We continue our coverage of the empty Walt Disney World theme parks from the air today! As you know, all of the Walt Disney World theme parks are now closed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns through the end of the month (at least).
While we aren’t able to report from inside the park, BlogMickey.com will continue to strive to bring you the latest Disney Parks news and photos during the closure of the theme parks, however long that might be. To that end, we took to the skies over Walt Disney World this morning to capture extremely rare aerial photos of empty Walt Disney World theme parks during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closure.
Today, we’re taking a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a theme park that has seen a huge surge in popularity over the past year thanks to the addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Of course, the rise in popularity is built on the back of Toy Story Land, which has proven to be a big draw for families. In our aerial photo tour of the park, we’ll explore all corners of the park as well as pulling some photos out of the BlogMickey.com archives to illustrate some of the crowd levels we’ve seen while covering the parks for you from the ground.
We’ll start where many of our early mornings have begun over the past year – the main entrance. From driving around at 2am on opening day of Rise of the Resistance to a more modest arrival of around 4am for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we’ve spent a lot of time here at the redesigned and improved main entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
It’s an odd sight to see the parking lot completely empty of guest vehicles. Even just a couple of days ago, this parking lot would be over halfway full when we took our flight around 10:30am.
Here’s a closer look at the entrance plaza, completely empty.
From the ground, we’ve seen a few sunrises since Disney moved to an 8am opening, but most of the crowds we’ve seen build in this plaza were before the sun came up. It really is surreal to see it devoid of all guests.
Hollywood Blvd and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Stepping inside the park now, it’s more of the same – nothing.
Typically Hollywood Blvd has served as a spot for guests to hang out and try to secure a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. More recently, it has become a runway of sorts to funnel guests straight to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at rope drop.
Stepping inside Hollywood Studios, we can see an empty Crossroads area.
Looking down Hollywood Boulevard.
Here’s a look at a typical day on Hollywood Blvd, taken from near the Crossroads Mickey statue looking towards the Chinese Theater.
And just because we can, here’s a reverse angle from the Chinese Theater looking back towards Crossroads.
Making our way into Center Stage, or the “hub” of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we can finally see pavement! From a 300 minute wait on opening day to more reasonable posted waits of 120 minutes or so, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has utilized much of Center Stage as an overflow queue area. Here’s a look at some of the crowds that are common to see.
Here’s a look at the same area as well as Hollywood Boulevard.
Here’s a closer look at the Center Stage area.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Disney’s newest and most popular land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, is a ghost town.
Usually the hot spot to rope drop every morning, Grand Avenue, the walkway leading into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, hasn’t been this empty since before the land opened last year.
Here’s a look at what the walkway usually looks like.
Turning our attention to the land itself, here’s a look at Grand Avenue and the Resistance Forest.
Here’s a look at the Rise of the Resistance queue and pre-show area in the top right of the photo. You can see Poe’s X-Wing and the Intersystem Transport Ship that takes you to the Star Destroyer hangar.
Here’s an overview of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during the Walt Disney World closures.
A closer look at the Black Spire Outpost area.
Toy Story Land
Another popular land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Land, where guests are shrunk down to the size of a toy.
Echo Lake and Sunset Blvd
To round out our aerial photo tour, we’ll take a look at the Echo Lake area and Sunset Blvd.
In the photo below, we can see Echo Lake, the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, and the Center Stage area.
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At BlogMickey.com we’ll continue to bring you the latest Disney Parks news through the closure of the theme parks. This is an unprecedented move by Disney, and we will be there to cover it every step of the way.