Planning a trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Here’s what you need to know

Hollywood Studios

In the third of our Disney travel guides (catch up on our Disneyland Paris guide here and Walt Disney World guide here, we zoom in on Hollywood Studios to give you all the insider information you need to plan your visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Back again with her Disney Wisdom is Travel Counsellor Tina Hopkins to help you get the most from your Disney-tastic holiday!

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Originally named MGM Studio’s when it opened in 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is where you can experience west end level shows, the Hollywood golden era and be submersed into the Star Wars movies. Like the other Disney parks Hollywood Studios is made up of different lands; Commissary Lane, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Animation Courtyard, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Toy Story Lane and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

How to get there

If you are staying at Disney’s Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club or the Swan and Dolphin Resorts you will be able to catch a boat to the park entrance. It’s also a short walk from any of these resorts. From other select Disney’s resorts you will be able to hop on the new Skyliner. Alternatively, Disney operates their bus system from any of their resorts.

There is another huge car park at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for those who would rather drive. The same car park fee applies as the other parks, U$D25.

Hollywood Boulevard

Upon entering the park Hollywood Boulevard is the first place you will see. This area is primarily made up of shops.

Attractions

At the end of Hollywood Boulevard, you will find the Chinese Theatre; inside will be Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, opening Spring 2020.

Places to eat

The Trolley Car Cafe is located on Hollywood Boulevard and is the place to get your Starbucks fix.

Top Tip: You’ll be surprised at how much walking is involved visiting a Disney Park- comfy shoes are a must! If you are traveling with little people you may find you need a pushchair, even if you no longer use one at home. Don’t worry though as Disney has you covered! Single and double stroller rental is available at all the parks.

Echo Lake

When you reach the end of Hollywood Boulevard if you bear left you will reach Echo Lake, it can be recognised by the giant dinosaur named Gertie, who resides in the lake.

Attractions

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is located around Echo lake – this is a great show to watch, whether you are an Indiana Jones fan or not. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration can also be found here.

Places to eat

There are plenty of places to eat: Hollywood and Vine, where you can enjoy a tasty buffet at breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst being visited by a variety of Disney characters. Next door is 50’s Prime Time Cafe, you may be lucky enough to be seated at a retro TV table where the servers will make sure you eat your vegetables and remember your manners! The food here is traditional American comfort food.

Top Tip: There are hundreds of restaurants located throughout Walt Disney World, but getting reservations are essential, especially for the more popular dining locations. Dining reservations are available to book 180 days out.

Hollywood Studios

Commissary Lane

Attractions

Star Tours – The Adventure Continues, is located at the end of Commissary Lane. You can also find Jedi Training: Trials of the temple. This show happens multiple times a day. You can also meet Mickey and Minnie dressed in their best Hollywood attire.

Places to eat

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre plays clips of old movies on a large screen, whilst guests sit in cars to enjoy their meals. The Baseline Tap House has a corner pub theme and serves a variety of wines and other alcoholic drinks from California. You can also pick up a few small bites.

Top Tip: If you have a child aged 4-12 you can sign them up to take part in the Jedi Training Academy show – places book up quickly so it is advisable to head here first thing.

Grand Avenue

Attractions

Muppet Vision 3D is located here, a great show for all ages.

Places to eat

For a quick bite to eat you can check out PizzeRizzo. At Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano you can enjoy a variety of Italian classics.

Top Tip: For guests staying on-site Disney offer the Disney Dining Plan. There are three different levels, the quick counter service dining plan, the regular Disney dining plan, and the deluxe level. When you make a hotel booking and purchase park tickets you will be able to add the Disney Dining plan that suits your needs. By pre-paying for your meals, you can budget for your holiday with ease and most restaurants across Disney World (including those at Disney resorts) are included in the dining plan.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

The newest addition to Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in August 2019. It is the place to visit for all those Star Wars fans and even those who haven’t seen the movies!

Attractions

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a simulator ride where each guest takes on a different role to fly the ship. Smugglers Run is interactive, so each time you ride your experience will be different. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the second ride in this new land and is due to open in December 2019.

Places to eat

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo serve up food that is literally out of this world!Stop by Oga’s Cantina for some unusual drinks and don’t forget to pick up your blue or green milk from the Milk Stand.

Top Tip: The Disney Play App is a great way to pass the time whilst waiting in lines across Disney World. However, it really does take on a new level when you use the app in Galaxy’s Edge; allowing you to translate Aurebesh into English, activating droids around the land and allowing you to chat with characters.

Toy Story Land

Another new addition to Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land opened in June 2018 and shrinks you down to the size of one of Andy’s toys.

Attractions

There are some great rides here! Take a spin with Alien Swirling Saucers, enjoy a ride on Slinky Dog Dash and compete with your family in arcade style games on Toy Story Midway Mania. You can also see the Green Soldiers and meet Buzz and Woody.

Places to eat

Woody’s Lunchbox serves some tasty treats, including a yummy grilled cheese sandwich.

Top Tip: Queues in Disney can be long. Each day one of the parks will be open earlier or later just for resort guests. These are known as ‘Extra Magic Hours‘. If you are staying on-site these can be utilised to beat the crowds and enjoy the rides with shorter wait times.

Hollywood Studios

Pixar Place

Attractions

This is the place to meet The Incredibles and Edna Mode.

Places to eat

Neighborhood Bakery serve some tasty treats.

Top Tip: Through the My Disney Experience App you can use you mobile to order food at a variety of Disney restaurants, allowing you to skip the line when you arrive!

Animation Courtyard

Attractions

Disney Junior fans will love the Disney Junior Dance Party and they can also meet some of their favourite Disney Junior characters in the courtyard. At Star Wars Launch Bay celebrate Star Wars and then meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Finally, don’t miss Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

Places to eat

The Hollywood Brown Derby serves signature dining.

Top Tip: Just like the other parks Disney operate a free Fastpass+ electronic queuing system for all visitors. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom rides and attractions are allocated into either tier 1 or tier 2. Guests can select one Fastpass+ reservation from tier 1 and a further 2 from tier 2. All the rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are now in tier one and the shows are tier 2.

Sunset Boulevard

Attractions

Guests of all ages will enjoy Beauty and the Beast Live on stage. For those who like a real adrenaline rush be sure to go on The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith or The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

Places to eat

For a quick bite visit Fairfax Fare, Catalina’s Eddie and Rosie’s All-American Cafe.

Top Tip: Hollywood Studio’s night-time show Fantasmic! is located just off Sunset Boulevard. It can get busy, so you can use a Fastpass+ to reserve a seat. Alternatively, you can book a Fantasmic! Dining Package. After a tasty meal at The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood and Vine, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and you’ll enjoy reserved seating at Fantasmic!

Hollywood Studios

Final Thoughts…

Fantasmic! isn’t the only nightly show at Hollywood Studios, there’s also Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular to enjoy in front of the Chinese Theatre. With so much to see and do here you will need at least 2 days to fully explore Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

So now you know all there is to know about planning your trip to Hollywood Studios, be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming posts on the rest of the Disney Parks.

Are you hoping to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime? Do share in a comment below.

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Picture credits: Jeff Krause Photography Hollywood Studios – Sorcerer Mickey Presents Symphony in the Stars via photopin (license), Jeff Krause Photography Hollywood Studios – All of Echo Lake via photopin (license), CL Photographs Rockin’ The Night Away via photopin (license)

4 comments

  1. This is a fantastically useful post! I visited a few times when I was younger, but haven’t been in years. I really want to take my boys in the next couple of years and I’m so conscious that it’s all changed compared to what I remember. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Galaxy’s Edge!

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