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10 Things You Might Be Missing at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

If you’re headed to Walt Disney World soon and you’re also ready for the red carpet, you’ll love visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Feel the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the excitement of the big screen. There’s something for everyone! If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat, and if you’ve visited before, be sure to experience these ten things that you might have overlooked last time you were there.

10. Walt Disney Presents

This fabulous attraction often gets overlooked, which is sad considering it is an attraction dedicated to the legendary Walt Disney himself. The exhibit is perfect for Guests who are true Walt fans and want to take a self-guided tour through the halls of the attraction where they can see artifacts, photographs, models and more that tell the story of Walt’s childhood, his work as a cartoonist, the birth of Mickey Mouse and the birth of the Disney Parks. If you love Walt, you’ll love this attraction, and you’ll want to allow yourself at least 30 minutes to go through the entire exhibit so you can truly enjoy it.

9. Mama Melrose’s

Stop in for lunch or dinner at Mama Melrose’s and enjoy a casual atmosphere and great Italian food. Choose from calamari and mussels, flatbreads, salads, steaks, pasta, chicken parm, fish and more. For dessert, order the tiramisu or the no-sugar-added cheesecake. If you’re really brave, order dessert off the kids’ menu—specifically the spaghetti and meatballs cupcake! (Don’t worry—it’s not what you think!) Make your dining reservations at Mama Melrose’s by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

8. Red Carpet Dreams

At the Red Carpet Dreams attraction, Guests can meet Mickey and Minnie. They are in separate rooms—Minnie is dressed in her very best and ready to walk down the red carpet. Mickey is clad in his Sorcerer’s Apprentice cloak and hat. Both Mickey and Minnie greet Guests and pose for pictures with them throughout the day at Hollywood Studios. You’ll find Red Carpet Dreams across from the entrance to the Sci-Fi Drive-in Theater restaurant.

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7. The Citizens of Hollywood

Beware of this fun improvisational troupe! The Citizens of Hollywood can be seen along Hollywood Boulevard at different times during the day. And fair warning—they like to engage Guests in their shenanigans while impersonating some of Hollywood’s greatest stereotypes. They’re fun to watch and fun to “act” with—so be on the lookout!

6. The March of the First Order

Captain Phasma and scores of Stormtroopers make their way down Hollywood Boulevard each day—weather permitting—toward Center Stage in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Watch them perform drills and march back down Hollywood Boulevard. Don’t miss this—especially if you’re a Star Wars fan!

5. 50s Prime Time Café

This is one of the first dining reservations you should make when you decide to visit the parks. That’s because the 50s Prime Time Café not only serves delicious comfort food like Mom used to make, but the restaurant experience tends to become an attraction in itself. The servers are referred to as “Aunt,” and the entire setting looks just like a kitchen and dining area from the 1950s. Every room has a television set from the era that plays clips of sitcoms from the 1950s. Try the pot roast, meatloaf, chicken fried chicken and a peanut butter and jelly milkshake for dessert! Call (407) WDW-DINE to book up to 180 days in advance.

4. The Sci-Fi Drive-in Theater restaurant

This dining experience is not to be missed! Take a seat in one of the “automobooths” under the stars at the Sci-Fi Drive-in Theater restaurant and enjoy burgers, fried pickles, salads, sodas and house-made candy bars while enjoying clips from science fiction films and cartoons on the huge “outdoor” screen. Because this restaurant is very popular, you’ll want to make your reservation well in advance. Access the My Disney Experience app or call (407) WDW-DINE to book your meal.

3. The Toys’ Stories at Toy Story Land

You may have visited Toy Story Land already—you may have answered Disney World’s invitation to “play big.” You may have ridden the Slinky Dog Dash coaster, won the most points at Toy Story Mania and you may have even taken a spin with the Little Green Alien Men at the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction. But you’re still missing something if that’s all you’ve experienced at Toy Story Land. That’s because there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Cast Members who work in Andy’s backyard. First, they aren’t referred to as Cast Members. Instead, they are “toys.” And each of the toys has his or her very own toy story—all you have to do is ask! When you visit Toy Story Land again, walk up to a toy (Cast Member) and ask him or her “What’s your toy story?” And prepare to be amazed and entertained!

2. Fantasmic!

Hollywood Studios’ nighttime spectacular is really quite…well, spectacular! Find your seat in the 10,000- seat amphitheater and prepare to be amazed as water, pyrotechnics, projections and a myriad of special effects come together to tell the story of Mickey, who has fallen asleep and is dreaming of his favorite Disney pals. But his dream doesn’t last long, and soon Mickey finds himself in the middle of a nightmare. His nightmare is full of scary images, strange sounds and lots of Disney villains. Mickey even faces the evil Maleficent—a four-story high version of her! Will Mickey be able to conquer his fears or will they get the best of him? Be sure to use one of your FastPass+ selections to find out!

1. Sunset Season’s Greetings

This is an experience you can only have at Hollywood Studios—and only if you visit during the Christmas holiday season. Every evening as the sun begins to set, feast your eyes on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. It won’t look like it usually does. In fact, thanks to some very cleverly and strategically placed projections, you’ll see holiday stories with your favorite Disney characters. The billboards along Sunset Boulevard come to life, and it even begins to snow! It’s an experience you have to see to believe, and if it’s something you missed so far, be sure to put it on your Disney World bucket list!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.