Disney’s Hollywood Studios was considered a half day Park for a while, but now after the beloved Magic Kingdom it finds itself at the top of the list.
With one of the newest rides in Walt Disney World with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the hottest ride in Rise of the Resistance, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has become a must visit Park during a Walt Disney World vacation.
The popularity has made it harder to navigate, and the addition of Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes has also caused Disney’s Hollywood Studios to be a challenge to tour.
In order to help you have a wonderful time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we have some tips and tricks for tackling it.
We hope these help you have a truly magical experience during your visit.
Consider Purchasing Disney Genie+
We understand that adding $15/person/day can be an additional cost that you might not have considered when planning a Walt Disney World vacation, but Disney Genie+ can offer a huge advantage in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
By purchasing Genie+, you will have the opportunity to access Lightning Lanes for big rides such as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, and all the shows.
This can save you hours in line when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Get There Early
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, we highly recommend taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. This allows you to enter the Park 30 minutes prior to the scheduled opening.
During this time, you can take advantage of lower wait times and check off some of the popular rides before the Park starts to fill up with regular Park Guests.
Another great tip is to stay late at the Park. As the evening approaches at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, typically you will see the wait times go down.
If you are traveling with adults or older kids, we suggest being in the Park in the evenings. Many families head out after supper, making wait times drop as it gets closer to Park closing.
Staying late is a great way to get on some of the more popular rides with lower waits.
What to Book First
If you have purchased Disney Genie+, we recommend booking Slinky Dog Dash as your first Disney Genie+ attraction. This highly popular family coaster is seeing Genie+ selections become unavailable within minutes of the 7:00 A.M. drop.
If you aren’t able to snag Slinky Dog Dash, the other ride that is going quickly is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. It’s an extremely popular ‘Star Wars’ ride in Batuu, and wait times are constantly long for this experience, so getting Lightning Lane using Disney Genie+ is an excellent option.
Following Slinky Dog Dash and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, consider looking at the two thrill rides on Sunset Boulevard. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will both see wait times of up to an hour or more during busy days.
For these rides we typically see Lightning Lane availability longer into the day than we do with Slinky Dog Dash and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. These are good options for your third and fourth selections.
What to Rope Drop
So now that you know what rides to select with Disney Genie+, where should you head when the Park opens? This can be a tricky decision, depending on what your Disney Genie+ selection was and if you choose to pay for Rise of the Resistance.
If you aren’t paying for Rise of the Resistance and are Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests, we recommend heading to Rise of the Resistance during the Early Theme Park Entry time as soon as you get into the Park.
For those that are paying for Rise of the Resistance or are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, we highly recommend heading to either Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run or Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway for your first ride of the day.
These rides have the longest wait times (after Slinky Dog Dash and Rise of the Resistance) and are where we would suggest heading to start the morning.
How To See the Shows?
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some amazing shows that you don’t want to miss out on when visiting.
Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage, the recently returned Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Disney Junior Play and Dance!, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along are all wonderful shows that shouldn’t be missed.
The issue becomes how to fit them in during your Disney’s Hollywood Studios day. While we don’t recommend using your Disney Genie+ selections on these shows, you can typically find Lightning Lane availability throughout the day.
The best way to fit in the outstanding shows at the Park is to visit them in between your Genie+ selections, or if you have to wait before making a new selection. We think the shows are great filler or in between experiences.
Where to Eat
Because Disney’s Hollywood Studios is extremely busy, make sure you have a plan when it comes to food.
We love the quick-service locations such as Ronto Roasters, Woody’s Lunch Box, and surprisingly, ABC Commissary. Get those Mobile Orders made early so you aren’t stuck waiting for a pick up time.
Another great option in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a table service meal. Consider making a reservation at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, or even Hollywood & Vine.
These are excellent ways to get out of the crowds and have some downtime.
We have always loved visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Park has only gotten better over the past few years. We hope that these tips and suggestions help you have a wonderful visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios during your next Walt Disney World vacation.