Though we have been following the progress on both of the long-term projects at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land), not every change at this park is going to be one that we'll have to wait several years for. In fact, just this week some big news has hit this park that will affect guests visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios in the very near future. Including one new opening that will make visits to the park this summer a lot more fun for fans of a certain Midway attraction.
Here are the four big, unexpected developments at Disney's Hollywood Studios...
1. Toy Story Midway Mania's third track opens early and wait times disappear
Though Disney was originally projecting that the third track for Toy Story Midway Mania would not open until next week, Disney's Hollywood Studios surprised guests by opening the third track earlier this week, to the joy of park-goers looking to take a spin on this attraction without dealing with its infamous wait times.
And the good news here is that the opening of this additional track (which increases capacity by 50%) has had already had a profound effect on wait times at this popular attraction. Just a few days ago, wait times were hovering between 75-100 minutes, but now with the third track available, posted wait times have fallen by double digit percentages, fluctuating between 20 and 45 minutes on this new track’s inaugural day. This is certainly great news for this ride-strapped park, as the often 100-plus minute wait time at Toy Story Midway Mania has been prohibitive for guests who are not able to make FastPass+ reservations two months in advance and simply aren’t willing to wait nearly more than an hour for this attraction.
Though we initially guessed that Disney would make this third track FastPass+ only, it looks like (at least during the first few days of operation) that Disney is instead directing both FastPass+ and regular guests to this third track on an ad-hoc basis, depending on how busy each line is. While this policy could change in the coming months as we weather what should be a very busy travel season (in spite of recent declines), not dedicating a single line for FastPass+ seems to be working very well for this attraction at the moment, and is keeping wait times nice and low for everyone.
The addition of the third Toy Story Midway Mania track is certainly exciting, and will add some much needed ride capacity to this park. However, that’s not the only recently confirmed change that is coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
2. Pizza Rizzo coming to the Muppets Courtyard later this year
While it was all but assumed up to this point that the refurbishment of the former Pizza Planet would bring a new theme to this quick service establishment that would fit in to the new(ish) Muppets Courtyard themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, WDWNT has cited an internal source as confirming that this dining location is indeed being re-themed to something Muppets-related. And those who know their Disney’s Hollywood Studios History will be very pleased to learn that Disney is revisiting an old idea for this park: Pizza Rizzo!
Though it isn’t exactly The Great Gonzo’s Pizza Pandemonium Parlor (which was the original theme for Mama Melrose’s and would have included an ambitious food delivery system that saw animatronic Muppet rats bringing food to guests’ tables), this still sounds like quite an exciting development, especially for Muppets fans who were concerned about the future of the franchise after ABC cancelled The Muppets TV show a few weeks ago.
While we still do not have an opening date available for this refurbished and re-themed dining experience, based on the visible work going on at the restaurant right now as well as permits filed in relation to this project, we would guess that Pizza Rizzo will be open before the holiday season, possibly as soon as October 2016.