Disney's Hollywood Studios Rope Drop Crowd

PHOTO REPORT: Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Disney Springs 5/30/21 (Holiday Weekend Crowds, More Physical Distancing Changes, 2021 Disney Cruise Line Merchandise, “Cruella” Treats, and More)

Welcome to Disney’s Hollywood Studios as we reach the halfway point of Memorial Day weekend. Naturally, it’s a popular time for guests to visit, and Orlando International Airport advises that travel will be at 90% of pre-COVID levels.


Outside of the park, guests have formed long lines as they wait to enter. As Disney readily admits they are increasing capacity, CDC guidelines are revised and relaxed, and vaccination numbers steadily rise, it’s an expected reality that crowds will grow as operations normalize.


As part of those changes to CDC guidelines, masks were allowed outdoors starting just over two weeks ago. At the Black Spire Outpost market, guests are being allowed to go mask-free until entering the individual shop stalls.


One tenant of the marketplace has yet to reopen—Kat Saka’s Kettle. The service area for the popcorn shop is now being used to house extra tables for diners at Ronto Roasters.


More changes have come to Batuu as the extended queue for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has been stripped of distancing markers.


Plenty of characters were out today, including Chewbacca and Vi Moradi—the latter of whom spotted us very, very quickly.


Meanwhile, these guys seem to be mostly oblivious.


It doesn’t look like Stage 1 Company Store will be returning any time soon, as it hasn’t changed much since it temporarily opened to sell May the 4th merchandise.


We’ve still got old reliable on Sunset Boulevard, though.


Nearby at Theater of the Stars, the home to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage is undergoing what looks to be a pretty serious refurbishment.


By late morning, lines had grown for some of the more popular attractions. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith just had the distancing markers removed from its outdoor queue, preventing the line from spilling out onto Sunset Boulevard. Because indoor distancing markers currently still spaced 6 feet apart, lines will continue to be longer in length for a given wait time than during normal operations.


Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway had a longer line than usual on account of increased park capacity, but neither its indoor nor outdoor queues have had distancing markers reduced or removed.


While the line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run did grow as the day progressed, like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster the removal of distancing markers helped keep the waiting guests from spilling out too far into the land and blocking the entrances to things like Oga’s Cantina and First Order Cargo.


On our way out of the park, we caught Goofy on top of Hyperion Theater, home to the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.


Finally, we caught Mira meeting guests near the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. She also appears in the Disney Junior Stars Motorcade.


Moving along to Disney Springs, we caught a glimpse of the new Kingdom of Cute balloons. We have yet to see them in the parks, so like the “Up” balloons, these seem to be a Disney Springs exclusive.


At World of Disney, we found a new “Mousewares” cutting board set. The set includes four cutting boards and a holder, and sells for $34.99.


At Marketplace Co-Op, we found a much larger set of new merchandise—Disney Cruise Line 2021 apparel and other items. The collection ranges from long-sleeve button-up shirts to photo frame ornaments.


In honor of the release of “Cruella”, a couple sweets shops in Disney Springs had limited-time offerings themed to the movie. The Ganachery had these cookies & cream ganache pops for $7.


Not to be outdone, Amorette’s Patisserie had a new petite cake available which also represented the title character of the movie. Like their other cakes, this one is a dynamic combination of design and flavors and we’ve given it a full review.

That’s going to do it for our day at Walt Disney World. Now that things are beginning to look more like ‘normal’ at the resort, will you be planning a summer trip down to Orlando? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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3 months ago

Was there today. Too busy. Not enough food stands opened. There is zero reason why it should take 70 minutes to get a burger. Maybe less mask [email protected] hiding out on the slinky ride (telling a dad carrying his sleeping 3 year old to pull his mask over his nose)…. and more people working at doing things that help with crowd mitigation.

3 months ago

We don’t want capacity increased… not everything is open and with no shows… it will be more crowded than before

Amanda Konstantopoulos
Amanda Konstantopoulos
3 months ago

Was there the 1st week of may. Will never go back. There is no way that park should have been that busy with the supposed limited capacity. All lines over an hour to two. Couldn’t find food to feed my hangry children. Barely any shade…. they can’t increase capacity without adding fast passes back!! It was brutal. Save your money and go to Universal studios where they offer fast passes, food open and lots of air conditioned areas to cool off. If I could get a refund on Disney, I would.