Hollywood Studios Update: Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land Construction, The Darkroom Open and More

Today we’re taking a look around Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check in on Toy Story, Star Wars, and a few other small goings-on in the park. When you first enter, The Darkroom and Cover Story stores are back open after a several month long refurbishment. The Darkroom used to be primarily a place to purchase film and camera supplies, but now mainly offers collectible pins, MagicBands, phone cases and other mobile device accessories. Cover Story now offers home goods, stationary and small souvenirs, but used to be the place to get your PhotoPass pictures. PhotoPass pickup has been moved to Sid Caheunga’s One-of-a-Kind shop, which is much closer to the exit. The Starring Rolls Cafe may have closed back in February, but all of its signs are still up (continuing to confuse guests looking for a snack.) Tables and chairs have been placed in front of the entrance and exit doors to keep people from trying to open them, but if they have no plans of re-opening this small quick service location I wonder why they wouldn’t at least cover the sign on the building.

Things are picking up steam at Toy Story Land construction. A very large crane has arrived on site and work is moving fast around the Slinky Dog coaster’s load station and queue building. A large flat backdrop has been “dropped” into place recently. This will help to block a large backstage parking garage structure from the view of Toy Story Land. Down the road a huge berm and wall is being created to separate the Star Wars themed land from the rest of the park. When I was there they were spraying water on a big ‘ol pile of dirt to get it as compressed as possible. I expect grass to be added on that side of the berm. Closer to the Muppets area the entrance tunnel to Star Wars is being constructed. See the video as well as full photo report below for more details on this construction and stay tuned for more theme park updates coming soon!


Photo Update

There’s a beautiful topiary display in front of the entrance, (and it looks somewhat familiar to something I may have seen recently at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival)

Welcome to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Love that this park is so dynamic with live entertainment all around you

The Darkroom is back open after several months of being closed

Cover Story is also back open, but no longer the park’s PhotoPass location

Screens showing magazine covers and movie one-sheets (that are barely visible in the sunlight) replaced PhotoPass adverts in the window display

Entrance to The Darkroom, which used to be a film and camera store, before the digital age that is

Phone cases, travel bags, and camera accessories inside

Collectible pins and lanyards

MagicBands and Magic Keepers inside The Darkroom

Love this intricate moulding on the ceiling of Cover Story

Moving on, signs are still up at Starring Rolls Cafe

After being closed for two months you’d think they would at least cover the sign

All the umbrellas feature the name as well

Tables have been placed in front of the doors to keep people from trying to enter

A new sign has appeared in front, but is covered, so I have no idea what it says

Moving on, from in front of the old Animation Courtyard we can see a new crane

This big new crane is over the future site of Toy Story Land

Before heading into Pixar Studios area, lets turn right…

And take a look at the future entrance to Toy Story Land (currently stroller parking)

Over the work walls we can see the new big crane

This structure being built will be the queue for the Slinky Dog coaster

A look at the base of the Slinky Dog building

New steel has gone up in front of the building

Toys Story Land concept art, Slinky Dog Coaster station and queue seen on top-right

One final look at the Slinky queue structure

To the right of Slinky, at the edge of Toy Story Land, they’re adding a large backdrop

This backdrop will be used to block the view of a backstage parking garage

Not sure when, but some pieces that went over this walkway have been removed

You can see here where something was cut off of the soundstage

I wonder if the walkway above this breezeway will eventually be removed as well. It used to be used in the walking tour portion of the Production Tour, back when these stages carried film and TV production

Heading into the Pixar area

Midway Mania entrance will move to other side of building when the new land is ready

Heading down to the dead end

It’s crazy how thin this building facade is from this angle

One of the Midway Mania ride exits, with Star Wars land’s dirt pile in the background

This berm is being created to separate Toy Story Land from Star Wars

What will be the main entrance to Star Wars is being constructed on the left side

A long wall being built to connect Star Wars entrance to berm, blocking everything from sight when you’re inside Star Wars land

Where we are standing now will become part of the backstage area, and this will just be a view of a wall from this vantage

The berm on the right side here, will be visible from Toy Story Land, near the Alien spinner ride, as well as visible from inside Star Wars land

Goofy, just being awesome, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone

Area near Sci-Fi Dine In

These last structures from the Streets of America are apparently staying and will not be torn down

The old Writer’s Stop coffee shop

I noticed the signs are still there, just covered. It’s possible when Star Wars land is sufficiently walled off that this popular coffee shop may re-open. Fingers crossed

One last look at this area

Now turning to the left and heading towards Star Tours

It’s nice to see Minnie Mouse added to the Pixie Dust signage on work walls

Cranes seen over Star Wars land

While standing in Muppet courtyard you can now see clear across the park to the Tower of Terror

To the left of this work wall, we can start to see the entrance to Star Wars taking shape

A closer look at what can be seen from the ground

Now taking a look from above, on the PizzeRizzo terrace

This will be a tunnel leading into Star Wars land

Construction on the left side of future entrance

Wall going up to the right of future entrance

Pile of pieces for more walls

Star Wars Land concept art. The tunnel to enter would be on the far left of this image

Closer look at wall going up on left

One last look at the area

Taking a look behind Muppets

No change for these old looking buildings

The old Phineas and Ferb meet and greet still here, untouched

World Drive parking entrance clearly visible from here

You can see parking lot expansion work going on beyond the fence

New backstage building being added behind Star Wars land area

Someday soon we may actually see some Star Wars show buildings go up here

That’s all for this construction update. See all of the Hollywood Studios updates here and subscribe to the feed for more continual park updates!

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