D23 Update: Hollywood Studios Enhancements

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is already a major construction zone. At the parks presentation at D23 we received new information on the progress on Toy Story and Star Wars lands.

Let’s start with Toy Story land which has now received an opening date of Summer 2018. No specifics on opening in the beginning, middle or end of Summer. If it stays on track there is a strong likelihood of opening Memorial Day weekend 2018 just as Pandora opened Memorial Day this year. Construction photos from the presentation show a lot of progress already made. Alien Swirling Saucers and the Slinky Dog Dash family rollercoaster will be the two attractions highlighting this new land. But let’s not forget that one of Disney World’s most popular attractions, Toy Story Midway Mania will also be a part of this new land. During the presentation we received word that Midway Mania would receive a new entrance due to the land. Speculators have that new entrance being on the opposite side of the building from where its entrance currently is.

We also heard that an opening day attraction would be closing. The Great Movie ride debuted on May 1, 1989 when the, then named Disney-MGM Studios, theme park opened. A journey through the movies will be replaced with a new attraction revolving around one of films greatest characters. The first ever Mickey theme Disney park attraction will occupy the current location of The Great Movie Ride. “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” will take guests into the cartoon world of a Mickey Mouse short cartoon. Guests will climb aboard a train operated by Goofy and into the cartoon itself. With Goofy as your fearless leader adventure is bound to occur. A new technology that imagineers are calling 2 1/2 D (instead of 2D or 3D) will be on display here as well.

In order to make way for Mickey, The Great Movie Ride’s last day of operation will be August 13, 2017. The Grauman’s Chinese theater will still remain as the facade of the building for the new attraction as well.

And for the grand-daddy of them all: Star Wars. Opening in 2019 the identical lands in Disneyland and Walt Disney World will both be named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. At this remote trading post guests will be able to encounter Star Wars characters and their stories. We received additional information regarding the attractions that will be located in Galaxy’s Edge. You will be put in the middle of a battle against the Resistance and the First Order on both E-ticket attractions. One will bring you inside a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer and according to imagineers this attraction will be “built on a scale we’ve never seen before”. The second attraction will let you pilot the Millennium Falcon where each guest will have a job to do. If not done correctly, it could greatly impact the rest of your time in Galaxy’s Edge.

The new lands will also feature a cantina similar to the one seen in the first trilogy of films. And in the cantina a familiar face will be the house DJ. The droid, Rex, helped pilot millions of folks on the original iterations of Star Tours and now he will be bringing the house down (figuratively) with his droid beats.

More talk additionally occurred regarding the immersion of this new land. It was reiterated that your actions will have consequences. Don’t preform the correct task on the Millennium Falcon? Well there might be a bounty hunter looking for you in the cantina to talk to you about it. Whatever may happen Galaxy’s Edge will feel like you not only are immersed in a new story but you are the story.

No hard opening date in 2019 was announced but as anticipated Disneyland’s version will open a little before Disney World’s.

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