It was announced late last week that more closures would be coming to Hollywood Studios in order to make way from the upcoming expansion of Toy Story Land and Pixar Place. The coming closures take up a massive footprint of the park. Everything north of the Great Movie Ride toward Muppetvision 3-D (not closing) will be closing on April 2nd. What attractions does this entail?
Closing attractions: Lights, Motor, Action, Monsters Inc. Meet & Greet, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground, The Streets of America, Watto’s Grotto, The Prop Shop, Studio Catering Company, and Youze Guys Merchandise.
As you can see, it’s a lot of attractions, shops, and restaurants. When construction of both Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land/Pixar Place is finished over 25 acres of Hollywood Studios will be redesigned. This makes it one of the largest expansions ever done by a theme park.
That said, there will be some short-term pain until both expansions are completed. Hollywood Studios will effectively be cut in half. There will be only three attractions on the north side of the park for the near future: Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. The south side of the park remains unchanged with the Great Movie Ride, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Fantasmic! and Rock n’ Roller Coaster anchoring that half of the park.
Disney has added a couple of things on the south side of the park to keep guests in the park like the Star Wars Launch Bay and Club Disney. But is it enough to keep people entertained for a 12 to 24 months while Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land get built. I’m sure Disney will have big plans for the grand openings of both expansions. I could see Disney and ABC/Good Morning America teaming up for grand opening coverage much like Universal and NBC/Today Show did for Harry Potter.
Hollywood Studios also loses a major landmark as the Earful Tower will also be coming down as part of the expansion. No word on whether or not the tower will be relocated within the park or reconstructed once the expansions are completed.
The future looks bright for the park but 2016 is not shaping up to be Hollywood Studios’ year.