Disney's Hollywood StudiosThe Parks

10 Ways to Survive a Crowded Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the smallest of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks. It is also the home of the two newest lands and one of the top E-ticket attractions at Walt Disney World. It’s been a few years since Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened, and the popularity of both lands brings the crowds. Many guests spend at least two days in the park! Even when Disney’s Hollywood Studios is crowded, you can have one of your best days ever. Here are ten ways to survive.


1- Arrive Early

No matter what the crowd level is expected to be, arriving early for your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is key. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. That extra half hour could allow you to hit one of the most popular rides before the crowds arrive, and you’ll then be in a good position for your second ride. Thirty minutes might not seem like a lot, but Early Theme Park Entry will give you a huge jump start on your day. At park opening, many of the popular attractions already have wait times up to 1-2 hours long.

If you aren’t eligible for Early Theme Park Entry, you should still arrive before the official opening time. Mornings are when any of the four theme parks are the least crowded, take advantage of that.

2 – Disney Genie+

Carefully consider whether or not you want to purchase Disney Genie+. Some people have used the paid service at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with great success, while others have complained that they didn’t get their money’s worth. If you do purchase it, Slinky Dog Dash tends to run out of spots quickly, so you might want to make that your first selection right at 7:00 am in the My Disney Experience app.


3 – Individual Lightning Lane

The most popular ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not included with Disney Genie+. Instead, you can purchase access to it using the a la carte method. Spots for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will not be around for long, so if you are interested, buy it as soon as you can. Resort guests can get a jump ahead and make their selections at 7:00 am. Non-resort guests have to wait until park opening. Being a resort guest gives you the greatest chance of snagging that coveted Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane selection. Pricing for this attraction tends to be on the high end due to its demand. We’ve seen it as high as $25 on certain days, though it tends to be around $20-$22 most of the time.

4 – Tip Board

While parts of Disney Genie cost extra, the Tip Board is free. Take advantage of it! With the Tip Board, you can see what the current Wait Times are, as well as the projected waits throughout the day. You can take it a step further and use the My Genie Day feature to plan everything out for you. My Genie Day will give you suggestions for when to ride, where to eat, and what to watch. If you don’t like a suggestion, just swap it out for something else. You can customize My Genie Day based on what is most important to you. It can help you to save a lot of time.


5 – Single Rider Lines

Single Rider Lines are not too common at Walt Disney World. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are two of them! The Single Rider Line at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster can often cut your time in line by half or more. If you use the Single Rider Line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you will want to keep two things in mind. First, the queue for the Standby Line is amazing, and you will miss most of it. Second, you will most likely be an Engineer when you ride. You will be broken up if you’re with a group for any Single Rider Line. Don’t use a Single Rider Line if you are visiting with children.

6 – Watch the Shows in the Middle of the Day

There are several live shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and you don’t want to miss any of them! Check the Show Times on the My Disney Experience App, and then plan on using the shows as a middle-of-the-day break. You should arrive for a show early but don’t have to arrive too early. The shows will give you a chance to sit down for a while, and you’ll enjoy some amazing entertainment.

7 – Take a Break

Consider leaving Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a few hours if the crowd overwhelms you. Take a Friendship or the walking path, and get a sweet treat from BoardWalk Ice Cream. Ride the Disney Skyliner to Disney’s Riviera Resort, and enjoy lunch at Primo Piatto. You won’t have to board a bus or move your car for either of these options! Sometimes getting out of the crowd for a couple of hours will give you the energy you need to dive right into it again.

8 – Muppet*Vision 3D

It’s corny, dated, and way below the quality that you’ll see in the rest of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That said, there is something special about Muppet*Vision 3D. It often has the lowest Wait Time in the park, so go watch! You just might find yourself laughing harder than you have all day. Pay attention to the preshow; the jokes and bad puns start long before you’re seated in the theater.

Disney characters join together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Credit: Disney/Matt Stroshane.

9 – Evenings

Evenings tend to be much less crowded at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, especially in the last hour when a good portion of guests head to Fantasmic! for a classic nighttime spectacular. Often, you can find low wait times for Slinky Dog Dash, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Tower of Terror! The park also has a really good nighttime vibe, so be sure to stick around!

10 – Have Fun!

It is all too easy to grumble about the crowd when you’re at Walt Disney World’s smallest theme park. Stop complaining, and allow yourself to have fun! Get swept up in the magic. Where else can you go from Andy’s backyard to a galaxy far, far away? You can head back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, learn about movie-making, and buy ice cream from a dinosaur. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is incredible, so enjoy every moment.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Paula Brown

Paula grew up in Massachusetts, attended New England College in New Hampshire, then moved to Virginia to pursue a career in radio. Several years later she and her family visited Walt Disney World for the first time and they were overtaken by the magic. When they were offered a chance to move to Central Florida, they jumped at it. Paula now works as a freelance writer. Her works include co-writing Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide, and the fictional Dream Wanderers, The Coffee Cruiser, and It's About Time. In her spare time Paula can usually be found at one of the theme parks. She is also an obsessed Star Wars fan.
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