It may seem hard to believe, but over the past two years more than two dozen attractions, restaurants, character experiences, shops and even park iconcs have been closed, shuttered and destroyed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to make way for both Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Though we were sad to see many of these classic pieces of Disney’s Hollywood Studios go (we still miss the Earful Tower!) undoubtedly one of the most painful losses over the years has been that of the Streets of America, which were part of the original Studios concept of the park, and were famously decorated every holiday season with the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
Though construction has ensured we’ll never see the full Streets of America again, Disney has announced that at least part of this historic area of the park is being preserved, even if it is going to have a new name and a (kind of) different theme when it returns later this year.
Guests will be able to take a stroll down scenic Grand Ave. sometime this Fall
If you’ve walked into the Muppet Courtyard recently, you may have noticed that Disney has been hard at work at repainting the few remaining facades from the former Streets of America that face the construction walls. And while Disney didn’t really say anything at the time about this change, it announced earlier this week that this new color scheme (which includes deep blues and grays) was indeed purposeful, as Disney is turning this small corner of the park (which is next to the former Writer’s Stop) into a brand new land: Grand Avenue
Inspired by the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, the now-confirmed Grand Avenue “land” (which is actually based by a real street in California) will feature some familiar facades with some new colors designed to recall the look of vintage office buildings and warehouses that are common in Los Angeles.
And though there won’t be any major attractions in this new area (there simply isn’t any space!), Disney has announced that there will be at least one reason for guests to stop by this new(ish) area when it officially opens later this year…
Grab a brew at the Baseline Tap House
Based on what we’ve seen above construction walls (as well as what we know about the boundaries for Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge), we know that Grand Ave. won’t be all that big. However, there will be at least one reason for guests to stop by this area this fall: a brand new watering hole!
Named the Baseline Tap House, this brand new location is being described as a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California. Disney has even created a bit of a backstory for this location, saying that Baseline Tap House celebrates the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles by paying homage to the building’s former life as the Figueroa Printing Company, a mom-and-pop print house that had ties to the Disney studios in nearby Burbank.
The space retains many of its cool architectural and mechanical details with exposed walls and old printing equipment and artifacts, blending the past and present in an inviting space. Outside is a charming tree-shaded terrace, perfect for a relaxing break in the day.
As for the menu, the main attraction inside this location will be its vast lineup of drinks, including California craft ales, lagers and cider. California wines will also be on tap along with specialty cocktails. Though this location will primarily serve drinks, small bites will also be on offer, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.
Though its tough to think about the fact that we’ll never see the full Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ever again, it’s nice that Disney is at least paying homage to this former location with the scenic addition of Grand Avenue, and the new Baseline Tap House watering hole. Will you be grabbing a drink at this new location when it opens later this year? Or will you be waiting to visit this park again once Toy Story Land or Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge open in 2018 or 2019?
-From Theme Park Tourist, July 27, 2017 by Amanda Kondolojy
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