Disney’s Hollywood Studios aims to take you ‘behind the magic’ of movie-making – and give you a thrilling time along the way. It features some outstanding shows (naturally), memorable rides and unique experiences with well-known films like Star Wars, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and more. The theming isn’t as intensive as other Disney parks but rides like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are masterpieces in their own right.
What not to Miss
The Great Movie Ride and Muppet Vision 3-D show are signature Disney family experiences, but thrill-seekers should definitely seek out Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and the Tower of Terror. Toy Story Midway Mania needs to be top of you list for a FastPass+ while the Star Tours simulator ride is one you can enjoy multiple times as it has no less than 54 different ride variations.
Character Meet And Greets:
The park provides a real character-fest with plenty of special locations to meet Mickey and the gang, as well as your favourite Star Wars, Toy Story and Frozen characters. A series of new meet and greet experiences lets you witness the characters live out their greatest dreams. Mickey and Minnie can be found starring in Red Carpet Dreams, a new attraction that sees Mickey dressed as the sorcerer’s apprentice (from his iconic role in Fantasia) and Minnie in her finest Tinseltown attire, both destined to become Hollywood stars. The lovable Olaf (from Frozen) is waiting on the beach with arms wide open, ready to give you a warm hug in the new Celebrity Spotlight area at Echo Lake.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, look out for Chewbacca and Kylo Ren at the Star Wars Launch Bay, and see if you can spot the Stormtroopers patrolling the park. You can also meet the likes of Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and the stars of Disney Junior.
Character Dining Advice
The park has only one real character meal option, and it’s primarily for pre-schoolers. The Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine is a breakfast and lunch buffet at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant and features characters like Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Handy Manny. Young’uns absolutely adore it.
Live entertainment is provided periodically each day by the Citizens of Hollywood, who bring the silver screen to the streets (street shows along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard) and the wonderful Beauty and the Beast stage show. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is a jaw-dropping stunt show featuring speciel effects, bursts of flames and an incredible finale, and it even requires audience participation if you're feeling up for the challenge.
This is another can’t-miss night-time show featuring fireworks, fountains and other special effects, sometimes twice each evening, in a 7,900-seat arena. Follow Sorcerer Mickey and friends as they demonstrate the power of dreams – especially in seeing off some of those rascally Disney villains!
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
This new Frozen-themed show, invites you to relive the magic as Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff reunite in an enchanting icy spectacular. Watch classic scenes from the movie play out on the big screen and sing along to popular hits like ‘Let it Go’ and of course ‘For the First Time in Forever’. You can expect plenty of laughter and a few surprises along the way too.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Become immersed in a galaxy far far away, as you enjoy this new night-time spectacular that brings some of the most memorable Star Wars moments to life, using state of the art projection effects, lasers and pyrotechnics. The iconic Star Wars theme tune echoes across the park as vibrant bursts of colour illuminate the night sky. You won't want to miss it!
Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in June 2018. The colourful 11-acre land is designed to look like Andy’s backyard, with toys scattered all over the place. Everything here is supersized, so that when you walk in, you’ll feel the size of a toy yourself! As well as the popular Toy Story Mania ride, there’s two brand new attractions. Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that takes you on a wild ride on the back of Slinky Dog, while Alien Swirling Saucers sends you spinning through the galaxy while “The Claw” tries to catch you. You can also find tasty Toy Story-themed snacks at new dining outlet Woody’s Lunch Box.
A third track has recently been added to the popular Toy Story Midway Mania ride, which will reduce queueing time for those eager to get a glimpse of Woody and his pals. The technology has also been updated to improve the video quality and enhance the whole experience.
In 2019, Disney’s largest ever single-themed expansion will be unveiled. The new land will be inspired by Star Wars and will officially be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Spanning over 14-acres, there will be plenty to keep fans entertained, including thrilling new attractions, character encounters and unique dining experiences. Guests will be able to take control and pilot the iconic Millennium Falcon, before entering into battle with the First Order and the Resistance.
Like Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a two-tiered system for FastPass+ choice, which means you can select only 1 from the top attractions and then 2 others. Toy Story Midway Mania is always the most popular choice here, hence you may want to book that as soon as you can. If you miss out, the next best selections are usually Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Fantasmic!.
Star Wars Weekends
Not just popular with visitors to Orlando but are a major draw for locals, too, and there’s nothing quite like seeing hundreds of them dressed up as their favourite Star Wars characters! But the real starring roles go to the vast number of characters from the films, posing for pictures and adding a genuine sense that you’ve stepped through the movie screen and into another world. Stars from the films are on hand to sign autographs and give fascinating lectures, while specially themed food and drinks are available, and you’ll find a warehouse of merchandise in Darth’s Maul. Ages 12 and under will probably want to try the Jedi Training Academy, and the extensive Star Wars Parade is simply not to be missed.
- Dates: Weekends from mid-May to mid-June.
- Tickets: Included with general park entry.
- Times: The Parade is usually held at 11.30am, followed by periodic autograph sessions, talks in the Premier Theater and fireworks at 9.45pm.
Has its own celebration at the Studios, with the Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration, starting at the Sorcerer Hat with a DJ at 6pm. The Hollywood Rockers lead a musical road trip through America at 7, 8, 9 and 10pm before the special rock ‘n roll fireworks presentation at 10.15.
- Dates: July 4.
- Tickets: Included with park entry.
- Times: 6 - 10.15pm.
A brand new celebration called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Christmas 2016, replacing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Featuring special effects, holiday music, fireworks and even a sprinkling of snow, the show is an action-packed adventure that takes you through a series of beloved scenes from Disney classics, in search of the missing Santa Claus.
- Dates: November 14 to December 31.
- Tickets: Included with park entry.
- Times: From 6:45pm.
New Year’s Eve
Another one-evening wonder at Disney's Hollywood Studios, with parties throughout the park as the sun goes down. Hats and party horns are distributed, there are 3 showings of the Fantasmic! extravaganza, there is a special Disney Junior Dance Party and a DJ keeps the party going on the Sorcerer Hat Stage. The lively entertainment builds up to the grand finale, the “Lights! Camera! Happy New Year!” fireworks display at 11.50pm.
- Dates: December 31.
- Tickets: Included with park entry.
- Times: 6pm - midnight.
On nights where there are two Fantasmic! shows, it is always better to stay for the second, if you have the stamina, as the crowds drop off appreciably. Alternatively, it is also a good time to try the rides that have longer queues during the day, like Toy Story Midway Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
This 7-hour, 4-park tour includes a stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to go behind the scenes to see the creative side of the Tower of Terror ride and the costuming department, as well as Disney’s nursery and tree farm and lunch at Wilderness Lodge. Guests must be at least 16 and with valid photo ID.
Estimated Visit Time
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: One day.