A One-Day Plan for Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

parking lot sign at hollywood studios
Credit: Disney

A lot has changed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the years, and if the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge fell after your last trip you may be feeling a little stuck. We’ve got you covered with how to plan a full day in Hollywood Studios so you can feel the force and enjoy the rest of your favorite attractions throughout the park:


1. Arrive Early

Now that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll want to make this land the focus of your planning when you visit the park. Check for Extra Magic Hours that can get you into the park, and specifically Galaxy’s Edge before it opens to day guests (if you are staying at a Disney resort, that is). Conversely, if you are not interested in Star Wars you can almost guarantee that you will be able to experience the park’s other attractions with little or no wait if you arrive during morning Extra Magic Hours.

2. Get breakfast in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

If you do decide to start the day in Galaxy’s Edge, stop for breakfast first. Everyone else visiting the newest land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will rush to Smuggler’s Run, so you may be better off trying some of the new breakfast eats first. Stop at Docking Bay 7 or Ronto Roasters for Star Wars-inspired breakfast eats featuring a breakfast Ronto Wrap and dragonfruit-infused overnight oats. 

3. Ride Smuggler’s Run and explore Galaxy’s Edge

After breakfast, head to Smugglers Run. Only use the single rider line if you are actually a single ride- Due to the way the ride is set up it is very difficult to predict if being a single rider will give you much of an advantage over the regular standby line, so if you are in a group we recommend riding together. When you’re off the ride spend some time exploring Galaxy’s Edge before heading off to explore the rest of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and don’t forget to check out the shops and additional experiences like Droid Depot and Oga’s Cantina.


4. Head to Sunset Boulevard

When the crowds start to pick up in Galaxy’s Edge, head out to Sunset Boulevard. If you happen to have FastPasses for either Rock n’ Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, ride one of those during your reservation time and the other one before or after. If you aren’t into thrill rides, spend some time taking in the street entertainment, exploring the shops, or grabbing a seat for the next performance of Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage. Looking for something more lowkey? Keep going past Rock n’ Roller Coaster and settle in for Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.

5. Or opt for Toy Story Land first

If you’re more interested in Toy Story Land, head there first. As the second newest area in the park, wait times may be lengthy for the rides here regardless of the time of day (with the occasional exception of Toy Story Mania). If the lines are too long and you are staying in the park for the evening remember that you can always hop in line right before the park closes- And once the park closes and the FastPass line is cut off, the standby line will move right along. If you are interested in meet and greets, don’t forget that characters like Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Bo Peep are all waiting to meet you in Andy’s Backyard.

Slinky Dog Dash

6. Break for shows during the busiest part of the day

The middle of the day is the busiest time at any Disney theme park, so at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this is the perfect time to see some of the shows. If you are hoping to see a show like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular for instance, (or if you can’t wait to sing along to Frozen), the afternoon is the best time to go. Shows start at set times and have lots of seating, so you typically will not have a problem getting into a show making this an easier strategy than waiting in line for rides in the middle of the day.

7. Relax with a table service lunch

To further avoid those afternoon crowds, make a table service reservation for lunch in the late afternoon. This will give you some time to relax with a meal in one of Holly Studios’ uniquely themed restaurants and give you a chance to plan the rest of the night. For a more upscale experience, try the Hollywood Brown Derby, based on its real-life Hollywood counterpart or have a more casual meal at 50s Prime Time Cafe or the Sci-Fi Drive in Theater.

8. Do some shopping or character meets

Don’t forget about Hollywood Studios’ shopping scene. This park is the destination for all things Star Wars, and you can also find some great items in the shops along Sunset Boulevard and in corners of the park like Muppet Courtyard. If you’re all set with shopping, save some time for character meet and greets. Star Wars: Launch Bay is the place to meet Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and BB-8, and around the park you can also meet Mickey, Minnie, and Olaf.

9. End with the nighttime spectacular of your choice

Finish off your day in Disney’s Hollywood Studios by taking in one of the park’s nighttime spectaculars. For a classic Disney experience, head to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater to see Fantasmic! Or for a truly Star Wars-themed day, stick around for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular on Hollywood Boulevard. If you are visiting during the holiday season, be sure to check the My Disney Experience App or a times guide for seasonal holiday entertainment like Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! or Sunset Seasons Greetings.


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."