A trip to the Walt Disney World means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some it’s a rite of passage; for others, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; and for the truly dedicated, it’s an annual pilgrimage to experience classic rides, attractions, and dining delights while also seeing what shiny new things the Disney Parks teams have rolled out.
Even if you’ve visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the last year or so, there are some game-changing updates coming to the park that you’re going to want to include on your next Walt Disney World vacation. So let’s take a look at 10 reasons to add Hollywood Studios to your plans, including existing attractions, brand-new rides, and mind-blowing expansions due to arrive in the very near future. Check them out below!
Existing Attractions and Rides
Among the many Hollywood-inspired attractions that exist in the park, there are many others like
the “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith” (which is still the fastest way to get through LA’s freeways) and the film/live-action show, “Muppet*Vision 3D.”
If it’s character interactions you’re after, you and the little ones can meet Cruz Ramirez from Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3, Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, plus Olaf from Frozen. And if you still can’t “Let It Go”, I have good news: the fan-favorite movie has a live-action sing-along retelling at the park!
Oh, and if it’s Star Wars stuff you want:
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi-inspired additions on display at Star Wars Launch Bay – New props and models from Star Wars: The Last Jedi were recently put on display to Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – This attraction now takes passengers to two exciting new destinations: Crait, the site of an epic battle in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Batuu, the remote outpost guests will discover when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at the park in 2019.
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – A very emotional retelling of the Star Wars story so far, now with additional footage all the way up through Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
- Jedi Training: Trials at the Temple – This one’s for the younglings who attempt to master the ways of the Force for the Light side and use their powers against the Dark side. (It’s all very cute, parents.)
- There’s also the park’s Star Wars Guided Tour, which takes you and your guests through each of these attractions, gives you the opportunity to take pictures with (in)famous Star Wars characters, and much much more.
That’s all well and good, but what about the new stuff?
MIckey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad
As the Disney Parks blog sums it up, in Hollywood Studio’s upcoming attraction “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway”, guests will “step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before.” Riders will step inside the wild, wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short–which is the inspiration for this attraction, after all–where you get to be the star. Expect the unexpected with “surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.”
Those Mickey Mouse Cartoon Shorts can be seen on the Disney Channel, and the folks at Disney Television Animation who bring them to life have also partnered with the park on this attraction. It’s also the first Mickey Mouse-themed park attraction, if you can believe it! Other cool ride-related trivia is the fact that “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway” will feature a new story and a new singable attraction theme song, plus glasses-free 3D, or “2 1/2 D.” Here’s what Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Rafferty had to say about the new technologies that will be on display:
“This is one of the boldest…most impossible things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. And you know what? That’s what I love about it. Well, that, and Mickey. This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”
Unfortunately, with the addition of some new attractions, Disney has to make room by closing down some classics. So since the new home of “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway” will be at the Chinese Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the long-running attraction “The Great Movie Ride” presented by Turner Classic Movies has ended its run.
Toy Story Land – Opening This Summer!
This year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will welcome kids (and kids at heart) to the brand new “Toy Story Land”, described as “a whimsical place located in the larger-than-life setting of Andy’s backyard.” The new area lets guests discover what it’s like to be a toy though all-new attractions, themed dining options, and more, all inspired by the award-winning Toy Story franchise. Expect to be shrunk down to size since you’ll find yourself in a rather colorful section of the park populated with giant game board pieces, building blocks, and fan-favorite characters including Woody, Buzz, Slinky Dog, Rex, the Aliens and more.
So what is there to do in “Toy Story Land”? Well one attraction should be familiar to fans of the park already. That’s the super-fun (and a little bit addictive) game, “Toy Story Mania”, where you compete against fellow guests to achieve a high score by hitting all sorts of targets scattered throughout Andy’s room. But there are some new attractions coming to the park as well:
- Slinky Dog Dash – Andy’s assembled his awesome coaster kit… and Slinky Dog is ready to take you for a wild ride on a crazy coaster—one that gives you a glimpse of all that Toy Story Land has to offer. Come along as Slinky Dog bends and twists his coils around curves, hills, bridges and drops. Make no mistake, this is one wacky attraction… and fun for the entire family!
- Alien Swirling Saucers – The Aliens have powered up their flying saucers to take you on a dizzying ride through space! Hang on tight as your toy rocket ride takes off, all while space electronica provides an out-of-this-world beat. And if you’re really lucky, you might just get “chosen” by the claw. Oooooo!
‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’
The good news is that you have until 2019 to prepare for the arrival of “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” since the park is still under construction. The great news is that there’s a lot of info available now as to what guests can expect when the attractions open! Here’s a brief list of what Disney’s Hollywood Studios has in store.
- Guests will travel to Batuu, a remote trading outpost on the edge of the galaxy.
- You’ll be able to take on missions that will determine the fate of the battle between the First Order and the Resistance, explore the many merchant stalls in a grand bazaar where alien artisans craft their wares, and enjoy a wide selection of alien drinks and space meats.
- Have you always wanted to have a picture taken next to a life-size X-wing? You’ll be able to do that, since the park has a fleet of them under construction.
- Do you dream of flying the Millennium Falcon on an intergalactic mission? You can do that here, but rather than just plunk yourself down behind a mock cockpit (mockpit?), you’ll get to walk down the built-to-scale corridors and through the old smuggler ship’s hatches. Better book your tickets to Batuu now since this is going to be the hot attraction when “Galaxy’s Edge” opens up.
- Expect everything to have that authentic Star Wars look, from the water fountains to the paths of droid tracks stamped into the dirt.
- If fighting alongside the Resistance isn’t your speed and you’d rather team up with the First Order (we won’t tell), another attraction will put you onboard a Star Destroyer in the hangar bay, just part of the immersive experience of “Galaxy’s Edge.”
- Fans will also get a chance to explore the area around Batuu for a one-of-a-kind, personalized experience that exists within the world of Star Wars.
- You’ll find familiar faces like BB-8, Chewbacca, First Order Officers, and even RX-24 “Rex”, but a highlight of “Galaxy’s Edge” is how unique and “authentic” everything on Batuu is going to be, from the sights, sounds, and smells of the marketplace, to the original, textured toys you can purchase from a Toydarian shop.
Is that enough to entice you to pay a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on your next Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments!