Hollywood Studios Update: October 2019

We continue to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for our ongoing October 2019 Walt Disney World construction updates. After being the most exciting spot for progress reports earlier this year thanks to classics like the Bus Stop Half Marathon and Grand Avenue Mystery Building (oh and I guess Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge), DHS has been quieter of late.

Of course, this is due to most of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening and good news for actual guests. Even though both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway remain under construction, there’s really nothing to see with either.

That means DHS is in this weird, in-between spot where two of the most anticipated things haven’t debuted, but there’s still nothing exciting to see right now. While I don’t have updates on these two forthcoming E-Tickets, I do have something even better–reimagined retail!!!

We’ve been dragging our feet on covering this because it doesn’t particularly interest us, but now that all of the shops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have reopened, we might as well knock this all out.

Upon entering Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be greeted by a newly reimagined Mickey’s of Hollywood on the left hand side of Hollywood Boulevard. This along with Keystone Clothiers were closed most of the summer…

Mickey’s of Hollywood remains the main, all-purpose gift shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It has a clean and open look stylized with bold patterns, sharp lines, and other Art Deco flourishes. Its classy and crisp, probably the best example of this new retail concept in a setting that’s actually themed. Much better than the World of Disney overhauls.

Keystone Clothiers looks similarly nice, and is currently the home to all things Star Wars. I assume this decision was made back when there were concerns about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge reaching capacity, and guests not being able to enter the land to shop. We’ll see if that’s realized come December. If not, I could see Keystone Clothier’s displays being quickly converted to all things Pixar.

The Legends of Hollywood gift shop on Sunset Boulevard has also reopened after a remodeling.

It’s primarily a spot for Pandora jewelry and Disney’s higher end dress and purse lines. A lot of the stuff here is similar to what’s sold at Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs.

While we’re on the topic of gift shops, I really like the light fixtures and accents in the Carthay Circle building on Sunset Boulevard.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to visit places like this to appreciate their design. There’s beauty in everything from gift shops to meet & greets at Walt Disney World. You shouldn’t overlook this just because the substance of something isn’t for you. (This also goes for lounges and attractions like Tower of Terror–the queue is a masterpiece; you can skip the ride if you’re afraid of drops!)

Continuing down Sunset Boulevard, we noticed some Christmas decorations are up already.

On the one hand, it’s a bit startling to see these up over a week before Halloween…

On the other hand, I wonder whether a first-timer would recognize them as Christmas decorations?

We recognize that these are Christmas decorations rather than just “Tinseltown stars” because we’ve visited during the holiday season before.

In addition to the stars, a screen for Sunset Seasons Greetings is also up already.

If I recall correctly, this often happens before Halloween. I wonder if it’s happening even earlier than normal this year because Walt Disney World has three parks starting Christmas on November 8, rather than just the normal two.

This was originally scheduled to end by October, but I guess it’s been extended (or some of the “limited time” entertainment has ended?). Either way, it’s mostly a ghost town now.

I still don’t understand why this didn’t connect to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Toy Story Land’s path could’ve shifted to the west and connected to the (closed) entrance-way by the TIE Echelon Fighter where the Kylo Ren and the First Order show happens, with Pixar Place connecting to what’s currently the Toy Story Land connection. It’s odd not having 3 entrances to Walt Disney World’s version of the land, especially with a dead-end like this.

Speaking of Toy Story Land, it’s more pleasant here this October, we’ve noticed.

Last year, the dead-end nature of the land coupled with the lack of shade made it really unpleasant when the land got busy. Opening up the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge path has helped considerably. Here’s hoping that shade is the next thing that’s addressed.

Additionally and we don’t have photos to back this up, but the land has been cleared for Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant announced earlier this spring. While walking into the land, look right as you approach the giant figure of Woody and the land marquee (there’s a backstage entrance there)–you’ll be able to see clear to backstage facilities.

It’s interesting that Walt Disney World hasn’t released any new details or teased anything about the Roundup BBQ Restaurant since the initial announcement. We’d hazard a guess that this is being fast-tracked, as a table service Toy Story restaurant will immediately become a hot ticket ADR. It’s basically a license to print money. Unless it’s not coming until 2021, it seems like something Walt Disney World would want to be hyping up.

Moving over to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, crowds remain moderate. Our initial instincts in our Extra, Extra Magic Hours at Hollywood Studios: DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS! post were correct–wait times generally peak for this ride very early in the day.

For more crowd avoidance tips, see our recent Off-Season Is Over: An Overwhelming October at Disney World post.

As covered in our recent Walt Disney World News & Rumors Roundup, entree names at Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo are now generic.

This has proven controversial with fans. On a not-unrelated note, have you ever tried to explain Disney fan controversies with people outside the community? I wouldn’t recommend it. Lots of blank stares.

The new restrooms near Grand Avenue and Star Tours inch towards completion.

It’s safe to assume the pace has intentionally slowed here, and these will open in time for Thanksgiving (at the absolute latest).

It’s always nice to see the Citizens of Hollywood out and about.

To me, it feels like entertainment is way too sparse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In the heyday of the Disney-MGM Studios, streetmosphere performers were everywhere. At least triple the amount of what’s in the park now. The “working studio” conceit was pulled off brilliantly because the whole park felt populated by actors and different characters.

Now, there are some Citizens of Hollywood, plus Star Wars and Toy Story characters…and that’s about it. Entire sections of the park are totally devoid of the energy that these performers provide. The two new lands are solid additions, and things will get significantly better when Rise of the Resistance and Runaway Railway debut, but the park needs (at least) double the current number of streetmosphere performers. It’s unfortunate that Walt Disney World isn’t willing to pony up for entertainment salaries. It wouldn’t exactly be breaking the bank given ever-increasing attendance and prices.

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 glad to see Incredible Celebration still going strong? Thoughts on streetmosphere at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? 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!


18 Responses to “Hollywood Studios Update: October 2019”
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