Lightspeed to Baatu! The Millennium Falcon is preparing to takeoff from Star Wars Launch Bay for the Black Spire Outpost. By the end of 2019 the most famous hunk of junk in the galaxy will be landing on Baatu. What does this mean for Stars Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios? Could changes be on the horizon? What is Walt Disney World considering transforming this area into during the next phase of the Hollywood Studios updates. We’ll need to use the Force and our Jedi training to undercover the details.
Why was Launch Bay Created?
The Star Wars universe has many layers of characters that are beloved by its fan base. Similar to other cinematic universes (Marvel, Harry Potter, etc.), Star Wars fans know the nuances that usually get overlooked by the general public. When Disney decided to create the most “immersive” land ever, Star Wars Galaxy Edge, they recognized they might have a problem with the general public relating the land’s elements.
What to do? As part of a two-plus year build-up to the opening of Star Wars Galaxy Edge, Disney created the Star Wars Launch Bay. The attraction was designed to expose the general public to the key characters within the Star Wars universe via character meet and greets, movies props, back-story, and gift shops.
Beyond educating guests on the characters, Star Wars Launch Bay served as an attraction to entertain guests while other aspects of Hollywood Studios were reimagined.
Passholder Insights: The area current occupied by the Star Wars Launch Bay was previously used for animation production when Hollywood Studios first opened.
What Happens When Star Wars Galaxy Edge Opens?
With projected record crowds descending upon Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World will need every attraction available in the short term. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, 18 months after the opening of Stars Wars Galaxy, Star Wars Launch Bay would close for refurbishment. Disney Imagineering is strongly considering a Pixar related Intellectual Property (IP) for the area.
What Pixar IP?
That is the biggest mystery. As we discussed in a previous article, Disneyphiles are hoping for a Monsters Inc. Monstropolis land. Traditionally, Disney likes to pilot or test overall guest demand for an IP before moving forward with a new attraction or land. With the opening of two new meet and greets at Hollywood Studios in 2019, it looks like we’re down to two possible options, Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles.
In the DVC Duo house we believe The Incredibles will be the IP of choice. As we discussed in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster article and recently mentioned by Jim Hill on episode 195 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Disney is considering switching the attraction to an indoor version of Incredacoaster from Disney’s California Adventure.
Connecting the dots of the potential Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster retheming, the new Incredible meet and greet being set in Municiberg, and the overall box office success of Incredibles 2, with a third movie in the works, a Incredibles land would make the most sense. The new land could encompass Star Wars Launch Bay, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Speed McQueen Racing Academy.
Passholder Insight: Speed McQueen Racing Academy will be located in what Disney Imagineering refers to as a “flex space”. The attraction may only have a 2-year run as it’s designed to help with the initial crowd levels from the opening of Star Wars Galaxy Edge.
Star Wars Launch Bay has worked well in building the excitement, but it’s time for a change. We can’t wait to see what Pixar IP is added to Hollywood Studios, fingers crossed we get a Jack-Jack dark ride!