How to Do Everything at Disney's Hollywood Studios in One Perfect Day
Disney World's Hollywood Studios park is home to some of its most exciting new openings, including Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Here's how to spend your time there.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, located at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is the ultimate park stop for old Hollywood fans. But, the park’s throwback classic vibes are also perfectly paired with many of Disney’s newest attractions and entertainment.
In recent years, attractions like the Streets of America, Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, The Great Movie Ride and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show have closed to make way for newer openings, like Toy Story Land, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
To get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests enter through Hollywood Boulevard and take a left for Echo Lake and Grand Avenue areas, both inspired by Los Angeles neighborhoods, as well as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (otherwise known as Star Wars Land) once it opens in fall 2019.
On the right, paths lead to Toy Story Land, Animation Courtyard and Sunset Boulevard lands. (Whether or not you’ve been before, grab a Disney Hollywood Studios map upon entering, as plenty has changed.)
Though Walt Disney World parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are busiest in the summer and on holidays, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is likely to keep Hollywood Studios busy every day of the year. There are more experiences than there are rides for younger children, but teens and tweens will still find plenty to do, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the highest concentration of thrill rides as well.
Read on for more advice and information about Hollywood Studios hours, rides and what’s to come to this Disney World park in the next few years.
Getting to Disney's Hollywood Studios
Standard vehicle parking costs $25 per day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and an upgrade to preferred parking costs $50. (A tram throughout the parking lot is provided for convenience.) Hotel buses, Disney World buses, Minnie Vans, taxis, and ride-share services including Uber and Lyft all reach the park through this main parking lot.
Beginning late 2019, the Disney Skyliner gondola system will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Epcot via the International Gateway entrance, located within the World Showcase.
Guests at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels can walk or take a short boat ride directly to Hollywood Studios as well.
Hollywood Studios Hours
Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening and closing times vary throughout the season, and guests can expect hours to change significantly once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. Disney will likely extend hours to allow for extra access to its Millennium Falcon ride, cantina dining, and immersive entertainment on planet Batuu.
Extra Magic Hours, which are offered to parkgoers staying at Disney hotels and select hotels offering benefits, allow for up to two extra hours in Walt Disney World parks each day. Guests can also purchase tickets to events like Early Morning Magic or Disney After Hours to gain extra Disney’s Hollywood Studios hours and access the park with smaller crowds.
Purchasing Hollywood Studios Tickets
Walt Disney World tickets now use dynamic pricing. This means the cost of Disney’s Hollywood Studio admission changes depending on which day of the year you visit.
If you plan to return for Star Wars Land often, purchase park hopper Disney tickets, which allow guests to travel between all Walt Disney World parks for one price. Disney Hollywood studios tickets are available online, and are best purchased in advanced, as they can cost more at the park’s entrance. Save money on Disney tickets by checking the Walt Disney World website for promotions and ticket discounts, which appear from time to time.
With so many Star Wars experiences opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019, vacationers should plan for at least a day and a half at the Disney World park. If traveling with infants or simply not interested in piloting the Millennium Falcon, one day should be enough.
How to Use a FastPass+
FastPass+ is a digital system that allows guests to reserve a spot in line on three Walt Disney World attractions per day. It is free and comes with every Disney ticket. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel or select Orlando hotels with Extra Magic Hour benefits can select FastPass+ for Disney rides and attractions 60 days before arriving, while regular ticketholders can choose Fastpasses 30 days in advance.
FastPass+ for Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides and attractions are offered in two tiers. Guests can select one attraction from the first group, and two attractions from the second group. (Note: these selections will change when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, so refer to Walt Disney World’s website for further updates.)
Link your Disney’s Hollywood Studios tickets to My Disney Experience to schedule FastPass+ experiences in advance. Many attractions will sell out of FastPass+ spots early, so scheduling them ensures your family will gain access to shorter lines, wait in lines less often, and get the most out of a Disney ticket purchase.
The Best Hollywood Studios Rides
If you’re looking for scary rides at Walt Disney World, look no further than Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s plummet is thrilling, and Star Tours — The Adventures Continue flight simulation through space is a delight. Be sure to experience Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Disney’s only coaster with upside-down inversions that plays the band’s music throughout the journey.
Though Toy Story Land’s theming is kid-friendly, it’s fun for all. Slinky Dog Dash family coaster is a whimsical Disney ride that soars through the colorful land without too many dips or drops, and Toy Story Mania! is a crowd favorite for its arcade-like competitions.
There are three more Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides on the way, too. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway — the first Mickey Mouse ride — will open in 2019, as will two attractions as part of Star Wars Land: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
The Best Hollywood Studios Attractions
Unlike other Disney World parks, there are as many shows here as there are Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides.
Children will enjoy a wide selection of performances, including Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast - Live on Stage, a Frozen sing-along and a Disney Junior Dance Party. In March, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will bring characters from the Cars film franchise to the park for the first time.
If traveling with teens, bring them to Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, a live “re-enactment” and peek behind-the-scenes of the film’s action scenes.
Character meet-and-greets with Star Wars characters, like BB-8, are offered, as well as Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear within Toy Story Land and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but Disney character meets are likely to change throughout 2019 and 2020. A selection of Pixar characters, including Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc., and characters from The Incredibles are in place through early autumn.
Exploring Disney's Hollywood Studios at Night
Fantasmic!, one of Disney’s best nighttime shows, is held nightly at Hollywood Studios. Mickey Mouse leads a collection of special effects, water features, projections and rousing character appearances that make for a can’t-miss part of any Walt Disney World vacation. (Consult a Disney’s Hollywood Studios map to find it, as it’s beyond the regular park paths.)
Starting in May 2019, a new projection and fireworks show, Wonderful World of Animation, will also be displayed in the middle of Disney’s Hollywood Studios park.
The Best Restaurants at Hollywood Studios
Children adore Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre Restaurant, an intriguing twist on the traditional that seats diners within “cars” overlooking a movie screen that plays vintage films. For a quick meal in Toy Story Land, Woody’s Lunch Box and its toasted sandwiches are guaranteed to delight picky eaters at Disney. There is also Hollywood & Vine for seasonal foods and Disney Junior character dining.
Everyone in the family will enjoy 50’s Prime Time Café, which serves homestyle food like pot roast and meatloaf within miniature home kitchens, complete with old-fashioned television programs playing on black-and-white TVs. The Hollywood Brown Derby is the most elegant restaurant at this park; if you’re traveling with teenagers or as a group of adults, this is the ideal choice.
Guests at Walt Disney World can book Hollywood Studios dining reservations at these eateries 180 days in advance. Be sure to check prior to booking if restaurants take Disney Dining Plan.
Drinking Alcohol at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Cocktails, as well as beer and wine, are sold throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Tune-In Lounge, the bar attached to 50’s Prime Time Café, offers a great selection of drinks and some of the best beer at Walt Disney World can be found at BaseLine Tap House. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have a cantina when it opens, where one can all but guarantee drinks will be out of this world.
Special Events at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Early Morning Magic and Disney After Hours events give easy access to popular Disney Hollywood studios rides, thus extending Disney Hollywood studios hours beyond what’s available to the public.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios goes big for the holidays as well, adding a special nighttime show, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, and other entertainment throughout the park every November and December.
The Best Hollywood Studios Hotels
There are plenty of hotels in Walt Disney World, but a select few will help you get even more out of those Disney’s Hollywood studios tickets.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel all connect to a walking path that leads towards Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Boat service from these five hotels to the park is also available.)
And, when the Disney Skyliner Gondola system begins operation in fall 2019, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort will be a convenient and short ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.