Disney files plans for first step toward new Hollywood Studios entrance

May 12, 2016, 2:30 PM · Walt Disney World's Reedy Creek Improvement District has filed plans to build a new interchange at Osceola Parkway and Victory Way, clearing the way for a new entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

In plans filed with the South Florida Water Management District this week (Application #160506-11, if you want to look it up), Reedy Creek detailed the new interchange, which would be located southeast of the studios theme park.

New interchange plans

The plans also would affect the interchange at Osceola Parkway and World Drive, too. The current entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios from World Drive would go away under the proposed plan. Instead, drivers northbound on World Drive would exit to eastbound Osceola Parkway, from which they would take a flyover at Victory Way that would lead them northbound into the new entrance for the park. A new bridge would carry Osceola Parkway over Victory Way. There also would be access lanes into the new entrance from drivers heading westbound on Osceola Parkway, presumably from Interstate 4.

Disney's Hollywood Studios' new access road points toward the east side of the current parking lot, on the far side from the park's entrance. The newly submitted plans do not connect the proposed interchange with the DHS parking lot, leaving the flyover road to dead end in the wooded area to the east of the parking lot. However, written notes in the submitted plans do confirm that there will be a proposed new entrance into Disney's Hollywood Studios, leading one to assume that those plans will be filed at a later date.

The proposed changes to the Osceola/World Drive interchange do include a small access road to the current Studio Drive that visitors now take into the parking lot, however, its small size suggests that this might become a backstage road rather than a public entrance to the parking lot. If Disney were to move or reduce the size of Studio Drive, that would allow Disney to expand the footprint of the park in the area where Star Wars Land is under construction.

The scale of the proposed plans should allow Disney to support a greater volume of cars entering and exiting the Studios, though it remains to be seen how Disney will accommodate them — either through an expansion of the current surface parking lot, the construction of a parking garage, or maybe even both.

In addition, Disney also has filed plans for changes to the intersection of Vista Boulevard and World Drive, north of the Magic Kingdom parking entrance plaza.

New World Drive plans

The plans appear to include a new flyover lane for buses and other vehicles continuing north on World Drive without entering the Transportation and Ticket Center parking lot. There also would be a flyover lane for traffic driving southbound on World Drive. Currently, all southbound traffic on World Drive north of the parking entrance plaza exits onto Vista Blvd, heading toward Fort Wilderness and Golden Oak. The only way now to access southbound World Drive beyond the entrance plaza is to circle around the TTC parking lot to access World Drive from the west, past the Car Care Center.

Replies (16)

May 12, 2016 at 2:49 PM · Holy guaguacamole!!!!
May 12, 2016 at 3:01 PM · These are great changes to Disney's old and antiquated roads and park entrances (seriously, who enters DHS from World Dr?)
May 12, 2016 at 3:29 PM · They're not going to finish Star Wars Land until everything is completed. They haven't cleared all the land yet and the roadway will take years to construct. They might add additional parking and finish a parking attendant structure. I expect 4 or 5 years to finish. Star Wars Land in 2020 or 2021.
May 12, 2016 at 3:46 PM · I agree with Anon, let's hope it's sooner as the park may be finished way after the films if there is any sort of delay on construction or permits, maybe a time for Disney to throw construction into high gear and get it built double quick with more man power then before. I see other parks build projects much quicker then Disney appear to construct new rides, show buildings and areas.
May 12, 2016 at 4:34 PM · SWL will be open mid 2019
May 12, 2016 at 5:02 PM · SWL in cali may open in 2019, but in Orlando we are looking at a 2020 + opening.
May 12, 2016 at 5:21 PM · For those wondering why Star Wars Land is going to take a little longer in Florida than California, here's your answer. This needs to be done first, both to allow space for construction and to accommodate the crowds that will arrive once the area opens. The latest I heard is that this project should be complete in early 2018 for a Star Wars Land opening in 2020, but I'd trust TH on Florida projects and if they can make 2019 that makes the most sense as it will not only be the release of Episode IX, but it will also be DHS's 30th anniversary. Of course, we won't be calling it DHS then.
May 12, 2016 at 5:22 PM · I'll have to reply at a later time ... I am terribly busy dusting the Pandora dirt off my work boots.
May 12, 2016 at 5:27 PM ·
May 12, 2016 at 6:46 PM · 3 years to build Disney Springs. 5 years for New Fantasyland, 6 years for Avatar. 5 years for Shanghai DL. A shopping mall takes 3 years just for construction, nevermind the contemplating that took another 10 years. 3 years just won't be enough time for Star Wars Land at Studios. Disneyland in Anaheim doesn't have nearly the amount of infrastructure improvements although still substantial, but I think 2019 is reasonable.
May 12, 2016 at 8:59 PM · Remember these projects aren't cheap. So when complaining Disney doesn't spend enough on US parks, don't forget about this kind of thing. A flyover bridge or parking structure aren't e-tickets, but they sure make a difference in the overall experience of your vacation/visit.
May 15, 2016 at 1:08 AM · @ and due to all that land and roadwork they have a sh!tload of hotels to offset those costs. They have more then enough dollars to speed up building.

I guess SWL will be a 2021 opening. They first have to fix the River of Light that probably will open 6 month later. Then they find that stuff in Avatar land is not working and need to fix that. probably Disney Spring will need fixes and the run of the mill rides for Toystory land will be to complicated for them and will need more work. SWL it's not tied in with any SW movie so no need to hurry, you won't recognise the location anyway. Big SW fan but don't care about Disney's SWL because of that.

May 13, 2016 at 8:01 AM · "New park entrance?"

Does that mean they'll have to build an entirely new parking lot?

May 13, 2016 at 10:47 AM · SWL will be open mid 2019.
May 14, 2016 at 6:10 AM · "A flyover bridge or parking structure aren't e-tickets, but they sure make a difference in the overall experience of your vacation/visit."

This is certainly true. I was at WDW this past week and leaving Disney's Hollywood Studios after the fireworks was a miserable experience. It took about 20 minutes for the Disney bus I was on to get out of the parking lot.

As I understand it, the current vehicle entrance/exit off of E Buena Vista Drive would remain. However, it would be restricted to buses. So, this sort of infrastructure improvement will certainly improve the guest experience.

May 14, 2016 at 6:12 AM · As someone who's gotten stuck in the DHS traffic on Buena Vista Drive a few too many times, I am very happy to see anything that will make entrance to DHS better and faster.

In that area, you are completely done if you get in the wrong lane at the wrong time. I've found the only way to get around that hellhole of Swan/Dolphin/Caribbean Beach is to stay in the left lane and cut people off...LOL. And don't even get me started on the random exits from that first parking garage at Disney Springs. I've parked there 4 times and never had the same exit twice. One time in the dark with pouring down rain and no lighting on the roadway. I found myself over by Caribbean Beach before I could figure out where I was and felt very sorry for the hapless tourists around me trying to figure out where they were.

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