Your Guide to the Five New Rides Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t running at full strength right now. We all know it. With the closure of The Great Movie Ride last year, the park is down to four true rides plus some other shows. Yes, all of the rides are quite good, but the truth is that Hollywood Studios is in flux. The next phase of the transition starts in just a couple of months, and then the park is poised for huge changes next year. Today, we’re going to take a look at the future. Here are the five E Ticket attractions coming to Hollywood Studios over the next 18 months.
Alien Swirling Saucers
One of the truths about Disney theme park attractions is that we learn more when a ride is closer to opening. As such, we know a lot more about the new stuff at Toy Story Land than we do about anything coming to Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge. The replacement for The Great Movie Ride falls somewhere between the other two lands. So, we know the most about the rides that debut in 10 weeks.
Alien Swirling Saucers is the less heralded of the two attractions coming to Toy Story Land. I strongly suspect that people are going to love it, though. The underlying goal of this new themed land is family entertainment. Disney looked at the previous flaws with Hollywood Studios and correctly determined that it’s out of character at Walt Disney World. It doesn’t skew very young. Excluding Toy Story: Midway Mania!, most of the rides here are for adults.
Toy Story Land should cover this hole in the current lineup with playful attractions that delight kids while reminding adults of the simple joys in life. Alien Swirling Saucers takes one of the beloved characters from the Toy Story franchise and turns their best storyline into a full attraction.
Yes, The Claw has chosen you to get onboard this ride. The conceit of Toy Story Land is that you’re temporarily shrunk down to the size of toys so that you can interact and play with them. Since you’re roughly the same size and shape as the Little Green Men, you can jump in one of their alien flying saucers and zoom around! You’re riding a toy rocket while trying to receive the ultimate for the three-eyed aliens. You want to be captured by The Claw!
The images of Alien Swirling Saucers show a covered ride that looks a lot like bumper cars. The current speculation is that you can spin similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney California Adventure. Thankfully, it’s not expected to be quite as turbulent a ride as Mad Tea Party. Alien Swirling Saucers is good, silly fun.
Slinky Dog Dash
A genteel family roller coaster, Slinky Dog Dash is the true E Ticket attraction at Toy Story Land. For the body of a year, Disney fanatics have snapped pictures and videos of the install of the tracks and pieces for the ride. All of the visuals are over the top and adorable.
On this attraction, you get inside a stretched out version of Slinky Dog from Toy Story. In the movies, he has a puppy’s face and hindquarters but stretches like a Slinky at his stomach. The ride is a giant toy construction set.
According to the Disney site, Andy (not Bonnie) has put together all the pieces for his Mega Coaster Play Kit. Slinky Dog is the vehicle that crisscrosses the tracks, whizzing by the other pieces. Some of these pieces include Rex, who is hanging Christmas lights for some reason, and Jessie, who is helping her dino-buddy.
On Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll get inside the Slinky stomach of the dog, which isn’t as gross as it sounds. These adorable ride carts look like the bottom half of toy buckets, and the hand rails are parts of the Slinky. It’s an extremely clever design that’s efficient in nature but also wildly appealing to kids. This coaster is as playful as Disney gets, and I expect it to become an immediate favorite for children.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
In 2019, another ride debuts, and it will become even more popular with children than Slinky Dog Dash. Sure, kids love roller coasters and Toy Story characters, but nothing compares to Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They’re the iconic duo that has functioned as the core of the Disney character universe for more than 75 years. Somehow, Disney’s never built a theme park attraction starring their beloved couple…until now.
Yes, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will correct a longstanding oversight. It will feature Mickey and Minnie in a slapstick adventure. The duo will board a train only to discover that Goofy is the engineer! You can safely bet that he’s not the most reliable vehicle operator, causing his friends several moments of trepidation.
As the person along for the ride, you’ll have an unprecedented experience on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Imagineers have described the ride as the equivalent of stepping into a Disney cartoon. And the view is spectacular! This attraction is “2 and ½ D”, a strange way of saying that you’ll see the events in 3-D without having to wear special glasses.
The idea of a ride starring everyone’s favorite two mice is long overdue. Similarly, the concept of entering a Disney cartoon is one that Disney should have implemented years ago, too. The combination of the two guarantees that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is an instant classic.
Millennium Falcon Ride
Fans refer to it as the Holy Trilogy, the original 1970s/1980s movie franchise that triggered the Star Wars obsession. A key part of the passion stems from the love for Han Solo’s spectacular ship, the Millennium Falcon. Fan ardor remains so strong that Disney’s built an entire film around the origin story of Solo, part of which will cover how he came to own his starship.
Anyone who has ever had the dream of flying in the Millennium Falcon will adore Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge. The themed land will arrive in 2019 and with it, a multi-generational fantasy will come true. Mickey Travelers will have the ability to board the Millennium Falcon and pilot it like Han Solo and Chewbacca!
Disney has remained tight-lipped about the details. They have mentioned a gaming element to the ride, though. According to the Parks Blog:
“But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina.”
Yes, the Star Wars Land experience will carry over from place to place. Something you do on a ride will impact how you’re treated at restaurants and bars! So, the Millennium Falcon Ride experience doesn’t end once you depart. When you visit this themed land or the accompanying hotel, your interactive experience is constant. It’s something that we’ve never seen before at a theme park. Even if Disney weren’t building this place as Star Wars Land, it’d still justify extreme enthusiasm simply because of the interactivity.
Star Destroyer Ride
This ride is the most mysterious of the bunch. Disney’s already released details in drips. I’ll quote you everything that I’ve found on the official site thus far:
“This attraction, “built on a scale we’ve never done before,” will make guests feel like they’re inside a hangar bay in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. (The name of this attraction is still yet to be released).”
From the original naming announcement, there’s also this:
“One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.”
Okay, that’s the totality of information that Disney’s confirmed. It’s…not a lot. Since we’re still somewhere between 13 and 18 months from the start of Star Wars Land, more news should leak out soon. What we know for sure is that it’s also a part of the interactive experience, meaning that Disney may incorporate some decision-making into the ride. We know that hotel guests will have the option to choose whether they’re in the First Order or the Resistance. This attraction could feasibly play into that choice.
Whatever the deal is with the Star Destroyer attraction, we know that Disney’s Hollywood Studios currently has four true rides. Over the next year or so, they’ll add five more, thereby more than doubling the options at this park. Hollywood Studios is about to switch from being the slowest park at Walt Disney World to by far the hottest one.
You’ll probably want to plan a post-June 30th trip this year for Toy Story Land and another one next year when Star Wars Land arrives. Be sure to speak with a MickeyTravels agent to find the most cost-effective ways to schedule these trips.
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