Hollywood Studios Guide: Essential Pre-Visit Information on Dining, Rides, Transportation

Our kick off guides to the Disney World theme parks serve as a easy reference to planning your day at the work from everything to the touring strategy to follow and the must see snacks! Hollywood Studios is by far one of the most popular parks lately since it’s home to all of our newest attractions like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Rise of the Resistance! Our Hollywood Studios guide has everything you need to know to have a successful day in the park.

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Transportation to Hollywood Studioswalt disney world transportation- hollywood studios guide

The first step for planning the day in our Hollywood Studios guide is thinking about how you will get to and from Hollywood Studios. You have three possible options to choose from: a Disney World Resort Bus, the Disney Skyliner, or driving. If you’re staying off-site, you will only be able to drive or use ride share to get to Hollywood Studios.

  • Disney World Resort Bus– line up at your bus stop at your Disney World resort at least 90 minutes prior to the park’s official opening time.
  • Driving – you can drive yourself to the parks or use rideshare (read our guide to using Uber at Disney World) which some people prefer especially if they plan to park hop.
  • Skyliner- if you’re staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation, and the Riveria Resort. If you plan on using the Skyliner, arrive 90 minutes prior to park opening for Hollywood Studios.
  • Ferryboat- you can access Hollywood Studios by ferryboat if you’re staying at one of these resorts: BoardWalk Inn and Villas, Beach Club Resort and Villas, Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

The Skyliner will typically run for an hour past closing time to get guests back to their hotels. The busses will stay until every guest has exited the park so you are guaranteed a way back to your hotel via the bus no matter how late you leave which can come in handy if you have a dinner reservation that goes past park closing time.

Transportation Pro Tip: Take an Uber to the Speedway Gas Station- the Speedway gas station is in easy walking distance to the front gates of Hollywood Studios, about a ten minute walk or less, with only one road to cross. This is doable with kids and many folks do this so they can line up earlier than an hour before the park opens and be at the front of the security line. If you’re dedicated, this way will allow you to be first in line at the gates!

>You can read all about transportation at Disney World in our guide.

Best Dining at Hollywood StudiosSci-Fi Dine-In Theater- Hollywood Studios guide

Now it’s time to talk about food in our Hollywood Studios guide! What are the must hit restaurants inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios? We have a few great options to suggest whether you’re looking for fabulous themed dining, quick service, and snacks!

  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater- this table service restaurant is themed to be a drive in movie theater complete with a movie screen playing vintage sci-fi clips and car themed booths. You can read our full review of this experience to see why we loved it so much!
  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe- this is another great themed table service restaurant that focuses on the Donna Reed era of family home cooked meals and cast members are fully in character ready to chastise you on your table manners or not eating your vegetables.
  • Hollywood & Vine Minnie’s Seasonal Character Dining: – this table service restaurant is worth mentioning mainly for its character dining option which will offer a holiday theme for Halloween and Christmas! You can expect to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto at this meal in a themed diner. You can read our full review here of the modified character dining experience.
  • Oga’s Cantina- this Star Wars themed cantina/bar experience is one of the most popular areas of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The theming is a must do for any Star Wars fan along with the quick-service locations inside the land. You can read our full review of Oga’s Cantina and other Star Wars dining options to see what to expect.
  • Woody’s Lunchbox- this popular quick-service spot in Toy Story Land offers classic American food like three cheese grilled sandwiches, tater tots, and giant pop-tarts.

You can also find a large variety of quick service food stands in one area on Sunset Blvd. on our way to Tower of Terror with ample seating so you can pick from a variety of quick foods.

>You can read about all the dining options at Hollywood Studios in our guide. 

Characters at Hollywood StudiosStar Wars: Galaxy's Edge- Hollywood Studios guide

You can find a variety of characters in Hollywood Studios that will be tied to the lands that are inside the park. Even though there are currently no character meet and greets right now you can find characters in areas around the park including:

  • Star Wars
    • You can expect to see Star Wars characters tied to the most recent films like Rey, Chewbecca, Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers, etc. hanging out in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge waving to guests from a distance.

You can also see spontaneous character cavalcades throughout the park including:

  • Mickey and Friends Motorcade features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale, accompanied by a bouncy musical score inspired by Disney cartoon shorts.
  • The Pixar Pals Motorcade features the Incredibles, Woody, Buzz Lightyear waving to the beat of the Green Army Drum Corps.
  • Disney Junior Stars Motorcade brings favorite TV friends Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins and Vampirina to Hollywood Boulevard.

There is also the option of the seasonally themed charactering dining at Hollywood & Vine for your chance to get closer to the classic characters in the park.

>Read our guide to Disney World right now to see why we love these new character interactions.

Touring Plan for Hollywood StudiosMickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway- Hollywood Studios guide

Based on our recent experiences at Disney World without FastPass we created a touring plan for each park to help you ride everything with minimal waits for our Hollywood Studios guide even if you don’t purchase Genie+… which is the new system that replaced FastPass. To get the most done, make sure you arrive as early as possible and plan to be at the parks at least 45-60 minutes prior to opening depending on how soon Disney transportation will allow you to line up.

Read our full 1-day itinerary for Hollywood Studios.

  • Book Slinky’s Dog Dash with Genie+
  • 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
  • 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.

Hollywood Studios may be one of the most popular parks but if you arrive early, you can cross a few of those key attractions off your list with no to minimal wait times. I highly recommend getting Genie+ for this park, I would prioritize having it at Hollywood Studios above all others.

These rides tend to have low waits if you wait until later in the afternoon:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Star Tours- The Adventure Continues
  • Muppet*Vision 3D

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Enjoy our Hollywood Studios guide? Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:


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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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