It’s no secret: Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios® is currently undergoing some major updates — majorly exciting, that is! First, the highly anticipated 2018 Toy Story Land, will allow guests to experience the world from a toy-sized perspective. Then in 2019, the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion will be completed. Finally, the first-ever exclusive Mickey Mouse cartoon ride will join the lineup at a later date (TBD)!
But if you ask us, now may actually be the perfect time to visit. After all, the lines are (somewhat) shorter, and who doesn’t need a good excuse for a return trip in a few years anyway? Whenever you visit, here’s what we recommend:
1) Experience both thrill rides.
Although Hollywood Studios® is a show-centric park, we think its adrenaline-packed thrill rides are two of Disney’s best.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith takes you on a round-and-round coaster to classic hits that vary by car, including “Sweet Emotion”, “Nine Lives”, “Walk This Way”, “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and more!
The epic Tower of Terror features an eerie Twilight Zone setting with an “elevator” that ascends and drops at random intervals, so no two rides will ever be the same!
Pro Tip: Do the rides first thing in the morning or last thing before closing for the shortest lines.
2) See the Star Wars attractions that are already open.
Did you know that storm troopers have landed at the park? Swing by the Launch Bay to meet Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and more. Blast off on a 3D simulator ride to other planets with Star Tours — The Adventures Continue. Watch the “A Galaxy Far, Far Away” live show bring iconic film scenes to life. And finish the day with incredible “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks!
3) Take your family on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
Help Andy’s toys! A real crowd-pleaser, everyone in your group will enjoy this competitive laser-shooter four-person ride. (Sure, your goal may be to defeat Zurg together, but it never hurts to remember your personal high score for bragging rights later on.)
4) Don’t forget the classic shows.
At its core, Hollywood Studios® is known for live shows — and some of its oldest are perhaps its best! At “The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History”, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the whole gang take a hilarious look at the past. Youngsters are sure to love the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage” featuring beloved songs from the films. And everyone can awaken their inner adventurer at the (occasionally explosive) “Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular!”
5) Beat the heat at Walt Disney Presents.
With so much up-and-coming for the park over the next few years, we would recommend a walk-through of Walt Disney Presents regardless — but it doesn’t hurt that this space is air-conditioned. Pause to check out the 3-D models and memorabilia plus meet a few characters, too!
6) Eat at least one meal in the sit-down restaurants.
We know theme park food can be pricy, but at Hollywood Studios®, the experience justifies the expense:
50’s Primetime Cafe: From delicious comfort food to waiters who joke with guests about keeping their elbows off the table, this purposefully-kitschy diner is like being transported to the 1950’s.
PizzeRizzo: The newest addition to the park’s dining selection, this Muppets-themed, quick-service spot offers pizza, meatball subs and more!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant: Eat like you’re at an old-fashioned drive in, complete with a fun movie playing onscreen. The food may be typical (affordable) American fare, but the experience is totally out of the ordinary.
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano: Although a bit pricier, this Italy-meets-Hollywood spot serves up charming vibes alongside delicious, sit-down Italian fare. Pro Tip: This spot serves adult beverages. Reservations recommended.
Hollywood & Vine: Treat your kids to character dining with their friends from the Disney Junior channel, or select the Minnie’s Seasonal Dining option to meet the classic Disney gang instead.
7) FastPass+ the Fantasmic show.
One of our all-time favorite shows, there are usually two times for the spectacular “Fantasmic!” musical each night. We suggest catching the early one, then heading over to see the Star Wars fireworks afterwards.
Pro Tip: Seating fills up fast at both showings, so getting a FastPass+ is a must!
If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is the park for you. If you’re a fan of live shows, this is the park for you. If you’re a fan of Hollywood flair, themed dining, character meet-and-greets, or any combination of all these — then this is the perfect park for you! And Encore Resort at Reunion has the perfect vacation home rental to go with it. Learn more about complimentary shuttle service to and from the parks.