Hollywood Studios 1-Day Itinerary 2023- Disney World Must Do Attractions, Shows, Restaurants

If you only have one day to spend at Hollywood Studios, our Hollywood Studios 1-day itinerary 2023 includes all your must do rides, shows and experiences for the day.

We also figure in utilizing Genie+ which is a paid service that allows you to access a shorter line for attractions called the Lightning Lane.

Keep reading for everything you need to know for a perfect day at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

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Hollywood Studios 1-Day Itinerary Prepwhich rides have single rider disney world

Before you arrive to the park, there are some essential steps you should take care to be prepared for your day at Disneyland.

  • Make a Park Reservation for everyone in your group. It’s required for park entry along with your park admission!
  • Walt Disney World has an app that you can download for either Android or iPhone that will give you the most accurate wait times for rides. This app is a must have for anyone visiting Walt Disney World. You can link your park tickets to it, make dining reservations, use the mobile food ordering feature, link your PhotoPass tickets, and utilize the important Disney Genie+ system!
  • Download and link your tickets to this app PRIOR to your trip and become familiar with it. This way when you show up to the gates you are already a pro at using the app. Take a look at the layout of each park on the app so you have a rough idea of where you are going once you enter.
  • Decide which attractions at Animal Kingdom are the top priority for each member in your group. Have each family member pick at least one attraction that they do not want to miss. This way you can make sure that no matter what each person does their top ride.
  • Plan on staying for the entire day and not taking a break so you can maximize your time in the park since you only have one day to spend.
  • Check your park operating hours for the day. Walt Disney World is known for changing park hours at the last minute!
  • Make sure to pick a day when Hollywood Studios is staying open late enough to see the parks at night! This will often be a weekend unless you’re traveling during a peak time of year.
  • Make your dining reservations ahead of time. The restaurants at Walt Disney World fill up fast, especially the reservations slots for some of the more popular restaurants.
  • Learn about Genie. Be sure to spend some time reading about Genie+ and how it works before you arrive. We have a great guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World, updated often with the Genie+ service updates.

Hollywood Studios 1-Day Itinerary Morning

Guests will be allowed into the park 30 minutes prior to park opening. This helps control the flow of the crowds and can be a big advantage for arriving to the park early. The access points of the park will be blocked off with ropes (hence the term: rope drop!) until the park officially opens. But being inside the park and ready to go at the entrance to the land you want to head to first is a great advantge.

Walt Disney World Early Entry: Guests staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels are given access to select attractions 30 minutes prior to park opening giving those guests an advantage for some popular attractions. Read more about early entry and our advice on what you should prioritize during that 30 minutes if you have it in our Walt Disney World Early Entry guide!

If you don’t have early entry, don’t worry too much. The hotel guests don’t have access to all the attractions during the 30 minutes so it won’t impact your day too much except for those most popular morning rides will already have a line forming by the time you’re let in.

Hollywood Studios Rope Drop

Plan to arrive at least one hour prior to the park opening. You want to be lined up at the front gate roughly 45 minutes before opening which means giving yourself at least 15 minutes to get through security and manage any transportation delays.

Hollywood Studios breakfast: Get breakfast to go and eat while you’re waiting to be let in through the turnstiles, this will help make the time pass quicker or allow some extra time to eat at your hotel. Just make sure you eat before you arrive!

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Strategy

Walt Disney World FastPass+ has been RETIRED and replaced by the Genie Plus service which allows guests to make reservations for attractions from the My Experience app for a starting fee of $15 per person per day- the price varies depending on day of the season, crowd levels. If you are only planning on spending one day at the parks, in this case I absolutely recommend you plan on purchasing it for your day. This will allow you to access the quicker line, called the Lightning Lane, for attractions rather than the longer standby line which will save you hours of time during your day. Read our full guide to Genie+ to get a sense of how it works and use it in conjunction with our 1-day itinerary!

Hollywood Studios 1-Day Morning Itinerary

Hollywood Studios is the park that I get the most questions about when it comes to planning a trip because it’s the park with all the newest attractions like Rise of the Resistance, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Toy Story Land, etc.

We usually have great success with our Disney World park strategy at this park and it definitely isn’t as complex as Magic Kingdom since there are less attractions. But since this park does have less attractions, it also feels the most crowded because there’s not as much to do to space crowds out.

Genie+ Lightning Lanes- Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Play and Dance!
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours- The Adventure Continues
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania

All of these attractions and shows are included with your Disney Genie+ purchase. You can reserve a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation once every two hours or once you’ve redeemed your Lightning Lane reservation.

Hollywood Studios 1 Day Itinerary

I recommend prioritizing Genie+ for:

  • Slinky’s Dog Dash
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Slinky’s Dog Dash is easily the most popular ride aside from Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios! This means that Genie+ reservations often run out right away when the park opens. I would recommend booking Slinky Dog Dash immediately. Walt Disney World hotel guests can book their first reservation starting at 7am. Guests not staying on-site can begin their purchase once they enter the parks. Slinky Dog Dash is one of the most popular attractions in the park, the line will stay long all day- even in the evening.

Individual Attraction Access- Not Included with Genie+

Lightning Lanes Individual Attractions service is an option for guests to purchase one off access to the most popular Walt Disney World attractions on the same day of their visit. Price ranges from $8-$15 per person, per ride. Limit of two per day.

Individual Lighting Lane- Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

I highly recommend you use it for Rise of the Resistance! This ride is easily the most popular in the park and always has a long line- even at park closing and opening. Some guests will arrive early and attempt to rope drop it. However, unless you’re in the very front of that crowd heading to the attraction you might find yourself waiting a long time to ride. Rise of the Resistance will often have the longest wait in the morning right after rope drop.

How to Ride Rise of the ResistanceRise of the Resistance

If you want to ride Rise of the Resistance, the newest ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the good news is that the process is now far less complicated than it used to be. You can either ride standby or purchase access to the Lightning Lane- this is a separate purchase than the general Genie+ access since Rise of the Resistance is not included in that price.

Hollywood Studios Touring PlanMickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway- Disney World Park strategy

  • Book Slinky’s Dog Dash with Genie+
    • If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, you can do this as soon as 7AM! This Genie+ reservation WILL go quick so do it as soon as possible!
  • Ride Tower of Terror & Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at park opening
    • These two rides are directly next to each other and most of the crowds in the morning tend to run towards Slinky or Rise- leaving the path open to knock these out before the crowds build up! You may have to wait in a longer line for the second one (I recommend doing Tower of Terror first!) but it will be far shorter than it will be later in the day.
  • Go at your own pace enjoying the rest of the rides and use Genie+ to save time!

Since Hollywood Studios usually opens a bit later in the day at 9AM or 10AM, by this point in your itinerary the rides will be at the length they will remain for the rest of the day so you can go to the rest at your own pace. I would use Genie+ as often as you can in this park to help maximize your time!

Star Tours- The Adventure Continues, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and Muppet*Vision 3D typically have low waits consistently so they’re good options to enjoy while waiting for your Genie+ reservation.

Should I buy Genie+ for Hollywood Studios?

I highly recommend getting Genie+ for this park, I would prioritize having it at Hollywood Studios above all others. This park is extremely popular and it will help to have a way to save time in line.

Hollywood Studios Best Iconic Lunch Spots

For an iconic Hollywood Studios lunch spot, here are my top three table service (sit down dining!) recommendations:

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe- 50’s Prime Time Cafe is an all-American restaurant inside Hollywood Studios that is themed to be just like “Mom’s Kitchen” from the 1950s. Be prepared for some humor at this restaurant- the staff here aren’t above giving you lessons in table etiquette and lectures on table manners! I was put in ‘time out’ along with two other adults in our section for having our elbows on the table which all the kids found hilarious.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Review- inside of theater with sky and movie screen

  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater- The theme at the Sci-Fi Dine-In theater makes it one of my favorite Disney World restaurants. The booths are shaped like cars with attached tables in front of the seats. The inside of the theater is themed like an outdoor dine-in theater complete with a movie screen, light up sky, and 50’s style car speaks by each table.
  • Oga’s Cantina- And of course, I’d be remiss to not mention Oga’s Cantina which is the Star Wars themed bar in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge where you can enjoy space cocktails and bites. All while DJ Rex plays some familiar and new Star Wars cantina appropriate tunes.

Hollywood Studios also offers some great quick-service locations including:

  • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo– this quick-service location in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers great dining options right next to the Millennium Falcon!
  • Woody’s Lunch Box– this spot inside Toy Story Land offers traditional American fare with a Toy Story twist, with offerings like old-fashioned soda floats and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Characters

You can find Disney characters scattered throughout Hollywood Studios. Some offer traditional meet and greets and some are just seen from afar or part of spontaneous character cavalcades. If you are only devoting one day to Hollywood Studios, you may want to only plan to see characters in passing as some of these lines (especially for the characters in Toy Story Land!) can get pretty long.

Animation Courtyard

  • Disney Junior– Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, etc.
  • Pluto
  • Sulley- Walt Disney Presents

Commissary Lane

  • Olaf- Celebrity Spotlight
    • Genie+ Offered
  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse- Red Carpet Dreams

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

  • Rey
  • Chewbacca
  • Kylo Ren
  • Stormtroopers

Star Wars Launch Bay

  • BB-8 -Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Chewbacca- Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Darth Vader– Star Wars Launch Bay

Toy Story Land

  • Buzz Lightyear– Toy Story Land
  • Woody– Toy Story Land
  • Jessie- Toy Story Land

Hollywood Studios EntertainmentHollywood Studios 1Day Itinerary

Hollywood Studios also offers a few great stage shows to fill in your day which is a great way to spend your time when waiting for your next Genie+ reservation to be ready! Since this is such a popular park at Walt Disney World, you will find yourself with some time to kill in between ride reservations so this is a great time to utilize the stage shows.

All these do offer Genie+ access but I wouldn’t recommend prioritizing it over a ride you want to avoid a line for! You will usually still get in all these shows without Genie+ regardless, folks with Genie+ just get let in first so they get first choice of seats and are guaranteed to make it into the show they reserved. We noticed even for the most popular show, Indiana Jones, that the seating area is massive and they had no issues getting everyone in.

  • Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Play and Dance!
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

The absolute must do on this list? Easily is Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular which will feature behind the scenes looks at how stunt actors perform action shots for popular movies like Indiana Jones! You will see explosions, fight scenes, and even a rolling boulder.

Nighttime Spectaculars

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers two main nighttime spectaculars that are worth taking some time out of your evening to finish off your day.

Fantasmic!How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World?

Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a classic nighttime spectacular and a must do to add to your Hollywood Studios 1-day itinerary. During peak times of the year you can expect two shows per evening which usually are at the end of the park day which makes for a nice way to wrap up the evening.

Wonderful World of Animation- Hollywood StudiosWonderful World of Animation

This new nighttime projection show uses the façade of the Chinese Theatre to celebrate more than 90 years of Disney and Pixar animation. Sequences featured in this film include moments from Sleeping Beauty, The Incredibles, Coco and Mickey Mouse shorts. The show ends with a tribute to Mickey. The theme of the show incorporates the love of animation with magic, family, adventure, romance, and friendship.

This show is 12 minutes long and typically plays nightly at 9PM in front of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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