Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Hollywood Studios!
Stepping into Hollywood Studios transports you to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Boulevard in California. The park has undergone a lot of change and ride closures in it’s short 30 year history, but it honestly surprised me with how much fun we had and how many things there are to do!
Walking in, the first street you come to mimics Main St., USA from the Magic Kingdom, with the exception that at the end of the street is the Chinese Theatre instead of the iconic castle.
Strolling through the streets, you get a feel of an older Hollywood feel, and definitely a breezy Californian feel with the palm tree lined walkways. There is music coming from everywhere and occasionally, the normal music stops and the Imperial March begins. There is then a path made for a group of storm troopers led by Captain Phasma struts straight down Hollywood Blvd. It was something out of a movie and was awesome.
Tower of Terror
Personally, two of the best thrill rides I’ve been on are here in Hollywood Studios. My daughter might not agree, but she’s only 11. She will learn! 😛
I’d never been on the Tower of Terror when we booked the FastPass for it, but I had always wanted to ride it. It was a short walk up to the line and a bit of a wait despite having the FastPass. We hopped into the elevator in the very back as directed and off we went.
I honestly think my arm went to sleep due to how hard my daughter was clasping onto it. It was so much fun though! It took you through the Twilight Zone and the mysterious occurrences that happened in the hotel before dropping you at almost 40 mph 130 ft straight down. I couldn’t contain my giggling the entire time. I think the picture Disney captured proved that too!
Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
This. Ride. Is. Legit. For real though. It’s a high speed coaster with twists, turns and a rocket fast launch speed! It was my daughter’s VERY FIRST COASTER EVER. Her face in the picture proves it. But after we got off the ride, she instantly was in love and wanted to do it again.
According to Disney, it goes from 0 to 57mph in 2.8 seconds…which means that riders experience 5 g’s. (A rocket launch is only 3 g’s for example.) Riders go through corkscrews, inversions and half corkscrews. It’s an amazing time in just under 90 seconds. Amazing. Do it. You won’t be sorry. Unless you don’t like coasters…then this is probably not for you at all!
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge & Star Tours
It was announced in 2015 that there would be a BIG expansion coming to Hollywood Studios in the form of a Star Wars land. Coming there will be a Millenium Falcon inspired ride where riders will take on a “customized secret mission”. Currently, we only have Star Tours as a ride focus. It’s a 3-D ride in which C-3PO takes the riders on a turbulent journey across the galaxy. It’s a lot of fun and nostalgic for sure.
The other draw for this area is the Star Wars Launch Bay where you are able to meet Kylo Ren, Chewbacca and BB-8! This also houses authentic Star Wars memorabilia and you can sometimes catch Storm Troopers on patrol inside!
This area is the home of the Star Wars Launch Bay and so much more! The Voyage of the Little Mermaid stage show is here as well as Walt Disney Presents (narrated by the incomparable Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews) and Disney Junior LIVE on Stage! So much to do in this cute little area!
Toy Story Land
This fun land shrinks you down to the size of a toy! Including 3 rides, 2 of them brand new, this land is so much fun! And it’s going to continue to be busy because of it! Slinky Dog Dash is a must have FastPass whenever you plan on traveling! If you cannot get a FP, be prepared to have a long wait if you are set on riding it!
Alien Swirling Saucers is a spinning ride featuring the favorite little green men who worship “The Claw”. Adorable and fun and not too fast for little ones!
Toy Story Mania is the older one out of the three. A moving 3-D game ride, you compete against the other people in your cart in a variety of different virtual shooting gallery games. See who can get the biggest and best score here and more importantly, bragging rights!
Grand Avenue is modeled after the famous street in Los Angeles, California. While it doesn’t host any of the famous Cali buildings like the Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Broad Contemporary Museum, it does house some other favorite friends of ours, the Muppets! Yep! This land (?) is home to Muppet Courtyard and Muppetvision 3-D, a 4-D ride.
The live stage shows of Hollywood Studios are really the stars at this park. From princesses to Disney Junior, there really is a show for everyone!
Beauty and the Beast live is on Sunset Boulevard. I really wish we had time to see this one as Belle is my favorite princess. Elsa & Anna won out with my little princess though and I wasn’t disappointed either.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long Spectacular was everything my daughter and I hoped it would be. And honestly, I think I enjoyed it more than she did! LOL. The music was great and it had music from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Frozen Fever! We sang along to each song, even the Christmas ones and I teared up more than a few times. Of course I was called a softy, but I didn’t even care. It was wonderful.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is full of explosions, noise and action/adventure. We didn’t get a chance to make this one either, but we could sure smell the gunpowder as we walked by the location! It sounded so exciting!
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi isn’t necessarily a live show in the conventional sense, but rather a participatory show. If you get to the park early enough, you have the option to sign up your little Jedi to participate in it and learn the ways of the ancient leaders! They then perform the shows throughout the day, led by a true Jedi master.
There are actually two different options for evening entertainment here compared to the one show offered at the other parks. Here we have Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (everything here is spectacular it seems!) and Fantasmic! They are within 30 minutes of each other each night, so making both shows is practically impossible.
We chose a Fastpass for prime seating with Fantasmic! We weren’t disappointed with the show. It’s a water projection show starring Mickey Mouse and quite a few of his close friends (and enemies). Just beware, due to it being a water projection show, sitting nearer to the bay will cause you to get wet. We didn’t get any good pictures and had to take off our glasses because we couldn’t see very well. Other than that, it was very cute and worth it!
There are so many options for delicious food in Hollywood Studios! Whether you are looking for pizza, Mexican fare, grown up Pop Tarts, or fine dining, you can find it here. There is even breakfast options and character meals! Seriously…there’s everything here.
We personally ate dinner at Fairfax Fare because we were short on time before Fantasmic! It’s a Mexican kind of quick service eatery that offers Mobile Ordering (which we TOTALLY took advantage of and didn’t have to wait in line) and affordable pricing for fairly large portions. Spencer and I had a type of burrito bowl with chicken and it was so delicious and filling. Tyson had the empanadas platter which was tasty also.
There is so much to Hollywood Studios and I was honestly not expecting much out of it after reading some people do it in half a day or less. However, we easily spent all day here and STILL missed things to do! Definitely not a park to pass over at all!
What is your favorite part of Hollywood Studios? Let me know below in the comments!