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A New Direction for Disney's Hollywood Studios

by Leap on August 16, 2015 16 Orlando

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been moving away from its roots as a film and animation studio for awhile now, but with new additions and changes to existing attractions, it seems set to become a celebration of movies.

Disney's Hollywood Studios changes

As attractions began closing, rumors circled about what Disney’s plans were for the smallest of its four theme parks. Last summer, American Idol gave away its last golden ticket, and shortly after, the Backlot Tour permanently ceased production. This year, the popular Animation Studio closed its doors, the Sorcerer's Hat was removed, and we bid farewell to one of the last remaining traces of what the park as a working studio used to be. These closures left the Studios with unused space just waiting to be filled with new experiences and attractions.

Disney's Hollywood Studios changes

Along with the closures, the park has begun to see new additions and refreshing changes to current attractions. Most have been small, but the sensation is building that something big is coming to Hollywood Studios. The opening of Trolley Car Café welcomed Starbucks to Hollywood. The Great Movie Ride gained a sponsor in Turner Classic Movies. The Hyperion Theater became the new home of Frozen: A First Time in Forever Sing-a-Long. Most recently, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has modified its storyline to more closely reflect the beloved film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

With these small changes, it seems Hollywood Studios is creating a new vision for the park. No longer a working film and animation studio, the current nomenclature is inaccurate, and with the accidental confirmation of a name change, it seems the Studios are primed for a new focus. Whether it will be Pixar, Star Wars/Lucasfilm or Marvel has been widely speculated over the last several months, and now with revelations from the D23 Expo, we have some answers!

Disney' Hollywood Studios changes - Star Wars Land Rendering

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be home to both a Star Wars themed land AND an expanded Toy Story land. Details released at the D23 Expo included the announcement of a third track for the immensely popular Toy Story Midway Mania attraction, as well as the addition of a Green Alien attraction featuring “The Claw” and a Slinky Dog family coaster. The 14-acre Star Wars area will feature two attractions, one that allows guests to fly aboard the Millennium Falcon and another that places guests in the middle of a battle with the First Order. The immersive land will also be home to familiar venues like the Mos Eisley Cantina (serving blue milk!) along with other restaurants and merchandise locations that might be found in the Star Wars universe.

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios

With these huge additions coming to the park over the next several years, we can’t help but wonder what else is in store for the Studios. Despite closing the curtains on the days of live studio production and animation, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, under whatever name it may be, will remain “the Hollywood that never was – and always will be.”

What do you think of all the changes? What do you hope Disney's Hollywood Studios will become? Share in comments below!

Related: Star Wars Lands Are Coming to Disney World & Disneyland

Keep hopping!

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Dec 30, 2015 at 5:46 p.m. Scott Says...

Wow, so many negative comments on something that is so exciting! They had me at "adding another track for Toy Story Mania" . Did they stop there.. Nope! They are piling on the extras from adding two more A ticket attractions via Star Wars rides. And another two tried and tested Toy Story rides.. This place will be amazing! All in spectacular themed areas.

What is better yet, once the areas are themed, its easier to add other themed rides, shows, exhibits and other items in the future.

Hollywood Studios/MGM has always been ride light, show heavy. So the ride waits can get ridiculous on the three rides? When the shows never change, the whole park gets stale. Oddly, It's easy to add shows, and fireworks. I can imagine a themed nightly show that fits the theme is in the works. MK, Epcot, Animal Kingdom all have them.

I do agree however, they should bring back the hat... and either place it above the entrance as the first thing that you see from the parking lot. Or create a new area at entrance. I think they moved it to allow flexibility for what is coming to the center area next. So, I will hold all negative judgements until they have completed their vision. Sooo excited!

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Dec 11, 2015 at 7:06 p.m. Fernando Lamas Says...

Always welcome exciting additions to the greatest family park in the world. We went there on our honeymoon and later took the kids along. Disney needs to keep some of the things that older folks enjoy along with new attractions. Change whether good or bad is inevitable. Looking forward to going again this year.

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Nov 7, 2015 at 5:15 a.m. Herb Swartz Says...

Sounds like Disney Corporation is downsizing because of dwindling support from its movie subsidiaries.

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Oct 17, 2015 at 5:38 p.m. Kim Renee Says...

Disappointed to hear about Animation Studio. One of our favorite stops in Florida and Anaheim. We use our Jack Skeleton drawings as part if our Christmas decorations every year...going in January ad it was one of our planned stops....

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Oct 10, 2015 at 6:46 a.m. Miranda t Says...

Honestly bummed about the backlot tour, it was one of my favorites while visiting Florida, just for that attraction. Just don't EVER get rid of the great movie ride, and I'm cool. Best. Attraction. Ever.

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Sep 19, 2015 at 8:43 a.m. j lazzaro Says...

The hat should never have been removed, it was the symbol of Disney

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Sep 17, 2015 at 1:35 a.m. Exit63NJ Says...

WDW continues to amaze and amuse. Yes....cost is a big factor for families.....Yes....the end of favorites like Osborne lights is disappointing.....and I agree, the hat should remain. It reflects what made Disney .....Disney! Magic!!!!! Why can't it be placed at the entry gates if they want to preserve the center court for events like this summers Coolest Summer?

I too have been coming since only Magic Kingdom and then MGM , had just opened. So when new attractions plan to open I am excited and look forward to seeing what the imagineers come up with. This park remains one of my favorites so I am excited to see it added to especially since I am one of thos eToy Story Mania maniacs! So Disney, do your best to freeze the prices to keep it affordable and continue to make each trip magical !!!

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Sep 16, 2015 at 3:03 p.m. louis lusk Says...

Walt Disney was not only about animation. he was on the cutting edge of family entertainment. we all know it started with a mouse but the vision he had went far beyond that. he planted a seed that will never stop growing. sure hope he's looking down on all this progress and innovation that's still called Disney and smiles with approval.

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Oct 29, 2015 at 1:09 a.m. Ann Says...

Honestly, with the closing of the Animation studio, I am really beginning to wonder about Disney's more recent changes. Bye bye Mickey and Minnie's house. You would think they could add new things without taking away some of the old. The Animation Studio used to be really cool and educational. I am not a Star Wars fan, no offense, so not excited. Avitar???? How long ago was that. Just not thrilled with some of the new things.

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Dec 29, 2015 at 8:49 a.m. Pat ogonowski Says...

thanks what I always say. why do they have to take things away. they have plenty of land. why not just add what they want without taking things away. Plus I do not like the new voice overs in the great movie ride. It confilcts with the already existing voices. It is really distracting and annoying.

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Sep 15, 2015 at 10:44 p.m. pam tozinski Says...

I'm going to miss the giant Mickey hat. Walt Disneys roots were all about the animation. I think its a shame that that part is being pushed aside. We are looking forward to the Slinky Dog Roller Coaster. Please keep the costs down though or we wont be able to come see you as often.

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Sep 15, 2015 at 4:44 p.m. M ZEGALIA Says...

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE FIREWORKS DISPLAY, THAT WAS FOCUSED ABOVE THE GROMAN'S CHINESE THEATER, BE BROUGHT BACK. THE MUSIC WAS PERFECTLY TIMED TO EACH FIREWORK BURST AND IT ENDED WITH MICKEY ON TOP OF THE THEATER WITH FIREWORKS BURSTING OUT FROM EACH HAND. FOR US, IT WAS PERHAPS THE BEST FIREWORKS EVER AT WDW. WE HAVE VISITED THE PARKS AROUND 38 TIMES SINCE OUR FIRST VISIT IN 1987 WHEN ONLY THE MAGIC KINGDOM AND EPCOT EXISTED.

MICHAEL ZEGALIA

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Sep 15, 2015 at 3:31 p.m. David Says...

At the cost of the Osborne Family Christmas Lights being cancelled they can count on our family WDW season passes being cancelled also.

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Aug 20, 2015 at 3:51 p.m. Rochelle Rubino Says...

I can't wait for the new upgrades but how much are the tickets going to go up? They are already out site for the average person with two kids?

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Aug 17, 2015 at 5:51 p.m. Dpolishmafia Says...

Changes sounds like a much needed upgrade! With a star wars land the possibIlities are endless there!

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Aug 29, 2016 at 12:06 a.m. uknown,fan,dbc Says...

THEY ARE SO MANY THING,S THAT WALT DISNEY COMPANY Reply

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