A New Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has reopened and we bring you coverage of what the experience is like in a COVID-19 world. You can find our podcast here on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, MyTuner, and ListenNotes. If you’re not familiar with Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, please check out our overview. Know that photos and videos follow below, but my play-by-play narrative can be found on the podcast.
The park actually opens ahead of its declared opening time. The stated opening time is 10:00 am, but most of the guests are still arriving beforehand.
Attractions are also open ahead of the stated hour so that guests are not congregating along Hollywood Boulevard in tight proximity to one another.
Time to go to Toy Story Land and ride Slinky Dog. Great news! No wait!
From Toy Story to Mickey & Minnie
The queue at the beginning of the day in front of the Chinese Theater. It goes all over, but at least they are trying to keep every party socially distant from another.
Part of why the line is so long outside is that they cannot take advantage of the full queue inside if they want everyone to be socially distant.
Probably the biggest change to the attraction at this time is that there is no movie. You simply walk through the blasted out screen.
Still, it’s a fun ride once you are on board. And did we mention air conditioning?
You can see how the original show/attraction plays out below:
Just before 11:00 am that morning, here were the designated wait times. Note that the wait at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was actually less than 20 minutes.
I left around noon, and came back around 3:30 in the afternoon. Here’s what the times looked like just after 4:00 pm. Note the time for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. That is practically a walk-on length of time.
All Things Star Wars
When you get a boarding pass (if you get a boarding pass) to Rise of the Resistance, you get the following:
Note that the big difference from the stated time foRer which groups are currently boarding. The only way to find that out is on the digital signage at the entrance to the ride, or on the monitors at each Guest Experience station. Disney invites you to make sure you have push notification, as they will send you notice when your boarding group may board.
I should note that I took the photo below at Star Tours just after I did the screen capture of wait times. Again, the line states it is 15 minutes, but the ride was virtually a walk on.
Over at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge the storm troopers don’t walk among the people, but they do walk up along the top deck.
Note that below this deck is Vi Moradi. She too is behind the barriers instead of out among the guests. But she offers a great juxtaposition of the two forces, with one looking for the other.
Merchant Row requires that the number of guests in each of the small shops be severely limited. They have only one entrance, and the crowd is carefully monitored.
The outdoor relaxation station here has much to be desired with a searing heat pressing down on guests.
Though prettier, it’s not much better when it’s raining.
Time for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Note that with the incoming rains how the crowds are thinning out.
Note that while they don’t say you can’t sit at the chess board, waiting in line no longer makes it conducive to doing so given the pandemic situation we are in.
Also, every party gets their own cockpit. For me, that means a party of one. On the podcast I share how Hondo Ohnaka interacts with me in the left pilot position.
A salad and dessert combined makes for a balanced meal, right? No wonder I’ll never look like Drew.
It’s time to line up for Rise of the Resistance–even if it’s back on Grand Avenue outside Galaxy’s Edge.
The attraction has maintained the experience almost perfectly. You are assigned a number before briefing, during briefing, before boarding (seen here) and while boarded on the ship. Each party gets their own ride vehicle later on in the attraction.
When you board the Star Destroyer, those in charge use a small body mike to address prisoners as they are removed.
The experience in Rise of the Resistance leaves me just enough time to grab my favorite blue milk.
I’m last to leave, so I have the perfect opportunity to grab these final photos of empty, rainy streets.
That’s a Wrap. But There’s More!
If you haven’t had the chance already, “What We Love” series as we’ve visited all of the parks and more world-wide. Be sure to check out the others if you haven’t yet. This has been a labor of love to share all of these as we have gone through this pandemic where Disney parks world wide were shut down.
You can find What We Love About Disney’s Hollywood Studios podcast/post here.
I recently announced the upcoming release of the 2nd edition of Disney’s Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz. Stay tuned, as we will be re-releasing this updated book in the weeks to follow.
Meanwhile, let us mention our free Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge guide. It is the most comprehensive insight into this amazing land. Whether you’re visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you want to check this out before heading to this wonderful place. It’s full of interactive maps, videos, images, stories and more. You can find out more here!
Meanwhile, is it time to book your next trip to Disney? The best person to answer that question is David Zanolla, owner and agent of of Out The Door Travel, LLC. There’s no cost–but it could save you a lot of time–and even money–especially when you put it in the hands of someone who really knows Disney and travel. Call today at 309-863-5469 or reach out to him via firstname.lastname@example.org