Hollywood Studios is such an underrated park. Yes, it’s a little bit of a mess right now – but it’s got some of the best experiences in all of Disney World. The park is a little different than what we may have come to expect from a theme park, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less fun. You just need to know what the park is all about. So….
What is There to Do?
There is tons to do in Hollywood Studios! Maybe you’ve heard of my personal favorite, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? It’s a pretty well-kept secret. There’s also one of Disney’s best coasters, a real life tour with BB8 from Star Wars, and Toy Story Midway Mania; an awesome immersive ride you’ll never get tired of! But there’s more to this park than hair raising rides, the real show stoppers are, well, shows!
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have some great shows, even EPCOT has some fun mini shows. But Hollywood studios goes all – it is the town of showbiz after all. My personal favorite is Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, but Voyage of the Little Mermaid is great too! Hollywood studios also boasts the most diverse set of character meet and greets. Some of the most rare characters can be found here.
What Should I Use My FastPasses for?
• Toy Story Midway Mania
• Tower of Terror
• Star Tours or Frozen Sing-Along
At Hollywood Studios there are two tiers of FastPasses. In Group A we have Toy Story MidWay Mania, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Fantasmic!, and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. Fantasmic! And Beauty and the Beast are both shows that have plenty of seats, and generally more than one showing per day. So there’s not a need to use your FastPass here. Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster is a good option, but if you don’t mind getting up a little early you should be able to knock this one out when the park first opens. The winner is Toy Story Midway Mania, by a land slide.
In Group B there is: Tower of Terror, Star Tours, Frozen Sing-A-Long, Indiana Jones, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney Junior, and Muppet Vision 3D. You will almost never need to use a fastpass on a show, as they perform multiple times throughout the day and have large seating capacity. The exception to this rule (as it is with every rule) is Frozen. People cannot get enough of Frozen, so if this is on your must do list I would recommend using a fastpass. If Frozen isn’t your thing, swap this out for Star Tours. It’s a great ride, even if you’re not a fan. You’ll also need to a fastpass for Tower of Terror. If you are lucky you might be able to sneak this in after Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, but it’s better to play it safe.
Are There Any Shows I Simply Can’t Miss?
• Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
• Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
• Frozen Sing-Along
• Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
• The Music of Pixar Live!
• Voyage of the Little Mermaid
All of the shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are great, but if you miss Beauty and the Beast or Indiana Jones you’re simply not living your best life.
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage is a condensed retelling of the classic animated film. Though the show lasts just 45 minutes, you won’t notice anything missing. The costumes are spectacular, and the actors are superb. I’ve seen the show several times and I have to say that there’s not a bad seat in the house. If you get nostalgic watching Belle and Adam fall in love, bring your tissues because when everyone starts singing along you will be a mess.
With a name like Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, you can bet I was a bit skeptical. But this show did not disappoint. It’s got all the action of the classic series, and you cannot look away. I may or may not have jumped a few times throughout the show, or bit my nails in anticipation. Disney always does a great job of picking talent, and there is no exception here. Indy is just as handsome and charismatic as I remember.
How About Night Time Experiences?
Hollywood Studios is a great place to spend your evening. Some people call this a half day park, if so it’s the second half of the day I want to spend here. There are three (count ‘em: 1, 2, 3) nighttime shows, but most nights there will only be time for one.
Fantasmic! Tells the tale of one of Mickey’s dreams, or was it a nightmare? Filled with fireworks, lasers, live characters and more this one will keep everyone entertained! It is so good that Disney brought it to both coasts, and is a top attraction here and in California!
Since we have Fantasmic! In Disneyland, I usually spend my nights at DHS watching Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This show is SO GOOD. If you are a Star Wars fan at all, you must find a place for this in your trip. The projection show takes place on the façade of the Great Movie Ride, soon to be Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railroad, and features scenes and music from my favorite movies. I mean your favorite movies, yours.
If you’d like to keep with some Disney classics, check out Disney Movie Magic. Also on the façade of GMR this projection show is similar to Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular but features some more familiar faces. DMM is a great choice for kids, as they’ll recognize many of their favorite characters.
What’s your favorite part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Share it in the comments below!