There is so little going on at Hollywood Studios that it was a struggle to come up with words to use in the title. But here we are anyway.
The big news is of course that the Animation Building and everything inside is closing July 12th. The exception is the attached Animation Gallery store, which is expected to close sometime next month.
I think I’m one of maybe seven people that likes the Magic of Disney Animation show featuring Mushu. It’s air-conditoned, comfortable, and mildly entertaining, which is everything I look for in an attraction. #savemagicofdisneyanimation
At least the first thing you see when you enter the building is Frozen merchandise.
The Incredibles characters quietly left a couple of weeks ago. Baymax and Hiro won’t be appearing elsewhere. Mickey and Minnie are expected to move outside to the Center Stage area.
Production Gallery was a nice opportunity to cool off in an area that usually has fewer people than you see in this picture.
It was also a neat opportunity to see some art and models for Disney’s current feature film.
The biggest loss is probably the Animation Academy, which has grown in popularity in recent years as more and more realized it existed. There is chatter that it will expand in size into a new location in the future, which would make a lot of sense.
“It’s just stairs.”
Obviously another large closure is not good. Backlot Tour closed all the way back in September of last year and Disney hasn’t made any meaningful steps toward building what we all already know that they’re going to build. There’s a lot of hype going into D23 in August about a massive unveiling of plans, but I think most people will leave disappointed. We still don’t know what’s coming to Avatar and that was announced nearly four years ago on September 20th, 2011. Disney will likely confirm Star Wars and Pixar Playland, but I’d be surprised if we’ll be hearing specifics.
At least online, the prevailing opinion seems to be that Disney needs to do something. But the thing is they don’t. The question is really how much Disney is willing to spend to take the day they’re losing to Universal back. And how likely it is that people are going to add a second day at Hollywood Studios and still spend the same or more time at the other Parks on their vacation. For a lot of people, adding a day to their vacation isn’t in the cards even if the Studios has 100 state of the art rides. Disney doesn’t really get anywhere by dropping a billion on the Studios if people spend a similar amount of time at the Park. And they don’t really get anywhere if people move from spending two days at Epcot and one at Hollywood Studios to two days at Studios and one day at Epcot.
Doc McStuffins was recently added to the Animation Courtyard meet and greet lineup. That’s her on the right with the entrance to Disney Junior Live on Stage straight ahead in a new location.
She also meets at Hollywood & Vine for breakfast and lunch. She strikes me as a little creepy with her torture tools hanging on the wall behind her along with diagrams of how to pull animals apart.
She meets from 9:30am-4:30pm. Lines haven’t been too bad. It looks like there are about ten groups in line at 3pm, which translates to a wait around ten minutes.
Sofia and Jake still meet down to her right. Sofia tends to be the most popular with Jake being least popular by far.
Walls are down at Brown Derby Lounge, where the bar now has a roof over it so they don’t have to close in inclement weather. You can walk up and order a drink to go, in addition to the first come, first served seating. The menu has a few changes:
The corn bisque, bruschetta, and crispy bites are new. The artisanal cheeses and mussels are no longer available.
The Grapefruit Cake Martini is new:
Interestingly perhaps, the drink names are no longer Citizens-of-Hollywood themed. The “Side Car” used to be called the Jack Diamond, for example. A nice usage of an apostrophe on “Classic Martini’s” as well.
I’ve been to the Lounge a couple of times, not coincidentally always in November, when the weather outside is a little more pleasant.
The Derby Sliders are really good.
The margarita flight is really good too and a good value at $11.25. The martini flight offers three very boozy drinks.
2. Tinker Bell is two words.
3. Is the Martini’s guy typing this up too?
I would be shocked if they closed One Man’s Dream in the short term.
Disney opened an air-conditioned “lounge” in the old Legend of Jack Sparrow space. There’s another thing that closed, although it wasn’t much more than a proof of concept for tech coming to Shanghai.
This corridor is pretty depressing as construction on a new track for Toy Story Mania continues on the right.
The Coca Cola “packaging” celebrates 100 years. Hey, it’s something!
The Perry Whoopee Cushion works surprisingly well. Not that I would ummm know anything about that sort of thing.
Nothing of much interest menu-wise here.
The Boba Fett steins, that weren’t available on the first day of Star Wars Weekends, are available now that the event is over.
Star Tours took less than 15 minutes with FP+. There was virtually nobody in line even with the 20-minute posted wait.
SMS Audio headphones are the “official headphones of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California” I guess because theme parks need official headphones.
Sound quality is decent, but they’ll run you about $200.
A limited amount of Star Wars Weekends merchandise is still available and marked down at the Star Tours store.
This Indiana Jones shirt is kind of sharp.
As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Villains in Vogue has been replaced with a similar store that’s expected to be called “Reel Vogue,” though no signage appears yet:
It’s basically the same stuff as before with some minor cosmetic changes.
Outside you still have the same window decorations.
Tower of Terror took 23 minutes with FP+ with a 40-minute posted wait.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was down again.
A lot of the merchandise in the gift shop has changed over to the generic.
But there are a few items.
Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day is available at Hollywood Scoops for a snack credit. It’s birthday cake ice cream topped with hot fudge, mini marshmallows, and “a few warm hugs.” Whatever creepy message that is sending. It’a also available at Plaza Ice Cream at Magic Kingdom and the Beaches and Cream to-go counter at Beach Club.
The two more-expensive sundaes at the top weren’t previously available as snack credits.
While Disney didn’t seem willing to pay cast to operate Expedition Everest ten minutes earlier in the morning, they are apparently willing to pay them to “decorate” the ground with chalk along with plugs for their Instagram accounts.
The Death Star balloons are pretty neat. They also light up.
This mug is kind of neat.
Sooner or later, “Walls” will probably be a title mainstay. But for now, there isn’t a lot to report that isn’t related to Frozen.