Who’s ready to get your Hollywood on?! From the boulevards lined with palm trees to the Star Wars “force” beckoning from Batuu, Hollywood Studios is the happening place! As if the addition of Toy Story Land wasn’t enough, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has opened yet another burst of excitement. Whether you’re a thrill taker plummeting down Tower of Terror, going on a picnic with Mickey and Minnie, seeking that smooth ride on Slinky Dog Dash, prefer to dance along with Disney characters, or simply want to fly the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” – this park has it all! Before your adventure embarks, here are 9 do’s and don’ts we’d recommend for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
1 – DON’T Underestimate the Crowds Even During the Phased Reopening
In the past, Disney’s Hollywood Studios may have been considered a half-day park, and the crowd levels were never anything to worry over. Today, this is not the case! With two new, outstanding lands (Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land), Hollywood Studios is now a place for crowds to flock to. While there are, of course, quieter times than others, you’ll want to be sure you don’t underestimate the number of people enjoying Hollywood Studios right along with you! During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, capacity limits are in place to keep the crowds low to promote physical distancing. However, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is often the hardest park to secure a park reservation. Therefore, compared to other parks, it often will be the busiest park during the phased reopening.
2 – DO Make Your Park Reservation as Soon as Possible
Like we noted above, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has proven to be the hardest park to get a park reservation, especially on weekends and during holiday periods. Currently, park reservations are required for stays through January 14, 2022. This may change, but for the foreseeable future, you’ll need to park reservation to enter the park. As soon as you have purchased tickets, be sure to make a park reservation for the park. You don’t want to wait and possibly lose out because the park filled to capacity! Click here for information on how to make your park reservation.
3 – DO Join a Boarding Party for Star Wars: of the Resistance
Currently, the only way to enjoy Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is by joining the virtual queue through a boarding party. There are two chances to join the virtual queue: one at 7:00 am (from anywhere) and one at 1:00 pm (in the park). Your best chance to ride the attraction is by trying to get boarding passes at 7:00 am. (See our guide for more information). When your group is called to return to the attraction, you’ll receive a push notification from the app. You’ll have up to one hour from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so there’s no need to rush right over. Once there, you’ll be able to enter the attraction.
4 – DO Know Where You are Headed in the Morning
The crowds we spoke of above tend to head for three attractions at the opening of the park – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Slinky Dog Dash. All three attractions are amazing and will have the longest wait times later in the day. You’ll want to experience each one, and which one you go to first depends on your family’s interests. Star Wars fans may want to head to Galaxy’s Edge first, while those wanting to enjoy Slinky more than once will want to head straight back to Toy Story Land. Finally, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a total hit, and fans of all ages will love it. On a recent trip, we were able to enjoy Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway first and then headed straight to Millenium Falcon. We were finished riding both only a half-hour into park opening, so it pays to have a plan and know where you are headed!
5 – DO Book a Table Service Restaurant
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the dining reservation window is sixty days.
Who’s hungry? Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some of the very best themed restaurants in all of Walt Disney World! We’d recommend the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant if you’re looking for a cool experience to dine in a car while watching old, sci-fi clips and chowing down. 50’s Prime Time is another fun one and will have you feeling like you’re dining at your Grandmother’s house – where manners are expected! Lastly, we recommend the Hollywood Brown Derby for a classic Hollywood vibe and intimate setting. Reservations can be made 180-days in advance. With the popularity of Hollywood Studios, we’d highly recommend booking your reservation as early as possible.
6 – DO Take Time for the Character Cavalcades
During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, character greetings are temporarily suspended. You’ll see characters come through each park in short parades. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, characters leave from the Crossroads of the World, and head towards the theater, past the Frozen Sing-Along, and leave at Star Tours. You’ll also find characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Here is what you can expect:
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – While living their own adventures in a galaxy far, far away, guests are likely to come across some familiar faces as they explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu:
- Heroes of the Resistance, including Rey, Chewbacca, and Vi Moradi, may be spotted on platforms above the garage in Black Spire Station or surveying activity around the spaceport where the Millennium Falcon has landed.
- A contingent of First Order Stormtroopers join Kylo Ren in patrolling the landing platform at Docking Bay 9 beneath their TIE Echelon assault vehicle.
- “Mickey and Friends Motorcade” – Chip ‘n Dale, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto!
- “Pixar Pals Motorcade” – Some of the biggest stars from Pixar Animation Studios’ films arrive on Hollywood Boulevard, from The Incredibles to Toy Story pals and more. They’ll wave to their fans as they head down the avenue accompanied by a celebratory musical score.
- “Disney Junior Stars Motorcade” – Throughout the day, Disney Junior stars including Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins, and Vampirina will cruise down Hollywood Boulevard waving to fans from colorful custom convertibles.
7 – DON’T Forget the Snacks & Beverages!
Chances are you’ll happily oblige to this “don’t”! Snacks and specialty beverages are overflowing around every turn in Hollywood Studios. Some of our favorites are located in Galaxy’s Edge, including Blue or Green Milk, Oga’s Cantina specialty drinks, and the plethora of Batuu bites. We also love Toy Story Land’s Lunch Box Tarts and Grown-Up’s Lemonade at Woody’s Lunch Box. Then you don’t want to forget the classic snack spots such as ice cream from Hollywood Scoops and Bavarian Pretzel at Baseline Tap House. Remember, calories don’t count while at Disney!
8 – DO Visit Galaxy’s Edge & Toy Story Land at Night
While it may be best to tackle these two newer lands at the start of your day, be sure to do a full circle back to the lands at night. Toy Story Land has a sweet, childhood glow at night with colorful strings of bulbs across the walking path. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge seems like a whole new land at night with a low blue and purple hue that seems to drape itself across this area. Both are incredible to see during the day, but not to be missed when the sun sets.
9 – DO Take a Ride on the Skyliner
The night may be coming to a close, but we have one more “ride” for you! The Disney Skyliner is Disney’s newest gondola-style transportation system, which picks up and drops off right at the entrance of Hollywood Studios. It connects Hollywood Studios and Epcot to Disney Resorts, including Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera Resort. Staying at one of these resorts is a huge transportation perk when visiting Hollywood Studios. Not staying at one of these resorts? The night is still young! Take a ride through the sky anyway to resort hop or to simply see the beautiful aerial views of the Walt Disney World property.
There you have it! Now, you’re off for an adventure-packed day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
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