We started our reassessment of Disney’s Hollywood Studios by taking a look at the modifications in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in this post. The changes to Toy Story Land are relatively minimal and in line with what we’ve seen elsewhere. Ahead on the right, work continues on Woody’s Roundup Barbecue.
Alien Swirling Saucers basically functions as before, potentially with a slightly reduced capacity.
Social distancing markers wind around outside.
There was never anything particularly interactive about this queue, but some of the things that look like they do something will have a sign near them stating that they do, in fact, do nothing.
The fact that Disney will assign almost all of the ride’s capacity to standby should help the line move quicker.
That will be slightly offset by Disney potentially not loading every alien, and also closing one side for cleaning fairly often.
Instead of cast assigning you o a number closer together, you’ll stand on a physically-distanced dot instead.
If and when both sides are operating, there should be enough dots to fill most or all aliens.
I would expect waits to be fairly short here moving forward, but we’ll have to see how many people Disney lets inside. You’ll remember that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the only Park that’s currently filling to “capacity” each day.
These pictures are all from the cast preview on Monday, July 13th, 2020. Hollywood Studios is now open to the public. We’ll return to see what we can reasonably expect to do given the limited number of operating attractions and low capacity cap.
It’s good to be home pic.twitter.com/pJ4Pu7qJ3r
— josh (@easywdw) July 13, 2020
As I boarded my alien, at least a quarter of the aliens sat empty, potentially because cast were busy on the other side cleaning.
Hopefully the lack of crowds throughout Toy Story Land continue for the foreseeable future.
The current normal is obviously not ideal, but neither is this.
Disney looked to still be installing barriers and physical distancing markers when we visited. At Tower of Terror, barriers inside the queue went up on Monday night, in between preview days. That may not have instilled much confidence in our health on Monday. The lack of social distancing markers for Slinky Dog Dash made me hopeful that Disney wasn’t expecting that many people in line. This is the last distancing marker set down for Slinky. Without physical distancing, and FastPass+ in play, the wait from here would be about 85 minutes. With no FastPass+ and six feet between parties, the actual wait from the last marker should be closer to a half hour.
We got in line about 15 markers away from the back.
This is just before noon with a 35-minute posted wait.
The FastPass+ queue remains available to those with rider swap, disability access, and beginning again next month, VIP tours. You can also just try to make a break for it.
There aren’t a tremendous number of queue modifications here.
We see the same caution tape that everyone seems to ignore instead of the acrylic barriers out here. It’s probably human nature to follow close to the safety of the ropes.
Once we’re under cover, the physical barriers come into play. You can see them reflecting in red up ahead.
But the placement still doesn’t look to make a tremendous amount of sense. We have barriers up along here.
But not here, when we’re just as close to other guests.
Disney may have checked airflow before deciding where to put the barriers up, and they may still be installing more. Outdoors, we don’t need to be too concerned. I’m not entirely sure how three inches of plastic above our eyes and noses will protect us. You’d think that some amount of bacteria would also cling to the plastic and sit there.
We didn’t seem to have quite as much luck with physical distancing as we experienced at Magic Kingdom, where we were always at least one row away from others. Here, they were placing different parties in separate cars, but you don’t get nearly the separation as you would with an additional row in between. The fact that it’s a roller coaster also means people are more likely to scream during what I guess are the more exciting parts of the ride.
As with Big Thunder Mountain and others, it’s likely that row requests can’t be accommodated at this time. You can always ask about the front or last row, but it may depend on whether or not a party is already waiting there or if you’ll have to pass too close to other guests to get to your desired spot. The back row offers the best views and a slightly wilder ride. You also won’t have Slinky’s head blocking you.
Here’s another look at the outdoor portion of the queue with the caution tape. Despite being just about as far back as the physical distance markers went, our total experience time at noon was just 20 minutes. This was obviously a limited cast preview, but it’s possible that the overall capacity cap for a regular day won’t be much higher. The Studios is where we’re most interested in how wait times develop over the course of the day.
The virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance is nice, assuming we can get a spot, because it should reduce our wait from a few hours to just 20 minutes. But it also means that about 95% of the people who would be in line for Disney World’s most popular attraction will be in line for something else during most of the day instead. At the moment, about a third of the people in the Park are in the standby line for Rise because the virtual queue wasn’t available during the preview. That keeps waits shorter everywhere else.
Who would have thought that we’d look back at the quaint days of Woody’s Lunch Box operating with just two registers with such fondness. Disney has not scheduled the Lunch Box to reopen. They have modified the queue to head straight ahead to one of the registers, but we don’t see any physical distancing markers down. It’s such a small building, with such a small kitchen, that it may simply not be tenable to open safely.
The lack of physical distancing markers either gave me great hope for crowd levels at Hollywood Studios, or is more proof that they are woefully unprepared for the cataclysm that is about to descend.
It’s a straight shot towards the indoor, air-conditioned queue. Theoretically, we could be backed up here, but even if we were, the wait to board should be less than 20 minutes. There aren’t any markers down in the extended outdoor queue on the right. In the past, I’ve been backed up here in a 75-minute line within 30 minutes of Park opening.
If demand swells, more markers will likely go down.
But there weren’t even any markers in this portion of the queue off to the left. We’re headed straight.
In here, the switchbacks are out. It’s full speed ahead, six feet at a time, in a responsible manner.
We picked up our own 3D glasses, which didn’t seem to be the most sanitary decision. There wasn’t a hand sanitizer in the vicinity either, I don’t think. These spectacles are going right over our eyes and people paw through them trying to wiggle loose enough glasses for their party. It wouldn’t surprise me if a gloved cast member hands them out individually in the future. Seeing plastic wrap around them would “feel” even cleaner.
Barriers block off parts of this queue, but they evidently weren’t able to build one up the stairs, so that area is just out in the open. We’re not set to stop along here, so that’s a good thing.
I don’t think the barriers are as claustrophobia-inducing as they may look in pictures. The fact that they’re largely clear should help. You’ll also move relatively quickly through this part of the queue.
As I pointed out during the Magic Kingdom series, it’s impossible to keep your distance from the cast members at the front of the queues who will point you towards your row. This gentleman will be about 12 inches from our face when he assigns us a row. There’s nowhere else to go. When parties are coming down from the other side, there will be even less room. There is hand sanitizer there on the left. I may just start bathing in it.
They should seat just one party per vehicle here, despite the fact that the back wall of the vehicle is so high. On the other hand, the fact that there are barriers in between rows may mean that eventually, guests will be seated on both sides, even if they’re not together. The common party of four will be seated in one vehicle, while a couple will reduce that vehicle’s capacity to 50%. A group of one or five would reduce the capacity of a vehicle to 25%. Still, the line should move faster than if FastPass+ was in play.
Overall, Toy Story Land is about what you would expect given the queue, seating, and ride modifications that we’ve seen at the other Parks. What we’re able to do will come down to how many people show up and how quickly they leave. One key aspect to touring is that there are no nighttime spectaculars keeping guests around. The Star Wars Fireworks, projection shows, and Fantasmic! are unavailable. Character meals, like Hollywood & Vine, are also out, in addition to all of the shows and traditional meet and greets. With relatively little to keep people occupied, other than potentially waiting in line, it may make sense to show up later in the day and avoid the morning rush.
We’ll have to see how the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue system works. If Disney was smart, they’d release the majority of the virtual queue spots at 1pm. That would further reduce the need to arrive early. As I post this, we’re just ten minutes away from the virtual queue for Rise reopening for the first time. Fingers crossed.