Star Wars and Toy Story lands announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Exciting news from the D23 Expo! No, I didn’t attend last weekend’s convention in Anaheim, California, but after following the announcements from several official sources (maybe in 2017 I can finally make it to California?), I am enthusiastic to share some news and links to recently unveiled concept artwork.

Some long-awaited announcements, specifically regarding the future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, were made at the expo.

Concept artwork for the envisioned Star Wars and Toy Story lands were displayed to eager audiences at the semi-annual convention…wish I could have been there to see it first hand!

Two significant attractions will be included in Star Wars Land, in addition to merchandising and dining locations to enhance the experience for Star Wars fans.

No timelines were announced for the redevelopment–but given the level of detail that the Star Wars attractions will entail, it’s likely to take several years until completion–some are estimating a grand opening of 2021 to coincide with Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

In the meantime, fans will have some meet and greets and other exhibits to look forward to beginning at the end of this year. The Star Wars Launch Bay will be set up in the Animation Courtyard to showcase plans for this ambitious project (Disney’s answer to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?), and highlight the upcoming film trilogy. Check out more details from the announcement here.

To bring some much needed child-friendly attractions to Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land will include a family coaster themed to Slinky Dog and a green alien saucer spinner. You can check out the official concept artwork here. I think the theming of Andy’s backyard adventures really has an opportunity to shine. 

I would expect Toy Story Land to open well before Star Wars Land, because despite the heavy theming, the new area’s attractions appear to be less complex.

Overall, this will be a welcome addition to a park that has been in need of some major improvements. I’m optimistic that further announcements will still be made. 

What do you want to see at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?


Disney’s Hollywood Studios to receive a $3 billion makeover?

Changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) have been a long time coming. Earlier this year one of the biggest changes to date took place–Mickey’s sorcerer hat was removed from Hollywood Boulevard–and the Earful Tower has once again claimed its place as park icon.

Now a new report is outlining just what changes are coming to DHS, and it has the internet buzzing.

Rumours have been swirling about DHS for years.

Rumours have been swirling about DHS upgrades for years. Photo circa 2013.

Rumour is that DHS will see a $3 billion investment, and that Disney will expand its Star Wars presence in the parks.

In addition to the long-awaited Star Wars expansion, an Indiana Jones themed area may be developed (hello, Lucas Land?)  along with an extension of Pixar Place. Construction of a third Toy Story Mania track has already been confirmed.

Many attractions have already closed–or are scheduled to be closed in coming weeks. The park, already branded by some as a “half-day park” is relying on Frozen Summer Fun to bring crowds during this transitional period.

It’s speculated that news on the park’s redevelopment will be shared at the upcoming D23 Expo, taking place in Anaheim from Aug. 14 to 16.

With all of these changes coming to DHS, a name change would seem appropriate given the theme of filmmaking and working film studios has all but diminished. Some say that all that will be left from the early DHS days will be the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, the Great Movie Ride and Star Tours.

The rumoured front runner for a new name? Disney’s Hollywood Adventure. That gives me optimism that Disney will keep the beautiful 30s-era theming, and work it into their new vision for the park.

Your thoughts?