Disney’s Hollywood Studios: In the Parks Update
May 17th, 2019
We’re back with an update from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. What better place to start, than the parking lot! Many of the gondolas for the new Disney Skyliner are uncovered revealing their character graphics. It’s quite entertaining to watch as each gondola comes within view. I’m sure many a youngster will enjoy calling out the characters as they recognize them hovering overhead.
If you haven’t read our recent post, I personally had the opportunity to ride inside one of these cabins. Not these, per se, but the same make and model used in Singapore’s Cable Cars. Check out the post and videos if you want to know what they look and feel like on the inside.
Additionally, the new parking tram drop off and pick up area is complete. The redesign offers a lot more room to the front plaza of the park. That’s good news since there will shortly be a lot of people heading inside for Galaxy’s Edge.
Half of the new security area has been completed as well, and it’s currently being utilized by guests.
I love the respect they paid to the original architectural feel of the park’s entrance. It plays out beautifully with this fencing at the exit of the park.
Hollywood Boulevard & Beyond
Speaking of architecture, Disney Parks Blog recently had some posts that paid homage to the architectural origins of the shops and facilities on Hollywood & Sunset Boulevard. I think this is in timing with the extensive remodeling going on in these stores. This week, Mickey’s of Hollywood was closed to begin its overhaul.
I’m hoping that the improvements pay off, and that they stay true to the architecture and the Hollywood Story.
Recently Adrien’s and Edith’s got a makeover. It fortunately kept the signage on the outside, and houses a beautifully remodeled interior.
The original had lots of Disney nostalgia, but the attraction posters had been faded for way too long.
Also, over on the other side at the lake, Min & Bill’s tugboat recently got a facelift.
The problem is that the facelift involved getting rid of the reference to Min and Bill’s. Admittedly, the reference was obscure to 99.99% of the people passing by. But it was a Hollywood reference, and it’s too bad that it has been removed. Min and Bill were really Marie Dressler and Wallace Berry. Their story is Hollywood’s ultimate ugly duckling tale. To know who these two people are, visit my book, Disney’s Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz. It details these two Hollywood stars, and why they were important to cinema legacy.
Nearby, a new electronic tip board has been put in place.
Moving further down the street, this attraction is seldom open when I pass by.
It’s too bad, because I rather like the film. And for those who really don’t know much about Star Wars lore (and I’m speaking to both of you), the film really does a great job giving you the whole lay of the land. Perhaps when the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens, we will see it re-open, to accommodate overflowing crowds. In the mean time, if you haven’t checked out our Complete Guide to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, definitely do so.
Red Carpet Dreams
Time to go visit Mickey and Minnie. The lines are often long here, but it’s still lots of fun.
Most don’t know that this facility used to be home to a private lounge for Sony, back in the day when they hosted Superstar Television. It was the only corporate lounge at the Studios–Epcot had well over half a dozen. I used to bring clients here, and it was a great venue. Now it houses character meet ‘n’ greets, not only for Mickey and Minnie, but for Olaf next door.
I love these little video signs. They are a nice little touch:
Minnie’s dress does not work for her–I don’t think bare shoulders is her best look. But the setting is amazing. The wallpaper is outstanding.
Here’s another one of those video billboards:
Mickey has a great little place as well. He’s holding my son’s light up sword and playing with it.
For those who can’t find this recipe by Yensid in one of the published Disney cookbooks, here it is:
Other Park Changes
Down the street we pass ABC Commissary. The restaurant is having an identity crisis, much like the studio it’s named after. I loved it as a counter service facility. I’m not sure that as a table dining location it’s going to be a choice I seek after. We’ll see after it’s done.
This sign could have said Fall or Bust, given the news that the new attraction is going to be postponed until next Spring. Bummer. Good news is that Disneyland will be receiving one as well.
Ever check out the footprints at the Chinese Theater?
Who would have ever thought that the voice behind this character would live on to be a DJ at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
We went for Cookie Num Nums and the amazing Key Lime Pie on a stick at the Incredibles Celebration. They were closed early. I hate that. My son settled for a cookie at Joffreys. It worked for him, not so much for me. Disappointing. What I would love is to have Joffreys bring in the small doughnuts they sell in the water parks. Not sure why that’s only featured at the water parks. They are tempting every time I pass by them.
I’m glad that the studio arch will be remaining with all of the changes being made.
With it will be coming a slightly different look. It’s okay, but not stellar. Clearly an emphasis on Hollywood with a much lesser emphasis on Studios.
Off to Fantasmic! With all the discussion of the new Wonderful World of Animation nighttime show, one might wonder how the Fantasmic Show is doing attendance wise.
No loss here. The attendance looks pretty strong. It seems crazy that there are these nighttime shows in front of the Studios playing at the same time Fantasmic is playing. But there is a strategy in play here. With guests having to choose, it means they have to come back to the park to see the second set of offerings. It also means, that with more options of what to visit, the Studio doesn’t have to do multiple sets of Fantasmic shows every night, which they were often doing the better part of the year. I would like to see that strategy change, but I doubt it will.
What was strange was that there was only one princess barge during the princess number. Both Snow White and Little Mermaid were missing during this section. Two barges were also missing during the monkey scene. My guess is that they are having repair work being done, and this is only temporary. Both princesses later showed up in the final scene.
I promised my son that after I got back from Asia I would take him to the Studios to see this show. The crazy thing is that just a few nights prior, I was watching Fantasmic at Tokyo Disney Sea. Lots of Disney fans compare the Fantasmic shows between Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the real comparison is with the show in Tokyo. It’s a totally different show. There is no island or mountain, but rather a large sorcerers hat on the lake. All the other action takes place on large barges. It’s a very different approach. Take a look at the finale scene below
Well, that’s a wrap. Or at least, that’s what they used to say when it was more of a studio. Certainly more to come in the months and weeks ahead. Stay tuned!