Are you visiting Disney World and planning your day at Hollywood Studios ? This one day Hollywood Studios itinerary will help you plan your day at the Disney World theme park.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a full day park with the latest additions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.
The park has shows and attractions that are entertaining and fun for everyone.
Some of our favorite attractions are at Hollywood Studios. Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash, and Tower of Terror are some of our favorites.
When planning your itinerary for Hollywood Studios you should consider a few things before you arrive.
The crowd levels can have a significant impact on the amount of attractions you can do in one day. I suggest looking at this crowd calendar to see the expected crowds on the day of your visit.
You also want to research the rides and shows at the park.
There may be attractions that you might want to skip or rides that your kids do not meet the height requirements or are scary.
You can find more information about the rides at Disney World here.
If you have purchased Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane passes or you have dining reservations, you want to plan your day around these times. (More details on Genie+ below.)
The weather is another thing to consider during your visit. Depending on rain and the heat you may want to plan a mid-day break at your resort.
If you are staying at another on-site Disney resort you can take the complimentary bus service from the resort to the park. If you are off-site check if your accommodations offer shuttle or plan on driving.
Map of Hollywood Studios at Disney World
When planning a theme park visit I always look at the map of the park to get an understanding of the park and to know the locations of the attractions we are visiting.
Hollywood Studios is not a difficult park to navigate but it will be necessary to do some back tracking during your day.
It doesn’t follow a traditional hub and spokes lay-out like the Magic Kingdom.
Hollywood Studios Layout
Hollywood Studios does not have the easiest layout. It is broken up into different lands but you will probably find yourself back-tracking your steps a bit.
The lands are Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Sunset Boulevard, Animation Courtyard, Toy Story Land, Commissary Land, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Hollywood Boulevard is the entrance to the park. At the end of the street is the newest family friendly attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Echo Lake has For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along, Indiana Jones, Star Tours-The Adventures Continues. Star Tours is NOT located in Galaxy’s Edge.
Grand Avenue has Muppet Vision 3D. I remember watching this show in the early 90’s when the park was MGM. I think it holds up well and it is a family favorite.
Commissary Lane doesn’t have attractions but you can meet Minnie Mouse.
Toy Story Land is one of our favorite places to visit! There are three attractions, character meet and greets, and dining options. Read all about our review of Toy Story Land.
Animation Courtyard has Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney Jr. Live, and Star Wars Launch Bay(again not in Galaxy’s Edge, you can meet characters here.) Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Star Wars Launch Bay are not currently open.
Sunset Boulevard has Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has Rise of the Resistance. Rise of the Resistance is incredible! It is one of the best attractions we have ever done. Galaxy’s Edge also has Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run where you can fly your own ship.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a very popular area. Expect it to be busier than other areas of the park. If you are planning on dining be sure to make reservations or use mobile ordering to place your order.
The Ronto Wraps at Docking Bay 7 are a must try! The kids enjoyed their pasta dishes too!
Guests can build a droid or lightsaber, and there is a lot to explore. You could spend an entire afternoon in Galaxy’s Edge alone.
If you are a huge Star Wars fan I suggest planning 2 days at Hollywood Studios so you do not feel rushed.
If you have one day at Hollywood Studios, it is best to pick your top favorites and add in the other attractions after you have accomplished your list.
Hollywood Studios Tickets and Reservations
Guests visiting must purchase tickets AND make a park reservation before arriving. This can be done on the Disney World website or check here for discounted ticket packages. Reservations will no longer be needed after January 9, 2024.
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort can take advantage of Early Entry. Early Entry allows on-site guests to enter the parks 30 minutes before opening.
Check the Disney World website for hours of operation for the day of your visit.
If all of this planning is not for you Disney offers an exclusive tour. The Disney Private VIP Tours will give guests a tour guide, and access to many of the attractions without having to do any planning. This comes at a serious upcharge.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Private VIP Tours at Disney.
Genie+ at Hollywood Studios
Genie+ at Hollywood Studios is the new program replacing Fastpass+ at Hollywood Studios. FastPass+ is being retired and a new system Genie+ is replacing it.
Disney Genie is a complimentary service offered through the My Disney Experience App that will allow guests to customize and create their visits to the Disney parks.
In theory this will help guests know the best times to visit attractions that they want to see and do. The Genie+ service is the paid option that is replacing FastPass.
Genie+ is an upgraded service that will allow guests to make reservations for popular attractions one at time on the day of visit. This is very different than the 60 days in advance guests were used to with FastPass.
Guests will enter the attractions through the Lightning Lane. Once they have entered an attraction they can make their next attraction reservation. This will cost $15.00+ per day per person, plus tax.
On-site and off site guests can make their first reservation at 7:00am day of visit. Then you can make your reservations 120 minutes from your previous booking or once you have used a Genie+ reservation.
There are a few extra things to know about how the 120 minute rule works.
First the 120 minute rule is from when park opens. If you make a reservation at 7:00am you will not be able to make another one until 11:00am, when park opening is at 9:00am.
A way to work around this is if you booked an attraction during that window. For example if you booked Slinky Dog for 9:30am-10:30am window you can book another pass once you have checked into the attraction. That would be well before 11:00am.
Some attractions will be excluded from Genie+ and can be purchased on an individual basis.
Genie+ Attractions Include:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Play & Dance!
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (February 25th-August 7th)
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
- Toy Story Mania!
Individual Lightning Lane Attractions Include:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Prices for these attractions vary but start around $15.00 a person.
Guests that don’t want to use the paid service can still use the regular lines or virtual queue options. As you would expect some visits may warrant an upgrade and some visits, during low season, the upgrade will not be necessary.
Hollywood Studios is one of the parks I highly suggest purchasing a Genie+ pass for. Even on low crowd days it will be helpful in planning your day.
More details can be found here.
Things to Know About Visiting Hollywood Studios
Is Hollywood Studios a Full Day Park?
Yes. At this point with all the new attractions and shows Hollywood Studios is a full day park.
Are there scary rides at Hollywood Studios?
Hollywood Studios does have scary thrilling attractions but there are attractions at Hollywood Studios that are great for younger kids and families too.
What does a ticket to Hollywood Studios cost?
Day tickets will vary in price but start at $104.00 a day per person.
How much is parking at Hollywood Studios?
Parking is $25.00 a day.
One Day at Hollywood Studios Itinerary
Arriving at Hollywood Studios
Before you even arrive at the park you should open your My Disney Experience App and try to secure a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. This starts at 7:00am and again at 1:00pm. Be on at least 5 minutes before start.
Update: Disney has been changing this procedure. You may have the option to secure a virtual boarding pass or there may be a traditional stand-by line. Check here for the most updated information.
Guests also have the option of purchasing a Lighting Lane pass for Rise of the Resistance. If you don’t want to purchase a lightning lane and want to experience Rise of the Resistance, arrive early and make it your first ride of the day.
Where to Start Your Disney Hollywood Studios Touring Plan
The most popular attractions are located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This means you need to plan your day based on what your group is most interested in.
If you purchased Lightning Lane you want to secure your first ride at 7:00am before you are at the park. If you plan on experiencing Rise of the Resistance this will be your first ride of the day, unless you purchase an individual lightning lane pass.
Honestly, Rise of the Resistance is worth the morning rush. It is an amazing ride and one of the best at the park.
If you are purchasing an individual Lightning Lane pass for Rise of the Resistance you may want to start in Toy Story Land and ride Slinky Dog Dash.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is another very popular attraction. It is so much fun and one of my favorites at the park.
If you are not planning on purchasing an individual lightning lane pass this should be your first attraction.
Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway are both very popular attractions. They both also require a Lightning Lane pass to ride.
Whenever I check wait times there is almost always a longer wait time for Rise of the Resistance. When we plan our day we would purchase an individual lightning lane pass for Rise of the Resistance and make Mickey and Minnie our first attraction by waiting in stand-by line.
Ideally before we left the resort I would have made a 9:30-10:30 genie+ reservation for Slinky Dog. I will review this later on in this post.
Afternoon at Hollywood Studios
In the afternoon I would plan a mid-day break at the resort or check out a few of the shows.
Visiting Hollywood Studios at Night
If you are visiting during a low crowd season night time can be one of the best times to visit. Most people have left for the day and you can experience the park at night.
Use this time to ride attractions again or anything you may have missed.
There are also nightly shows at Hollywood Studios that are great to see. After dusk Tower of Terror lights up for the 50th celebration.
At the Chinese Theatre, where Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is, guests can watch the Wonderful World of Animation nightly firework and projection show.
Fantasmic is the nightly show at Hollywood Studios. Check my Disney Experience app for current showtimes.
Dining at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios has quick service and table service dining options available to guests at the park.
If you would like to sit down for a table service meal be sure to make reservations ahead of time. Guests can book dining 60 days ahead of arrival.
If you are planning on doing quick service, all the Disney parks offer Mobile Ordering. Mobile Ordering allows guests to order from the My Disney Experience App during their visit to the park.
A few of our favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios dining options:
- Hollywood & Vine (Table Service, offers Character Dining.)
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe (Table Service)
- PizzeRizzo (Quick Service)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant (Table Service)
- Woody’s Lunch Box (Quick Service)
- Sunset Ranch Market (Quick Service)
- Ronto Roasters (Quick Service)
Shows at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios has many shows to entertain guests. Some of our favorites are Fantasmic, an evening show featuring Mickey Mouse, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, and the nightly shows Disney Movie Magic and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.
You can check the times of shows on the Disney World website before you arrive to help plan your itinerary at the park.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a Cars themed show that younger children will really enjoy.
Characters at Hollywood Studios
You can meet many Star Wars characters at Hollywood Studios. As you explore Galaxy’s Edge you may see some of your favorite walking around, and you will always see Stormtroopers. Guests can also meet Star Wars characters at Launch Bay.
If you have young children in your group you can meet Disney Jr characters like Vampirina and Doc McStuffins. At Toy Story Land you can meet Woody, Jessie, BoPeep, and Buzz. We have also seen the Green Army men walking around the land.
Sample Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Families
This is an example of an Disney’s Hollywood Studios itinerary for families. I like to write down my plans and you can use this worksheet to create one for your family.
Check the opening time of the park before you plan your day. Are there early entry hours? Plan on arriving at the park at least 30 minutes before park opening time.
This Hollywood Studios itinerary is based on a 9:00am opening. For this sample Hollywood Studios itinerary plan on purchasing an individual Rise of the Resistance pass as well as Genie+ for the day.
6:50am: Log into My Disney Experience App and be ready to book Slinky Dog Dash with Genie+.
Purchase Genie+ before you do this. Make sure you include everyone in your party. Don’t wait until day of if you can.** Also book my individual lightning lane pass for Rise of the Resistance.
On-site guests can book at 7:00am, off-site guests can book at park open.
7:30-7:45: Take the bus from Resort to Hollywood Studios. Consider time to pack your bag for the day, walk to the bus stop, bus ride, and walking to park entrance. This can often take more time than anticipated.
8:20-8:30: Line up at Hollywood Studios entrance. While in line we typically eat an on the go breakfast.
8:30: Park Opens!!
- Ride Mickey’s & Minnie Runaway Railway
- Go to Toy Story Land and ride Toy Story Mania and Alien Saucer. Use Genie+ to ride Slinky Dog.
- Once you ride Slinky Dog, make your next Genie+ reservation for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
- Explore Galaxy’s Edge
- If you have time waiting for your boarding time ride The Muppets 3D. It is near the exit to Galaxy’s Edge after you pass Rise of the Resistance. Return to Galaxy’s Edge after.
- Ride Star Tours.
- Lunch at Backlot Express
- Watch Indiana Jones Show.
- Watch Frozen Sing-Along.
- At this point you can see other shows that interest you or meet characters.
- Tower of Terror
- Dinner at Sunset Ranch Market
- Rock N Roller Coaster
- Explore Toy Story Land at night.
- Experience any attractions you want to see or do again.
- Check out one of the nightly shows.
Making a strict itinerary for Hollywood Studios is very difficult when there are so many different factors that go into planning your day.
The biggest take-away is that you should plan your day around the most popular attractions AND the attractions you are interested in.
If you are visiting with very young children and are not fans of Star Wars you may not want to plan your day around this.
If your kids are not tall enough for some of the attractions you will not want to plan around those attractions either.
The most popular attractions are Rise of the Resistance (160 minutes), Slinky Dog Dash (95 minutes), Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (75 min.), Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (75 min.), Toy Story Mania! (75 min.), Rock and Roller Coaster (80 min), Tower of Terror (60 min), and Star Tours (40 min).
I used the current wait times to determine this order. At 10:40am on a Thursday in early January, which typically sees low crowds. Use this list to help you plan and use your own list of prioritize to put your personalized itinerary together.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers
- Disney Jr. Live Show
- Meet Disney Jr. Characters
- Watch the Princess shows: Beauty and the Beast, Frozen Sing-Along
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Adults
- Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Have a drink at Oga’s Cantina.
- Ride Tower of Terror and Rock N’ Roller Coaster.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary Tips
Have a plan before you arrive and do what works for your group.
Make time to explore Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. The immersive theme is very cool. You will see characters walking around to interact with, don’t rush through it. For a more in depth look at how to plan a visit to Star Wars Land check out this post.
The Lightning McQueen racing show is a great place for preschool kids. It has a Cars themed show and meet and greet.
You can also meet the Disney Junior characters and should if you are visiting with a preschool child. Disney Jr. Live is a show that is perfect for this age group.
We picked lunch at Backlot Express due to the location during our itinerary. We’ve eaten there a few times and it offers a wide variety for our family. We also like PizzeRizzo, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and 50’s Prime Time Café.
This plan requires a bit of walking back and forth. The park itself is not very large, but it is the only way to see everything at the park.
This Hollywood Studios itinerary will help you plan your day at the park to maximize the attractions you can enjoy. My biggest tip is to always do what works best for your family and use this Hollywood Studios touring plan as a guide to your day.
Leah has been traveling with her family of 5 since 2012 and sharing her expertise on planning family vacations and visiting theme parks since 2016. Leah has been featured in Visit Rochester, Undercover Tourist, and Home Publications. She has worked with brands like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Hersheypark, Toyota, and various Tourism boards and destinations. Leah creates family travel itineraries based on real trip experiences with her family. Her guides and tips help others plan great family vacations. Learn more about Leah and Five for the Road.