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.
Speaking of the party here are a few pictures at night.
The Genie was one of several characters that rotated through the crowd.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has taken over sponsorship of the Great Movie Ride.
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.
A photo op as you exit the attraction.
Nearby the American Idol Experience is gone and the theater is now called the Hyperion and features the Frozen Sing-Along.
Inside the Brown Derby a gingerbread creation this year for Christmas.
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.
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.
There were several interactive kiosks to color too.
Daisy on the dance floor.
A brief video of the scene inside Club Disney.
There were also two snack carts selling drinks and food.
The Star Wars Launch Bay has taken over the former Animation Building.
Storm Troopers on patrol.
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.
As you head down the hallway a crawl to introduce you to the Launch Bay.
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.
We choose Chewbacca.
There is a section featuring Star Wars video games.
And other random characters roaming around a Cantina area.
You close out your visit with merchandise in the Launch Bay Cargo area.
The ABC Sound Studio features a Star Wars film now too.
The former AFI Showcase building & former Wandering Oaken Trading Post now houses Watto’s Grotto
Inside more Star Wars merchandise.
The Jedi Training is now the Trials of the Temple.
The Backlot Express features Star Wars food. Here is some of the menu.
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.
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.