PHOTOS - Bird's-eye view of Star Wars Land construction at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Dec 20, 2016 in "Star Wars Galaxy's Edge"

Star Wars Land aerial views
Posted: Tuesday December 20, 2016 9:11am EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney's Hollywood Studios is in the midst of an extreme makeover, with two major projects currently under construction.

The former backlot area of the park will soon be home to Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. We'll be back tomorrow with a look at Toy Story Land, but today we have some amazing aerial views of the Star Wars Land area.

In the image below, Star Wars Land will occupy the area to the upper right, and Toy Story Land the lower left.

Star Wars Land is being built on the former "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" and Streets of America areas of the Backlot.

This close-up view below shows the location of the two attractions that will be part of $1 billion Star Wars Land. The battle experience and Millennium Falcon flight experience.

It is incredible to think that this pile of sand will ultimately look like this concept art of the completed land.

The aerial photos were taken by Berzin Photography and be sure to check out the @BerzinPhotography Instagram for more travel and Disney photos.

Click the gallery for more Star Wars Land aerial images.

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tomastAug 29, 2018

I remove Epcot from my list at that time but I really love MGM/DHS and the backlot tour

tomastAug 29, 2018

Just Beautiful

mergatroidAug 28, 2018

I believe the Tom Hanks intro parts were filmed there. The reason I say that is mainly because on one of our tours we were told he was there that day filming by our guide but didn't see him as we passed on the cat walk. Watching the series upon its release, he does the intros to each episode. They may have filmed other parts there too but I'm not certain.

TJJohn12Aug 28, 2018

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Next Big ThingAug 28, 2018

I think the state is to blame quite a bit for that as they never gave tax incentives that were enough for people to want to choose Orlando over Hollywood at the time.

GoofGoofAug 26, 2018

This is a fair point. By their nature a backlot tour was intended to show you behind the scenes how movies/tv shows were made. In Hollywood it makes sense since the production is always happening and the FL one always seemed more forced because it was a theme park pretending to be an active studio vs an active studio offering an ancillary tour. Disney did make an effort in the beginning to make it seem like the studio was active and like @Movielover listed they did actually use the studio for some real stuff. I also think the concept of spending the better part of the day on the tour didn’t sit well with some guests. I get that too. It’s not unlike the people who complain they don’t want to go to a theme park like AK to see animals, they want rides. It’s hard to balance the 2 between a really cohesive theme where all of the atctions are tied together vs a park with lots of rides. As time goes on WDW moves further from theme and more towards IoA style parks with unrelated lands tied together. Not saying it’s a terrible thing and they are giving the people what they want, but it was pretty cool too when all 4 parks had a very unique perspective. Of course by the time AK opened MGM was a shell of its former self.

doctornickAug 26, 2018

Oh I experienced the original version. It was interesting once or twice regarding filmaking, but it lacked the real "excitement" of a backlot that was truly frequently used and historical. In fact, despite a handful of stuff being made there, it felt more like a fake Disney version of a backlot than a real fully functioning one. And since backlots by their nature are "fake", it created an odd justaposition. That said, the bigger issue IMHO is that if you were unwilling or unable to devote the 3-4 hours to the tour, then the park was severely lacking. And once you did it once or twice, it was tough to devote that much time to it. I don't think a proper theme park can have so much of the experience tied into one attraction that may not appeal to everyone or quickly become stale for many. Variety and choices are important. My high school was doing senior trips to WDW in the 90's and, very quickly, they dropped MGM as part of the trips in favor of a day at Universal because Universal Studios was overwhelming more popular (they still did WDW otherwise, with MK and Epcot and Disney water parks). I don't think that was a unique perception among the public.

GoofyernmostAug 26, 2018

1. Yes, that is what we were told, however, I think it is possible, I don't think that it had all that much exposure to the actual series. At least not enough for it to be implied that this was the house you see every time. Maybe, maybe not, but, even at best it is not a big deal as far as movie or TV credits go. 2. The mechanics of those movies, editing, etc. may have been done there but mostly it was filmed on location. I saw the sets for "The earth to the moon" and that was before the show actually aired on HBO, but, never a time when anything was happening. Always a sound stage with semi darkness and no activity. Of all the things mentioned only MMC had any length of exposure and yet, no matter when you went there was nothing going on in the sound stage. I saw it a number of times and never saw anything other then the same set. I did see some new stuff for an award show that was hosted by Ed McMahon. However, it really wasn't a sparkling resume that most studios would be able to promote. I even remember when they changed the internal promotional sets from "The Lottery" to "Dalmatians" to Haunted Mansion. Still not enough big things to give it a lot of credibility. I think the biggest line used to be at the end when there was a life size version of the Tim Taylor back yard fence complete with the top half of Wilson's head peaking over the top. Everyone wanted a picture of themselves with that. It was much better back then, but, it still wasn't great compared to other back lots and studio tours. With all the trips I took there you would think that by just plain default, something would have actually been in production while I was there. But, it never happened. Just because part of the production was handled in Florida, doesn't mean that many of those actual "stars" were ever there for any filming. I've never even seen still pictures of those productions in progress, in Florida, and you would think that there would be a few floating about.

MovieloverAug 26, 2018

OK I'm going to go through this one by one, and I mean no offense but you have some missinformation here. This is false, the Golden Girls house facade was built for the show's 3rd season as was then used for ext. shots for the remainder of the show's run (seasons 3 through 7). Ernest House was used for the making of Ernest Saves Christmas, The house for Splash, Too was constructed specifically for it, The house for Empty Nest was built just for the show, which premiered the year it was built. Films that were produced at the Studios include: Splash, Too. Oscar. Marvin's Room. Ernest Saves Christmas. Quick Change. Passenger 57. Instinct. Separate But Equal. and From The Earth To The Moon. So right there you have a sequel to a major hit, A Sylvester Stallone crime flick directed by John Landis, A drama starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro. The third film in a successful family franchise. A Bill Murray comedy. A Wesley Snipes action flick. and a HBO miniseries produced by Tom Hanks. Plus the Mickey Mouse Club revival which lasted 7 season, hardly short lived if you ask me. Other TV ventures included WCW wrestling, and Thunder In Paradise. This is true, but they were not rusted when they were put onto the tour, Most of the props were in great shape, however Disney did little to care for them and the rotted away, Shame. Very true, Sad that such an awesome ideal was left to rot for over a decade. What I would give for a time machine!

GoofyernmostAug 26, 2018

No, you just may be more grounded in reality then many. :) I never have been and I can't see myself as a die hard fan of Star Wars, however, I am looking forward to the new land. The old, even when new, backlot tour was all illusion. That is from the residential street that was built long after most of the shows depicted were, in most cases, already existing. It had no history other then "The Lottery" with Bette Midler and a few short lived TV shows. The rusted relics in the bone yard were mostly shipped in. In other word except for a few shows (i.e. The New Mickey Mouse Club) were being staged. After many trips and many backlot tours I never did see a single show being either rehearsed or recorded. A lot of stagnant sets though. But, it was fun for what it was. I used to even get my own entertainment by letting newbie's on first so that they were on the Catastrophe Canyon side of the tram. I just told them that I had seen it many times and the best view of the tour was on that side. They didn't seem to get mad about the water part of CC, wet, yes, but, mad no! The full tour, itself, took forever, but, there really wasn't much else to do. All the shows were quite long. As a working studio, it did work at least in image, but, after they stopped the working studio part, it really had no theme at all, just random things to see and do.

GoofGoofAug 26, 2018

Fair point on the history or lack of. One question is which version of the backlot tour are you referring to? The version right before the park shut down was pathetic and needed to go. The original version was pretty solid and there was some actual production on site. The old park certainly had a more cohesive theme than the new version can or will, but its hard to argue that it wont have much better rides. I enjoyed the original, but also look forward to the new version and especially Star Wars. I’m probably too glass half full to fit in around here ;)

mergatroidAug 26, 2018

Recently I've began agreeing with you far more times than I'm comfortable with :D

marni1971Aug 26, 2018

Hater. :p ;)

doctornickAug 26, 2018

Call me a hater, but I think the MGM era park kinda sucked. Unlike 80's/early 90's EPCOT Center which largely deserves the tear filled nostalgia it generates, Disney-MGM was way too light on attractions and way too heavy on a "backstage" that didn't have any history of note to make it interesting. It was better once Sunset was added, but the entire concept was IMHO pretty lousy. I greatly welcome the "ride the movies" direction the park is taking, even though it needs more than it is getting. A studio tour and focus on movie making concept works when it's a real production facility with a ton of history, like Uni in Hollywood. It was too forced and fake in MGM and not fake in the good way of other Disney stuff (e.g. Main Street).