One of the most anticipated parts of our 2022 Walt Disney World vacation has been exploring Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios has been undergoing massive changes in recent years. Several attractions have closed with exciting new expansions taking their place. While some of these new attractions were open on our last visit, significant work was still being undertaken. The new attractions are brilliant, but the park still does not feel quite finished.
On March 3, 2020, Walt Disney World Resort President Josh D’Amaro said, “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a crowning achievement in the multiyear transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” Although he didn’t clearly state this was the end of the transformation, I feel he did suggest it. Since then, there have been no concrete announcements of new attractions apart from a new restaurant opening in Toy Story Land.
The most significant new additions to Hollywood Studios are:
- Toy Story Land
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Each new area is fantastic and makes Hollywood Studios a must-visit park. In addition, there have been several smaller filler attractions added to the park. Josh D’Amaro further explained the Hollywood Studios transformation, “What was once a theme park that took you behind the scenes now puts you in the center of your favorite stories.” I feel it is true that Hollywood Studios has achieved this concept which is similar to what Universal Studios has implemented in recent years.
The park is still suffering slightly from the effects of the shutdown. Although promised to open this year, Fantasmic has still not returned. Voyage of the Little Mermaid remains closed and seems unlikely to open in the future. Nighttime entertainment continues to be slim, with the previous excellent Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular also appearing unlikely to return.
After the last few years, it is understandable that there have been suspensions and closures of former attractions, but it does add to the feeling of the park not being quite finished. Also, several of the stage shows in the park are very dated, e.g., Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! has been getting performed in the park since opening day. Similarly, Beauty and The Beast Live on Stage has been performed daily since 1991; the Disneyland version of the show closed in 1995.
However, dated shows are not the main reason I feel the park isn’t finished. The Grand Avenue area of the park contains only Muppet*Vision 3D. I like Muppet*Vision 3D, but it has been around for over 20 years. Most of the rest of Grand Avenue is now closed, including most shops. Pixar Place used to be where you entered Toy Story Mania; now, it is just an empty space. It seems unlikely that the long-term plan for the “transformed” Hollywood Studios is to leave these areas empty.
Hollywood Studios is brilliant, and I have enjoyed visiting. All the new attractions are big crowd pleasers, but I feel a few additional attractions are needed to complete the transformation. Judging by the crowds at Hollywood Studios, most guests are enjoying the new areas. The most popular attractions also attract massive wait times, which would probably be helped with a couple of additional attractions.
Lost Property Update
One additional item to add today. Little Miss Modern Life is Good has lost the card for Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt at EPCOT.
Our up-to-date tally is 3 sunhats, 2 sunglasses, and a Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt Card.
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