We’ll take some time to check out what’s happening at Epcot, with an emphasis on Future World, before we move on to World Showcase. I’ll also weave in some touring strategies as we move about the Park, beginning with what it takes to reach Test Track first thing in the morning in this post.
Above is the latest concept art released by Disney, showing what we can eventually expect from Epcot’s entrance, from a vantage point that we will probably never enjoy ourselves. The focus down below is on greenery with a number of what appear to be permanent topiary lining the outskirts of the walk into the Park. Obviously, the Leave a Legacy Monoliths, or what was colloquially refereed to as “the war memorial,” will eventually be removed in their entirety. Interestingly, it doesn’t look like the future is going to bring a lot more room to walk than there is now with the installation of all the planters. With so many tall trees, one also wonders how much of the view ahead will be obscured by branches. It remains to be seen what kinds of topiary and other decorations end up at the entrance, but those in the concept are are all currently in Disney’s repertoire. Down on the right, you might recognize Sorcerer Mickey, who can often be seen at the front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beast and Belle in the planter behind him are right out of the France Pavilion during Flower and Garden, as are Donald and Daisy on the far left and Winnie the Pooh behind them. Since it’s just concept art, we probably shouldn’t read too much into any of that. The concept art may also be timed to the Flower and Garden Festival.
Obviously with just one static image, we can’t tell what Epcot’s entrance will look like throughout the year, but it will be interesting to see if the seasonal topiary scenes return. You’d have to think that they would.
What has “blossomed” into a five-part update covering everything going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will (hopefully) come to a close as we head down Sunset Boulevard. Our next stop is Epcot.
Checking my watch, it looks like it’s 4:06pm, but we’ll double check with the angle of the sun momentarily. You can’t be too careful in this political climate.
We continue our summertime jaunt around Disney’s Hollywood Studios with this sign, which is at least pointing in the direction of one distinct ride, which “feels” like an improvement over what we’ve recently seen. Just over a year ago, in June 2k18 of all months, this was a Park that was operating with exactly three rides – Star Tours, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Toy Story Mania was closed for queue reconfiguration, Great Movie Ride had closed months before, and Toy Story Land was not yet open. In that respect, it’s possible that the last year will be looked upon as the Studios’ heyday – a time when it operated with six rides and no trampling deaths. We’ll look back at this eight-part series with joy and nostalgia in our hearts. “The good ol’ days,” we’ll say. What a scary thought.
Six months ago, I might have joked about Disney purposefully pointing away from Galaxy’s Edge on these signs, in an attempt to try to trick people into visiting other areas of the Park. But they may have to put up the same “Please Come” sign that we’ve seen the last 10+ Septembers. Please don’t come, though, no matter what the sign might say.
Because I’m not in a hurry to get over there either, I’ll close things out with a review of the “fast casual experience” that takes over at 4pm at ABC Commissary. The Commissary has gone from being one of the worst quick services on property to potentially requiring a reservation once Galaxy’s Edge opens. Mr. Toad, I would like to get off your wild ride!
Against my better judgment, our series of Hollywood Studios updates continues as we head to what remains the Park’s newest expansion in Toy Story Land. In the first part of this series, we focused on what’s happening outside the Park with the expanded bag check, Skyliner station construction, and tram loop, among other things, along with some thoughts on what to expect inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during its first month of operation. In Part Two, our focus was on Hollywood Boulevard, Animation Courtyard, and what immediate changes we can expect once (part of) Galaxy’s Edge opens on August 29th.
It’s expected that come August 29th, Toy Story Land will be the sole exit from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, while the only entrance into a galaxy far, far away will be on Grand Avenue to the right of Muppet Vision 3D. This continues to “feel” like a bad idea, given the fact that Andy’s Backyard is already the most congested area in the Park. Worse, there’s also going to be a quick service barbecue restaurant installed just up the path here on the right at some point in the future, which should also increase the number of people seeking this path out.
We’re heading inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see what’s going on around the Park in front of the opening of (part of) Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on August 29th. In the last update, we focused on what might happen immediately following the Star Wars opening along with a rundown of what’s happening outside the Park with the expansion of bag check, the new tram loop, and the eventual arrival of the Skyliner, among other things.
Mickey’s of Hollywood and Keystone Clothiers, which in tandem comprise the entirety of the shopping opportunities on the left side of Hollywood Boulevard, remain closed for refurbishment.