Hollywood Studios Update: Expansion Finally Starts (Part 1)

For years, we have been waiting for something to happen at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This once-neglected theme park is finally receiving the help it needs.
In the past few days, a very large portion of the park (the Streets of America, including the Premiere Theater; Lights, Motors, Action!; a large play area, some character greeting locations; and more) to make way for the 14-acre Star Wars Land. Let's take a look around the park together to see how much has changed.

Welcome to Disney's Hollywood Studios:

Walls are still up around the Center Stage area of the park:

It looks like new, permanent tech booths are in the process of being installed in this area:

A new stage was also recently installed for the new Star Wars-themed show:

The main screen that serves as a backdrop during the show retracts when it's not in use:

Walls now surround also the front of the building housing The Great Movie Ride:

The new fireworks show will include projections on this surface:

Let's ride The Great Movie Ride now:

The one difference we noticed this time is a new, themed railing in the Egyptian-themed room:

The unthemed safety railing has finally been replaced:

It's now time to move on to Echo Lake:

It appears that one of the stuntmen got hurt performing during the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular when we were visiting. We are glad to hear that the stuntmen is doing much better now:

Work continues to be done on the new Olaf character greeting location:

A smaller planter has replaced the much larger planter that used to be next to Star Tours:

A permanent light pole for the Jedi Training show has been installed next to the Backlot Express:

The outdoor queue of Star Tours has been extended again into the old FASTPASS distribution area:

Temporary signs direct people to areas of the park that are still open:

Here is the newly-renamed Muppets Courtyard:


  1. Why don't they just call Disney or shall i say Refurbishment Land,I mean really this place has really lost it sense of value and non least to say,its orginality....

  2. Uhhh... That's why they're refurbishing it. People complained for years because Disney didn't do anything with the park. No they are, and surprise, people still complain.

  3. you say now they are but they are taking their sweet time doing it, there's nothing wrong with construction, there's plenty wrong with demolished lots just sitting there

  4. So...don't go there (or read/post about it) until they make it the way you like it??

  5. Even when I 1st visited MGM studios back in 1993 I thought the streets of America was such a pointless area but it was part of the backlot tour when it 1st opened in 1989. I feel both Disney and Universal have moved away from a working movie studio.

  6. Remember that a true disney fan hates everything Disney. They complain about everything. Lets look at it... What is closed?!?!? The backlot tour and LMA. People complain that the backlot tour was a waste of space, and not anything like its former glory. They also complained that LMA was a waste of a show. Do it once and never do it again. (Hear the same things about the Back lot tour).

    Thats it guys... thats all that is gone. Don't tell me about a restaurant, a quick service and a AFI museum. No one cared much about when it was open. People have to get off their complaining soap box and let the process play out. Do you see what they are doing in avatar-land?!!? DO you see the lever of detail and the amount of work they are doing. Put those people to work on building something star wars and we are gonna get something beyond awesome. Be patient, and be calm, it will be really worth it when they are done. There is no catalog to order this stuff from.

  7. Well said, Kevin. All of this petty complaining is getting out of hand. I guess some people just aren't happy unless they're unhappy.

  8. I went there twice this week. I love all the star wars improvements they have already made. I am a little sad about street of america going away but if it is to make way for star wars land there I am all for it. The star wars vibe from the park gives it a more focused theme already.

    Only major negative was the jedi training. My kids did it this year and one of the performer was super rude to my oldest daughter. I mean extremely rude and we have it on video. We filed a complaint at guest service and they gave us a stack of fast pass. It is the first time in years we have a problem like this with performers. Hopefully it was a fluke.

    I am still very excited about this park.

  9. Along with One Man's Dream, the AFI Showcase was EXACTLY the kind of exhibit I'd expect and appreciated from a place that purported to be about cinema. Both DHS and USF SHOULD find space between gift shops and concession stands to honor their companies' respective histories. My favorite thing about the back lot was being able to see vehicles and props from some of our favorite films. Along with THE GREAT MOVIE RIDE and immersive environments like STAR WARS, AVATAR, and The Wizarding World, getting an up close and personal look at these artifacts, like the newly displayed STAR WARS memorabilia in the Launch Bay, justifies the admission. Otherwise, what's the difference between a movie themed park and any other amusement park? Hooray for Hollywood! again, please.

  10. Excuse us for feeling nostalgic towards something. I still feel like Disney could have done so much more with this Toy Story Land. They should have taken the "Pixar Place" and made it into an actual Pixar Place, not "The Entire 5th of a Park with Toy Story and Nothing Else Place." Really, they have 16 movies to work with, and they could only find creative ideas for 1 of them?