Big things are happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios behind this park’s many, many construction walls. And while we can't wait to check out Toy Story Land later this year and Star Wars Land in 2019, some other changes are happening right now inside the park that visitors should know about. From new sounds to an unannounced refurbishment, here's everything going on right now at Disney's Hollywood Studios:
1. New background music debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Last week updated musical arrangements around Disney's Hollywood Studios debuted, including big band arrangements of familiar Disney tunes at the park's main entrance, popular songs from the 30s and 40s on Hollywood Boulevard, more big band hits on Sunset Boulevard, retro-contemporary west coast funk on Grand Avenue, and more. Here's a breakdown of all the new sounds guests can expect to hear:
- Main Entrance: Adapted from a custom work created for Mickey Avenue at Shanghai Disneyland, you’ll hear Big Band arrangements of many of your favorite Disney tunes.
- Hollywood Boulevard: Custom arranged specifically for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be toe-tapping to Big Band instrumental arrangements of popular songs from the 30’s and 40’s. These tracks were recorded twice, with a few differences to help Guests transition from Hollywood Boulevard to the hub of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Sunset Boulevard: Sunset Boulevard gives you the opportunity to sing along with vocal tracks from similar Big Band hits played on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Echo Lake: As you transition away from Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard, you will continue to hear Big Band sounds, pushing towards the 50’s and 60’s with bright, brassy horns and lush string arrangements.
- Grand Avenue: Inspired by present-day Downtown Los Angeles, the music on the street includes retro-contemporary west coast funk sound defined by a strong bassline, electric guitars, horns and synthesizers. You may also hear traffic noises, birds, children playing, along with dialog coming from the storefronts. Fun fact: If you stand outside Garcia Sisters, you’ll hear what sounds like a radio inside the shop playing a Latin pop station.
- BaseLine Tap House: As you relax and enjoy a beverage, you’ll hear what sounds like a house band performing jazz and Bossa Nova covers of pop hits from the past few decades.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster courtyard: As you prepare to go upside down in the fast lane, you’ll hear a music festival in the distance, featuring live versions of classic rock songs by the original artists combined with crowd sounds to simulate a continuous performance.
2. Toy Story Midway Mania running at partial capacity
As you might already know, the beginning of the year is refurbishment season at Walt Disney World, and 2018 is no different, with half a dozen attractions scheduled to close in the near future. However, while attractions like the American Adventure and Pirates of the Caribbean have been confirmed to be closing in the coming weeks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will also be quietly refurbishing an attraction during this time: Toy Story Midway Mania. However, this attraction won’t be closing fully during this time.
Though unannounced, last week Disney closed the third track (which opened back in 2016) for this attraction so that that the queue and interior structure can be reconfigured in preparation for Toy Story Land’s opening this summer. As you may recall, part of the plans for Toy Story Land show the entrance of this attraction moving around to face the interior of the land, so significant changes need to be made inside the show building in order to make this flip. Unfortunately, that means that this attraction is currently running at 2/3rds capacity, which is driving wait times up considerably both for this ride and for the three remaining rides at this park as they deal with the overflow from this partial closure.