Hollywood Studios Memorial Day Weekend Construction and Other Stuff Update

I bet that title is going to do well in Search Engine Optimization.

It’s impossible to tell here, but as I rolled up to the entrance at 8:07am on the morning of May 26th, a garbage truck was driving by in plain sight behind this fence. I’ll let you draw your own allegorical conclusions about what that symbolizes.

Otherwise, this post will tie up some loose ends that were skipped over during the previous few updates. Posts over the last couple of days include:

  1. A review of “The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters,” the limited-engagement concert scheduled three times nightly in the Theater of the Stars.
  2. A lengthy look at rope drop strategy and theme park touring tips, in addition to 150+ pictures around the Park.
  3. A fresh look at what Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano offers, with a review of the 3-course Pixar Live! or Fantasmic Dining Package.

We’ll also take a brief look at the new projection show that runs in front of the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular.

Construction-wise, very little of what’s going on behind the scenes is visible from inside the Park. This is supposed to be the future main entrance for Toy Story Land, which is in between One Man’s Dream and the current entrance for Toy Story Mania. It’s expected that the entrance to Toy Story Mania will be inside Toy Story Land once it opens and Pixar Place will be no more.

This probably doesn’t help and it’s not really all that accurate as the entrance to Toy Story Mania and the walkway to Star Wars Land won’t both be here at the same time. But that’s sort of where we’re at with it.

WDWNT has some pictures of the construction progress taken from a helicopter here.

I was surprised how much of the track for the Slinky Dog Coaster was already installed.

Star Wars Land is off here in the distance past Toy Story Mania.

The walls recently moved much closer to these buildings and the exit from the third track on Toy Story Mania.

You can still get a corn dog down here so all is right with the world.

It’s me. I’m playing in Andy’s backyard.

This is all that’s visible of the massive Star Wars project from inside the Park. Check out an aerial shot of the Land, and where it is in relation to Toy Story Land, in the upper left here.

Speaking of Star Wars, some Force for Change merchandise is available:




Along with some holdovers from the exasperating May the 4th event earlier in the month:


Force for Change has raised several million dollars of which primarily goes to UNICEF. You would think there would be some profit on $37 t-shirts.

A couple of sweatshirts:




The merchandise ramp up for Episode VIII is going to be unreal.

From the PizzeRizzo balcony.

If you’re looking for a quiet place to eat your lunch, you might consider the second floor of PizzeRizzo. This was taken on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend at 12:45pm and there is virtually nobody up here, despite the first floor being mostly full and the outdoor patio on the first floor nearly full. There’s an elevator near the ordering area to assist those with mobility problems. I have a full review of the “pizzeria” here, in case you missed it. Probably half of the people that end up here originally thought they’d be eating at Pizza Planet.

As mentioned in the rope drop post, a 12-minute preview for Cars 3 has invaded the Walt Disney Theater inside One Man’s Dream:




Some costumes from Dr. Strange are also on display:





It’s the sort of thing that you used to be able to find in the Animation Building, only here it comes at the cost of some theme park memorabilia and models.

I’ve neglected to mention the XBOX Game Port, which is an area to the left of Hyperion Theater, where the Frozen Sing-Along takes place. A similar area used to be housed inside of Star Wars Launch Bay, but was removed to install the BB-8 Meet and Greet. My estimation is that this is Disney fulfilling some part of the contract with Microsoft, but it may be worth checking out if you’ll die if you don’t play Disney Infinity right this second. Like most kids around 2pm.

Club 33, a set of private clubs that started at Disneyland in California before branching out to Tokyo and Shanghai, is reportedly coming to each of the Walt Disney World theme parks. There is, of course, much speculation as to where the Clubs will end up and which precious attractions or beloved stairs will NEVER BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AGAIN. RUINING MY LIFE.

We may be jumping to conclusions a bit by assuming that Club 33 will take over the Disney Jr. Live on Stage space and what used to be the Catwalk Bar just because this staircase inside Hollywood Brown Derby is walled off. But if there’s anything Disney hates, it’s publicly accessible stairs in its theme parks. Just the thought of such a thing gives me the chills.

On a completely different track, the Disney Jr. characters in Animation Courtyard, which include Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Pluto, and Jake, seem to be less popular, with Sofia typically seeing lines that are 7-8 groups long. That means you could easily visit the characters individually in the early afternoon rather than trying to prioritize them around the time they start meeting at 9:35am.

On the other hand, I saw this piece of concrete roped off outside the Tower of Terror gift shop, and Club 33 could just as easily go in here.

Speaking of Tower of Terror, the gift shop stocks Pandora charms.

This may not be a new revelation.

We’ll take a brief foray into menu land, starting with some changes at Sci-Fi Dine-In:

There’s a considerable number of changes here, including the addition of some new sauce choices with the $10 Boneless Chicken Wings, which also means the “Spicy Buffalo Popcorn Chicken” is no longer listed. The “Sci-Fi Wedge Salad” is re-imagined after previously consisting of mixed greens, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and green apple, among other ingredients. The chips served with the “Spinach and Artichoke Dip” are now “house-made.”

On the entree front, the “Classic Southern Burger” and “Drive In BBQ Burger” are new. The “Build Your Own Angus Chuck Burger on a Brioche Bun – A Flame-Broiled Beef Patty, Topped with Your Choice of the Following: Swiss, Cheddar, or American Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Jalapenos, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Bacon, Onion Rings, or Barbecue Sauce” is no longer officially available, though you could probably do some substituting elsewhere to come up with something similar.

The steak is an entirely different presentation. It used to come topped with “Garlic-Herb Butter, and served with Cheesy-Horseradish Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and Crispy Onion Rings.”

The Caprese Sandwich, Chili Lime Salmon (or Chicken) Fajita Salad, and Vegetarian Falafel Burger are all brand new and the Oven-roasted Turkey Sandwich and Pork Ribs also see changes.

The Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Salmon BLT, Chicken BLT, and Sci-Fi Angus Burger (with Sriracha Barbecue Sauce and Pulled Pork) are no longer available.

Drinks are the same.

The changes seem positive for the most part, though I did like the Salmon BLT.

I didn’t notice any glaring changes at 50’s Prime Time:

What used to be called “Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf” is now “Cousin Megan’s Traditional Meatloaf.” Perhaps the family had a falling out when Ann tried to initially book FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania instead of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. There are several family members that I don’t talk to after what I call the “Great Mickey’s PhilharMagic Fallout of 2k16” or what they call “Not Paying Rent and Taking Little Joey’s Toys 2k10 through 2k17.” Cousin Ryan is also out, replaced by some guy named Harold. The Sustainable Verlasso Salmon is a permanent fixture, replacing the more vague “Sustainable Fish of the Day.”

Cigar City Jai Alai is nice to see on draft.

I won’t bore you with all of the minor changes at Hollywood Brown Derby:

But would reiterate that during lunch hours, you can’t do much better than the Chicken Sandwich or Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger noted in the rectangle near the bottom of the menu. Both fantastic.

Kids.

In addition to just about every kiosk, cart, and quick service offering beer, wine, and cocktails, about a half dozen popup bars start showing up in the late afternoon. Which is about six hours too late for me. This is near the Brown Derby.

In between the construction wall and entrance to Toy Story Mania in Pixar Place, you’ll find a popup cart with this menu. They don’t exactly have a “full bar,” but they can make a lot of other drinks with the dozen-or-so bottles on hand.

Baby Groot is represented in cupcake and sipper form.

I feel like Disney is going to continue ignoring maintenance at the Hollywood Tower Hotel in order to justify re-theming it to Guardians of the Galaxy or Queen of Katwe. It’s sickening how far management is willing to go to make an extra buck.

ABC Commissary continues to change over to its “Fast Casual” concept after 3:30pm. Above is the menu offered before then.

Above is the late afternoon/evening menu. I have a review of those offerings, which are really quite good for the most part, in this post.

That’s just about everything going on at Hollywood Studios. We’ll move on to Epcot.

Comments

  1. Emily C says

    The new Sci-Fi vegetarian falafel burger is GROSSLY NASTY for anyone who cares. I love falafel. I love burgers. I love most vegetarian burger options. It was quite possibly the most vile thing I’ve eaten in ages.

    • Katkat says

      Thanks for the tip! Won’t be ordering that, and I probably would have if I didn’t read your comment,
      A huge thank you to Josh for the detailed update. Thank you again.

  2. Vanessa says

    Reading about the “pop-up bars” made me shed a tear for High Octane Refreshments. That place had the best bartenders and I enjoyed many a margarita there over the years. Thanks for the update on DHS, Josh!

  3. Steve Milz says

    Speaking of construction, they were doing something yesterday around lunchtime that was shaking Mama Melrose so much it felt like a small earthquake. Fortunately they must have taken their lunch break as it stopped by the time our food arrived.

  4. Dawn says

    heh heh. It looks like the wicked witch of the west came out to cast her shadow on your first photo outside of Hollywood Studios…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *