Just last month we talked about some of the changes coming in the near future to Disney's Hollywood Studios, including the imminent opening of the new PizzeRizzo restaurant, the addition of a Moana character meet and greet at the One Man's Dream attraction, and even an unfortunate cosmetic change (that we're really hoping is temporary!) at the Muppet Courtyard.
However, even though less than two weeks have passed since our last update from this park, it looks like December has brought even more interesting changes to Disney's Hollywood Studios. And sadly, it looks like our first update involves the unexpected closure of a rather popular character experience that had just opened very recently...
1. Doctor Strange moves out of Walt Disney World, likely for good
Though we really liked the interactive format of the recent Doctor Strange character experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and how it mirrored the experience of the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy), it looks like this character has been quietly exiled from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not only has this experience been removed from the official in-park times guide less than a month after it made its initial debut, but all of the signage, props and facades that were tied to this character experience have also disappeared from the park as well, seemingly indicating that Doctor Strange will not be making a return to the resort any time soon.
We don’t know exactly why Disney opted to remove this character experience so swiftly (it seemed to be quite popular, especially with kids), but some are speculating that Disney may not have wanted to risk a breach of contract with neighbor Universal Orlando Resort, who may or may not have an exclusivity claim to Doctor Strange. This character experience could also have been purely promotional in nature (and thereby set to expire when the film no longer needs promoting), but with the Doctor Strange film still proving to be quite popular at the box office after more than a month in release, this would seem to be an unlikely reason for removal.
While we’ll probably never know exactly what the reason was for Doctor Strange's hasty removal from Walt Disney World, it looks like this character probably won't be returning Walt Disney World any time soon.
2. Rogue One moves in to the Star Wars Launch Bay
The Star Wars Launch Bay has had its share of mixed reactions since it debuted last year, but one of the really good things about this walk-through attraction is that it is easily updated to showcase the latest and greatest from the Star Wars universe. Earlier this year several props and models from Star Wars: The Force Awakens were added to this attraction, and now even more items have been added to celebrate the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In addition to the new props and models, guests who walk by this attraction will also be able to check out a brand new banner featuring the Death Star as well, which has replaced the First Order banner that was previously flying over this attraction. It is unknown how long these new additions will be sticking around (Disney has promised to keep rotating items in the gallery) but if you want to check out the latest and greatest form the Star Wars universe, you should definitely stop by this updated attraction in the near future.