Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012 (Pirates, Muppets, merchandise & menu changes)

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A few changes have been made since my last visit to the park. Fall is definitely in the air. Well, the thermometer may actually indicate otherwise, but Disney’s Hollywood Studios is definitely getting ready!

The main strip on Hollywood Boulevard has already started gearing up for Halloween by lining up the merchandise in their shops.

Disney's Hollywood Studios trip report - September 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012.

Although I didn’t buy one on this trip, the Mickey ghost lanterns are definitely my favorite and looked to be a big hit with the shoppers. On Sunset Boulevard, at the Beverly Sunset Sweet Spells shop, an absolutely adorable new confectionery made an appearance. Kermit candy apples!

Disney's Hollywood Studios trip report - September 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012.

I was also delighted to see Jack Skellington and Jack O’Lantern candy apples!

New Muppet merchandise was spotted all over the park. In the Muppet Stuff store and in the gift shop at the end of the Studio Backlot Tour, there were a few new t-shirt designs and a couple of really cute Kermit and Miss Piggy stuffed dolls.

Disney's Hollywood Studios trip report - September 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012.

New merchandise was also spotted in Star Traders gift shop outside the Star Tours ride. I decided not to spend too much time there as my sons would want to purchase one of everything in the store! You can see some of the new stuff in the photo gallery at the bottom of the post.

In the American Film Institute Movie Artifacts area at the end of the Studio Backlot Tour, I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before. There is a display of the ax and jacket used and worn by Jack Nicholson in the movie The Shining. I have to admit this was pretty creepy but really cool to see up close! Cast members didn’t know how long this was going to be on display but it is on loan from the Prop Store of London.

Disney's Hollywood Studios trip report - September 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012.

The Journey into Narnia in Soundstage 4 is being converted into the ‘The Legend of Jack Sparrow Experience’ said to feature all four Pirates of the Caribbean films. I am a big fan of the Pirate movies and can’t wait for this to open up! The old brown outside of the building has been painted blue but there are no signs posted up yet. The Disney Parks Blog does confirm that it is scheduled to open this fall. Outside the Premier Theater, I did find a sign noting a new production is underway. This theater is usually used for short film collections and special movie screenings, but no specifics yet as to what is in store so stay tuned!

Around the park, I noticed a few interesting menu changes and pricing updates too. At the Backlot Express next to Star Tours, they have added a Canteloupe & Cucumber Salad and Buffalo Chicken Breast Nuggets to their regular meal options. A miniature version of the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich has also been added to the kids menu. My daughter ordered the Buffalo Nuggets and the sauce was pretty good. Not too spicy.

Disney's Hollywood Studios trip report - September 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – September 2012.

Over at the ABC Commissary, the Chicken Curry has been removed from the menu and a Seafood Platter and a Couscous Quinoa & Arugula Salad has been added to its offerings. I was stopped by a cast member and asked to fill out a short computerized survey about the new healthier menu options available around the park. It’s nice to see a bigger variety of healthy choices! Anaheim Produce on Sunset Boulevard raised prices on some of their fruit items by $.20 a piece. Meanwhile, my kids were hoping to find the Mickey shaped pretzels for sale that Magic Kingdom park-goers are raving about, but we came up empty handed on that one. Apparently, they haven’t made it over to this park yet.

Finally, word around the park has it that the Studio Backlot Tour, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set and the American Film Institute Showcase will all be closed for refurbishment beginning November 1st – 16th, and that free WiFi is underway and is going to become available at the Studios by the end of this month.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios trip report – photo gallery

Click any image to view it full-screen. When the full-screen image is open, click to the right or use the right arrow on your keyboard to advance through the gallery. If several thumbnails are missing, try reloading this page in your browser.

 

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About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the Owner & Publisher at Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.