Theme Park Bits: Studio Ghibli Theme-Park Concept Art, A Star Wars Show Closes, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • A Star Wars show is closing at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • Take a look at the concept art for a Studio Ghibli theme park.
  • And more!
  • Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Disney World Opening

    Fans of Star Wars may be sad to learn that at least one of the many, many ways in which you can relive the saga at Disney's Hollywood Studios is going away. As of February 22, the stage show "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" will be closing down permanently. That, of course, is just a few short days before the arrival of the new Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway attraction opening date, which may have precipitated the closing of the show. That said, you've still got a whole land, multiple attractions, merchandise, food, a Jedi show, and more to satisfy your fandom, so it's kind of a wash.

    Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway opening date

    Speaking of Mickey and Minnie, there was a slight cause for concern in the last quarterly earnings for Disney when it comes to our favorite mousy couple. It turns out that merchandise sales for the two characters were down a fair bit, relative to previous quarters. If you go to the Disney theme parks, of course, it's absolutely impossible to avoid merch with Mickey and/or Minnie, but there's a difference between seeing it and buying it. With Frozen and Star Wars getting top focus at the end of 2019, there may be good reason why Mickey and Minnie weren't selling as much. Or it could be that people have a limit on how many mouse ears they want. The new attraction might give us a good clue of which option is more accurate.

    Speaking once more of Mickey and Minnie, let's talk about their Runaway Railway attraction. Arriving on March 4, the ride's details are being revealed in a steady trickle at this point. One such detail worth noting, especially if you're a fan of the new short series airing on Disney XD, is that the queue for the attraction will have the "Potatoland" song suite, per its composer, Christopher Willis. If you're unfamiliar, "Potatoland" is the title of one of the new series' best shorts, in which Mickey and Donald try to create a fake theme park to please their old friend Goofy. It's...well, you should just watch it.


    Studio Ghibli used to be, at least in the Western world, a part of the Walt Disney Company empire. Now, though, they've fully separated from Disney, with their films soon to stream via HBO Max in the States. And they're finally making a theme park of their own, with some concept illustrations recently put out via Twitter. Per the tweet, there will be a restaurant district themed to Spirited Away (be careful what you eat), a theater, a permanent Ghibli exhibit, and more. Right now, the park is slated to open in 2022, so save up to travel to Japan right now.

    We're still months away from the arrival of the next Epcot nighttime show, "Harmonious". But right now, you can take a look at the show's logo, unveiled by Disney. Seeing the old-school Epcot logo in the title is a nice touch, even if the rest of the font doesn't quite harken back to the glory days of the massive park. More to the point, Harmonious is going to have its metaphorical hands full trying to top the previous nighttime spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. But the logo is at least an encouraging step in the right direction.