Updated 9/18/18. As one of four parks within Walt Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios sits upon 154 acres- rather small for a theme park. But, what it lacks in size makes up in fun with favorites from the movie world.
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Guests can spend the day immersed in Star Wars, hang with the Muppets, and now spend the afternoon with the Toy Story gang! Read ahead to help plan your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to ensure you experience the most during your visit.
Knowledge is power so having an itinerary in place prior is key to a successful visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here are a few essentials to know before you create your to-do list. You’ll need to know height requirements, the FastPass+ system and which attraction offers it, and how to maneuver Single Rider and Rider Switch options. Each attraction description listed in the article will specify each of these for easier reference.
Most attractions at Disney theme parks are available to guests of all ages and size. However, because guest safety is a Disney key component, height requirements are in place for some of the faster-paced attractions.
Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system virtually holds your place in line for any attraction within the system. Free with tickets and annual passes, you can reserve your queue spot up to 30 days in advance or 60 days if you’re staying on property. Each person can reserve three attractions per day in advance either online or with the Disney mobile app. Most Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions honor FastPass+.
SINGLE RIDER/RIDER SWITCH
Due to the popularity of the FastPass+, Single Rider lines are minimal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Single Rider lines are for one person who can fill in the open vehicles spaces on any such attraction. Guests can cut the wait time immensely utilizing this option which is a favorite for duos or solo guests.
Guests also have the option of Rider Switch. One person stays with the non-rider while the other responsible party (aged 14 and up) and accompanying guests (up to 2) enjoy the attraction. Once they are finished, both parties switch roles so everyone can experience the same attraction without having to wait again in a queue.
ENTERING DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Unlike most Disney theme parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios does not have designated “lands” but rather it replicates a working studio lot. Guests enter and stroll down Hollywood Boulevard to decide where to begin their Tinsel Town tour.
If you like fast-paced, thrill attractions, head west onto Sunset Boulevard. There, you’ll find both Rock ‘N Roll Coaster Starring Aerosmith, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
ROCK ‘N ROLLER COASTER STARRING AEROSMITH
As a premiere attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Rock ‘N Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is atop of the to-do list. Take a ride on the wild side with the jamming soundtrack of Aerosmith’s greatest tunes. You’ll loop, corkscrew, and speed up to 60-miles per hour on this electrifying thrill-coaster. Tune into “Walk This Way”, “Dude Looks Like a Lady”, “Sweet Emotion”, and “Back in the Saddle” on your roaring coaster ride. The classic rock group even rewrote a few lyrics from “Love in an Elevator” to “Love in a Rollercoaster” specifically for the attraction.
SPECIFICS– The height requirement for this attraction is at 48″. Guests can also take advantage of FastPass+, the only Single Rider queue in the park, and Rider Switch options.
TIP– This attraction is a dark, high-level, fast-paced coaster filled with drops and tight curves. Guests prone to motion sickness might want to skip it. Kids who scare easily should avert it as well even if they meet the height requirement.
TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR
At the end of Sunset Boulevard, guests take an unexpected ride on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Based on the classic television series hosted by Rod Serling, would-be hotel patrons enter the fictional Hollywood Hotel for an surreal journey into the 5th dimension. Unknowing guests board haunted elevators which raise them up to almost 200 feet only to plummet suddenly stories below without warning.
SPECIFICS– The minimum height requirement for this attraction is 40″. Guests can take advantage of both FastPass+ and Rider Switch at this location.
TIP– Once you’re in the library waiting area, a door will open to the basement where you will then enter the elevator. Head to the line on the left- it’s the quickest.
In Animation Courtyard you can find popular attractions such as the Star Wars Launch Bay and Toy Story Land.
STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY AND THEATER
Star Wars encounters are all throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In Animation Courtyard, you’ll find both Star Wars Launch Bay and Star Wars Launch Bay Theater. Welcoming all Jedis, Rebels, an even the Dark Side, Star Wars Launch Bay pays homage to the Star Wars Universe. Guests can enjoy the displays of everything Star Wars including props and costumes straight from LucasFilms. The current exhibit showcases the recent theatrical release A Solo Story.
In the Launch Bay Theater, Star Wars fans can immerse themselves in the 10-minute film showcasing the entire Star Wars universe. Catch on-spot interviews with cast, writers, and crew members of all things Star Wars in this 10-minute documentary.
SPECIFICS– Both Star Wars Launch Bay and Launch Bay Theater are open to everyone of all ages and sizes. The movie plays continuously throughout the day so no need for FastPass+ here.
TIP– Make sure camera is in hand! You never know when you may come face-to-face with Chewbacca or even Kylo Ren for some intergalactic photo ops.
WALT DISNEY PRESENTS
Walt Disney Presents is the ultimate culmination of the life of Walter Elias Disney. This interactive exhibit showcases the many ideas and projects he conceptualized. Walk through his boyhood footsteps to his rise as an animation visionary and beyond. Tour rare Disney vault displays which house hundreds of props and artwork used throughout the films and theme parks construction. And, be sure to take a sneak-peak at what each Disney theme park worldwide may have in development including next year’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
SPECIFICS– All guests are welcome at Walt Disney Presents. There is no height restriction or need for FastPass+ at this location.
TIP– Join narrator Julie Andres as she celebrates the life of Walt Disney in the 15-minute film Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. The clip is shown continuously throughout the day.
TOY STORY LAND
As the new kids on the (wooden) block, Woody and Buzz Lightyear welcome you to Andy’s backyard for an adventure in Toy Story Land. Andy has fashioned together some of his games to create a larger-than-life size entertainment venue for his toys to explore. You, as guests, are invited along.
TOY STORY MANIA
Easily the best attraction in Toy Story Land, Toy Story Mania appeals to the kid in everyone. Board carnival-themed trams while donning 3D glasses to test your shooting skills with a spring-action shooter. Compete with others or yourself at five different virtual games- Hamm and Eggs (barnyard targets), Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts (balloon targets), Green Army Men Shoot Camp (plate targets), Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers (ring toss), and Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery (bullseyes).
SPECIFICS– All ages are welcome on this attraction. FastPass+ is honored at Toy Story Mania but due to the popularity of this attraction, tickets disappear quickly. Plan accordingly and get those passes early!
TIP– There are plenty of secrets to unlock for maximum points which is what makes this attraction so popular. First time riders will enjoy the overall Toy Story theming but seasoned pros know the hidden triggers in each game. It’s best to work with a teammate but if you’re solo, always aim for the highest point targets overall.
- Hamm and Eggs– Look for patterns. Hit the fox which opens up higher point targets then aim for the chickens. Repeat this until your time runs out and you move onto the next screen.
- Dino Darts– Shoot the lava flow balloons to cause an eruption of balloons worth higher points. Keep your eyes on the comets in the background as well. Destroy the comets and they regenerate with higher points.
- Shoot Camp– This game works best with two. Work together to hit the high point plates tossed in the background. This will generate a tank which will shoot out high point plates. Just keep shooting even as Sarge yells orders at you.
- Flying Tossers– Definitely grab a partner to help unlock this trick. Ring all aliens across the board before they regenerate and the screen unlocks a monster alien worth points. (This is a tough trick- it takes practice).
- Shootin’ Gallery- Aim for higher point bulls-eyes throughout. When the mine carts appear, aim quickly for higher point targets. And, always aim for the bat who hangs overhead. It regenerates for higher points.
SLINKY DOG DASH
Ride Slinky Dog Dash as he stretches and bends across Andy’s hand-made coaster. The concept of the attraction is explained throughout the waiting queue. Using his Dash and Dive playset coaster and cars, Andy has imagined the cars inside Slinky so when Slinky travels on the coaster, guests hear the coil sound of the toy.
SPECIFICS– The minimum height requirement is 38″ tall and FastPass+ tickets are accepted at the venue.
TIP– Sit near the back for the best views of the Toy Story props. And be ready to smile for the ride camera before the last turn. Say cheese….or Slinky!
ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS
The Pizza Port aliens have landed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and are ready to take guests on an inter-planetary trip. Similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Disney California Adventure, Alien Swirling Saucers glide on a figure-eight pattern circuit with four circular tracks. The attraction is slower-paced which younger guests will enjoy.
SPECIFICS– Riders must be at least 32″ tall. FastPass+ is accepted at Alien Swirling Saucers.
TIP– Expect this attraction to be busy even with the short duration time of one minute. It’s best to take flight early in the day or later in the evening if FastPass+ isn’t available to you.
Grand Avenue is home to the Muppet Vision 3D.
It’s time to dim the lights with your emcee Kermit the Frog as he prepares to host today’s show. Audience members (you) are invited to Muppet*Vision 3D to watch Fozzie Bear, Rolf, and Miss Piggy highlight a variety show. Guests will enjoy a short pre-production clip featuring stage manager Scooter as he tries to round up his crew. Once inside the auditorium, viewers will don 3D glasses as the Muppets take stage. Be on the lookout for the old favorite hecklers- Statler and Waldorf- and the patriotic conclusion only Sam the Eagle can choreograph. Or not.
SPECIFICS– All guests are potential audience members and remember to utilize your FastPass+ passes here.
TIP– This indoor venue offers a great reprieve from the hot Florida sun. Enjoy a cool break while watching the Muppets do what they do best- implode- but always with comedic style.
Echo Lake is where you can find the two popular Star Wars attractions in Hollywood Studios.
STAR TOURS- THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES
Hop aboard a star cruiser for your space adventure on Star Tours- The Adventure Continues. Flight simulators will take passengers on an electrifying journey into the Star Wars universe. Guests board their crafts then hyperspace to parts unknown as the story unfolds before them. Fliers may find themselves in the underwater world of Naboo or aboard the Death Star battling Darth Vader himself. And, one lucky passenger may be chosen as the Rebel spy who your ship must transport to the Alliance base. May the force be with you on your journey.
SPECIFICS– All potential space fliers must be 40″ tall. Both FastPass+ and Rider Switch are available as well.
TIP– Take advantage of another Star Wars photo ops as you head outside after your tour. You too can ride through the forests of Endor on the infamous speeder bikes Luke and Leia commandeered in Return of the Jedi.
STAR WARS: PATH OF THE JEDI
This film is dedicated to the Star Wars saga- an accumulation of more than 30 years worth. Star Wars: Path of the Jedi is a summary of fall of the Jedi Order and their triumphant return to battle and defeat the Galactic Empire. This short feature plays every 15 minute throughout the day.
SPECIFICS– Everyone is welcome to relive the Star Wars journey. FastPass+ is not essential to view this attraction.
TIP– Seats are always available so this show can easily be added to a schedule when in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
PLANNING A WALT DISNEY WORLD TRIP
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is easily viewed in one day. For more planning tips on visiting the rest of Walt Disney World, or any Disney theme park, sign up today for your MickeyVisit Newsletter. And, be sure to check some of our other articles for great references.
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