Chances are that you have seen the early morning pictures of Disney’s Hollywood Studios since Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened. People are arriving half an hour or more before the park opens, hoping to get scanned in and get a spot in a Boarding Group for the new ride. Even later in the day, the park is still packed. People ask almost daily “when it is going to calm down and go back to normal”. The answer is simple, it isn’t. This is the new normal.
There is more to Disney’s Hollywood Studios being crowded these days than just Rise of the Resistance. The park has undergone a major transformation. Toy Story Land continues to draw crowds, because who doesn’t want to ride on Slinky Dog’s back? Galaxy’s Edge is not the only new thing that people are visiting.
Over the past couple of years I have heard many people say that they were skipping Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They wanted to wait until the construction was done and the new lands were open. Now that they are open, those people are visiting the park for the first time in a long time. They are also staying all day, because it has been so long since they’ve been on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.
The unknown in all of this is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Is the ride going to be insanely popular, or will the excitement die down in a couple of months? There is a chance that the ride won’t be all that great, but I think that chance is very slim. Through my work for Disney Dining I’ve been able to talk to some of the people who are working on the project. Since this is the first ride anywhere based on the mouse who started it all, they see it as a responsibility to make it special. They take great pride in what they are creating.
The other reason why I think that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will remain popular is because it will be located front and center when you enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away closing, there won’t be a stage to block the sightline. Casual fans will see it and want to know what the ride is all about. You won’t be able to miss it.
When people ask when the hoopla will die down at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they are usually looking for patterns from the past. Those patterns point to the crowds staying. People still arrive well before Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens so that they can ride Flight of Passage. The line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is long just minutes after the Magic Kingdom opens. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is about to have three attractions that you need to be there at opening for. Add Smugglers Run into the mix for good measure. The days of Disney’s Hollywood Studios not being crowded and being called a half day park are gone. Arriving early and trying to get a spot for a Tier One attraction is the new normal.