As summer winds its way to a close, we take a look around the park most in a state of flux right now: Disney's Hollywood Studios. But first, let's take a look around the parking lot as this is the first thing guests see and it is definitely a precursor for things to come in the park.
With one of the biggest expansions to any Disney Theme Park in the works, not only does the parking for this park need to expand but also the bus system. A long rumored bus only lane connecting from Buena Vista Drive seems to be coming soon as changes have been being made to the bus loop in front of the park.
Inside the park, guests won't notice much difference as they take those first steps on Hollywood Blvd.
The biggest change for most guests is once they reach the Chinese Theater and notice that The Great Movie Ride is now moved into the Hollywood of the past.
Oddly enough, the signs outside of the theater that just a few weeks ago featured the stylized versions of Mickey and Minnie soon to be featured in the upcoming attraction have been replaced with more classic font signs, with only the large posters and photo op still featuring the characters.
Moving down Sunset Blvd., Pixar Live just closed this past weekend which will return Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage to a full day of shows.
One of the biggest projects (literary and figuratively) is the repenting of the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster show building to more of the sky blue most likely to be a better backdrop to Toy Story Land.
Speaking of Toy Story Land, work has been taking place at the new entrance of the land, including the removal of part of the building that housed as of late the Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet.
I am very excited for Toy Story Land, but will be sad to see the great theming of Pixar Place disappear from guest view as it becomes a backstage area.
From Pixar Place, we jump over to Grand Ave; home of Muppet*Vision 3D, PizzeRizzo, and the soon to be open Baseline Tap House.
A few weeks ago Muppet*Vision theater was renamed Grand Arts Theater and the Disney Parks Blog went on to tell us how that area of the park would be themed after Grand Avenue in Los Angeles. As is normal with any change, a lot in the Disney community started calling foul as to why they would shoehorn in this new theme. As a friend pointed out, if we take a look at the board inside PizzeRizzo that had been there since November of 2016, Grand Ave. was always part of the plan! Remember #itsallconnected is not just a Marvel thing.
The BaseLine Tap House and Grand Avenue area, as the Disney Parks Blog told us:
Debuting this fall, the new Grand Avenue area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is being re-imagined by Walt Disney Imagineering to capture the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, showing vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures of the city. One prominent hot spot to spring up is the BaseLine Tap House, a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California.
As for what lays behind Grand Avenue...I think we are all ready for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge coming in 2019.
With most of these projects at least a half a year away, there should be someplace to showcase these changes and very soon there will be: Walt Disney Presents. The transformation of Walt Disney - One Man's Dream into Walt Disney Presents is already well underway with a new marquee being built outside and adjustments and additions to the inside.
The most drastic change to already reach One Man's Dream was the removal of the reproduction of the Project X display, which will most likely be home to the new expansion models.