The smallest theme park at Walt Disney World is also the one with the two newest attractions, making it the hardest Disney Park Pass reservation to acquire. Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially reopens to Guests on July 15th, but one of our Florida correspondents, Tony Betti, was invited to join some friends for the Cast Member Preview.
The newest experience is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway where a social distancing queue leads to the impressive pre-show, one of the few still running for a Disney attraction. Inside the pre-show theater, Guests stand with their party on a numbered space before entering the final section of the queue where plexiglass dividers have been added.
The Mickey Shorts Theater is also open with every-other-row blocked and groups of seats unavailable to keep parties six-feet apart.
No, this isn’t a queue for Muppet-Vision 3D, it’s actually the extended social distancing queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The attraction will use a modified Virtual Queue when it reopens to Guests, but for the Cast Member preview, they used a standard queue. Cast Members have been blocked out of enjoying Disney’s Hollywood Studios since the attraction opened, making it a must-do during this special preview experience just for them.
The full outdoor queue for the experience is also in use, with a social distancing line leaving Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge through the tunnel into the Grand Avenue section of the park leading to the Muppets Courtyard.
The interior queue has plexiglass dividers at switchbacks in addition to social distancing queue markers.
The Intersystem Transport Ship part of the preshow is now in use. Instead, Guests are funneled down an unthemed hallway to get to the main part of the attraction.
There are markers on the ground in the hangar bay with the Stormtroopers where groups are supposed to stand. However, your eyes are drawn up and around and it seemed that a lot of Guests at the Cast Preview didn’t notice them.
The last stretch of queue before boarding also includes plexiglass dividers from a galaxy far, far away.
The edge of the galaxy also includes one of the park’s Relaxation Stations where Guests can take a break from wearing a face mask.
Character experiences happen on the elevated platforms that used to be reserved for Stormtroopers only.
Savi’s Workshop is open and selling legacy lightsabers, but the build-a-lightsaber experience is not currently available. Guests can still build the kid-friendly lightsabers in the Star Tours gift shop.
The shops in Black Spire Outpost are treated as one giant store where Cast Members control access to the area. A social distance queue is available for Guests to wait in until it’s their turn to shop.
Back on earth, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues uses only the outer section of queue and the ship includes dividers that separate parties in the same row.
Exiting through the gift shop, a social distance queue is set up for Guests who want to buy merchandise.
The other Relaxation Station is in Star Wars Launch Bay, which isn’t running any of the character experiences. Guests can choose to relax without a mask in the open air former queue space or inside the air conditioned exhibit.
Over in Toy Story Land, grouping for Alien Swirling Saucers is done on new colored discs, ignoring the numbered stars on the ground.
Toy Story Mania has opened up switchback queues so Guests proceed in a straight line to the load zone with social distancing markers. Other attractions with 3D glasses have Cast Members distributing them, but Toy Story Mania left it to Guests to pick up their own glasses, at least during the Cast Member preview.
Load zones for the attraction feature plexiglass dividers.
Like other restaurants at Walt Disney World, Pizza Rizzo has tables blocked off to keep parties separate.
The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel has a new plexiglass divider between the two queues. Guests don’t stop in the library for a pre show either, proceeding directly to the cellar to board their service elevator.
Heading downtown to The Forum in a super stretch limo? You won’t get to see Aerosmith recording in the studio on this trip, but the Rock N’ Rollercoaster is still an exhilarating thrill that seats every-other-row.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy also blocks off rows and groups of seats. When it’s time to exit, the Cast did a great job asking parties to hang back to keep their distance.