March 5, 2017 – Framing for the first vertical walls for the future Star Wars Land in Orlando was observed just days ago at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The steel framing, which lies beyond the Muppet Vision 3D brick tower and the end of the last standing building façade of the former Streets of America, could be the start of an entrance tunnel to Star Wars Land.
The first vertical construction is a significant milestone as Disney has spent the last eleven months tearing down the back one-third section of Hollywood Studios and doing some foundation and other prep work. Construction walls first went up on April 3, 2016.
With the former Streets of America all but demolished, speculation has been that the last standing New York building façade would soon be torn down as well.
The photo below, however, suggests an alternative: Could the building façade remain and serve as one boundary to a newly expanded Muppet Courtyard? An expansive courtyard could serve as a wide-open space to accommodate street characters, performers, mobile kiosks and vendors and, of course, the hordes of guests headed toward Star Wars Land.
Meanwhile, in Anaheim….
Opening Dates and a Rumored Skyway
Disney has announced the opening date of Star Wars Land on both coasts for sometime in 2019. Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will likely open first (in 2018). Because of the Orlando location’s later construction start, Star Wars Land in Orlando could end up with a delayed full opening date of 2020.
A rumored gondola aerial skyway, connecting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney’s moderate-budget Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s value-budget Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts, could be constructed by 2019-2020 as well. While Disney has not yet made an official announcement, a permit application was filed in Orange County, Florida.
A gondola skyway would expand transportation capacity to the fleet of Disney buses and boats which transport guests between the theme parks and resorts.