Welcome back to Not Club 33, your new home for the Disney Cynic!
I’m considering trying to write this latest trip off as a business expense, since I dedicated a solid bit of time to acquiring pictures of construction updates and reviews. Today I’m sharing the fruits of my labor with you, and giving you the latest pictures that someone not currently at the parks and with Twitter can give you.
First, let’s talk about the Skyliner. They appear to have the International Gateway station nearly complete. The Hollywood Studios station looks completely ready to go. I cannot speak for the resort stations, because why would I want to go to Caribbean Beach or Art of Animation / Pop Century if I’m not staying there and have limited vacation time?
I did not witness the cars in motion, but my wife did. She’s far more persuaded that they will be useful having seen them in action than I am. I will say the Skyliner has a lower profile than I could determine from pictures and videos. I don’t know exactly why, but I was under the impression that these would be operating 30 + feet off the ground. They tucked these things behind France pretty tightly, following the access road used to get to the Beach Club Resort.
Speaking of France, their expansion seems to be progressing faster than I thought. I’ve seen rumored opening dates of May 2020 or just 2021. The exterior behind the building would seem to indicate the earlier opening date. It looks like they’re ready to start putting the finishing touches on the outside to me. Then again, the only view I could obtain was from the Friendship Boat dock at the International Gateway.
Moving over the Future World, there’s clearly been a lot of progress in building out the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster area, but it’s also a long way away from completion. The front of the old Universe of Energy building has been completely gutted. I know this because I could see through it. Perhaps they’ve focused their attention and efforts on the ride building rather than what would seem to be the queue building. I’m actually surprised at how much of the construction we could see though. Usually Disney builds bigger walls to hide it.
Of minor note, I could hear hammering away around Mission:Space. Whether that was part of the restaurant or the the revamped Wonders of Life pavilion, I could not tell. I know the restaurant is supposed to be between Mission:Space and Test Track, but I didn’t even see a possible entrance, so I couldn’t get a shot of it. They also haven’t made significant changes to the exterior of Wonders of Life, so I can’t make any guesses about it. I can tell you that it’s far more visible than it used to be.
Over at Hollywood Studios, there’s scaffolding up to repaint the various shops of Avenue of the Stars. It wasn’t worth the deleted space on my phone to take a picture, but just know everything at Hollywood Studios is getting a fresh coat of paint before Galaxy’s Edge opens next month. Speaking of, I was under the impression that the entrance to that section was going to be in between Star Tours and Muppet Vision 3-D. If that is still a plan, then there’s going to have to be some demolition done. They do have an entrance ready to go to the right of the Muppet theatre, they just need to remove a mural.
You could also see some mountain-like structures from Toy Story Land that were clearly part of Galaxy’s Edge. It looks like they’re ready to go for Annual Passholder previews though. I may not be bullish on the success of this endeavor (especially with news out of Disneyland is that it’s not super crowded even at their version), but Disney gave it’s best effort.
Tomorrow I will cover some thoughts on the state of the parks, crowd levels, attractions we indulged in and more! Stay tuned for part three!
-The Disney Cynic
“I’m all beers!”