Hollywood Studios Update – March 2019

Our March 2019 Walt Disney World construction updates begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has a lot to get done before the August debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. In this DHS update, we’ll cover the latest on the Bus Stop Half Marathon, MuppetVision changes, and more.

We’ll start with the Bus Stop Half Marathon, and we’ve finally crossed the finish line on that! We’ve been complaining about the temporary bus stop situation for at least the last 6 months, and while things got better a couple of months ago when the full pathway opened, it’s still been a long trudge.

The new bus stop area is a significant expansion over the old permanent bus stops, no doubt in anticipation of a massive influx of crowds for the redevelopment of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The style is consistent with the park’s Streamline Moderne entrance design, which was inspired by the Pan Pacific Auditorium.

Suffice to say, the new bus stops look nice and with the Skyliner gliding by overhead and boats in the distance, there’s an engaging kinetic energy to the area. It might sound odd, but I could see sitting out here, relaxing, and watching the ‘traffic’ for a couple hours.

…And anyone trying to visit the park for opening weekend of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge might be doing exactly that. Albeit not by choice.

There are numerous bus loops, with gates numbered from 1 to 75, which includes charter buses and third party hotels. Official Walt Disney World hotels are the lower numbers, which are closer to the front entrance.

At this point, it’s impossible to say how these will handle the increase in guests to the park, but they sure look sufficient. Even as of right now during spring break, there was surplus capacity when were here around park closing.

Sticking to the traffic in this area, here’s some testing of the aforementioned Disney Skyliner gondolas.

This was the first time we’ve observed uncovered cabins being tested, which only served to increase our hype level. Here are a few more bus stop and Skyliner photos:

From dining at Jaleo to photographing new bus stops and parking lot signs, blogging is the ultimate Walt Disney World roller coaster.

This would be the type of thing some might send an intern to do, but I’ve found that when you want high quality photos of parking lot signs, you’ve gotta do it yourself.

Last month, we included some random ‘pretty park’ photos in addition to the park update stuff, to showcase the general beauty and ambiance. We also asked for feedback about doing hybrid park reports of this nature, which was resoundingly positive.

Unfortunately, there’s not going to be much of that for this month’s update, because the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was bonkers crowd-wise due to spring break, overcast for most of the day, and grey at sunset. On the plus side, the evening was absolutely gorgeous…but some genius forgot to bring his tripod plate. (I did lug around the tripod all day though!)

Around the park, banners are up for the 30th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Back in Toy Story Land, spring break crowds and the dead end nature of the area make for a painful experience.

If Toy Story Land is on your agenda between now and late April (or any time it’s busy), we’d highly recommend following our Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park Opening Strategy & Rope Drop Tips or going later in the evening.

Posted wait times in Toy Story Land were still high an hour before park closing, but the crowds had thinned out considerably.

The nighttime spectaculars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios do a good job of pulling guests away from other areas of the park. Of course, going late means skipping Fantasmic, so maybe you’ll want to Park Hop to DHS for two separate evenings? Irrespective of your approach, avoid Toy Story Land between roughly 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Interesting to see an IAAPA award certificate for these Slinky Dog toys.

I personally like this sort of thing (and kudos on the win), but I’d be curious as to whether this impacts regular guest’s desire to purchase, or if it’s sorta a huh?! type of thing.

The main reason for our visit to Toy Story Land was for the obligatory look at Galaxy’s Edge from Slinky Dog Dash. (Click here to view the above photo larger.)

Not much has visibly changed since the last time we posted one of these. Rest assured, work is progressing on the ground level and inside the buildings. At least…we sure hope so given that pushed-forward grand opening!

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is opening in a few weeks, and there’s visible progress behind the cloaking devices over by Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster leading to the entrance.

Above is a look at new signage for the attraction.

More signage, this time of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular because I realized I somehow have no photos of this when posting our last Walt Disney World News & Rumor Round-up

Given the likelihood that this show will go dark and be revamped as soon as early next year, I really need to watch this again for the sake of new photos. It’s been a while.

With a similar motivation, I headed back to the MuppetVision area for photos of the remaining gags before they disappear.

This area is normally pretty quiet, even on busy days, as there’s not much going on back in this dead-end. However, it was nuts, with people sitting in front of a lot of the gags. My new plan is to rope drop the MuppetVision area soon.

After having several guests walk into my frame while trying to photograph other Muppet gags, I couldn’t help but audibly laugh out loud as someone waddled into my shot at the last second here.

If we’re going to end things on a high note, I don’t think it gets much better than that. We’ll be back for the next Disney’s Hollywood Studios update soon!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Are you sad to see the Bus Stop Half Marathon cross the finish line? Ready to sit outside the park entrance for a few hours watching the Skyliner while waiting for Galaxy’s Edge crowds? Thoughts on anything else we covered in this update? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!


33 Responses to “Hollywood Studios Update – March 2019”
  1. Sarah D April 26, 2019
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