It has been less than a week since the biggest mass attraction closure in Walt Disney World history took place at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and while it is going to be several years before we are able to walk through the twin expansions that will bring Toy Story Land and Star Wars land to life at this park, a close look at some of the signage placed around the park reveals some interesting details about what's coming to this park in the not-too-distant future.
1. Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land: two worlds, side by side
Back when both Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land were just whispers on fan forums, the most popular theory about the placement of these lands was that Toy Story Land would occupy the former Studio Backlot Tour area, and Star Wars Land would sit in the Echo Lake area. However, based on the closures that took place last week as well as some updated concept art posted around the park (more on that in a moment), it looks like these two lands are actually going to be constructed side by side, with some kind of (possibly underground) tunnel connecting these two areas.
This is definitely an interesting development, as it looks like Disney is constructing its own mini Islands of Adventure in the back of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with these two IP-focused areas sitting at the back of the park together. This seems like a good plan, and while we're thankful that the Echo Lake area got a reprieve from demolition, the one possibly disappointing component of this seeming confirmation of the locations of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land is that it doesn’t leave much space for further expansions. One of the big reasons why the Echo Lake rumor initially seemed so plausible for Star Wars Land was that this space allowed for further expansions down the line if Star Wars Land proved to be a hit. However, it looks like Disney is instead going to use the Streets of America area, which is smaller, but also probably faster to build on.
2. Toy Story Land gets some alterations
When we visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios the day the walls went up, we noticed that the Toy Story Land concept art that is currently displayed next to the former Studio Backlot Tour looks a little different than what was released last year when this land was first announced. You can compare the original art above with the new art below (which you can click to enlarge):
Right off the bat, it looks like the Slinky Dog Coaster is now a little bit smaller, and no longer goes underground. From the looks of the art, it also seems some props have also been removed from the attraction, including a scene featuring the Green Army Men. Though these changes to this ride could be one of the many cost-cutting measures happening around Walt Disney World, it seems more likely that Disney is trying to roll out this land as quickly as possible and is cutting a few corners to make sure they hit their construction deadlines and help bring this park back to life as soon as possible. Also visible on the left side ofthe image above is the connecting tunnel we mentioned previously that could serve as a bridge between these worlds. Further bolstering this theory is a wooded area around said tunnel, which could help keep Star Wars Land hidden from the view of guests visiting Toy Story Land.