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Studio Backlot Tour

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be going through some big changes in the next few years as the park looks to rise above its fourth-place attendance status among its sister parks at Walt Disney World.

With two attractions closing so far this year, it's clear that the Disney's Hollywood Studios park we know today will quickly become a thing of the past as a new, bold plan for the park takes shape. Here’s what we know about rumored plans for this “new” Hollywood Studios, which could be completed in only a few short years.

Note: these changes are as yet unconfirmed by Disney.

1. Star Wars Land finally arrives

Indiana Jones

American Idol closed earlier this year, and rumors persist that the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular will take its last bow in early 2015. We’ve told you before that these real and rumored closures point to the realization of the much-rumored Star Wars Land, and next year will see the official announcement of this project as well as (hopefully) the commencement of construction around what is now Echo Lake. For now this project still remains officially unannounced, but like other developments around Walt Disney World, this “secret” is poorly kept.

This change will not only take out a huge chunk of the current park, but also represents further distancing from the original theme of Disney’s Hollywood Studios as a park. While the American Idol Experience and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular furthered the park's original theme of learning about behind-the-scenes filmmaking, the new “land” based on Star Wars will be a straight up movie-based world, and won’t have any direct ties to the original park concept.

Though this shift in overall park theme mirrors that of sister park Epcot (which is going through its own identity crisis), the new Star Wars area isn’t the only big change likely coming to this park...

2. Toy Story Midway Mania gets a capacity upgrade

Toy Story Midway Mania

Though the soundstage area adjacent to Toy Story Midway Mania has been used intermittently throughout the years (most recently as Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post during the Frozen Summer Fun event), it looks like this area will finally be getting a permanent purpose…as an extension of its neighbor ride.

Though some may have hoped that this area might have eventually been used for an all-new attraction, the idea to make an additional track for Toy Story Midway Mania certainly has merit, and should help alleviate the 100+ minute waits experienced by guests during the summer.  Again, this is still officially unannounced, but we expect to hear confirmation from Disney regarding this project sometime in the very near future, with construction likely starting sometime next year.

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Comments

Change is good... but closing attractions instead of adding is not the best way to go about it. Why close the Indy show to give space for a Star Wars area ? Why not expend and ADD the Star Wars area while keeping the Indy show ? Last time I went to the park (and that is less than 2 weeks ago), the Indy show was full and people love it. It's one of the reasons I want to go to HS. I really don't understand the need for closing attractions, especially those that are popular. Backlot tour was very interesting and simply updating it would've been a better choice instead of closing..... anyway, I'm just a guest, what do I know.

These changes can't happen soon enough. The park is really tired. I hope the Carsland happens. Rumors are now that it won't. That would be a shame. Getting rid of Indy, the back lot tour is great as these are really poor attractions by today's standards. Let's home for the Little Mermaid stage show to go soon, too.

I agree that change is good (in certain aspects) but something about number 3 on this list I actually find sickening. If the Studio Backlot tour was to be changed why couldn't it just be upgraded to a more elaborate attraction along the lines of what is currently? The sickening part is that turning it into an area based on Pixar films which would include (of all things) a kids play area would ruin the experience for older visitors terribly! The entire resort complex has more than enough of these as it is and on top of everything far too many vivid and life-like attractions have already been replaced with children's attractions and this is unbelievably absurd given that the Disney legacy is all about every person regardless of age or any other characteristic. How is it that this incredible series of theme parks is evolving into an environment exclusively for small children? I've pondered the reason for this for a lot of years and to this day can't for the life of me come up with any idea! Hollywood Studios is about movies so a Pixar attraction would be appropriate there but certainly don't replace a ride that's up to a more mature and real life level just to satisfy child guests!

I don't think we'll be seeing Cars Land come to Florida. Disney has been pretty clear that they want Cars Land to be a California exclusive, plus I'm not sure they'd be willing to shell out another billion for a duplicate ride.

The studio backlot tour was on borrowed time... it's more a reminder of a failed attempt to turn Orlando into Hollywood East.

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