1, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog shared the new 30th Anniversary logo for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. the logo features the classic font with a large number 30 with both Mickey and Minnie stylized from the cartoon shorts. This version of Mickey and Minnie will be used in the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction that is set to open later this year.
December 15, 2018: @bioreonstruct on Twitter posted photos of a new restroom, not yet open at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios transportation plaza.
November 19, 2018: BlogMickey.com is reporting that on January 18, 2019, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is expected to unveil a new logo for the park’s 30th anniversary.
November 9, 2018: @bioreconstruct on Twitter posted a photo of the new bus terminal. Entrance to the area via Buena Vista drive is now shut off to cars, and is only available for busses.
November 8, 2018: The new parking gate opened up.
October 25, 2018: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the new auto entrance plaza for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut November 8th. The new entrance will be located off Osceola Parkway and the current World Drive entrance will be repurposed for cast member use only.
October 14, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that he expects additional projects to be fast tracked for Hollywood Studios after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens.
September 28, 2018: @bioreconstruct on Twitter posted a photo of the marquee on the new Hollywood Studios parking gates.
September 19, 2018: WDWNT.com is reporting a rumor that an India Pavilion is in development for Epcot. The pavilion would be anchored by a boat ride based on the live action version of the Jungle Book and the boat ride would utilize the same ride system technology as Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure in Shanghai Disneyland. WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that while this is being discussed it is far from being approved. This could be further indication that the intellectual property battle and ride system battle between the Disney World parks is starting to change shape.
August 14, 2018: The original Hollywood Studios bus loop is now closed. Currently the park is using the Phase 1 bus loop that opened on July 31st and temporary bus loops. WDWMagic.com posted photos of the new setup.
July 31, 2018: Phase 1 of the new bus loop is now open and WDWMagic.com posted photos of the new area.
July 27, 2018: OrlandoParksNews.com is reporting that the new bus loop should open in mid-August.
June 30, 2018: Toy Story Land officially debuted.
April 18, 2018: WDWMagic.com user TheVisionarySoul is reporting that the following attractions are likely to close in the next four years:
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet*Vision 3-D
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (re-imagining)
- Rock ‘N Roller Coaster (re-imagining)
February 20, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that there are two Disney World parks competing for a single movie based intellectual property with the speculation being that the property is Indiana Jones and the parks are Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He also indicated that there are three Disney World parks competing for a single ride system. The speculation is that this ride system is the system used for Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean Battle of the Shrunken Treasure attraction. He acknowledged that the parks competing for the yet to be identified ride system are Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
February 19, 2018: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather is reporting that Disney feels that Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway are not enough for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and an additional E-ticket is in development to open after 2019.
February 7, 2018: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the name of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will, “remain the same for the foreseeable future.”
February 3, 2018: On Episode 147 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim and Len discuss the new rumored named for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Disney Cinemagine Park”. Jim also indicated that the new name would be mentioned at the Toy Story Land opening (expected for late Spring / Memorial Day) and be rolled out towards the end of the year. The changeover should be done overnight on New Year’s. A merchandise/promotional campaign is also expected with the catch phrase, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”.
January 24, 2018: The new temporary entrance at Buena Vista Drive (The back entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios) has opened. Twitter user @bioreconstruct posted photos of the newly opened 4 lane entrance.
January 23, 2018: Len Testa posted on WDWMagic.com that he has heard Disney settled on “Disney Cinemagine Park” for the new name of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
January 11, 2018: BlogMickey.com and WDWMagic.com are both reporting that a new lineup of background music is now playing around Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new music features more jazz ensembles at various areas of the park.
Blog Mickey posted the following break down of music types by location:
- Main Entrance – Big Band arrangements adapted from Mickey Avenue at Shanghai Disneyland. The music will feature variations of some of your favorite Disney songs
- Hollywood Boulevard – Music from the 30’s and 40’s will play along Hollywood Boulevard in an arrangement custom to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The tracks were recorded twice and will seemingly build to a peak as guests transition to the hub of Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Hollywood Boulevard
- Sunset Boulevard – Guests will find vocal tracks from the songs on Hollywood Boulevard as they make their way down Sunset Boulevard
- Echo Lake – Big Band sounds will be featured from the 50’s and 60’s around Echo Lake. Bright, brassy horns will be joined by lush string arrangements.
- Grand Avenue – Retro-contemporary west coast funk will be defined by a strong bassline, electric guitars, horns and synthesizers
- BaseLine Tap House – Jazz and Bossa Nova covers of pop hits from the past few decades
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Courtyard – Live versions of classic rock songs will be combined with crowd noises to give the feel of a live performance
December 7, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit for the installation of a “New Guest Auto Plaza”.
October 23, 2017: Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away reopened from refurbishment and will now make use of a mobile stage that can be removed for the nightly fireworks.
September 29, 2017: Grand Avenue and the BaseLine Tap House officially opened and the Muppets Courtyard area all became classified as part of Grand Avenue.
September 7, 2017: On Episode 135b of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discussed the name change to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Jim mentioned that Disney Storyverse Park seems to be in the lead internally.
September 1, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog announced the official opening date of the Walt Disney Presents walk through exhibit. The exhibit will contain many similar elements to Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream as well as a partial model of Star Wars: Galaxy Edge and Toy Story Land. The blog shared images of the new Toy Story Land model that will debut inside Walt Disney Presents on September 8th.
In addition to the models, new concept art for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will also be on display inside the exhibit.
August 25, 2017: The Mickey Views YouTube Channel reported that Disney is conducting surveys of possible new names for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The names include the following:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney Kaleidoscope Park
- Disney Storyverse Park
- Disney Hyperia Park
- Disney Beyond Park
- Disney Cinemagic Park
- Disney Legends Park
- Disney XL Park
- Disney Cinemagine Park
The survey indicated that retaining the name Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still a possibility and other names that seem to be strongly considered include Disney Storyverse Park and Disney Beyond Park. In addition, the survey outlined a description of what the park now wants to stand for.
Enter this newly named Disney Theme Park and completely immerse yourself in the realm of some of your favorite stories. Step into imagined worlds made real and take the lead in an adventure that surrounds you at every turn. From the edge of the galaxy to the imaginative world of toys, familiar locales become the settings of exhilarating quests to call your own. Explore them all alongside world-renowned Characters and a supporting cast made up of your family and friends. Magnificent memories are unbound as you discover this collection of amazing adventures together.
August 13, 2017: The Great Movie Ride had it’s last day of operation.
August 11, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land models will soon be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The exhibit, Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream will undergo a reimagining into Walt Disney Presents.
The new Walt Disney Presents exhibit will continue to feature historic items from Disney’s history as well as act as a preview center for projects in development at the Walt Disney resort. Beginning in mid-September guests will be able to see the concept art, ride vehicle maquettes and the model for Toy Story Land, a partial model of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and concept art for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
The attraction will continue to house a meet and greet area as well as showcase previews of upcoming movies.
July 26, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog announced a new themed area in Disney’s Hollywood Studios called Grand Avenue. The area will repurpose part of the former Streets of America into a modern day Los Angeles by combining vintage office buildings and warehouses.
Within Grand Avenue, guests can find the BaseLine Tap House, a pub that specializes in California wine and beer. Inside, the pub retains details from the building’s previous tenant, the Figueroa Printing Company. Printing equipment and exposed walls can be found inside with a shaded terrace on the outside. The Figueroa Printing Company is the fictitious previous tenant of the BaseLine Tap House building, the actual previous tenant was the Writer’s Stop.
In addition to the alcoholic offerings, guests can enjoy a gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade or small plates including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.
July 15, 2017: With the updates at the 2017 D23 Expo on the following three projects, all future updates will only be posted on those rumor trackers:
July 14, 2017: WDWThemeParks.com posted photos and videos from the Galaxy of Heroes Pavilion at the D23 Expo.
July 14, 2017: Reddit user wityblack found the possible name for the new Star Wars Land by viewing the source code on the Disney Parks Blog. The code appears to be a headline that would be posted tomorrow, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Announced as Name for Star Wars Lands at Disney Parks”. Disney has not verified this report, but is expected to be confirmed or denied if the story appears on the blog after the Parks and Resorts presentation at 3:00 PM Pacific time July 15th.
July 13, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos and videos of the Star Wars Land model from the D23 Expo media preview. The model is part of the “Galaxy of Stories” pavilion put on by Disney Parks and Resorts.
July 11, 2017: WDWMagic.com users Rteetz and danlb_2000 are reporting that Disney has filed a Notice of Commencement for “DHS Project M”. The address listed is 555 Stage Lane which has been used for The Great Movie Ride and the Toy Story Meet and Greet in Pixar Place. The expiration of the permit is October 31, 2019.
June 22, 2017: BlogMickey.com has posted photos of the steel frame of an AT-AT inside the show building of the “Alcataraz” show building. While the construction schedules for Florida and California are not following the same path, the AT-AT figures were installed inside Disneyland’s version of the attraction in mid March.
June 17, 2017: On the recent episode of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions the following related to Hollywood Studios
- The Star Wars Land project will feature the rumored Star Wars Land hotel. It will be adjacent to the land and park and start with 400 guest rooms with the possibility of two expansions of 300 guest rooms each. The hotel will utilize the World Drive entrance as well as the former wetlands near World Drive.
- There is an expansion for another attraction in Star Wars Land. This would be an additional street that could also include another restaurant.
- After Star Wars Land opens, Disney is looking at replacing Animation Courtyard with a Monster’s Inc themed area that may also include a re-theme of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
June 8, 2017: Disney/D23 confirmed in a press release that a model for The Star Wars Experience as well as additional details on the land will be part of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion at the D23 Expo. The pavilion will be called, “A Galaxy of Stories” and feature imagineers working on the project as well as models for a variety of other things in the land.
May 23, 2017: BlogMickey.com posted photos of the new construction walls for Toy Story Land. Walls went up around the former Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction and the expectation is that this area will be demolished as part of the entrance to Toy Story Land. The walls also include new graphics that may potentially be the new logo for the land.
May 20, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MichWolv posted a photo of Pixar Place that shows several props that have been removed. It is speculated that these props will be repurposed as part of Toy Story Land.
April 19, 2017: Bloomberg.com shared details on the upcoming Pandora and Star Wars Lands. The details on the Star Wars Land include:
- The land features an exotic marketplace described by Imagineer Scott Trowbridge as, “Like a souk street market filled with stalls where you can buy fragrances and spices and clothes and toys and equipment from all across the galaxy, sometimes from the black market, but don’t ask too many questions.”
- At the cantina guests will be served by alien characters.
- The battle attraction will feature components of Episode 8 and Episode 9.
April 19, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MansionButler84 is reporting that he expects The Great Movie Ride to close at some point between August 14, 2017 and September 5, 2017.
April 15, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared new concept art as well as a video discussing the collaborative efforts between Lucas Film and Disney Imagineering that is going into the design of Star Wars Land.
April 9, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Star Wars land is expected to open “mid-ish” 2019 and the Mickey Ride (replacing The Great Movie Ride) is expected to open in early Fall 2019.
March 29, 2017: WDWMagic.com user TheVisionarySoul is reporting the following names as candidates for the new name for Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
- Disney Hollywood
- Disney’s Hollywood
- Disney Hollywoodland
- Disney’s Hollywoodland
- Disney’s Hollywood Adventure
- Disney Hollywood Adventure
March 27, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that he expects The Great Movie Ride to be closed by this fall in preparation for a new attraction. A subsequent post indicated that the new attraction would likely open within two years.
March 26, 2017: On consecutive posts, WDWMagic.com users BrainLo and MansionButler84 are reporting that the announced 2019 opening date of Star Wars Land was made to allow for a 6 month grace period should their be delays in construction. Per both users, if there are no delays in construction the land could open as early as December 2018 in Disneyland and May 2019 in Hollywood Studios.
March 16, 2017: The Disney Parks Blog shared an update of the under construction Star Wars themed lands in Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The video below is from the construction site in Disneyland.
March 8, 2017: During the 2017 Disney Annual Shareholder’s Meeting, Bob Iger confirmed that Toy Story Land will open in 2018.
February 25, 2017: @bioreconstruct on Twitter posted aerial photos of land clearing in preparation of the expansion to Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot.
February 22, 2017: MickeyXtreme.net posted aerial photos of the Toy Story Land construction site that show that track work has begun on the Slinky Dog Dash coaster.
February 20, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a Notice of Commencement that is likely for Alien Swirling Saucers. The description of the permit is, “Install Package 1 Showset Pieces“.
February 13, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has posted photos from modified permits that Disney filed with the South Florida Water Management district. The photos show changes to construction staging areas as well as modifications to bodies of water and constructions of new buildings. One particular building location is along the water next to the entrance to Hollywood Studios.
It is unknown what this building will be, whether or not it will be a fully enclosed structure or be something that will change the guest experience in any way. Speculation is that it could be related to the construction at the Caribbean Beach Resort and would potentially be a transportation station.
February 7, 2017: During Disney’s Q1 Fiscal Year Earnings call, CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the Star Wars Themed Lands in both Disneyland and DIsney’s Hollywood Studios will open in 2019.
January 27, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has unconvered bid and permit documents related to the Osceola Parkway/Victory Way road work that includes timelines.
- 6/15/2018 – Limited access to the new Disney’s Hollywood Studios entrance
- 9/1/2018 – Full access to the new Disney’s Hollywood Studios entrance
- 12/17/2018 – Most work complete ont he Victory Way/Osceola Parkway portion of the project
- 11/1/2019 – Work complete on the World Drive portion of the project.
December 19, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Toy Story Land may see an improvement over the original dining offerings planned for the land.
December 15, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the transition between the Star Tours and Muppets Courtyard area and Star Wars land will be as follows:
Brick wall, ornate gate posts dividing the muppets courtyard from the path. The path itself will be landscaped with grass and trees down the side. The remaining facade will line one side of the area, the wall the other side. The current walkway from Star Tours into Muppets will be no more. The new one will roughly be through where the NYS skyscrapers were.
An art nouvou tunnel entrance will take the path through a berm in an S shape into SWL.
December 2, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that as part of a special after hours event, Spaceship Earth will be made to look like the Death Star from Star Wars. The event, being held on December 5th is an invite only event to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: Rogue One.
The event is for invited guests and invited media with additional information being shared with those individuals separately. The event will take place after hours at Epcot and will feature new information on the current Star Wars projects in development. As part of the event, digital mapping will be used to transform the exterior of Spaceship Earth into the Death Star.
November 19, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog revealed a new piece of concept art for Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as officially announce a new destination in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue based on Star Wars Episode 8 (in theaters in 2018).
The concept art is a variation of a piece of Disneyland concept art as a nighttime version for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
October 11, 2016: A conveyor system is currently being build over World Drive and is expected to be completed by 5 AM on October 12, 2016. This is being done to help facilitate Hollywood Studios construction. Specifically a large retention pond is being build on the West side of World Drive (across from Hollywood Studios) with the fill from the area being used in and around Hollywood Studios for the ongoing construction. WDWMagic.com users roj2323 and WDWtraveler have posted photos of the conveyor system.
October 5, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the capacity for both rides is more likely to be in the 1800-1900 guests per hour range.
October 4, 2016: MiceChat.com posted a Disneyland rumor update that included details of Star Wars Land expected to be shared by both coasts.
- WDI Code Name, “Big Bird”: The Millennium Falcon attraction is expected to include several different pre-shows that help set up the plot and tasks expected in the attraction. If the tasks are not completed the attraction is expected to have a different ending.
- WDI Code Name, “Alcatraz”: The Stormtrooper chase and escape attraction is expected to have multiple levels. WDI wants guests to board the wireless vehicles on one level, disembark and then re-board on another level. The attraction is expected to have over 150 animatronic storm troopers as well as other animatronics throughout the attraction.
- Capacity for both rides is expected to be no more than 1500 guests per hour.
October 3, 2016: Twitter user @MickeyXtreme is reporting that Toy Story Land construction has gone vertical.
September 25, 2016: The Writer’s Stop had it’s last day of operation as did The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza.
August 16, 2016: HelloGiggles.com is reporting that Disney has filed a patent for interactive light sabers. The patent shows light sabers with RFID technology that could be a sign of components available in Star Wars Land.
August 10, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit listing a wide range of work related to the Star Wars project. The permit has an expiration date of 9/26/2019.
August 2, 2016: WDWMagic.com user TheVisionarySoul is reporting that The Great Movie Ride would be closing in 2018 to make way for a new attraction. User Lee also indicated that the building would be gutted and rebuilt with a new ride system.
July 16, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Millennium Falcon attraction will be an omnimover/simulator hybrid. The queue and setup will reportedly be themed to a spaceport with references to the interior of the Millennium Falcon. Guests will reportedly be in a physical capsule with a viewport to a large exterior screen.
July 15, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that a rethemed Pizza Planet will open this fall as PizzeRizzo.
July 11, 2016: A new piece of concept art has appeared on the construction walls in Disneyland. While the concept art appears designed for Disneyland and not Disney’s Hollywood Studios it is expected that many components will be shared between the two parks.
The Disney Parks Blog offered a high resolution version of the concept art.
June 21, 2016: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Ready Creek Improvement District approved $335 million in new roads in and around the Walt Disney World Resort. Among those approved are a reconfiguration of the connection between Osceola Parkway and Victory Way.
June 17, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the budget for Toy Story Land is $268 million and it is expected to open in the second half of 2018.
June 17, 2016: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new show features fireworks, Star Wars music and Star Wars pictures and video digital mapped onto the buildings of Hollywood Boulevard.
The below video is used with permission courtesy of BlogMickey.com.
May 23, 2016: WDWNT.com confirmed that Pizza Planet will be re-themed to the Muppets and the new name will be “Pizza Rizzo”. The name reportedly appears on internal documents and the restaurant is expected to re-open in late 2016.
May 23, 2016: The third track for Toy Story Midway Mania opened to the public a few days earlier than originally announced. Guests being sent to the third track will go left at the Fastpass+/Standby merge point.
Mr. Potato Head has not been added back to the queue but it is expected to return when Toy Story Land opens.
May 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that the new nighttime show coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will debut on June 17, 2016.
May 9, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney filed a permit with the South Florida Water Management District about the new entrance to Hollywood Studios. The new road is expected to be built off of Osceola Parkway just beyond the Art of Animation Resort.
May 4, 2016: The Olaf Meet and Greet (Celebrity Spotlight) opened to guests and Disney confirmed that the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet will debut May 8th.
May 3, 2016: WDWMagic.com user J.D. is reporting that Olaf is expected to debut May 4th and Mickey and Minnie are expected to debut May 8th.
April 29, 2016: The Earffel Tower was removed overnight.
April 22, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the current plans for Star Tours would be to keep the simulators but retheme to something unrelated to Star Wars. Recent concept art shows that Star Wars Land will not include the Star Tours attraction as part of it’s footprint for Hollywood Studios or Disneyland.
April 20, 2016: TheDis posted a video of the entire Star Wars Land section of the Around Our World presentation.
In this video, the land is described by Bob Chapek as, “an entirely new planet on the outer rim, a frontier town.” The majority of the presentation is made by Imagineer Scott Trowbridge. He shows concept art that indicates that Star Wars Land will go in the former Streets of America area of the park. He also mentioned that in addition to the Cantina there will be upscale dining at the planet’s, “finest dinner club”.
April 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared photos and details of the upcoming Star Wars Experiences coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this summer.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular debuts in June. It will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the nearby Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations. The show will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. This new show will be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In addition, Disney has shared a cleaner version of an existing piece of concept art for the cantina in Star Wars Land.
April 20, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared additional details on the upcoming Toy Story Land attractions coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The two additions were first announced at the D23 Expo in August of 2015, but additional details were revealed today. The new piece of concept art showing modifications to the land can be found below:
The first attraction is called Slinky Dog Dash, dubbed a family roller coaster. The attraction features a coaster track that Andy has built all over his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit. Andy has combined the Play Kit with other toys that are all integrated with the ride.
The concept video of the attraction can be found here:
The second attraction will be called Alien Swirling Saucers. This attraction is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first Toy Story film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.” Imagineer Kathy Mangum also indicated that as guests rotate around the toy planets and satellites as part of the game, they’ll swirl to the beat of fun “Space Jazz” music developed just for this experience.. The music, the lighting, and the sound effects will add to the flurry of your adventure while “The Claw” looms ominously over you.
Additionally, Toy Story Mania’s third track will open Memorial Day Weekend adding to that attraction’s capacity.
April 15, 2016: On Episode 101 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill reported that elements of Star Wars: Rogue One are expected to be added to the Star Wars Launch Bay in August or September. Additionally he reported that the name of the land is expected to be The Star Wars Experience.
April 15, 2016: Disney is planning a three day media event discussing projects currently in development. It is expected that between April 18-20th Disney will offer more details on the Star Wars entertainment coming this summer, as well as details on Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land.
April 14, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that official groundbreaking has taken place in both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Land. The post also included a 360 degree photo of the Disneyland construction site that included many iconic Star Wars related items overlayed on the site.
April 11, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog posted a teaser image today hinting that Star Wars Land would occupy the former Streets of America.
The image of R2-D2 shows construction already in progress on the Streets of America.
April 3, 2016: Construction walls are up around the Streets of America and those construction walls include updated concept art for Toy Story Land. A minor change to the Slinky Dog Coaster now shows the removal of a lift on the right side of the concept art. The lift hill appears to have been replaced with a launch that leads into an overbanked curve. Twitter user @bioreconstruct posted a photo of the new concept art.
It also appears that Star Wars Land can be seen in the top left hand corner of the updated concept art.
April 3, 2016: The new Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away stage show debuts. This includes appearances by Captain Phasma as well as other characters in the Star Wars universe.
April 2, 2016: The Streets of America facades, Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Playset adventure and surroundign areas had their last day of operation.
March 28, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that The Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will remain open past the April 2nd date that will see surrounding areas of the Streets of America permanently closing. The shop will offer a new selection of home and kitchen items in addition to the bakery and coffee shop.
The shop is still expected to close as part of the Hollywood Studios park changes.
March 22, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has reported that the former Studios Backlot Tour and current Lights Motors Action area will be staging areas for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land construction. Upon completion this will be where the next phase of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is built.
March 21, 2016: WDWMagic.com user Truk777 posted a photo of the demolition of Premier Theater.
March 19, 2016: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that Disney is looking to overhaul Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. The area near Tower of Terror in California has previously been rumored to become a Marvel themed area.
In a subsequent post he explained that the concept would be a visit to The Collector’s mansion.
Per his report, the overhaul is being seriously considered for Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well.
Additionally, WDW1974 also mentioned that the rumored name for Star Wars Land is the Star Wars Experience.
March 18, 2016: @OrlParkNews on Twitter reported that Mupper*Vision 3-D and Mama Melrose’s are now part of a renamed “Muppet Courtyard” area.
March 16, 2016: OrlandoParksNews.com is reporting that a large backstage area including the Creative Costuming building and Earffel Tower closed on March 15th. This area is expected to be cleared and is the approximate area for the Slinky Dog Coaster.
March 15, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has amended their permit with the South Florida Water Management District. The modification to the Osceola Parkway ramp shows what appears to be a new road that extends to World Drive. This may be the new ramp connecting the two roads.
February 25, 2016: BlogMickey.com posted a photo update of the Catastrophe Canyon demolition.
February 22, 2016: Disney officially released additional Star Wars Land inspired concept art. The images were just some of the images shown during the Disneyland 60th Anniversary special on Sunday February 21st.
February 21, 2016: During The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 television special, Harrison Ford showed additional pieces of concept art for Star Wars Land. Attractions Magazine posted screen shots of some of the concept art.
February 19, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog announced that a new nighttime spectacular inspired by Star Wars will be debuting this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new show called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is an evolution of the current Star Wars-inspired fireworks show. Per the Disney Parks Blog,
The show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the nearby Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations. The show will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. This new show will be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In addition to the new fireworks show, a new Stage Show will debut on April 4th at Center Stage (in front of the Chinese Theater). The stage show will be called, “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” and feature Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Darth Maul.
Finally, also debuting April 4th, Captain Phasma will lead a platoon of Storm Troopers from Star Wars Launch Bay to Center Stage several times a day.
February 18, 2016: BlogMickey.com has posted aerial photos showing that land has been cleared for the new Fireworks Launch Area. The area is larger than the Fireworks launch area used at the Magic Kingdom and is off center from the guest view down Hollywood Boulevard.
February 11, 2016: LaughingPlace.com has posted photos showing that demolition of Catastrophe Canyon has begun.
February 7, 2016: Kylo Ren debuts at Star Wars Launch Bay.
February 6, 2016: Entertainment Weekly shared the first promotional video of the upcoming Wonderful World of Disney Special that will appear on ABC on February 21, 2016. The video shows a very brief glimpse at what appears to be the Milennium Falcon attraction that will be a part of Star Wars Land.
February 5, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Disney has officially confirmed that the expansion to ESPN Wide World of Sports will be for a new facility will primarily be used for cheerleading and dance events. The facility is expected to open in 2017. Previously, cheerleading and dance events would use the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular theater and this expansion has resulted in fan speculation that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular would close upon completion of the ESPN Wide World of Sports expansion.
January 27, 2016: Entertainment Weekly announced that Harrison Ford will appear in a Wonderful World of Disney television special on February 21, 2016 where he will reveal details on Star Wars Land at Disney World and Disneyland.
January 23, 2016: WDWThemeParks.com has posted a demolition, refurbishment and construction update that includes the Streets of America, Catastrophe Canyon, Pizza Planet, and Echo Lake Area Meet and Greet.
January 22, 2016: WDWMagic.com user Chef Kronk is reporting that the meet and greet will likely be characters Ezra and Sabine from Star Wars Rebels.
January 21, 2016: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that Star Wars Land is expected to open a full two years later in Florida vs. California, giving the Hollywood Studios version of Star Wars Land a late 2020 opening date. In a follow up post WDW1974 reported that the opening date for Toy Story is expected to be late 2018/early 2019.
January 19, 2016: MiceChat.com is reporting that Star Wars Land is expected to debut by the end of 2018 in Disneyland. It is unknown whether or not the Hollywood Studios version will follow the same timeline due to the additional infrastructure required.
January 16, 2016: In a Premium Episode of the Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim reports several items associated with the Hollywood Studios changes
- The success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has accelerated the construction and closures of attractions and facilities in the Streets of America.
- Muppet*Vision 3-D will remain and Pizza Planet will be replaced with a Muppets themed restaurant, likely the Swedish Chef’s Cooking School. It is expected this location will remain as a quick service restaurant.
- The goal is to hold the premiere of Toy Story 4 in Florida and then open the land immediately following the premiere. The episode indicated that this would be May of 2017, but Toy Story 4 has an opening date of June 15, 2018.
- The height balloon testing that was done near Fantasia Gardens is expected to be for a Cast Member parking garage
- The unannounced Phase 3 project is likely Cars Land.
January 15, 2016: Disney confirmed via press release that Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have a new meet and greet with guests that will debut in February.
January 15, 2016: The Orlando Sentinel is Reporting that several closures in and around the Streets of America will happening over the next few months to facilitate future development in the park.
As previously reported on the Disney Parks Blog, Lights, Motors, Action! is expected to close on April 2, 2016. With it, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, The Writer’s Stop, Watto’s Grotto, the Monsters Inc. meet-and-greet, and the Studio Catering Co. restaurant are also expected to close.
Lastly the former icon of the park, the Earffel Tower is expected to be removed at an undetermined date as well.
January 15, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and surrounding areas along the Streets of America will close on April 2, 2016.
The closures are expected to be related to the Toy Story and Star Wars Land projects.
January 13, 2016: WDWMagic.com user FerretAfros posted photos of the new Toy Story Mania ride vehicles that were visible in the former Studio Backlot Tour costuming shop during Marathon Weekend.
January 8, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Pizza Planet will remain as a quick service pizza location when it re-opens after the refurbishment, but it is unknown whether or not it will retain the Toy Story Pizza Planet theme.
January 6, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed the first notice of commencement for work at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The address puts the work near Catastrophe Canyon and the expiration for the permit is October 31, 2018.
January 1, 2016: Both the Phineas and Ferb Meet and Greet and Cars Meet and Greets will have their last day of operation on January 4th, 2016. Additionally, the J.T. Co. Service Station coffee stand will also have it’s last day of operation on January 4th.
December 31, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that One Man’s Dream is no longer expected to close in January. The understanding is that they are trying to keep as many attractions open as possible while construction begins. The same post also states that the main exhibit corridor for One Man’s Dream is expected to be the future entrance area to Toy Story Land.
December 29, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Pizza Planet is expected to be closed for refurbishment from January 19, 2016 through November 7, 2016. At this time, the extent of the work has not been revealed, but WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has suggested that this could be rethemed to a Muppets themed restaurant.
November 19, 2015: WDWNT.com is reporting that Pizza Planet is set to close on January 11, 2016 and is expecting to re-open later in 2016. The article speculated that the restaurant could receive a Muppets re-theme.
November 14, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WhatJaneSays has reported hearing that Pizza Planet and Mama Melrose’s are expected to close after the holidays and speculated that either one could receive a Muppets inspired re-theme.
December 4, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the “Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show will play nightly beginning December 18th.
December 1, 2015: MiceChat.com provided an update and additional details on Star Wars Land coming to Disneyland. While the construction timetable may vary slightly, it is expected that the majority of components related to the Star Wars project will be very similar. The update reports:
- Demolition will begin in early 2016. The working WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) codename for the demolition is “Project Delos”.
- Construction will begin later in 2016. The working WDI codename for the construction is “Project Atlantis”.
- The largest show building will be home to the “Stormtrooper chase and escape” ride with the WDI codename “Alcatraz”. It will feature autonomous trackless ride vehicles as well as, “nearly every other techno marvel WDI can throw at it.”
- The second largest show building will be home to the “Millennium Falcon attraction with the WDI codename “Big Bird”.
- The buildings are expected to be framed by early 2017.
- The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2019.
December 1, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Club Disney soft opened today.
December 1, 2015: Star Wars Launch Bay officially opened to guests. Inside guests can experience Star Wars exhibits with movie props, trade with Jawas, and meet with Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple also debuted to guests. The show continues to feature Darth Vader and also now includes Seventh Sister, a villain from Star Wars Rebels.
November 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com has posted photos of walls being down around the new Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple. The new version of the interactive show is expected to re-open in the next few days.
November 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit with the South Florida Water Management District a new fireworks launch area. The new area appears to be directly west of the park and could potentially allow for the entire park to remain open during fireworks shows. Disney has announced that their will be a Star Wars themed fireworks show as part of the Season of the Force event.
November 24, 2015: WDWMagic.com user RAXIP has reported that Disney has installed the sign for Star Wars Launch Bay.
November 23, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a permit for the installation of a scenic facade at the Jedi Training Academy. This is likely related to the change to Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple.
November 17, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Season of the Force will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut on January 5, 2016. The event will include the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
The event will also include Stormtroopers throughout the park, Star Wars food and merchandise offerings, as well as the selection of new Star Wars attractions: These include the updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Star Wars Launch Bay, Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple, and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.
November 16, 2015: The Cast Member Previews for the new scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted. These include an entirely new first destination and then a new transition/message scene with the BB-8 droid.
November 13, 2015: Cast Member Previews for the new scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place at Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
November 12, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the new scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will soft open on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue on November 16, 2015.
November 9, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced that new Star Wars content will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning December 1st. The blog offered additional information about the announcements made at the D23 Expo, including:
- Star Wars Launch Bay – this will include special exhibits, behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens, unique merchandise and character meet and greets for Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – a new “adventure” based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be added to the attraction. During the opening months, the new adventure will be part of every Star Tours experience. After that, it will be integrated into the existing randomization of Star Tours. The Disney Parks Blog offered video of the new Star Tours segment.
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – this will allow guests that are less familiar with the Star Wars movies to become further acquainted with the franchise. It will take place in the ABC Sound Studio and feature information from the complete Star Wars saga.
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple – a reimagining of the Jedi Training Academy will bring younger guests into an ancient Jedi temple where they will face Darth Vader as well as the Seventh Sister – a new villain from the Disney XD series, “Star Wars Rebels”.
In addition to these details, the blog post confirmed that Star Wars Weekends will no longer take place.
November 1, 2015: On Episode 90 of The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill said the following:
- When construction is complete, Disney’s second hard ticketed Halloween event is expected to debut. This would be different than Club Villain
- Phase 1 (Star Wars and Toy Story) is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
- One possibility for additional Pixar content would be relocating the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor to the Animation Courtyard area, replacing the Star Wars Launch Bay. Following that, the Monster’s Inc Door Coaster could be placed behind it.
- He expects that The Osborne Lights will return at some point in the future.
October 26, 2015: The Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet that was previously open in the Animation building has re-opened along Mickey Avenue in the former Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow building.
October 26, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has posted photos of the first permits filed related to the overhaul of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The work in the permits is set to begin in January 2016 and expire in October 2018. It includes several infrastructure related items:
- Significant land clearing immediately Southeast of the park. This is likely related to park expansion.
- A new drainage pond will be constructed on the West side of World Drive
- A reconfiguration of Osceola Parkway and Victory Way.
- An expansion of an existing ramp from Osceola Parkway to the theme park entrance toll plaza.
- A temporary entrance road from World Drive to the theme park entrance toll plaza area for construction vehicles.
- A temporary bridge spanning the Canal L-402; and wetland impacts within these construction areas.
- The main entrance area is expected to be diverted slightly.
- Existing wetland areas to be converted to parking.
It appears that this work will be taking place while Toy Story Land is being constructed within the existing parking boundaries.
October 12, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that Sunset Showcase will be a new special event venue. The first event featured will be called Club Disney and it will debut on December 5, 2015. Per the blog, Club Disney will be an electric club environment for kids and characters. It will feature a DJ playing a mix of Radio Disney Top 40 songs. The walls of the venue will also feature vivid images from classic Disney animation.
October 8, 2015: The Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet that was previously open in the Animation building has re-opened near Playhouse Disney Live on Stage.
October 4, 2015: Signage outside the “Flex Theater” indicates the name will be “Sunset Showcase”.
October 3, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 posted a map that shows the various phases of development for Hollywood Studios. This was later corroborated by WDWMagic.com user Lee.
- Green – phase one (Toy Story Land)
- Red – phase two (Star Wars Land)
- Yellow – phase three
- Blue – phase four
- Orange – changes / enhancements
- Purple – infrastructure
October 2, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced that beginning October 16th, guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios can see a sneak preview of The Good Dinosaur inside the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream attraction.
September 27, 2015: DisneyWorld.com is showing no times available for Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, The Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, and the Pirate and Princess Adventure Meet and Greet (Animation Courtyard) for January 3, 2016 and beyond.
September 25, 2015: The Disney Events page is showing that the dates for the Season of the Force event are January 8, 2016 through March 20, 2016.
September 24, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog shared two posts (Post 1, Post 2) providing details on the Star Wars projects coming to Disneyland on November 16th. While no date has been given for Star Wars projects at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it is expected that there will be several parallels between the two resorts. The details from Disneyland that are expected to be replicated in Hollywood Studios are as follows:
- Star Wars Launch Bay – The new area will give guests the chance to meet with Star Wars characters, participate in interactive exhibits as well as see details on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences –
Guests that choose the Dark Side can meet with Darth Vader, while guests that choose the Light Side can meet with Chewbacca.
- Explore the Dark and the Light in Themed Galleries – The Dark Side gallery will feature Sith lightsabers and storm trooper armor. The Light Side gallery will feature Rebel flight helmets and Jedi Knight lightsabers. The preview gallery will feature props from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Starship Gallery will feature models of famous star ships throughout the Star Wars universe.
- Star Wars Game Center – Guests can play in the new Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Toy Box.
- Choose Your Destiny with Special Character Experiences –
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple – The Jedi Training Academy will be changing to feature a new villain from Star Wars Rebels.
- Star Tours The Adventure Continues – A new scene based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be added to the current Star Tours attraction.
September 23, 2015: WDWMagic.com users Lee and marni1971 are reporting that plans have changed for Star Wars and it is unlikely to be going to the Echo Lake area.
September 18, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that the third track for Toy Story Mania may open sooner than expected, potentially before the end of the year.
September 14, 2015: Mulch Sweat ‘n Shears will have it’s final performance on October 10th, 2015. The band confirmed on their Facebook page that they will be ending their run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No word on a replacement act has been announced.
September 12, 2015: Signs have appeared outside of the former Animation building that say that Star Wars Launch Bay will debut in December of 2015.
September 12, 2015: WDWMagic.com user MansionButler84 has reported the following timeline for Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
- Toy Story Land Fall 2017
- Star Wars Land 2019
- Cars Land 2020
He also reported that large scale construction should be underway all over the park by this time next year. This was later verified by WDWMagic.com user Lee.
September 11, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that this year’s run for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will be the final run for the seasonal event. The lights will be on display in the Streets of America from November 6, 2015 through January 3, 2016.
Per the blog, Disney will no longer be able to show the lights as they make way for the new additions coming to Hollywood Studios.
September 10, 2015: ThemeParkInsider.com is reporting that Disney COO Tom Staggs stated that Disney will break ground on Star Wars Land in 2016.
September 10, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Lee is reporting that Toy Story Land is expected to open in late 2017, Star Wars Land is expected to open potentially in phases in 2019-2020, and any Phase 3 additions would debut after that.
September 7, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that two parking garage will be coming as part of the overhaul to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
September 1, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Watto’s Grotto is expected to return as a Star Wars inspired merchandise shop. The shop debuted during the 2015 Star Wars Weekends in the former AFI Showcase area.
A recent Notice of Commencement filed by Disney indicates work will soon be underway in the area.
August 31, 2015: Disney’s Auditions site posted an audition for Jedi Training Academy.
Disney Parks and Talent Casting is seeking Actors for 2 roles in the reimagined Jedi Training Academy to be performed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.
Performers employed by the Walt Disney World Resort are covered under the terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement with Actors’ Equity Association.
Male or Female Actors- Actors with strong delivery and timing and ability to interact and connect with guests. Athletic build, good physical shape, moves well, sword work a plus.
August 28, 2015: WDWMagic.com user md1982 has reported that Disney has placed an audition on their auditions website the details of which are below:
Dr. Facilier – Male, 20s – 30s, 5’11” and above. A master of magic and voodoo. Charismatic baritone with pizazz. Sings “Friends On The Other Side.”
Comedic Male Actor– Inventive actor with a strong sense of comedic wit and timing. Portrays the club manager of Dr. Facilier’s Lounge. Well-polished with a bit of flair.
Also looking for female dancers.
Speculation is that this show would replace Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
August 26, 2015: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting several road improvements will soon be underway in and around Walt Disney World property. These include:
- A reconfiguration of Osceola Parkway at Victory Way, southeast of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and north of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. A traditional intersection will be replaced with a flyover design similar to that at state roads 50 and 436 near Orlando. The flyover would take Osceola Parkway traffic over Victory Way.
- An extension of Western Way to Avalon Road, or County Road 545. Currently Western Way ends around the Flamingo Crossings development under construction.
- A Center Drive bypass to the west that will allow traffic heading south off Reams Road more direct access to Floridian Way.
August 24, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that merchandise from The Animation Gallery has been relocated to the Stage 1 Company store.
August 23, 2015: This was the last day of operation for the Animation Gallery.
August 21, 2015: The four spires have been returned to the facade for The Great Movie Ride.
August 20, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has reported that the spires on the Chinese Theater should be added back this weekend.
August 16, 2015: WDWMagic.com user IgnoHippo posted aerial photos as well as Concept art with labels of how the layout of the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands would be arranged in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Toy Story Land notes:
- Toy Story Land will result in the demolition of One Man’s Dream and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow buildings.
- The land will be behind (West) the existing Toy Story Midway Mania building and include parts of the Studio Backlot Tour and Lights Motors Action practice area. It is expected to extend to World Drive (the current park barrier).
- The current Pixar Place area will close and a new entrance to Toy Story Midway Mania will be made on the opposite side of the building.
- The land is expected to open in 2017-2018
Star Wars Land notes:
- The new land will re-skin several buildings
- The land will take up all of Echo Lake (including Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular as well as a portion of the parking lot.
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Musical Celebration is expected to close at some point after the Frozen area opens in Epcot. This area is expected to become Jedi Training Academy.
- A possible attraction location is on the current footprint of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- The Cantina is expected to replace Backlot Express
- Character Dining is expected to replace 50’s Prime Time and/or Hollywood & Vine
- Another attraction location is to the left (North East) of the current Star Tours.
- The land is expected to open in 2019.
- Streets of America and Muppet*Vision 3-D do not appear to be affected by Star Wars or Toy Story Land, but likely could be removed as part of a Phase 2.
August 16, 2015: On a premium episode of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish, Jim Hill goes into additional detail on what’s coming to Hollywood Studios, including what was not mentioned.
- Cars Land will go “above” Toy Story Land
- Additional Pixar content will go below Toy Story Land in the current Animation area
- The Cantina band will be a “touring band” and be coming from the Mos Eisley Cantina. The restaurant will hold 300-500 people.
- The First Order and the Resistance battle attraction will be tied to the Rogue One movie and guests will be in possession of the battle plans for the Death Star.
- Total Pixar Land could be twice the size of Star Wars Land and include Radiator Springs Racers
- Monster’s Inc Door Coaster may be back on the table for Pixar Place
- Pixar will be the right side of the park.
- The Flying Saucers ride will be a whip ride similar to Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Star Wars content will be on the left side of the park, taking over Echo Lake
- Muppet*Vision 3-D should remain
- Opening could be as late as 2022 for Star Wars and Toy Story Land in 2018-2019 with Cars and additional Pixar content coming before Star Wars.
August 15, 2015: At the D23 Expo Live Action Movies Presentation Bob Iger officially announced Star Wars Land. Additional details were provided at the D23 Expo Parks and Resorts Presentation by Bob Chapek and Scott Trowbridge. They also confirmed details on other Star Wars related projects coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Confirmed details include:
- 14 Acre Land on both costs
- 2 New attractions
- One attraction will be an, “Epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”
- Another attraction would allow guests to pilot the Millennium Falcon
- The Cast Members working in the restaurants and shops would all be in character for the land.
- The land will be a new location on an entirely new planet to the Star Wars universe.
- The land will include components from the original movies and new movies
- Guests will be able to drink Blue Milk and interact with characters
- Guests will be able to visit a Cantina
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continue will receive a new destination by the end of 2015. The new destination will be from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
- A new villain from Star Wars Rebels will be added to the Jedi Training Academy
In addition to Star Wars Land, additional Star Wars content was also announced, all of which would be taking place within the next few months:
- A new destination will be added to Star Tours later this year based on Star Wars The Force Awakens
- A new Star Wars celebration, called Season of the Force will debut at the beginning of 2016 and will include similar components to Star Wars Weekends
- A new villain from Star Wars Rebels will be added to the Jedi Training Academy
- Star Wars Launch Bay will be added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year. This was previously announced for Shanghai Disney and will include a behind the scenes look at Star Wars The Force Awakens character meet and greets
- A new fireworks show based on Star Wars will be added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
August 15, 2015: At the D23 Expo Parks and Resorts Presentation Bob Chapek and Kathy Mangum officially announce Toy Story Land. Details of the land are as follows:
- 11 Acre Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- The land is set in Andy from Toy Story’s back yard.
- Includes the current Toy Story Midway Mania attraction. Previous announcements indicate a third track being constructed for Toy Story Midway Mania.
- Slinky Dog Coaster: Guests will ride a Slinky Dog themed ride vehicle through the land on a family friendly coaster. Trenches will be built for the coaster and the track will be themed to look like a toy roller coaster track.
- Alien Saucers Attraction: Guests will ride around in flying saucers inspired by the little green men from Toy Story all while avoiding the claw. The attraction is expected to use the classic whip ride system currently used at Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney California Adventure.
August 11, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Chef Kronk has reported that a Villains show will be the replacement for Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.
August 6, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Chef Kronk is reporting that Disney is looking to add a new stage show based around the Disney Villains to Hollywood Studios.
July 30, 2015: WDWNT.com is reporting that Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream are expected to close before the end of the fiscal year, September 27, 2015. WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has also reported that he has heard similar information.
July 24, 2015: Disney has updated their official site with dates for the 2015 Osborne Lights. The Lights will run from November 6th, 2015 through January 3rd, 2016.
July 23, 2015: ThemeParkInsider.com has reported that Disney has selected a contractor to build Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The article speculates that the new land will be officially announced soon, most likely at the D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts presentation on August 15th.
July 23, 2015: WDWMagic.com user wdwmagic has reported that pre-fabricated walls will be delivered over the next couple of days for the new Flex Theater.
July 13, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a Notice of Commencement for “Animation Tour refurb”.
July 12, 2015: The Disney Blog has reported that The Magic of Disney Animation will be converted to a preview center of sorts (similar to Blue Sky Cellar at Disney’s California Adventure). This would allow guests to preview some of the upcoming additions to the park.
July 12, 2015: The Magic of Disney Animation had it’s last day of operation.
July 7, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has reported that budget for Hollywood Studios is $2.8 billion. This includes infrastructure as well as new attractions.
July 7, 2015: WDWMagic.com user diznycrazy09 has reported that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn may have inadvertently let it slip during a Periscope broadcast that Disney is working on a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction for Disney World. The Periscope post has since been removed.
July 2, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Lee has confirmed that the budget is in excess of $3 billion for the entire resort as a whole. This is also expected to include additions to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
The budget for Hollywood Studios includes infrastructure improvements to the roads leading to the park as well as a new parking structure.
July 2, 2015: This Is Infamous has reported that the budget for Disney’s Hollywood Studios is $3 billion. According to the report, the budget will include two Star Wars attractions, three Pixar attractions and Indiana Jones Adventure.
July 1, 2015: On Episode #82 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill, he mentioned that the original proposal of $500 million for Star Wars was rejected by the Board of the Directors for being, “more of the same”.
He also reported that a smaller version of Cars Land will be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This would follow the smaller flat rides in the rumored Toy Story Playland Area. The Cars Land components are expected to be an indoor version of Radiator Springs Racers, Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Flo’s V8 Cafe.
Another element he reported was that “Disney’s Hollywood Adventure” hasn’t been testing positively so they may go in a different direction with the name.
June 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a permit with the South Florida Water Management District to allow for borings to be taken in various wetland areas to assess the conditions for possible road additions. These include a potential new entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
June 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed the first permit for the installation of the Osborne Lights for 2015.
June 29, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 stated that in addition to The Magic of Disney Animation and One Man’s Dream that the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Playset Adventure would also be closing. In a follow up post he reiterated that some components of this project would not be complete until 2021.
June 29, 2015: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that The Magic of Disney Animation is expected to have it’s last day of operation on July 12th, with the Animation Gallery store expected to close in late August. No details on the replacement were given by Disney.
June 29, 2015: WDWMagic.com users Legit and marni1971 have indicated that July 18th is the expected last day of operation for both The Magic of Disney Animation and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.
June 24, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that budgets have been approved and a decision on the projects at Hollywood Studios has been made.
June 24, 2015: @WDWThemeParks posted to Twitter that One Man’s Dream is rumored to close in September. There is no information on whether or not it will be relocated and the assumption is that it is related to Pixar expansion.
June 22, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that CEO Bob Iger and the Board of Directors are currently in Walt Disney World to approve the projects and budget for the overhaul to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In a follow up post, WDW1974 acknowledged that he expects the budget to be larger than the $1.2 billion invested into Disney California Adventure and the project would include a new parking entrance, parking structures, Pixar content and Star Wars content. In an additional follow up post, WDW1974 also confirmed that he too had heard The Magic of Disney Animation would be closing as well as additional facilities/attractions this year.
June 22, 2015: WDWNT.com is reporting that The Magic of Disney Animation is expected to close in a few weeks time as part of the larger scale projects going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
June 2, 2015: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has reported that Lights, Motors, Action, Extreme Stunt Show is expected to close soon.
April 20, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has posted additional information about the Flex Space project that was also confirmed by users SeaCastle and marni1971. A new theater is expected to be constructed between Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster and Tower of Terror. The area for construction is currently backstage.
It is unknown if this theater will be used for a new project, or if it will be used so that the Premier Theater can be removed as part of future Hollywood Studios additions.
April 9, 2015: On Episode #79 of the Disney Nerds Podcast, Jim Hill discusses several of the proposed changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios these include:
- A Death Star like building is expected to house a meet and greet for Darth Vader and the Emperor
- A Millennium Falcon is expected to house a meet and greet for Chewbacca.
- An X-Wing fighter spinner is expected to be included
- The Echo Lake area will be re-themed to Tatooine and include Dewback photo opportunities and the Cantina
- Indiana Jones will remain for the forseeable future
- An east coast version of Cars Land is expected but will not include the same level of rock work as in California. It is expected a significant portion will be indoors.
These projects could extend 5-7 years.
April 8, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that the Tangled: The Musical show that’s coming to the Disney Cruise line is still likely for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
April 2, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog reported that Tangled: The Musical is coming to the Disney Cruise Line this November.
March 30, 2015: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney filed a Notice of Commencement to change the facade of the Hyperion Theater. It is unknown if the facade will use the new Hyperion Theater name, or if it will specify the Frozen show that is moving to this facility.
March 26, 2015: ThemeParkInsider.com has posted aerial photos that show a potential new entrance area for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The change points to the World Drive entrance going away with a new entrance coming from Victory Way.
March 25, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog announced details of a new menu at Studio Catering Co., with rumors of this area potentially closing the new menu indicates that those plans may have been delayed.
March 18, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog provided details of the 2015 version of Frozen Summer Fun Live! In these details they confirmed that For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration will be relocated to the Hyperion Theater (Formerly the Superstar Theater).
March 16, 2015: Disney released a new park map for Hollywood Studios that shows a label for ‘Center Stage’ on the former footprint of The Sorcerer’s Hat. This confirms that a stage will replace The Sorcerer’s Hat.
March 16, 2015: WDWMagic.com user djkidkaz has reported that Brawny is no longer visible as a sponsor of Lights, Motors, Action Extreme! Stunt Show. It is unknown if this is related to a potential removal of the show.
March 12, 2015: Orlando Parks News posted to Twitter that a new Hollywood Studios park map is expected to debut on March 15th, and it is expected to include a stage in the place of the Sorcerer’s Hat.
March 12, 2015: At the 2015 Shareholders Meeting, Bob Iger confirmed that the name will change for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the new name has not been announced.
March 5, 2015: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that a third track will be added to Toy Story Midway Mania by the end of 2016.
February 20, 2015: WDWMagic.com user cjk0318 has posted photos that walls are up around Soundstage 1 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is likely related to exterior work on the third track for Toy Story Midway Mania.
February 9, 2015: WDWMagic.com user Bungalow4 listed several rumors surrounding the 2015 Star Wars Weekends, some of these rumors included plans for other areas of Hollywood Studios that were relevant to Star Wars Weekends. These include:
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing A-Long Celebration will remain in the Premiere Theater until June. There are competitions for the Disney Performing Arts that will take place in the former American Idol Experience Theater (Superstar Theater) in March and April. Changes to the theater will be ongoing following these competitions with the goal of moving the sing a-long to Superstar Theater the day after it closes in the Premiere Theater. The goal is to not have any down time for the show.
- The walls around the Sorcerer Hat are not expected to be removed until the end of April.
February 9, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that details on Star Wars expansions in domestic parks will be revealed at the D23 Expo in August.
February 3, 2015: During the Question and Answer session of the Quarterly Earnings call, CEO Bob Iger stated that details on additional Star Wars attractions would be revealed later in 2015. Variety speculated this could occur at one of two locations:
- Star Wars Celebration: April 16-19th at the Anaheim Convention Center
- D23 Expo: August 14-16th at the Anaheim Convention Center.
January 6, 2015: Construction walls have been put up around the Sorcerer’s hat. @BobbySko on Twitter has posted an image of the construction walls that features the Earffel Tower.
January 5, 2015: The Sorcerer Hat Shop had it’s last day of operation.
January 5, 2015: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post had it’s last day of operation on January 4, 2015. The venue debuted as part of Frozen Summer Fun Live before relocating to the former AFI Showcase area on September 30, 2014. It is expected that the closure of the area is to facilitate new construction in an expanded Pixar Place area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
December 30, 2014: WDWNT.com has reported that the possible Toy Story Playland attractions include the following:
- RC Racer: This attraction exists at both Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Studios Paris. It is a steel shuttle coaster that launches guests back and forth on a track that extends 80 feet in the air.
- Woody’s Round Up: A version of the Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree from Disney California Adventure, this would feature horse-drawn carriages.
- Luigi’s Flying Tire Variant: With Luigi’s Flying Tires at Disney California Adventure getting a trackless replacement, the third attraction is speculated to be a variant of this based on Buzz Lightyear.
December 12, 2014: In a series of tweets, @JimHillMedia revealed details on several components of the Hollywood Studios expansion. These include:
- The Pixar Place expansion is a two phase project. (Tweet)
- Phase 1 will include spinners from Hong Kong Disneyland Disney Studios Paris and open in late Spring/ early Summer 2016. (Tweet)
- Phase 2 will include an indoor re-imagining of Radiator Springs Racers. (Tweet)
- A Toy Story Carousel is a potential project where guests would ride on the back of Bullseye and other characters from all four Toy Story Movies. (Tweet)
- It will be a mix of Pixar Properties. (Tweet)
- The mix of components is still in flux. (Tweet)
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playset will be Re-themed to “A Bug’s Life” (Tweet)
- The Great Movie Ride overhaul that will follow the Turner Classic Movies changes will take place in 2020-2021 when the Star Wars and Pixar components are brought on line. (Tweet)
December 12, 2014: In a Bonus Episode of the Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim revealed that he did not anticipate vertical construction until fall of 2015 on Star Wars. He also reported that in one of the Walt Disney Imagineering models there was a large Death Star and an Ewok Village. He also outlined possible timelines for when Star Wars theme park information could first be revealed.
- End of January 2015: Disney is expected to announce details for the 60th Anniversary celebration at Disneyland. Disneyland also has Star Wars components in development for the Toon Town version of the park.
- April 16-19, 2015: The Star Wars Celebration is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, details could also be revealed there.
- August 14-16, 2015: The D23 Expo will be at the Anaheim Convention Center and Jim anticipates more detailed information at this event.
December 1, 2014: On Episode 68 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim clarifies that the Turner Classic Movies update to The Great Movie Ride will be for the pre-show, finale movie and potentially in ride audio. He did not expect substantial changes to the show scenes themselves. He also mentioned that this may not prevent Disney from making a substantial change to the attraction in time for the resort’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
November 26. 2014: WDWMagic.com user wdw71fan has reported that the search lights will be returning to the Chinese Theater.
November 11, 2014: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a Notice of Commencement with the description, “Superstar Television Theater Update”. This is the former American Idol Theater and it had been rumored that For the First Time in Forever a Frozen Sing-A-Long Celebration would be relocated to this facility.
November 7, 2014: Orlando Attractions Magazine posted to Twitter that all signage has been removed from the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.
November 6, 2014: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow had it’s last day of operation.
November 4, 2014: MiceChat.com is reporting that the Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree attraction Disney California Adventure will be given a Woody from Toy Story theme for it’s Florida counterpart. According to MiceChat, the attraction will be one of three smaller scale attractions in a Toy Story Playland area that is expected to be built on the former footprint of the Studio Backlot Tour. The article also mentions that the original plan to clone Cars Land in Hollywood Studios was stopped by Disney’s accountants.
October 28, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that Star Wars, Cars, and Toy Story areas will be added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He once again acknowledged the name change and mentioned that the budget would be close to the $1.2 billion spent at Disney California Adventure. The budget will be spent over the next 5 years and construction will begin after the holidays and accelerate after Easter. The only attractions guaranteed to remain in some capacity are Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours and Tower of Terror. He also indicated that there would be “a few” (likely two) major additions as well as minor additions and the park will be supplemented with entertainment (fireworks) during the construction. Lastly, he does not expect the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights to return in their current form in 2015.
October 24, 2014: ClickOrlando.com has reported that the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed and that the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will also be removed. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will have it’s last day of operation on November 6, 2014
October 24, 2014: WDWMagic.com has confirmed that the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed.
October 24, 2014: Intercot has reported on Twitter that the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction will be closing.
October 23, 2014: WDWThemeParks.com is reporting the locations previously thought to be closing on October 25th in Streets of America are now open beyond that date. Studio Catering Co., High Octane Refreshments, and Studio Prop Shop currently have operating hours through November 29, 2014. This is consistent with other locations in the park. At this time, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Playset Adventure has times through November 15, 2014. This indicates a potential last day of operation for the attraction.
October 7, 2014: WDWThemeParks.com is reporting that multiple locations in Streets of America will have their last day of operation on October 25, 2014. These include Studio Catering Co., High Octane Refreshments, Studio Prop Shop and the Honey I Shrunk The Kids Playset.
October 5, 2014: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has reported that the investment into Hollywood Studios may be bigger than the investment into Disney California Adventure. Additionally, plans would include the Sorcerer’s Hat as well as a name change.
October 4, 2014: WDWMagic.com user Lee has reported that the budget for the changes to the former Studio Backlot Tour area will be in the 2015 Fiscal Year budget (Begins in October).
September 26, 2014: On Episode 66 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim Hill presents the following information about the redo of Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
- Park will be renamed Disney’s Hollywood Adventure
- The closure of the Studio Backlot Tour and surrounding areas are to make way for additional Pixar content
- Pixar content could include a version of Toy Story Playland from Disney Studios Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland
- Pixar content could include an indoor version of Cars Land that would feature an entirely indoor portion of Radiator Springs Racers as Flo’s Restaurant
- Because the Monster’s Inc Scream Coaster has been developed, he speculated that could go in Soundstage 1
- The Beauty and the Beast stage show could finally be replaced with a Tangled show if the show proves successful on the cruise line. The time frame for this would be at least 2-3 years out.
- The Star Wars content is still planned for the Echo Lake area
- He does not believe that Toy Story Mania is getting a 3rd track
- Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post is moving into the AFI Showcase area through at least January to function as a Frozen merchandise area during the Osborne Lights.
September 25, 2014: WDWMagic.com user Lee has reported that the Sorcerer’s Hat is expected to be relocated. He also reported that the entire makeover of Disney’s Hollywood Studios may be at the Disney California Adventure level of investment. In other locations, Lee has reported that the new name for the park will be Disney’s Hollywood Adventure.
September 19, 2014: The Studio Backlot Tour is set to have it’s last day of operation on September 27, 2014. WDWNT.com was the first site to post this report, which was later supported by reports on the cast member web portal known as “The Hub”. WDWNT.com also speculates that the vacated Backlot Tour would be used for Pixar expansion, and possible a version of the Toy Story Play Land that has been added to Disney Studios Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
The attraction does not have any times listed after September 27th, 2014 on the official Disney World site. Additional attractions/facilities like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playset, Studio Catering Company, High Octane Refreshments, Monster’s University Meet and Greet, and Coca-Cola Cool Set do not have times listed beyond October 11th, 2014. All other attractions in the park have times listed through January.
August 16, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that as part of this makeover Disney’s Hollywood Studios will undergo another name change along with the removal of the studios component.
August 10, 2014: Episode 62 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcast with Jim Hill include updates on several rumors. The rumors related to Hollywood Studios are as follows:
- $700 Million investment in the park.
- A major overhaul to the park is expected. This will include a selection of new smaller attractions (B/C-ticket level attractions) as well as other more substantial changes and additions. This will also include the removal of any of the former movie making components/history of the park. The timeline for major construction will wait until components of the Animal Kingdom/Avatar changes are on line.
- Star Wars is the largest component of this, but it will take several years to do. Construction could begin on Star Wars content as soon as January. It will be the first component of the Hollywood Studios Changes brought on line.
- The Great Movie Ride is expected to close, but it will be among the last elements that change. It is also booked through 2017 for corporate events.
- The Christmas lights will remain, but it may be rebranded to the Great Christmas Light Fight. They may be taking the Osborne name off the show and have considered a Frozen theme. They could also be looking at other names in focus groups
- Ride system used in Ratatouille ride in France will find it’s way to Hollywood Studios, but the theme has not been determined.
- Beauty and the Beast may remain because a theatrical show is in the works for Broadway. However, there have been discussions about a Tangled themed show.
- Frozen Sing a Long could potentially move to The American Idol Experience theater.
September 27, 2013: WDWMagic user WDW1974 has reported that Cars Land is not completely shelved as a project.
September 11, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has reported that Cars Land has been shelved as a project for Hollywood Studios in favor of Star Wars.
August 20, 2013: WDWMagic user WDW1974 has reported that Cars Land is now doubtful as a project for Hollywood Studios, with a Star Wars Land expected to take it’s place.
August 13, 2013: The Boston Globe has reported that CEO Bob Iger said the following, “We’re going to continue to invest in Disneyland,’’ Iger said. ‘‘We’ve got some pretty exciting things that we’ll be announcing over the next couple of months.’’ It is assumed that this will also include attractions for Disney World as well.
July 9, 2013: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 reported that the marketing department is preparing for a Christmas campaign in 2014 that will not include the Osborne Lights. Additionally, he reported that the American Idol Experience will likely be closing as part of this overhaul as well and the Block Party Bash Parade from Disney California Adventure will move to Hollywood Studios
July 9, 2013: MiceAge.com has reported that a few weeks ago the expansion plans for Hollywood Studios were discussed in a meeting of the Board of Directors that was held at Disneyland. This would include a more modest version of Cars Land.
June 28-29, 2013: MiceAge.com interviewed D23 spokesperson, Jeffrey Epstein and Imagineer Dave Fisher about the upcoming D23 Expo. In the interview, and later confirmed by Jeffrey Epstein on Twitter, it was revealed that there will not be a Parks and Resorts arena presentation at the D23 Expo. Disney and More also confirmed that due to secrecy surrounding Avatar and other projects, Disney was simply not ready to announce them at the upcoming D23 Expo.
June 17, 2013: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 clarified what may become of Muppet*Vision 3-D as a result of the Hollywood Studios makeover. The current attraction is likely to be replaced either in it’s current location or in a new location in the park. For a continuation on Muppet*Vision 3-D rumors, look here.
June 17, 2013: Screamscape.com has reported that Lights, Motors, Action cast members have let it leak that their last performance will be roughly a year from now.
June 15, 2013: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that the content of Robert Niles’ article is correct and significant changes to the “production side” of Hollywood Studios are imminent. As part of these changes, it is expected that the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will be ending it’s run at Hollywood Studios by the 2014 Holiday Season.
June 14, 2014: Jim Hill posted on the WDWKingdomCast Facebook page that Robert Niles’ report is correct with both a Star Wars Land and Cars Land coming to Hollywood Studios. It is expected that the Star Wars Land is expected to open prior to Cars Land.
June 13, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has posted an article that cites George Kalogridis’ move to over see Walt Disney World as further evidence of a full scale overhaul of Hollywood Studios. According to Niles, this overhaul would include both Cars Land as well as a Star Wars Land. According to Niles, the Cars Land content would replace the Backlot Tour and Lights, Motors, Action areas and may include other Pixar content from Monster’s Inc or the Incredibles.
June 4, 2013: MiceAge.com references various scales of additions coming to Hollywood Studios. These range from $1 billion+ to a “more modest” approach. The expectation is that these changes would be centered around Cars or Star Wars with the expectation that a definitive announcement will be made at the D23 Expo from August 9-11.
May 21, 2013: The owner of TikiManPages.com posted the following information to WDWMagic.com in the ongoing Cars Land discussion: “There will be no Cars land in WDW. There will be a huge new project that will take out things around Star Tours all the way to Indy and the lake next to it.” A follow up post by user nicknick553 indicates that recent construction survey work indicated that the land would not be suitable for a full Cars Land due to the risk of pot holes.
May 20, 2013: Screamscape.com also reports that Cars Land in Hollywood Studios would receive a different dark ride concept than Radiator Springs Racers that may integrate Catastrophe Canyon.
May 14, 2013: OrlandoParksNews.com posted an update to the Cars Land rumor. Their update cites a budget of $500 million anchored by an E-Ticket that is not Radiator Springs Racers.
May 14, 2013: OrlandoParkNews.com reported that the Sorcerer’s Hat could be removed by November of this year.
February 05, 2013: Al Lutz updated the rumor saying that the time frame would be Late 2015/Early 2016. Lutz’s update explains that the Fantasyland Expansion wasn’t pulling the numbers Disney had hoped for and Cars Land became more of a priority. Initially, the understanding was that Florida would receive a significantly trimmed down Cars Land, but it sounds like the current rumor only has Luigi’s Flying Tires not making the cut. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Lutz’s article is as follows:
TDO execs were also told to stop value-engineering the project into a smaller footprint with fewer offerings and let WDI do their work. And since the James Cameron alliance that was supposed to bring Avatarland to WDW within the same timeframe is going nowhere fast, and may not even show up in a theme park at all at this point, WDI is thrilled to dig in and start real work on an accelerated plan to bring Cars Land to Florida.
January 28, 2013: Screamscape.com has posted images of a new ride system that may potentially be used in Shanghai for Monster’s Inc. The Images depict an omnimover type ride that will allow the track to intersect itself. While nothing definitively states that this will also be used in Florida, the existence of the ride system presents another possibile option.
August 28, 2012: Poster whylightbulb on WDWMagic.com posted an update that was later removed indicating that a version of Cars Land was in the works for Hollywood Studios.
July 21, 2008: JimHillMedia.com first references a Monster’s Inc Roller Coaster concept.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Streets of America
Toy Story Land
Alien Swirling Saucers
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Jedi Training Academy
Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Studio Backlot Tour
Toy Story Mania!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Walt Disney Presents