BEST guide to hollywood studios at Disney World

Hollywood Studios is a movie lover’s dream come true from the latest technology to classic film nostalgia.  This park opened up as  Disney-MGM Studios in 1989, and the park was renamed Hollywood Studios in 2008.  This is known as one of the must visit parks at Disney World Florida. You  will be transported into your favorite movies with fabulous shows like, Beauty and the Beast and rides like, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the thrilling ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Plus you can travel to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars Land.  But don’t forget to visit Toy Story Land, which has  your beloved Woody and Buzz Lightyear character attractions.

So what are you waiting for ?  Use this guide to Hollywood Studios to disappear into your favorite Disney movies and explore Hollywood Studios !

Tower Of Terror attraction at Hollywood studios, Disney World, Big 3 story building like a haunted mansion

Getting To Hollywood Studios

Although there are no in-park transportation options at Hollywood Studios, there are plenty of ways to get to and from the park.  If you are staying on Disney property, you can take advantage of the easy bus system that runs throughout Disney World.  There’s also the Skyline, which is a gondola system that connects Hollywood Studios to other Disney parks, and Resorts.  Plus certain on-site resorts have the ability to use waterways to reach Hollywood Studios.  

So don’t worry about transportation – just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to Hollywood Studios.  With the park being so compact you will have plenty of time to explore and make magical memories!

If you’re driving to Hollywood Studios, you won’t have to pay a parking fee if you are staying on property or are an annual passholder. For everyone else the fee is $25 per day to park.

Getting Around The Park

While getting around Hollywood Studios might require a bit of walking, it’s the smallest park at Walt Disney World. The scenery around Hollywood Studios is absolutely breathtaking, so take a stroll through this theme park, you won’t want to miss it!

If you need to rent a scooter/EVC or a wheelchair, you can do this when  you enter the park.  The rental counter is on your right hand side.  Save your receipt to receive your deposit back at the end of the day.  

Rides And Attractions at Hollywood Studios

In recent years Hollywood Studios has seen several massive expansions so that the park could include even more movie magic. Hollywood Studios is home to some of the newest and most popular attractions at Disney World. The park has several lands including:

  • Hollywood Boulevard
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Echo Lake
  • Grand Avenue
  • Animation Courtyard
  • Toy Story Land
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge 

Hollywood Boulevard Highlights

You’ll enter the park through Hollywood Boulevard, where the streets are lined with shopping and dining options. The main attraction is the Chinese Theater where you’ll find Hollywood Boulevard’s one and only ride: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Don’t forget to stop and get a Disney PhotoPass picture taken on the way!

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the newest addition to Hollywood Studios. It’s a trackless dark ride that takes you through a busy adventure featuring the park’s iconic duo Mickey and Minnie Mouse. This ride is great for the entire family.

Sunset Boulevard Highlights

On Sunset Boulevard you’ll find another stretch of street lined with shopping and restaurant options. You’ll also find many of the park headliners on Sunset Boulevard including

  • The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror
  • Beauty And The Beast (stage show)
  • Fantasmic! (night show – currently closed)
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy (show)

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a nearly perfect ride and one that has become a favorite of every visitor who dares to ride it. As you wait for your turn to plummet in an elevator, you’ll hear the screams of fellow passengers as they experience pure terror. This ride consistently ranks among the top rides at Disney World.

Animation Courtyard

  • Meet and Greet Disney Jr pals
  • Disney Jr Playhouse 

Echo Lake

The Echo Lake area is a small oval lagoon in Hollywood Studios. Interestingly, the lagoon is shaped that way because it was designed as one of the ears of the gigantic hidden Mickey that the park makes. You’ll know you’ve reached Echo Lake when you see the giant dinosaur, Gertie.

  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
  • Jedi Training: Trials of The Temple (live show – closed)
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (stunt show)
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration (show)

Star Tours -The Adventure Continues was groundbreaking when it launched and remains a fan favorite today. You’ll enter your star tour vehicle, and the movement of the vehicle and screen will transport you into an epic journey through the Star Wars universe.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Is a great show to catch at Hollywood Studios. The show is over 30 minutes, but it takes you behind the scenes of the famed Indiana Jones films. Great for both kids and nostalgic adults, the show is entertaining, and the stunts are fun for the whole family.

Grand Avenue

You’ll find Grand Avenue between Star Tours and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and it’s home of the Muppets! This is a very small area of the park, but for Muppet fans you’ll want to take in it’s one and only attraction.

  • Muppet Vision 3D (show)

The Muppet Vision 3D show is about 15 minutes long and is a must for any Muppet lover. The premise of the show is that the Muppets are showing fans the newest 3D technology. It’s Muppet humor for the masses and you’ll find it’s a staple for a Hollywood Studios visit.

Toy Story Land

This land opened in 2018 and instantly became a fan favorite and a hit. Toy Story Land puts you in Andy’s backyard and is meant to make you feel like you are the size of a toy. This part of the park is often crowded, just keep that in mind.

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Alien Swirling Saucers

Slinky Dog Dash is better than the average kid friendly coaster. Ride it at night for an even better experience.

Toy Story Mania is a fun carnival style game attraction. There are 3D elements, and you will be teamed up in a group of 4 as you ride through 5 different carnival style games. You’ll wait in fairly long lines for this attraction but the good news is that the queue is indoors and has interactive fun elements.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

As the newest addition to the park in 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is one of the most popular lands at Hollywood Studios. You’ll find yourself on the planet of Batuu. Fans can meet Ray and Chewie or decide to join the dark side. You’ll notice that Storm Troopers patrol the area and keep everyone in line. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a truly immersive experience.  Many prefer to hit this land at night as it gives a whole different feel than day time.

  • Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Star Wars: Rise of The Resistance is known as the best ride at Hollywood Studios. And is it any wonder why? The ride is full of surprises and fully immerses you into the Star Wars universe. This is a can’t miss attraction at Hollywood Studios.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler Run will give fans the chance to pilot the famous Millennium Falcon. You’ll join a team of 6 as you attempt to collect Coaxum from famed smuggler, Hondo. Pilots even have the ability to crash the ship!

Characters At Hollywood Studio

There are a ton of characters to meet at Hollywood Studios, and many of the characters here are exclusive to the park. Character cavalcades are the best way to see a ton of characters at once and Hollywood Studios offers several cavalcades including Mickey and Friends, as well as Pixar Pals. The Pixar Pals cavalcade includes favorites like Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Bo Peep, the Green Army Guys and Mr. and Mrs. Incredible.

Hollywood Boulevard Characters

On Hollywood Boulevard you can meet classic characters like Daisy, Donald, and Chip and Dale. You can see them gardening while you stroll by some areas. 

Sunset Boulevard Characters

On Sunset Boulevard you can meet Cars characters outside of the Lightning McQueen Racing Academy show. Including characters like DJ and Cruz Ramirez.

Echo Lake Characters

At Echo Lake you can meet Olaf from Frozen. 

Toy Story Land Characters

 At Toy Story Land you can meet all of your Toy Story favorites including Woody, Jessie, Buzz and Bo Peep. And you can catch the Green Army Guys marching through Toy Story Land. Have to say the Green ARmy Guys put on a great show in Toy Story Land!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Characters

In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge you can meet Chewie and Rey and from the dark side you’ll notice regular appearances from StormTroopers and Kylo Ren.

Dining At Hollywood Studios

While it may not be known for its dining options there are plenty of great ones at Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Boulevard Dining

  • The Trolley Car Cafe (Starbucks)
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby (table service – fine dining)

Sunset Boulevard Dining

  • Rosie’s All American Cafe (burgers)
  • Catalina Eddie’s (pizza)
  • Hollywood Scoops (ice cream)

Echo Lake Dining

  • Tune-In Lounge (50’s cafe)
  • Hollywood and Vine (table service)
  • Dockside Diner (hot dogs)
  • 50’ Prime Time Cafe’

Commissary lane

  • Sci-fi Dine In Theatre Restaurant 

Grand Ave.

  • Mama’s Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano 

Toy Story Land Dining

  • Woody’s Lunch Box (sandwiches)
  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Dining

  • Docking Bay 7 Food And Cargo (American with a twist)
  • Ronto Roasters (Ronto wraps)
  • Oga’s Canteen (Star Wars cocktails/mocktails)
  • Milk Stand – try the famous blue Bantha milk

Tips For Visiting Hollywood Studios

  • For the Tower Of Terror a 13-minute wait is actually no wait time at all.
  • It’s best to avoid Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during mid-day, generally crowds pick up significantly around 1 pm.
  • Utilizing single rider lines is a great way to save time at Hollywood Studios. Both Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance offer single rider lines.
  • Save shows for the afternoon, you’ll want to rest your legs by then.
  • Check showtimes the night before, so you can schedule your day to see everything
  • If you wish to have a table service dine in lunch or dinner make reservations 60 days out.
  • If you or a family member uses a mobility aid there are plenty of disability guest areas at all shows.
  • Some of the popular Land attractions which will have long wait times are: Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’ edge, so try to visit these areas in the morning or evening.
  • Best time of day to visit Hollywood Studios tend mornings and evenings and weekdays
  • Hollywood and Vine Restaurant has character dining

I hope these tips and recommendations help you enjoy one of everyone’s most favorite parks!

Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Hollywood Studios!  With so  much to offer, one day won’t be enough to experience all the thrills and excitement that awaits you.  Get ready to explore Andy’s  backyard in Toy Story Land or join Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy Edge, and make memories with your friends and family.  This is the ultimate adventure you’ve been waiting for, so get ready to have a blast at Hollywood Studios!

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