Walt Disney World – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Changes

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos.

In early December I wrapped up my 2015 Disney Parks World Tour back where it all began for me at Walt Disney World. During 2015 I was able to visit all 11 Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Orlando. It had been a year since my last trip to WDW and as I walked around I looked for changes as I always tend to do. I have put together a series of posts for AllEars.net of some of the changes that stuck out to me as I roamed the parks, resorts and Disney Springs. As always if you want to see my full picture & video sets and read my thoughts & observations visit my site disneygeek.com.

This post takes a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which can best be described as a park in transition. Over the past year quite a few attractions have closed around the park as it prepares for a new Toy Story Playland and Star Wars area to be built.

One removal was greeted with applause from most Disney geeks, myself included. The giant blue sorcerer’s hat that has been obstructing the Chinese Theater for over the last decade was removed. There was a stage for a dance party set up in December in the area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Speaking of the party here are a few pictures at night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The Genie was one of several characters that rotated through the crowd.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has taken over sponsorship of the Great Movie Ride.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

As you journey through the movies there is a new pre-recorded track that goes along with the cast member spiel. At the finale a new introduction and the film clips were updated and arranged differently.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

A photo op as you exit the attraction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Nearby the American Idol Experience is gone and the theater is now called the Hyperion and features the Frozen Sing-Along.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Inside the Brown Derby a gingerbread creation this year for Christmas.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

In the far corner of the park, accessed through a gate by Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is the new Sunset Showcase. While I was there it featured Club Disney. Max was greeting guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Inside a dance floor dominates the room with seating around it. A DJ plays music and hosts the club. Projection and lighting effects occur around the room.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

There were several interactive kiosks to color too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Daisy on the dance floor.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

A brief video of the scene inside Club Disney.

There were also two snack carts selling drinks and food.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The Star Wars Launch Bay has taken over the former Animation Building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Storm Troopers on patrol.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Video of the Storm Troopers.

Inside the Launch Bay you can opt to watch a film featuring interviews with many involved in making the upcoming films. And see props and models from the films.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

As you head down the hallway a crawl to introduce you to the Launch Bay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

More props on display in the queues for characters. You can choose the light side to meet Chewbacca or the Dark side and Darth Vader.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

We choose Chewbacca.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

There is a section featuring Star Wars video games.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

And other random characters roaming around a Cantina area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

You close out your visit with merchandise in the Launch Bay Cargo area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The ABC Sound Studio features a Star Wars film now too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The former AFI Showcase building & former Wandering Oaken Trading Post now houses Watto’s Grotto

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Inside more Star Wars merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The Jedi Training is now the Trials of the Temple.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

The Backlot Express features Star Wars food. Here is some of the menu.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Last but not least this year was the last for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Disney announced their retirement to make way for the new Star Wars project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from December 2015

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of some of the changes I noticed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since my last trip in 2014. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full picture sets I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.

Jason is a guest contributor from disneygeek.com sharing pictures, thoughts and observations from his Disney travels with a west coast focus. He has been posting Disney-related content to his site since 1994. He has visited all 12 Disney theme parks over the years plus has had many other Disney adventures. He is a programmer by trade, and has helped with several projects here on AllEars.net over the years.

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