So here is my first blog for the Mouse. I have decided to start by writing about one of my favourite Disney parks through the years, Hollywood Studios at WDW.
To Infinity and Beyond
Initially, I will be discussing Toy Story Land as the doors to Andy’s backyard are due to open on the 30th of June 2018. The park has finally received a first in a long line of overdue improvements and for the last few years, attractions have been very limited with as little as 4 operating at one time. This has led to very large queue times for these attractions at peak times. Now that Toy Story Land opening is imminent we know about all the details. The main attraction coming to Andy’s 11-acre garden is the Slinky Dog Dash Coaster. This attraction is based around Andy building a rollercoaster with his “Megacoaster Play Kit” and deciding to use Slinky as the ride vehicle.
This coaster is mainly designed towards families and children who want to experience their first coaster. I think a general theme throughout this land is that it’s designed towards the families travelling to this park.
The other attraction we can expect to see in the land is Alien Swirling Saucers which is very much the same attraction of Mater’s junkyard jamboree over in DCA. The only quick service restaurant coming to this land is Woody’s lunch box and this will be providing twists on regular meals.
As much as I am excited for Toy Story Land, I think the land will only connect with families and children due to the theming and lack of real dynamic and new attractions. When Toy Story Land opens there will be 6 attractions open and as we all know this is going to keep growing in the upcoming years.
Mickie’s First Big Adventure
The next big announcement we are aware of that is coming to Hollywood Studio’s is Minnie and Micky’s Runaway Railway. We are aware that this attraction is opening in 2019 but an exact date is very much up in the air due to the large refurbishments happening across the park.
Now, this for me is what Disney does well an attraction which is totally different to what we have had before by bringing us “2 and a half D” technology which has never been attempted before; while also bring us our very first Mickey Mouse attraction after 62 years. I think this attraction will be a massive favourite with Disney fans due to it bringing new technology never before seen in any Disney Park let alone Walt Disney World. I was always a big fan of The Great Movie Ride but could always feel that its time was very much coming to an end as the animatronics were becoming very dated and the queue times were starting to fall over time.
However, back to Micky and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, this attraction for me is what Hollywood studios has been calling out for a new and fresh idea brought to life by the two most iconic characters. Details do remain scarce at the moment regarding the attraction but the general consensus is that this attraction will breed a new life back into the Chinese Theatre.
In a Galaxy Far Far Away
Now on to the final confirmed land coming to Hollywood Studio’s and to say I am excited for this land would be a complete and utter understatement and that is Star Wars Galaxy Edge! I have always been a massive Star Wars fan and even attended the midnight release of The Last Jedi (which for one I think is underrated but that’s for another day). Where to start with Galaxies Edge, the land is based on the planet of Batuu within the village of Black Spire Outpost and the land will provide us with a fully immersive experience filled with markets containing animals from the planet of Batuu while also selling objects associated with the planet. We also have a restaurant coming to the market place which will be canteen based and will play live music very much similar to the canteen in A New Hope. This restaurant could easily become the new Le Cellier and Be Our Guest Restaurant. These restaurants use to get booked up immediately after becoming available and this canteen themed restaurant could easily become the new hottest place to eat on WDW property.
We also have some new and fresh attractions coming to Hollywood Studios and Star Wars Land. The first confirmed attraction is the Battle Escape attraction where it will see guests get trapped in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resilience on board a star destroyer. This attraction is due to contain full-scale AT-AT’s to make you feel fully immersed in this battle. In every Star Wars film, you see some amazing space battles from the Battle of Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith to the Deathstar approach in Star Wars (A New Hope) and this attraction will provide you with your own space epic.
The second attraction coming to Batuu will be the Millennium Falcon ride where you will get to step into Han Solo and Chewie footsteps in getting to fly the most iconic spaceship in the galaxy. This attraction will fit in perfectly with the immersion of Galaxy’s Edge as the experience will give each passenger tasks to undertake and depending on how successful you are it will lead to other experiences around Galaxies Edge. The attraction will also be providing new situations for the guests with the ride queue and exit being fully immersive due to the ride queue guiding you round the whole millennium falcon and the exit being designed so that when you finish your mission you will not come across other people experiencing the attraction.
Walt Disney World has had some impressive lands added over the last few years including Pandora and New Fantasyland but Star Wars Land is arguably the biggest thing coming to Disney in many a year. This land will not just bring Disney fans to the parks but Star Wars fans as they would have waited the whole life wishing they could experience it and this will now provide them with the opportunity to.
And to think that it doesn’t stop there? You won’t just get to experience shops, meals and attractions from the Star Wars universe but also get to live thanks to the unnamed hotel. The opening date for this still remains unknown and this comes as no surprise due to the level of investment. The details around the hotel remain very scarce however the location and the theme around the hotel is confirmed; it is due to be located south of the park providing transportation into Batuu straight from the hotel to keep the immersion up. The theme of the hotel is that all passengers will be aboard a spaceship travelling the galaxy. This will lead to each room containing views from different planets in the Star Wars universe.
I wish I could go on about this land but as we start to learn more I will be happy to keep you updated and pass on my thoughts. Hollywood Studios was a park which very much required some TLC. I think all Disney fans will agree that in this case, it was better late than never as shown by the lack of attractions currently operational at the park. However, this park in as short as 2 years could jump from being a half day park to the must do park in Orlando.