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PHOTO REPORT: Disney’s Hollywood Studios 5/23/21 (Relaxation Stations Ended, Distancing Changes, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Issues, New “Cruella” Apparel, and More)

Bright suns from Disney’s Hollywood Studios! There are a lot of changes in the park today, including physical distancing and relaxation stations. It’s going to be a Star Wars-heavy day, as the movie franchise’s attractions in the park are the scene of many changes.

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Starting with a different longstanding franchise, the relaxation station which was housed for a short time at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is now closed, just like those at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.

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Nearby at Star Tours, the 360-degree PhotoPass location, which was initially said to be for May 4th only, is still available to guests.

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Further back at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Black Spire Outpost Market is now allowing two parties into a stall at once. Since it reopened in July, only one party could enter a shop, resulting in huge lines and long waits to get into the simplistic market.

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The Millennium Falcon is reliably perched outside of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and the extended queue is still utilizing distancing markers.

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Some recognizable characters were out and about on Batuu today.

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Unlike ‘Smugglers Run’, Slinky Dog Dash has done away with its distancing markers for the extended queue. Extended queues refer to the areas where guests line up prior to reaching the actual attraction entrance.

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Toy Story Mania! has also done away with its markers in the extended queue. This change for both attractions has resulted in shorter lines due to reduced distancing, although wait times are unchanged.

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Between Municiberg and Walt Disney Presents, new banners have been installed advertising the Disney+ series Big Shot and upcoming movie Luca.

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Similarly, new billboards with more Disney+ content are in Animation Courtyard. These feature High School Music: The Musical: The Series, and Cruella, the upcoming movie which is being given a lot of promotion in the parks (more on that later).

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Like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Star Wars: Launch Bay is no longer a relaxation station. Launch Bay, however, has been turned into a walk-through exhibit of sorts.

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Some of that promotion for Cruella we mentioned earlier is in the form of new merchandise. In addition to new items from earlier in the week, a faux leather jacket ($109.99) and skirt ($49.99) were added to the collection.

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A dress and button-up shirt with similar styles are also available. The dress costs $59.99 while the shirt is $44.99. All of the new items are available at The Majestic on Sunset Boulevard.

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Keystone Clothiers joined in on the new merchandise, adding an Indiana Jones prop whip. In fact, they added an entire Indiana Jones merchandise display, though the other items were already available prior to today.

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We took a break for lunch and visited Hollywood & Vine for the Springtime Dime, one of a variety of seasonal dining offerings at the restaurant. There are some newer items available on the menu, and we have a review of the entire experience.

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After lunch, we caught some characters passing by as part of the Disney Junior Stars Motorcade.

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Not long after, the Pixar Motorcade would pull through. If character motorcades are high on your list, Hollywood Boulevard and Echo Lake are the places to be.

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Finally, our Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding group was called, and we experienced the recent removal of plexiglass and physical distancing markers from the pre-shows.

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The hangar bay and queue to the final pre-show are still distanced, however a temporary stoppage of the ride caused guests to pile up, and even be queued in what are off-stage areas in order to keep them distanced. No particular reasoning for reducing distancing in some areas and not in others has been given.

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The attraction experience itself had some issues, with the probe droid neither moving nor illuminating, and later on two of three cannons would be immobile.

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In one of the final scenes, the Kylo Ren animatronic would remain covered and a ‘B-mode’ video would play in place of the figure and its accompanying audio. Overall, the attraction was experiencing more issues than usual, though whether these are related to its day-long closure on Thursday are unknown.

That’s it from Disney’s Hollywood Studios for today! Be sure to check in with WDWNT.com regularly for the latest updates from the Disney parks and resorts.

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