Hollywood Studios Expands Queues Into Backstage Areas
If you are a Disney fan who lives for discovering how WDW was built and finding hidden details in the Parks, you’re in luck! If you’re a fan who comes to Walt Disney World to be fully immersed in otherworldly places, this news may come as a bit of a shock.
Hollywood Studios is officially utilizing multiple backstage areas for queuing. Since we don’t expect to see an end to mask-wearing and distancing in the Parks anytime soon, it looks like these new changes to some of the most popular attractions’ queue lines are here to stay!
Tower of Terror
Since the existing infrastructure didn’t allot for 6ft of distancing when they were built, we are seeing that many, many attractions have extended their queue lines further into the Park (I’m looking at you, Slinky Dog Dash!).
That news is so 2020 though, because Tower of Terror is one of the attractions that has opted out of extending its queue through the Park, and has opted IN to queuing through some backstage areas!
On any given day, you can find the new Tower of Terror queue snaking its way through the old Fantasmic! FastPass kiosks that are usually hidden behind closed doors. The line eventually makes its way into the original Tower of Terror queue, but first you’ll have to go through some not-so-themed areas to get there.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Galaxy’s Edge is hands-down the most crowded area in Hollywood Studios so far in 2021, and there is good reason!
Featuring the best themed shops and eateries in Hollywood Studios, and the most popular attraction in all of Walt Disney World, Galaxy’s Edge as a whole had to get creative with their queue systems.
Smuggler’s Run is the biggest culprit I’ve seen so far. Crowds of guests are being diverted into what are usually ‘Cast Member Only’ areas in an attempt to clear the main walkways.
It’s working in terms of traffic, but I’m not sure guests are supposed to see the backstage workings that keep the Park running while waiting in line to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
Rise of the Resistance
You’ll still need to snag a boarding group to gain entry, but don’t expect to simply waltz right onto the ride vehicle when you return to Rise of the Resistance for your boarding group time!
Even the short line that exists once your boarding group has been called has required a queue extension. This extension can be seen here winding its way behind the Relaxation Station in Galaxy’s Edge.
Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the con: guests aren’t meant to see backstage areas in Disney Parks. It ruins sightlines Imagineers have worked so hard to create and gives away the illusion of being immersed in another world. Cast in point: it takes you out of the magical moment.
The pros, in my opinion though, heavily outweigh the cons here. Disney is doing a great job of making sure everyone stays 6ft away from each other while queueing for an attraction, which is why these lines seem so long.
I would rather be diverted to a backstage area if it means I can safely distance. The biggest reason of all that the backstage extensions are great because it means that WDW is open, operating, and welcoming guests to (safely) experience all of the amazing attractions they have to offer!
What do you think of the queue extensions? Is it a positive in your eyes, or do you think seeing backstage areas is something that should be saved exclusively for backstage tours? Leave me a comment and let me know! For even more Parks and Resorts content, visit me on YouTube at DisneyWorldLocal for the latest ride POV’s, restaurant reviews, and updates from WDW from a Disney World Local!
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