Virtual queue at Hollywood Studios for 35th anniversary merch is a reminder we need a new park

A look down the strip towards the Runaway Railroad ride. Photo Credit: Brian Miller
A look down the strip towards the Runaway Railroad ride. Photo Credit: Brian Miller /

Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 35th birthday next month, and there will be a lot of new merchandise for guests to purchase.

On May 1st, Hollywood Studios will start selling the 35th merch at the Stage 1 Company Store outside MuppetVision 3D near the Star Wars Galaxy Edge entrance. Disney says the merch is a "limited edition" memorabilia, which says to the cynic in me that the bloggers, Youtubers, and so-called "influencers" will have most of the stuff gone and on the resale market soon after it hits the shelves.

That could be stymied this time around as Disney is saying they will use a "Virtual Queue" system that guests with valid Hollywood Studio admission tickets will have to use to get into the store. Like most of the other VQs for rides, the VQ will open at 7:00 am for guests. Those who have tried to get a VQ for an attraction know that it isn't always a sure thing.

While seeing the 35th merch is great and all, it is a reminder once again that the four-gates at Disney is long overdue for a 5th. Over the next 10 years, Disney will invest billions of dollars in their theme parks around the world including Disney World in Orlando but there will not be a 5th gate.

It should be noted that Disney executives haven't so much as hinted at a fifth park depsite Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis saying he believes Disney will eventually add another to keep up with the growing industry in the Orlando area. Epic Universe will soon open as the 3rd gate for Universal.

The last park to open at Disney World was Animal Kingdom in 1998. That park is now only four years away from celebrating its 30th birthday.