10 Best Tips, Tricks, & Secrets for Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Toy Story Land
Photo Credit: Disney

1. Arrive early

Getting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios early is a must if you are looking to make the most of your visit without spending too much time waiting in line. As this park is primarily made up of shows, lines for popular rides can get long quick. And while you should take advantage of FastPass+ this park uses a tiered system, so you cannot make FastPasses for all of the most popular attractions at once. If you arrive early, you should be able to get a couple of rides done before the crowds fill in, and you’ll be able to use your FastPasses later as well.


2. Take in all of the details

This park is full of details that so many guests do not end up noticing. Dinosaur Gertie in Echo Lake for instance is an homage to the first animated character and the California Crazy architectural style. Sunset Boulevard features a shop designed after the Carthay Circle Theater. There are loads of details scattered throughout the park, so while it is always tempting to run between rides, take a moment to slow it down and simply take it all in.

3. Make FastPass selections in advance

FastPasses for Disney’s Hollywood Studios are must. Especially with the soon to open Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land, the tiered selections can potentially limit your options for FastPasses. Using this service will make your visit to the park so much easier. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you’ll be able to reserve FastPasses 60 days out from your trip, and this is the best option for getting the most coveted FastPasses like Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.

4. Visit twice to see both nightly spectaculars

Technically, you can see both Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular in the same night, but it isn’t easy, especially with the whole family in tow. Rather than attempting to leave one early and rush to the other, it is much easier to plan two separate nights to see both shows. If both shows are part of your vacation plans and you don’t think you’ll otherwise need two days in Hollywood Studios, be sure to purchase a Park Hopper ticket so you can easily get into the park just for one of the shows.


5. Plan your day around Toy Story Land (for now!)

Toy Story Land is understandably crowded as it is currently the newest land. This will all change when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens August 29, 2019. In the meantime, crowds in the rest of the park are small in comparison to Toy Story Land. This means that your touring plans should work around Toy Story Land will help you get around in the most efficient way possible. Keep an eye on the wait times and get to Toy Story Land early in the morning or late at night to keep your wait times as low as possible.

6. Don’t skip the shows

Shows outnumber rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so it’s important to factor them into your plans for the day to see all that the park has to offer. This park’s shows offer something for everyone with Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular bringing all the excitement from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Frozen Sing Along Celebration perfect for the whole family, and the March of the First Order for all the Star Wars fans in your group.

7. Meet the characters

Hollywood Studios is also home to a number of characters that you can’t meet in the other parks. From Disney Junior characters to Star Wars meet and greets you can find lots of unique characters to fill up your autograph book. You can also meet Olaf, characters from the Toy Story films, and Mickey and Minnie all dolled up in their best Hollywood getups. Some character meeting times vary throughout the day, so be sure to check the times guide or the My Disney Experience App.

8. Book a dining package for Fantasmic!

Worried about having to arrive early to grab your seats for Fantasmic? Consider booking a dining package. The package adds reserved seating to your dining reservation for pre-fixe and buffet dining in the park. Prices vary by dining location, but the service is well worth it if you’d rather not use a FastPass on Fantasmic.

9. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours allow Disney resort guests to enter the parks one hour before opening and up to three hour after regular closing on select dates. These times tend to be less crowded because only Disney resort guests are able to be in the parks. If you don’t mind the extra splurge, you can also take advantage of Early Morning Magic, a paid service that gets an extremely limited amount of guests into the park (including Toy Story Land!) so you can see all the attractions with little or no wait.

10. Check the time

Unlike other theme parks where every attraction usually runs during regular open hours, many of the attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios operate on different schedules. Character meet and greets and shows especially may open late or end earlier than the park’s regular hours. While you’re planning your day, keep an eye on the time and make sure you’ll be able to make it to all of the shows you’re most interested in.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."