Hollywood Studios turns 30: Disney previews new attractions coming to park

BAY LAKE, Fla. — Happy birthday, Hollywood Studios!

Wednesday, May 1, marks 30 years since the theme park first opened. To go along with that milestone, Walt Disney World is working on big changes.

The biggest of all are coming to Hollywood Studios.

Opening in August is the much-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion at the park.

Another major attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, is slated to open next year in the old Chinese Theater at the park.

Walt Disney World officials provided a preview of the coming attractions at Hollywood Studios to Channel 9 on Tuesday.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

While Disney officials wouldn’t allow a camera inside, Channel 9’s Jeff Levkulich was given a preview inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Jeff entered the new land at the entrance near the current Muppets area of the park, through a tunnel that leads into a part of the land that looks like a forest.

The land, which looks like a "Star Wars" set, is the planet of Batuu, which hasn’t appeared in a movie.

Project manager Chad Stanchnik said work is continuing on the land to have it ready to open Aug. 29.

“There are a lot of challenges all around but we’ve got a lot of creative, talented, hardworking people really putting their Star Wars dreams into what we are creating,” he said.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Disney Imagineers played a video reminiscent of a 1950s cartoon to preview the upcoming Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Officials said the attraction is expected to be immersive and make guests a part of the action.

Disney officials said one of the pre-show cartoons that will play as guests wait for the ride will be called “Perfect Picnic.”

They also said the locomotive car guests ride in will feature the sound of some of the original whistles first heard in Steamboat Willie.

The ride is currently slated to open in spring 2020.

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