First up, it's not even clear that Disney will build the new land within the current boundaries of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unlike at Disneyland, DHS is not land-locked by surrounding city streets and outside properties. If Disney wants to expand DHS' boundaries into the surrounding woods, it can. (Pending approval from the South Florida Water Management District, of course. More on that in a moment.)
In California, Disneyland is going to move some backstage facilities to newly acquired property across Harbor Boulevard (and other locations nearby) to clear space for its Star Wars Land expansion. In Florida, Disney World would need to move the access road from World Drive into the DHS parking lot to allow the park to expand into the wooded space south of the park. Disney also could expand the park eastward into the DHS parking lot.
Given that the roads and parking lot around DHS can barely handle its current crowds, it is inevitable that Disney will have to change them to accommodate the larger crowds that Star Wars Land will attract. Even if Disney were to contain all of Star Wars Land within the current boundaries of the park, it would still need to make significant access and parking improvements. Given that Disney called Star Wars Land the largest land expansion in its parks' history, that free land is available around the park, and that the access road in the way will need to be changed (or moved) anyway, it seems a bit much to swiftly assume that Disney would contain all of Star Wars Land within DHS' existing boundaries and not seriously consider a move to expand the boundaries of the park.
Heck, if Disney can expand the land-locked Disneyland for Star Wars Land, there should be no excuse for not expanding the boundaries at DHS, too.
Again, this is assuming that there's not a problem with the water district, which would have the authority to reject a proposal to develop a property if it adversely affected water supply or drainage in the area. (There is a substantial detention pond across Studio Drive from the Lights, Motors, Action stadium, for example.) And it's also assuming that Disney isn't itching to obliterate the southern third of the park, including the Muppets theater, Streets of America, and the Lights, Motors, Action stadium. If either assumption is incorrect, then the 14-acre Star Wars Land is staying within the existing boundaries of the park, and the build site most likely would be on 14 acres southwest from Star Tours all the way back through and including Lights, Motors, Action.
In case you are wondering, the area north of Star Tours, including the Indiana Jones theater and Echo Lake, isn't large enough to get to the announced 14-acre size. But that doesn't guarantee those locations' safety. Disney could opt to build Star Wars Land on a mix of existing and expanded land in and around the current park footprint. Expanding east from the Indiana Jones theater would require taking out some backstage facilities, however, while expanding south of Studio Drive offers no obstacles, save trees.
What about building Star Wars Land on the other side of the park, away from Star Tours? After all, Disneyland's Star Wars Land will be built on the edge of Frontierland, well away from its version of Star Tours, which lies in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, the land west of the current Pixar Avenue appears to be slated for the new Toy Story Land, which Disney said would include the Toy Story Midway Mania ride, which is expanding by not relocating. But if Disney tore out all the backstage facilities between the Rock n' Roller Coaster and the old Animation pavilion, all the way west to World Drive, it could carve a 14-acre site there, too.
But why do that, when there's all that open space to the south of the park?
At this point, Disney World has not confirmed its build site for Star Wars Land via Twitter or interviews with the local newspaper, as Disneyland did. But knowing the size of the new development (14 acres) and the current layout of the park, it's not difficult to see the options that Disney World has in finding a site for Star Wars Land.
Update:We will know the exact site for Star Wars Land when permit applications show up on the South Florida Water Management District website. You can find out how to search that site and others for upcoming theme park attractions on our How to Research New Theme Park Construction Projects page. (Just be sure to post anything you find to our discussion forum!)
My sources tell me that Disney plans to file permits to reroute S. Studio Dr and to remove those backstage buildings behind Indy, as mentioned above.
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