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
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
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.