Visitors Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort opened as as Disney-MGM Studios on May 1, 1989 and recently added two new lands: Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land. The park in 2020 opened Disney's first ride devoted to Mickey Mouse — Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, which you will find inside the replica of Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theatre that stands in the middle of the park.

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Our recommendations below come from our ongoing survey of Theme Park Insider readers. Locations with star ratings ranked especially highly among our readers. Vote here to take part in our surveys and submit your picks for top attractions.

What to Do

Top 10

  1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ★ ★ ★ ★
    Trackless dark ride located in Star Wars: Galaxy Edge. Height requirement: 40 inches

  2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ★ ★ ★
    Indoor drop tower ride located at the end of Sunset Boulevard. Height requirement: 40 inches

  3. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
    Dark ride located in the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard

  4. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
    Motion-base ride located in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Height requirement: 38 inches

  5. Toy Story Mania
    Interactive dark ride located in Toy Story Land
    Toy Story Mania

  6. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
    Indoor Vekoma roller coaster with on-board music, located on Sunset Boulevard. Height requirement: 48 inches
    Rock 'n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

  7. Muppet*Vision 3D
    Movie on Muppets Lane

  8. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
    "Star Wars"-themed motion-base show located near Echo Lake. Height requirement: 40 inches
    Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

  9. Fantasmic!
    Nighttime spectacular on Sunset Boulevard.
    Fantasmic!

  10. Slinky Dog Dash
    Mack Rides family roller coaster located in Toy Story Land. Height requirement: 38 inches
    Read Robert Niles' review of Toy Story Land.

Other Attractions

Sunset Boulevard
  • Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy: character show
Mickey Avenue
  • Walt Disney Presents: walk-through exhibit
Toy Story Land
  • Alien Swirling Saucers: whip spinner. Height requirement: 32 inches
Commissary Lane
  • Mickey Shorts Theater: movies
Echo Lake
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular: live stunt show

Where to Eat

Recommended

  • Hollywood Brown Derby
    Table service restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard
    Hollywood Brown Derby

Elsewhere at Walt Disney World, Theme Park Insider readers recommend Citricos, a Mary Poppins-themed, fine-dining dinner restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel and Topolino's Terrace, serving French and Italian cuisine at dinner with a character meal at breakfast, in Disney's Riviera Resort. In Disney Springs, our readers recommend Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' for a Florida-inspired "farm-to-fork" table-service meal, and The Polite Pig for casual service barbecue.

Park Map

Disney's Hollywood Studios is part of the sprawling Walt Disney World Resort, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida – about 24 miles from Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Note that Disney no longer provides free Disney's Magical Express bus service to and from the Orlando airport for its hotel guests.

If you are renting a car while visiting Orlando, you can save on toll road fees by getting a Visitor Toll Pass at the Orlando airport rather than renting a toll transponder from your rental car company: Toll Discounts Return for Orlando Theme Park Visitors

Best Time to Visit Disney World?

Disney's theme park ticket prices vary by day, so you can use Disney's pricing calendar [scroll down] to see which days have the highest expected crowds. The lower the price for a ticket, the smaller the expected crowd that day.

In general, you will find the lightest crowd levels at the Walt Disney World theme parks during these periods:

  • late April through the week before Memorial Day
  • after the first week of August through September
  • late October and early November

Large crowds will fill the parks on runDisney weekends:

  • February 22 - 25, 2024
  • April 18 - 21, 2024
  • October 31 - November 3, 2024
  • January 8 - 12, 2025
  • February 20 - 24, 2025
  • April 3 - 6, 2025

In addition, crowd levels are high during:

  • any holiday week
  • President's Day week through Spring Break in mid-April
  • the week of Thanksgiving through New Year's week

Whenever you plan to visit, you must make date-specific reservations in advance to use your tickets. You can see which dates are open to reserve on Disney's "Park Pass" availability calendar. See the next section, below, for more advice on planning your Walt Disney World visit.

Strategy

Before You Go

If you want to visit more than one Walt Disney World theme park on a single day, you will need a "Park Hopper" ticket.

Dining reservations can be made via the Disney World website, and each date's reservations open 60 days in advance, at about 5:45am Eastern Time. Disney's on-site hotel guests may make reservations for their entire stay (up to 10 days) starting 60 days before their check-in date. That gives Disney's on-site hotel guests an advantage in making reservations for the most popular restaurants.

Itinerary

Disney's hotel guests also get 30 minutes of early access to each of the resort's four theme parks every day. So hotel guests should plan on an early start each morning to take advantage of empty queues. Unfortunately for guests staying off site, this new early admission policy means that they no longer have any opportunity to be the first to enter any Walt Disney World theme park in the morning.

As for planning your day, Walt Disney World now offers a new tool on its official My Disney Experience app to create a custom itinerary for each day of your visit. In addition, Disney offers two ways for its theme park guests to pay to access shorter wait times for many popular attractions. You can learn more about these options in our posts:

Because Disney's hotel guests slam Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance first thing in the morning, we recommend waiting until later in the evening to ride that attraction - or consider paying for Individual Lightning Lane access.

Honestly, this is the one park were we most recommend paying for either the Individual Lightning Lane for Rise or buying Disney Genie+, or even both. Slinky Dog Dash often has even worse wait times than Rise, with long wait times also common for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Millennium Falcon, Runaway Railway, Toy Story Mania, and Tower of Terror.

If you don't get Genie+, start with Slinky Dog, then go to Runaway Railway. Then look on the Disney World app to find the shortest wait time among Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and do that next. If the times are close, start with Toy Story, then do RnR and ToT. Save Rise for late in the day, aiming to arrive to that queue around 6-7pm, and after riding Millennium Falcon.

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