Are you visiting Disney World and planning your Hollywood Studios Itinerary? This Hollywood Studios touring plan will help you plan your day at the Disney World theme park.
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Disney’s Hollywood Studios is quickly becoming 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.
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 a FastPass or dining reservations you should work your itinerary around those times. Hollywood Studios has a lot of shows and you should also use those times to make your Hollywood Studios touring plan. Read this article on How to Make Hollywood Studios FastPass for more details.
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.
One Day Disney’s Hollywood Studios Itinerary
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.
I also suggest purchasing tickets before you arrive at the park. This can be done on the Disney World website or check here for discounted ticket packages.
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours are early entry or stay late hours that guests can enjoy if they stay at an on-site resort. I share in this article why we prefer to stay at an on-site resort.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in December 2019. There are two attractions: Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run: Millennium Falcon. This is a fully immersive land that you want to give yourself time to explore.
There is dining, entertainment, and you can build a droid or lightsaber. It could take hours to explore. Also as of now (May 2020) Rise of the Resistance doesn’t offer a FastPass or even a regular line.
Guests will try to secure a boarding pass as soon as they enter the turnstiles at the park entrance. Those that secure it will be given a boarding group to ride the attraction. Check out this post for securing a boarding pass at Galaxy’s Edge.
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.
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, and Jedi Training Academy. These two Star Wars attractions are 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 Mickey and Minnie.
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.)
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. It also has Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run where you become the pilot.
On our last visit we built a Droid at the Droid Depot. Check out the video here!!
As you can see there are a lot of areas to explore, shows to watch, and rides to experience. When planning your one day at Hollywood Studios itinerary it is best to pick your top favorites and add in the other attractions after you have accomplished your list.
Arriving at Hollywood Studios
Off-site guests will arrive to Hollywood Studios by car. There is a main parking lot that will lead you to the park entrance.
Guests staying on-site will arrive by bus or if they are staying at a Skyliner Resort, like Disney’s Riviera Resort, they can take the short gondola ride to the park.
All guests will enter through the same entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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 plan on experiencing Rise of the Resistance you should secure a boarding pass immediately upon entering the park and then plan your day around your time.
Depending on your boarding group you should plan to ride all of the Toy Story Land attractions, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Milennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run before lunch.
The boarding group is not a time. You will receive a notification telling you when the group will be open for boarding. This can make planning your day tricky, but it can be done.
Honestly, Rise of the Resistance is worth the extra planning. It is an amazing ride and the best one at the park. If you happen to have a FastPass during your boarding time you should talk to a cast member to help you switch it.
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 180 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.
Another popular show is Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. This allows guests ages 4-12 to train to be a Jedi and come face to face with the dark side. To be part of the show you need to go to the sign-up area, near Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. Learn more in this article, How to Become a Jedi at Hollywood Studios.
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 extra magic 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.
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.
9:00: Park Opens!! Open the My Disney App to secure a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. Your boarding group will determine when you will ride.
- Ride Mickey’s & Minnie Runaway Railway
- Go to Toy Story Land: Ride first 2 attractions that we do not have FastPass for.
- Ride Slinky Dog (FastPass 9:00-10:00)
- Ride the Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Explore Galaxy’s Edge
- At this point hopefully your boarding pass will be ready. Ride Rise of the Resistance. If not leave Galaxy’s Edge to watch The Muppets 3D. 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 (FastPass 4:00pm-5:00pm)
- Dinner at Sunset Ranch Market
- Rock N Roller Coaster (FastPass 6:00-7:00pm)
- Explore Toy Story Land at night.
- Experience any attractions you want to see or do again.
- Check out one of the nightly shows.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers
- Disney Jr. Live Show
- Meet Disney Jr. Characters
- Watch the Princess shows: Voyage of the The Little Mermaid, 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
Disney Hollywood Studios has Star Wars characters and shows. Make time to meet the Characters at Star Wars Launch Bay. 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. Learn more about it from Simply Bessy.
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. There are many other restaurants that offer better choices. We like PizzeRizzo, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
This plan requires a bit of walking back and forth due to the opening of Toy Story Land and the unknown of your boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. . The park itself is not very large and the walking will be worth it to see the characters you would like.
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.
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