In years past, Hollywood Studios has gotten a lot of flack. People felt the park didn’t offer enough in the way of rides. Others were concerned with the light and seemingly spotty theming. While we could always see where people were coming from, we also still enjoyed the park on a regular basis, even if only for a few hours at a time. The thrill rides that make themselves at home here have always been a blast, and the shows are spectacular. Besides, we knew the park had the potential to be even better, and we knew Disney would use that to their advantage.
Now that Toy Story Land is officially open and Star Wars Land is on its way, we can officially say we were right. This already wonderful park is now better than ever, and we know you and your family will adore it. Here are some of the highlights the park has to offer.
1. Amazing Shows
Hollywood Studios is the place to go for shows. There are so many excellent shows in this park, it’s hard to see them all in one day. Still, we highly recommend making a point of seeing each and every one because they are all well worthwhile. “Jedi Training Academy” is the perfect opportunity for young Star Wars fans to get in on the action, and their parents will adore watching them train to be the next generation of Jedi. Meanwhile, “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” is the perfect show for lovers of actions. “Disney Junior — Live On Stage” is ideal for the youngest park guests, and “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” both draw in princess fans. No matter which shows you choose to see, you’re sure to have an awesome time being thoroughly entertained throughout the day.
2. Toy Story Land
Of course, the amazing new Toy Story Land definitely deserves a place on this list. The new land includes two brand new rides, a new counter-service eatery, and some seriously amazing attention to detail. Make sure to make your way to this land during your visit, and give yourself plenty of time to stroll through and admire all of the theming they have going on in this incredible place. If you want to ride either of the two new rides, you will want a FastPass for sure, and if you’re hungry be sure to stop by Woody’s Lunchbox for a Lunchbox Tart, a Breakfast Bowl, or some Totchos.
3. Star Wars Galore
Star Wars has some pretty serious fans, and we can definitely see why. Fortunately, for Star Wars fanatics there is plenty to see and do in Hollywood Studios even without the much anticipated Star Wars Land. Ride Star Tours, join the fight in “Jedi Training Academy”, or meet your favorite Star Wars friends at Star Wars Launch Bay. On top of all that, you’ll definitely want to watch out for Stormtroopers who tend to roam the park throughout the day.
4. Cool Themed Restaurants
Disney World is famous for its awesome themed restaurants, and a couple of the property’s very best themed eateries are located in Hollywood Studios. For example, 50’s Prime Time Cafe has an awesome fifties theme complete with TV sets playing favorite TV shows from the era, super cool 1950s decor, and even well-meaning family members who get on your case when you don’t eat your veggies or happen to have your elbows on the table.
Of course there are the awesome Star Wars meet-and-greets we mentioned before, but Hollywood Studios is home to tons of other wonderful character interaction opportunities as well. Disney Junior characters such as Doc McStuffins, Jake, and Sophia can all be found here. Friends from new Disney movies are often found hiding in the back of the in-park museum, and many other Disney favorites are scattered throughout the park. This is the place to be if you enjoy meet-and-greets, and we highly recommend bringing a camera and an autograph book along.
6. Awesome Thrill Rides
While this park definitely doesn’t have the most rides of any park, it does have some pretty awesome rides. If you’re a thrill ride lover, you might even find that your very favorite rides are in this park. Tower of Terror is a terrifyingly wonderful elevator ride that’ll have you screaming your pants off. Meanwhile, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is one of the best coasters around, with an awesome soundtrack to match. Looking for thrills that are a little less scary? The new Slinky Dog Dash is a great option, as is the aforementioned Star Tours!
7. Laid-Back Vibe
One of the things we’ve always loved about Hollywood Studios is the laid-back vibe. Because this park is relatively small and because there are fewer rides available, people tend to relax a bit and take their time strolling through the streets. This is great because it means everyone is really taking in the amazing sights and sounds around them and living in the moment rather than running from one thing to the next.
8. Street Entertainment
The stage shows in this park are awesome, but the street performances are also pretty great. If you arrive relatively early in the day, you’ll likely be treated to multiple street shows. Go ahead and stop to enjoy them. They’re quite funny and sometimes even involve audience participation.
9. Extended Hours
Because Toy Story Land opened recently, the park has temporarily extended its hours. This is great for those who prefer staying out late, as it means more nighttime hours to enjoy the park. Be sure to take full advantage of these if you happen to be visiting this summer.
10. Incredible Nighttime Entertainment
Every Disney day should end with an awesome nighttime show. Whether you choose to check out the “Movie Magic” projection show, the Star Wars fireworks display, “Fantasmic!”, or some combination of these, you’ll be finishing your day off right.