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So how are Toy Story Land & the Star Wars Experience supposed to link up at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

Jim Hill

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So how are Toy Story Land & the Star Wars Experience supposed to link up at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

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So I -- like a lot of you, no doubt -- have spent the last day or so sifting through all of the info that came out of this week's "Awaken Summer" media event down at the Walt Disney World Resort.

And there was something that caught my eye about this new piece of The Star Wars Experience concept art.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Take a close look at the right-hand side of the above image.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved
 

Does that look familiar to you? It did to me. And it took me a minute or so to realize where I'd seen it before. But then I recalled that piece of Toy Story Land concept wall that was recently put up on the construction wall that was just erected at the outermost edge of Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Take a close look at the left-hand side of the above image.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Do you see it now? That same other-worldly mix of redwood-like trees and rockwork that's used to create a transition space for that " ... gateway planet on the outer rim" which is supposed to serve as the principle setting for The Star Wars Experience at both Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

I wondered. Might it be possible to get these two pieces of concept art to line up in a way that we all then get a sense of how Toy Story Land & the Star Wars Experience would fit together? To be honest, I have very poor Photoshop skills. Which is why I first had to turn to Len Testa (i.e., my partner-in-crime on the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish podcast) and then Nancy Stadler (i.e., the brains of the outfit over JimHillMedia.com). And with Len & Nancy walking me through the process, I was then able to cobble together this crude image.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Now what's kind of interesting is if you take the above image and then compare that with a few screen shots that I was able to capture off that Slinky Dog Dash animatic that Kathy Mangum (i.e., the executive producer and vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering who's in charge of the Toy Story Land expansion project at Disney's Hollywood Studios) shared during her portion of the "Awaken Summer" Walt Disney Parks & Resorts presentation ...


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You see that red toy box-shaped building? This is supposed to be the new entrance for Toy Story Mania. The blue building directly to its left is your typical Disney theme park exit-through-the-gift-shop, post-show experience.


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As several sharp-eyed Disney theme park fans have already pointed out to me this morning, the structure directly behind that red toy-box shaped building isn't The Great Movie Ride's 95,000 square foot show building. But -- rather -- Soundstage One, which will soon be home to the third track for Toy Story Mania (Which -- according to what Mangum said at her Toy Story Land presentation at this week's "Awaken Summer" presentation -- will be up & running by Memorial Day).


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It's also worth noting that -- at one point in the Slinky Dog Dash animatic -- that you can see that track for this family-friendly coaster ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... seems to run right up against the old Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida building (In the image capture below, that's the white building toward the right) as well as the parking structure that all of the animators who used to work at WDFAF (the grey building to the left).


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

To give you a better sense of where these two buildings are in relation to the rest of Disney's Hollywood Studios, I've included an aerial shot of the Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida building and its associated parking structure taken from the front of that theme park.

Take that into account, the Imagineers are really going to have their hands full when it comes to finding a way to prevent both of these 5 story-tall structures from visually intruding on Toy Story Land. But given that the Slinky Dog Dash animatic does show a few CG trees strategically placed in front of the Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida building as well as its associated parking structure, I'm assuming that WDI does have some sort of long term plan in place to make sure that these two WDW corporate structures (which -- these days -- serve as home to the folks who design & create all of the site-specific merch for the four WDW theme parks) will eventually be hidden in plain site.

So does this give  you a better sense of what Disney's  CineMagic Kingdom (FYI: That is the name that this theme park will most likely have when it's officially rebranded after construction is completed) will look like once that 11-acre Toy Story Land and 14-acre Star Wars Experience are in place?

And -- again -- thanks to those Disney theme park fans who pointed out an error or two that I made with an earlier edition of this article. I really appreciate that additional input.

Your thoughts?

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  • CineMagic Kingdom? They wouldn't...

  • Great article, Jim! Have you heard if the Cars and Monsters Inc. components of the project are still proceeding forward? Haven't heard much on where those would be or if they're still happening.

  • Have you not got this mixed up slightly? My understanding if that Toy Story Land will go directly behind Toy Story Mania with a new entrance through the rear of that building. There is not enough space to place TSL/SWL at the end of Pixar Place. The rear of the building you refer to with the adjacent red box next to it is the current TSM building.

  • "CineMagic Kingdom"? Three "Kingdom" parks in Florida, two of them with "Magic" in the name? Wouldn't that be ridiculously confusing?

  • Disneys Cinamagic Kingdom does not roll off the tongue easily, I hope they reconsider the name.

  • If that's your concern, there are others. Why are they keeping Muppets Courtyard? Star Wars Land will be forced to wrap around an orphaned land and then reach Star Tours. I suppose this makes the Muppets Courtyard the counterpart for the Rivers of America at Disneyland. The Star Tours proximity will be the first entrance, the second entrance will be the former Streets of America, and the third entrance is Toy Story Land.

  • Looks like Muppets is history.  PP/MM will become star wars dining - expect that to transition sooner rather than later

  • Take the time to visit the me http://whistory.org , and say that the change in design and meniu?

  • CineMagic Kingdom? Yuck. Anyway, thanks for putting the pieces together so we don't have to, Jim. :)

  • Looks like you're spot on. The two lands will probablylink just past midway Mania complex. Star Wars land look to be taking over the residential streeted of the park, with access from both Toy Story Land and probably the end of New York Street.

  • "Cinamagic"? I don't like the name. I still call it MGM.

  • Well who is to say that Andy's back yard did not have a view of buildings and a parking structure?   Honestly would rather see these buildings from 1989 than a painted plywood wall a la Disneyland's ToonTown.  :)

  • Can we just cancel Star Wars and keep the movies.

  • Disney's  CineMagic Kingdom?  Really?  They have never even considered that as a name for the park.  That is just a rumor tossed around by armchair imagineers since the story first broke that they were rebranding the park.  It is NOT going to be called Disney's  CineMagic Kingdom.  For Christ's sake, I remember the exact persona that came up with that name on one of the forums.

  • I can already see people walking to Disney's CineMagic Kingdom looking for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train...

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