Three years ago an overhaul of Hollywood Studios was announced at the D23 Expo. Two major lands were set to come to the downtrodden park, Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Along with that, rumors were floating around that there would be a third phase to this expansion. While there were many thoughts tossed around none ever came to fruition. According to various sites, notably WDW Magic, that third phase is instead going to be a few changes throughout the park (like the change to the park icon’s attraction) instead of expansion. We’ve hit the home stretch of these expansions coming to Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Land opened earlier this year and Galaxy’s Edge along with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will come on-line in 2019.
At the time of these announcements, we were very excited for these changes and we still are. But, I also thought that these expansions would lead to a complete overhaul of the park. There was and is plenty of space for new shows, attractions both big and small and an overhaul of the dining scene. While asking for a completely new park was out of the question, Hollywood Studios seemed destined to look completely different by the time the expansions were done.
To a small extent, that has happened. Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge make the park very different and larger. In the last three years, the area around MuppetVision has changed shops, eateries, and even names about as much as I’ve typed the word ‘expansion’ in this blog post. A new show is coming in 2019 featuring the Cars franchise and a few others have been changed out.
More troubling though is that there hasn’t been much of an increase in Hollywood Studios’ capacity. While two new expansions are great, the park will still end 2019 with 10 or less physical rides. For the sake of comparison, 10 attractions would still be the lowest amount of any park U.S. Disney Park. With Galaxy’s Edge sporting two E-Ticket attractions, will Hollywood Studios have the capacity to hold the massive crowds that will converge on the park?
Looking across the country, Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland is a very different story. The park has no shortage of attractions to help spread the crowds out. While some of the walkways will be cramped and the lines will surely be long in Galaxy’s Edge, there are enough attractions (over 30) to make sure that the whole park won’t have extremely long wait times.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said at Hollywood Studios. Once this new land opens, I expect wait times for nearly all attractions to shoot through the roof. The increase in crowds will be much higher than the capacity added by Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.
One way to deal with the crowds inside of the actual land is to add timed entry. I would imagine that this will be rolled out for Galaxy’s Edge during high crowd seasons. Guests will have a time that they are allowed to go inside of the land as a way to help keep the lines and streets inside that land manageable. This is a common practice at some theme parks and I’d expect it for Galaxy’s Edge on both coasts. But at Hollywood Studios, where will guests go while they wait for the entry? This is why I expect the lines to get longer for all attractions.
I’m also curious how the land will affect crowd flow at Hollywood Studios. Galaxy’s Edge will be in the back corner of the park. One entrance will come from Grand Avenue, just past MuppetVision. That will be the main entrance and much of that area has been worked on over the last few years. I think this could act as a queue of sorts to get inside of the land. The other entrance will likely be through Toy Story Land. Having two entrances will certainly help the crowd flow but potential bottlenecks could make Hollywood Studios pretty unpleasant.
All of these seemingly random thoughts/worries are my way of saying that I wish Hollywood Studios would add more. There aren’t enough attractions and quality shows to appease the crowds that the park will soon attract. When these new expansions were announced I expected a massive overhaul of the park, instead there were just two lands added to the already existing park. While this may be a slight problem thematically (a topic for another day) I’m worried that the park hasn’t adequately prepared for Galaxy’s Edge.
Let us know your thoughts on Hollywood Studios and if the park is ready for Galaxy’s Edge in the comments. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney! If you enjoy our content then please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!
Categories: Rumors and Commentary