Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World
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(1/10/20) Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway Spoilers (MORE...)
(12/24/19) See Rise Of The Resistance "B Mode" Finale (MORE...)
(12/23/19) How To Hack Your Galaxy's Edge Lightsaber
(12/18/19) No Droids Planned For Galaxy's Edge Anytime Soon at Disneyland or Disney World (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Nothing is known to be planned at this time...
General Park News - (12/5/19) Disney released a new piece of art showing off the outside of the new Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant opening in Toy Story Land in 2020. The new table-service restaurant will be western toy themed around the Woody’s Roundup characters and oversized toys props and cut-outs of your favorite Toy Story characters.
(11/27/19) Would you believe that Walt Disney World has created car-sized drone vehicles that when lit-up at night appear to be Star Wars themed X-Wing fighters? While this is very cool indeed, unfortunately part of it all is that the general public will never get to see them do their thing. This pair of X-Wing drones are slated to fly around/over Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for one night only as part of the VIP opening night ceremony for the Rise of the Resistance dark ride.
If this sounds familiar, Disney pulled a similar stunt way back when they first opened “New Fantasyland” at the Magic Kingdom when they flew a fire-breathing dragon drone over the park for one night only, and never to be seen again.
(10/24/19) Disney has announced that starting on December 20th, 2019 new destinations will be added to Star Tours - The Adventures Continue inspired by the latest film in the series, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The new addition will be added on the same day to the attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris where your Starspeeder will arrive over the ocean moon of Kef Bir, as seen in the trailers for the film.
(6/4/19) At Disney’s Hollywood Studios this winter guests can enjoy the Sunset Seasons Greetings show featuring projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel building, laser effects, snow and more. Elsewhere Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Will return for a festive musical/fireworks spectacular with projection effects on the Chinese Theater. The Frozen mania will return as well with The the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long, plus this will be the first winter season where you can shop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Late Fall 2019 - Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - (12/24/19) Disney and More has posted a rather unique video I had not seen before… but again, this is another SPOILER from the Ride of the Resistance ride, so please read on at your own risk.
Still with us? Good… if you have watched the POV videos of the ride that opened in Florida you know what happens during your final encounter with the Rylo Ren animatronic. But what happens if there is a technical issue with the figure or the special effects in that sequence that would prevent it from playing off for the riders? It turns out the Imagineers have thought of that and built in a “B Mode” version of the scene that will play in just such an event where Rylo Ren makes his final appearance in a different way on a screen instead of as an animatronic figure. Make the jump over to Disney & More to watch the video to see this alternate “B Mode” ending to Rise of the Resistance.
(12/23/19) For those of you who have been to Galaxy’s Edge and paid for the experience to build your own Lightsaber, you know that you only have a few (4?) blade colors to choose from when making your blade. Afterwards you can purchase additional Kyber Crystals from a nearby shop which will change the color of your blade as well.
According to online hackers those crystals use an enclosed RFID tag that is read by the Saber when ignited,which then selects the correct color. If you have or buy your own RFID R/W coder, you can change the code and get any of the colors you want out of the saber hilt without buying any more Kyber crystals, including extra colors that Disney isn’t even selling crystals for yet like White, Orange, Pink, etc… just by entering the right code number.
Check out the video below to see just how easy it is to DIY color-change your saber for the price of a RFID read/write device, for not much more than the price of buying one extra Kyber Crystal from the park. Read the description of the video for details on the RFID device and color codes to transform your blade into a number of different character colors so you can really embrace the Dark Side. (plus you can google around to find even more color codes not listed here, or experiment yourself…)
(12/18/19) A slight bit of disappointing news for Galaxy’s Edge fans… as I’m hearing that Disney no longer has plans to release any actual roaming Droid characters to wander about the lands in California and Florida. Now technically, Disney never publicly said they had any intention to do so in the first place, though a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) we were told by our own sources that they were indeed working on developing some Droid characters for just this purpose. Later on, as the openings got closer, we were also told that they Droids would not be a ‘launch day’ addition due to the crowds, but something to be added a bit later on as an enhancement.
So while we can always hope for Droids to be added at some point in the future, for now the current policy is self-running Droids are not welcome in the Black Spire Outpost.
(12/13/19) While Rise of the Resistance has been wowing the Star Wars fans… another story has been creeping through the media. A warning… expect long periods of downtime, because this baby is going through some growing pains right now. Hopefully these are lessons and tweaking being learned that will help streamline the Disneyland version when it opens next month. For now however… just be warned that your wait times may be lengthy, and full attraction evacuations (ride and queue) are becoming more common.
Now when can we start the rumors about a third attraction concept in development? I don’t know about you, but I’d really like something where I can pilot my own X-Wing, or better yet… X-Wings vs Tie-Fighters, as an action attraction and not a Star Wars themed version of a Dumbo spinner.
(12/6/19) Video footage of a fun little mini Star Wars battle show that took place on the catwalks above the Black Spire Outpost during the Media/VIP Night event was posted online by ThrillGeek. Rebels vs First Order troops, followed by a lightsaber battle between Kylo Ren and Rey as the finale! What’s not to like!? Well, maybe the fact that this was just something put on for the media night, because this kind of thing sure would play out well to the public and add some “live action” to the Black Spire Outpost at the end of the day.
(12/5/19) SPOILER ALERT -- SPOILER ALERT --
Preview rides for media happened a few hours ago and the net is being flooded with some amazing POV videos showing off the entire Rise of the Resistance ride action, along with some great B-Roll footage released by Disney.
Below I’ve embedded two different on-ride videos, showing off the view from both of the ride cars, as they take different paths through the ride at times and sometimes get to see some different visuals, or different views of some of the big show-scenes along the way, so it’s worth watching them both to see what’s going on all over the ride.
The top video however is a nice collection of all the B-Roll footage Disney has released for the new attraction, which includes a look at the queue, the pre-show, your transport flight from the surface of Batuu and a look at the incredible sets you get to walk-through inside the Star Destroyer as you are led to an interrogation room for questioning… all before the actual dark ride portion of the ride even begins.
Below that, you can also catch the replay of the Dedication ceremony of Rise of the Resistance. If you just want to see those X-Wing drones fly over, just jump ahead to the 5:45 timecode mark. Be warned however… they don’t seem to fly over the land, but rise up from behind it, hover... rotate around 180º and fly off away from Batuu and quickly vanish from sight, but they really looked amazing for the brief time they were in flight.
While I will have to wait until I actually get to ride it before giving a full review on the new attraction, but based on the video footage from what I’ve seen, the experience looks simply amazing from start to finish and unlike anything Disney has ever created before. In short, this looks like a game changer, and certainly has raised the bar in the Orlando market.
(12/2/19) Just a quick note, Disney will be live streaming the dedication ceremony for the Rise of the Resistance attraction at Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge this Thursday night at about 6:55pm EST. Disney has already set up the YouTube page for the stream which you can see below.
This is the non-public event for select Media and VIP guests, which is sure to include some celebrity appearances as well as the flight of those X-Wing Drones we previously mentioned.
(12/1/19) All new sneak peek footage of the Rise of the Resistance dark ride opening this week at Walt Disney World was aired over the Thanksgiving holiday. The footage is quickly edited, mixed in with some interview and film clips, but it does give us a peek at a few more sections of the new Star Wars attraction experience.
Watch the clip below (it’s less than a minute) and you see blips of the queue, the shuttle leaving Batuu, and running around the inside of the star destroyer on that droid piloted transport vehicle and more.
And for you Disneyland locals… sorry… you’ve still got to wait until mid-January.
(9/26/19) Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried the Blue/Green Milk at Galaxy’s Edge in California and Florida? I’d had heard some early speculation that the poorly-received California concoction may have had a slight formula tweak before launching in Orlando, but then again the humidity, heat and different tastes on each coast may have just resulted in a little incorrect speculation.
That said… we have heard that there are definitely some menu item tweaks to the food and drink options expected to roll out sometime before Summer 2020 on both coasts, including either a complete drop of the Blue/Green Milk, or a full formula replacement, as they are desperate to create a Star Wars themed beverage as popular as Universal’s Butterbeer.
Since that seems obvious from the start when they first announced the Blue/Green Milk concept, it makes me wonder how they managed to launch such a thing without doing extensive and honest real-world taste-testing ahead of time.
(9/2/19) For the record, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Walt Disney World and ThemeParkTourist has a great breakdown of how opening day all went down, and how Disney seemed to learn and adapt to how things went down in California earlier this year. For example, the first guests didn’t just arrive in droves before dawn… as the park was planning on opening the gates at 6am that day. Instead people started to try to arrive and ‘camp out’ outside the park around Midnight, and Disney was started off by trying to keep everyone out, so people began to park their cars along the entry roads instead.
Then Disney began to adapt and quickly began to change their plans on the fly, allowing guests into the parking lot at about 3am to line up in front of the park gates. To the amazement of all, Disney again shifted plans and opened the gates to the park at 5am and shuffling guests towards capacity lines for Smuggler’s Run. According to the report there was already an estimated 300 minute line in place by 6am. Make the jump over to read the rest of the opening day breakdown as the first guests entered Batuu, the virtual reservation system and more.
(8/28/19) Some fantastic new footage of the upcoming Rise of the Resistance attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was shown at D23 over the weekend. Obviously this is a theatrical cut and edited experience, but boy does it have all the look and feels of putting you in an actual Star Wars adventure.
Spring 2020 - Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway -
(1/10/20) This may be a bit of a spoiler, but a possible building attraction layout for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has been posted to Orlando ParkStop, detailing the various scenes and pathway taken throughout the attraction. If you want to see what the new attraction experience may be like then follow the link, otherwise SPOILER warners are in effect, so visit at your own risk.
(12/15/19) A video clip online from Disney Parks gives us a brief look inside Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, with a scene or two in the background as well as the train themed ride vehicle. Or I guess I should say vehicles… as the locomotive pulling two cars of passengers are actually unconnected and from what I understand, each piece in the train is actually made up from the same style ride vehicles as the new Star Wars: Rise of the First Order attraction.
(12/4/19) Walt Disney World announced that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park will finally open to the public on March 4, 2020. Typically there is likely going to be a period of soft-opening previews (aka: “technical rehearsal”) in the weeks ahead of this opening date, so if you are in the park in mid to late February, keep your eyes peeled as well.
(5/8/19) First the supposed blueprints for the Spider-Man attraction planned for Paris and California parks leaks online, and now we have a new leak claiming to be the blueprints for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway posted to Twitter. Check it out below.
(4/24/19) During an announcement for the Disneyland version of the attraction, Disney did point out that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway now will not open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until Spring 2020.
(3/9/19) So far Disney has only listed a “Fall 2019” opening date for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction. Word is that things may move a little later than expected and we might not seen it open until very late 2019 and not in early fall as many were hoping. The good news is that we expect it to open around the same time period as the delayed Rise of the Resistance ride in Galaxy’s Edge, which will give the Studios parks another major ride to open within the same time frame and help disperse the crowds a bit more. Again… this is all rumor right now, so stay tuned!
(11/21/18) For those hoping that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway might be ready to open in Spring or Summer 2019… you are going to be disappointed. Disney’s latest timeline indicated that the new dark ride attraction is now slated to open in Fall 2019, the same basic timeframe as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The good news is at least there will be another major new ride opening in the park to give people a reason not to hang out in Galaxy’s Edge all day long.
(7/2/18) Disney released a new piece of concept artwork for the Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway ride late last week along with a few new details about how the guests will enter the cartoon world.
"The fun begins when you see the premiere of a new cartoon short with Mickey and Minnie preparing for a picnic. As they head out, they drive alongside a train and find out that the engineer is Goofy. Then, one magical moment lets you step into the movie and on Goofy’s train for a wacky, wild ride."
(2/21/18) A pretty good breakdown of what we can expect from the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction was posted to ThemeParkInsider this week. Take a look.
(2/14/18) Disney has confirmed that the new Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway ride at the Studios will be ready to open in 2019. Putting guests "inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen" the attraction will feature "a new experience that defies logic that we’re calling 2 ½-D".
(8/28/17) A fun photo update from Disney's Hollywood Studios showing off all the latest construction taking place was posted to OrlandoParkNews.com a few days ago, including a look at the closed Great Movie Ride, peeks at Star Wars Land and more! Check it out!
(7/20/17) As rumored, Disney has confirmed that The Great Movie Ride will close down forever at the end of August 13, 2017. The attraction will be replaced by a brand new attraction inside the Chinese Theater themed structure called Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. This will be the first attraction at any Disney theme park themed entirely around Mickey Mouse. As rumored, this new attraction themed around the new Mickey Shorts shown on The Disney Channel will involve some special movie magic and traveling through the silver screen into the world of Mickey and friends.
" On Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes."
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature a new story and a new singable attraction theme song as well as a new experience we’re calling “2 1/2 D.” No glasses required. Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Rafferty said teams are inventing new technologies that turn the flat world of a colorful cartoon short into a “dimensional display of amazingness.”
“This is one of the boldest…most impossible things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. And you know what? That’s what I love about it. Well, that, and Mickey,” Kevin said. “This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”
(7/14/17) While the announcement has not happened yet, the name 'Great Mickey Ride' has been making the rounds online lately as the likely name to replace the Great Movie Ride.
(7/13/17) You gotta love this time of year… the rumor mill is firing on all cylinders right now left and right. According to Screamscape sources we can expect to see The Great Movie Ride retired at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park sometime in the not too distant future. I don’t know exactly when, because closing it is going to create a touchy situation right now with so much of the rest of the park under construction, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they wait until Toy Story Land opens first in 2018 before they close The Great Movie Ride.
While I don’t know for sure what is replacing it, they have talked about retiring the old ride for a number of years now to build a new iconic E-Ticket attraction inside the space… so if this latest plan follows suit with the previous, you can expect for the Chinese theater facade to remain standing and the new attraction built inside the existing structure.
One rumor I heard over the past year was a new take on an older proposal. As I recall, the original proposal goes back to 1999 when Universal first opened Islands of Adventure and the Adventures of Spider-Man ride took the world by storm. Spider-Man was celebrated for many years as the best dark ride ever created at the time, and in many eyes, it still is. According to the rumor-mill from back then, WDI was just as impressed by Spider-Man as everyone else and didn’t want to look like they had lost their mojo, so they developed their own concept for an idea that they felt could best Spider-Man.
Keep in mind this rumor is about 17 years old, and I’m just going on raw memory here, but as I recall the idea was to gut The Great Movie Ride back then and great an all new version, using the theme of Chinese Theater building for what it is… a multiplex theater. They could keep the theater themed queue, but update it with posted featuring a slightly more modern collection of movie choices along with some timeless action film classics including Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Guests would climb into a vehicle with similar movement abilities to those used by Spider-Man which would journey down the movie theater hallway and turn into one of the theaters, move down the aisle and towards the giant silver screen.
Here is where things get interesting, as the rest of the ride experience sounded a bit like something out of Schwarzenegger’s “The Last Action Hero” as your vehicle would travel through the silver screen and into the living breathing world of a classic film where you stumbed into one of the iconic scenes from that film, but upon leaving the movie-world a hero or villain from the film just might follow you back into the real world as you traveled into the next theater. An example of one major scene near the end of the ride that was proposed would have seen Darth Vader follow you out of the world of Star Wars, use the force to stop your vehicle from running away, and as he approached with a lightsaber drawn, a loud thunderous crack would fill the air and Vader’s weapon would fly out of his hands, revealing that Indiana Jones, whip in hand, had just saved you from certain doom, allowing you to quickly make your escape.
Obviously it didn’t happen, and the reason I was always given was that pride got in the way. I’m not sure if it was Eisner who nixed it back in the day or someone else, but however it happened, apparently Disney didn’t want to be seen trying to copy and catch up with what Universal had done, so they quietly nixed the project. But you know what they say about how no good idea at Disney is ever fully forgotten.
Jumping ahead to today, you could easily see how a ride like this would still be great fun. If the last rumor going around still holds true, Disney may try the same concept once again, but updated this time to focus on Disney animated films, creating a huge mashup of characters, worlds and unique experiences involving tons of great films from over the decades, including those who may have never been given a ride of their own before. Now add into this concept the appearance of Mickey and friends who are likely to serve as your storytelling device to make all the mischief and chaos happen in much the same way that Donald and the Sorcerer’s Magic Hat serve as the central part of the story told by Mickey’s PhilharMagic over at The Magic Kingdom.
Again… this is just a rumor right now, serving as an update to a much older concept, and maybe Disney have some entirely other plan in mind, but either way you should plan to get your last rides in on The Great Movie Ride while you still can. It won't be around forever.
Oh, and while you are at it, you also may want to visit the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular as well, because I’m also hearing that it too will be removed in the not too distant future as part of the ongoing re-imagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Spring 2020 - Mickey Shorts Theater - (12/5/19) The new Mickey Shorts Theater coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios will officially open in March 2020. According to the new concept artwork released by Disney, the cute little theater will also feature seats decorated in a cool Mickey Mouse theme, looking pretty much like… well… Mickey Mouse’s Shorts. LOL!
(10/1/19) Disney has announced that a new "Mickey Shorts Theater” attraction will be opening in the former ABC Sounds Studio Theater, formerly home to Sounds Dangerous. Look for this to open sometime in Spring 2020, likely around the same time that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens.
2023 - New Fantastmic! - Rumor - (10/11/19) Consider this to be a long-out rumor, but the early word is that it may be time to revamp the Walt Disney World version of Fantasmic! In the not so distant future. I’m hearing the overall plan is to possibly hype it up as a 25th Anniversary upgrade for the show in much the same way that Disneyland upgraded their version for their shows’ own 25th anniversary in 2017, after opened in 1992.
If we use Disneyland as an example, this would mean that the Florida version of Fantastmic! would end up closing down for about a year to perform the upgrade, so in order to reopen in time for 2023, the existing show would likely close down sometime in 2022, just in time for whatever long-term 50th Anniversary plans for the WDW resort will be coming to a close.
???? - Revised Rock ‘n Roller Coaster - (4/24/19) Our friends at Attractions Magazine were lucky enough to take a little tour of Walt Disney Imagineering not long ago, and while they had to keep the cameras put away for much of the time, they did learn a few fun facts about new Disney projects in the works. One of which was a confirmation that they were working on some new theme ideas for Rock ‘n Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as the company’s license contract with Aerosmith is expiring in the near future.
We already know that the counterpart at the Walt Disney Studios Paris park is being given some kind of new Marvel theme, rumored to be tied to Iron Man or the Avengers, but that also won’t happen in Florida. Nothing was said about when the Aerosmith deal would end, but I believe these kinds of deals are often in 10 or 20 year increments, and since the ride opened in 1999, this year would be the 20 year mark. Of course Disney also always opt to pay for a small term extension if all parties agree so don’t count Aerosmith out just yet.
???? - Indiana Jones Land - Rumor - (3/19/19) I’m not sure how serious this rumor is, but according to the latest whispers on the wind, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular may actually not be removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Instead the show could close for a very lengthy makeover sometime between 2020 and 2021, and reopen with an enhanced show experience in time for Indiana Jones 5 to be released.
(10/24/18) Could an Indiana Jones themed land be the next major project for Disney’s Hollywood Studios once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is complete? According to Disney & More and other rumor sites out there, Disney has been playing around with ideas of how to expand and update the Indiana Jones presence at the Orlando parks. We previously heard a rumored pitch that would have seen Indy moved to Animal Kingdom and the Dinosaur ride modified to become a full blown Indiana Jones Adventure ride like the one at Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea, but it seems that the Studios park may need more immediate help than Animal Kingdom. Make the jump to read about where it may go and what existing attractions could be removed to make way.