Your One-Day Guide to the Best of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Walt Disney World is enormous. In fact, if you aren’t familiar with the area, I will give you a sense of scale by sharing that it’s about the size of San Francisco. Yep, it’s that big, and with so much to offer guests, there aren’t many of us who have enough vacation time to experience everything in one go. That is why we have our One-Day series, here to help you make the most of each Walt Disney World theme park in a single day. This time, your challenge is to experience Disney’s Hollywood Studios in one day, and we are going to help you do it. Let’s get started.

Know Your Interests

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a little different from the others; it is more focused on certain characters and less of the classic Disney blend that you can find in places like Magic Kingdom. Knowing your family’s interests will help you better focus your time in the areas that will be best suited to you. Younger families might be drawn to spending more time in Toy Story Land, while others might be focused on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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Don’t Mistake Toy Story Land As Only For Kids

If you are traveling with a group of adults, it would be ready to write off some of the attractions in the parks as being aimed at a younger audience and not worth visiting. While this may be true of some areas, don’t make the mistake of writing off Toy Story Land. If you’ve ever enjoyed the movies or characters, be sure to spend some time here. Not only will you likely reconnect with a younger part of yourself, but all the clever theming and details of the area are extremely impressive. The Slinky Dog Dash Rollercoaster might be too tame for some adults to spend time on, though Toy Story Mania! can be any competitive adult’s dream. I’ve seen some grown-ups (okay, fine, maybe I am one of them) enjoy this ride over and over just to compete with each other for the highest score. Even if you don’t camp here for half the day, make sure you enjoy a walk-through at the very least.

Choose A Show

There are many shows to enjoy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and, unfortunately, it’s unlikely you will have time in one day to see them all. You will need to prioritize the best ones for your group depending on the interests we mentioned above. Here is a list of some of the shows you will be considering:

See what we mean? Choose one or two that are in line with the interests of your family or friend group; otherwise, you will struggle to fit in some of the other high-priority rides and attractions that the park has to offer.

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Be Sure To Enjoy The One-Off Attractions

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is known for two of the newest lands in Walt Disney World, Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; however, there are several one-off rides that you won’t want to miss in other areas. Even though they don’t belong to their own land and, in some cases, seem randomly placed, don’t miss out on the single attractions that make this park what it is. The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster are perfect examples of rides that don’t belong to a larger matching area but are an essential part of the Hollywood Studios Experience. In a different type of attraction, Walt Disney Presents is a multimedia installation that captures the last 100 years of The Walt Disney Company. It’s an unmissable experience for any Disney fan.

Your One-Day Guide to the Best of Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt-Disney-Presents  Image: Disney Parks - Walt Disney World

Don’t Miss Fantasmic! & Consider a Dining Package

It’s not only a fantastic show that you should not miss, it’s also a great way to end your day in Hollywood Studios. The problem with the Fantasmic! show is that it is time-consuming, not so much the show itself, but the waiting. Seating begins 90 minutes before show time, which means a lot of standing around for you. By investing in the dining package, you will be able to spend some of that time enjoying a Disney dining experience and then arriving (at least) 25 minutes before showtime to be seated in a reserved seating area where you are guaranteed a seat.

Don’t Waste Time Shopping Till After Dark

Don’t waste time shopping during the day; you will miss out on precious attraction time and be left carting your treasures around with you for the rest of the evening. Instead, add some shopping time after dinner while you wait for the evening entertainment. Most of the stores will stay open until 9 pm or, in some cases, after the final entertainment for the evening. So, while the crowds are swarming the entrance to Fantasmic!, you can get in your shopping time instead of waiting in line thanks to the reserved seating area that came with your Dining Package. See how it all comes together?

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As usual, the best way to see a park in one day is to get there early and stay until closing. Rope-dropping your way through attractions like Rise of the Resistance and then on to the Millennium Falcon is the best way to enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge before moving through the rest of the park. One last tip is to enjoy the surroundings as you walk through the streets. This park is a nod to the Hollywood origins of The Walt Disney Company and all they have achieved in the entertainment industry. The old Hollywood feel of the architecture and design elements are beautiful accents that enhance the theme of the park if you take notice on your way through.

Earlier In This Series:

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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