A very brief Hollywood Studios update today for your pleasure. There isn’t a tremendous amount of stuff going on at the moment, but these Sorcerer’s Hat pictures have a short shelf life with the constant (slow moving) progress. These pictures are otherwise from yesterday, Friday the 13th.
Disney continues dismantling the hat with the Chinese Theater becoming more and more visible through the rubble.
Larger in case you need a new wallpaper for your computer: https://i2.wp.com/easywdw.com/reports13/thehatgiveththehattakethaway.jpg
It’s expected that the walls will be up for at least six more weeks as the project spills into April. Amusingly, as I was circling the hat and documenting the destruction, I happened upon a family discussing what they thought was a new roller coaster being built. I couldn’t help but explain that it was once a giant Sorcerer’s Hat that was being taken down in favor of a view of the Chinese Theater. They didn’t seem impressed. While the Hat has been met with much vitriol among those with @disney in their Twitter handles and EPCOT in their discussion board usernames, the Hat was always incredibly popular with casual vacationers.
If you’re wondering how much progress has been made, this is what it looked like ten days before.
The soon-to-be-unearthed Great Movie Ride continues to see longer wait times under FastPass+, here with the extended queue in operation.
Disney is building something at the ride exit behind the ice cream cart.
As you have undoubtedly read in 375,419 other places, Starbucks opened in the Trolley Car Cafe back on February 3rd. The location is on the right shortly after you enter the Park.
Disney has added some tables behind the building on the Sunset Boulevard side.
Additional seating is located across the street at Starring Rolls Cafe or down at Sunset Ranch Market closer to Tower of Terror.
Like Fountain View at Epcot and Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, the Starbucks transformation at Hollywood Studios is nicely themed and a large, airy space.
They did a nice job with the details. Fountain View and Main Street Bakery were previously quick service locations, so the space was already somewhat set up to handle that sort of thing.
Trolley Car used to be a store full of generic Disney Store merchandise and plush, so they really started from scratch. The #story here is that this used to be where they kept the trolleys commonly seen around Hollywood Boulevard back in the day. There are a lot of neat details to uncover if you care about that sort of thing. Most people probably enter with at least one one eye shut awaiting their Decaf Soy Latte With An Extra Shot And Cream while junior claws at their ankles.
Starbucks’ arrival was an unexpected win for Disney Dining Plan users, who can order any size drink for a snack credit. Disney’s Starbucks locations offer the various seasonal drinks as well – in this case “The Flat White.”
The Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella Cupcakes are new seasonal additions. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake is the Star Wars Weekends’ Darth Vader cupcake without the helmet topper and the Chocolate Toffee Cupcake is the famous Butterfinger cupcake. I’m sure the contract specifically stipulates that unauthorized brands can’t be mentioned – hence, “Chocolate Toffee.”
In related seasonal food and beverage news, Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner on Echo Lake is offering a Valentine’s-Day-esque milkshake.
Like a lot of strawberry ice cream/frozen yogurt, it had a bit of an artificial taste to it and it melted quicker than you would expect given the 55 degree temperature outside, but it was refreshing and tasted about like you would expect it to.
Disney extended the close at the Studios to 8pm and added a second Fantasmic at 8:30pm at around 2:30pm on the day of – something they probably should have done months in advance considering the extremely heavy crowds for Presidents Day Weekend. Attendance estimates this weekend are higher than Easter.
That translates to some pretty rough wait times. Waits over the course of the day:
Downtime at Toy Story Mania remains a major issue, pushing up standby waits as more FP+ users with return times during the downtime arrive anytime after their original window. Waits at the other rides are average to very slightly above average.
Compare that to the Friday one week earlier with a slightly below average overall crowd level:
Waits reliably build slower and peak lower during less crowded days. They’re still not “short,” but there isn’t a whole lot you can do when 30,000 people are clamoring to board exactly five attractions that physically move.
A new round of Tower of Terror merchandise has arrived in the Park. The store is located at the exit to the ride:
A few of the items pictured aren’t entirely new – the bell, the shirt directly above this word, the robes, Jenga, and a couple other apparel items. There is a lot more on the way. The big win I think is that the store no longer has a wall of MagicBands.
That’s about it from Hollywood Studios, where things seem to be perpetually just around the corner.