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10 Rookie Mistakes At Disney’s Hollywood Studios And How To Avoid Them 

There is a lot going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With one new land and another on the way, the park is better than ever! Walt Disney World rookies aren’t always sure what the park is about, and they tend to make mistakes. Here are ten of those mistakes, and solutions so that you don’t fall into these traps yourself.

10. Mistake: Assuming It’s All Star Wars

There are a lot of Star Wars themed attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you are not a fan of the franchise, you might think that you should skip the park.

Solution: Go anyway. If you skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios because you’re not a Star Wars fan, you’ll miss out on two fantastic thrill rides, some great family attractions, fun shows, whimsical dining, and more. One word of advice, stay for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, even if you don’t know Star Wars. The show is amazing.

9. Mistake: Thinking It’s Only for Kids

Another assumption that some people make is that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is only for kids. They see the Disney Junior characters on the official website, and decide that there’s nothing else to see or do. The opposite is also true, some people assume that the park is all thrill rides and there isn’t anything for the younger set.

Solution: Stop making assumptions. There is something for everyone at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Small children love the Disney Junior offerings, but you can also enjoy two of the biggest thrills that Walt Disney World has to offer.

8. Mistake: Attending the Early Fantasmic!

Fantasmic! is a fun nighttime show that features water screens, live action, boats, fire, and so much more. It’s incredibly popular, and the theater will fill up quickly. It’s often standing room only, and people will be turned away.

Solution: Check to see if there are two shows the night you’ll be in the park. If that’s the case, go to the later show. That’s usually much less crowded. If there’s only one show and you’re worried about seating, consider making a Fantasmic! Dining Package reservation. You’ll enjoy a great meal and be guaranteed a seat.

7. Mistake: Not Researching Restaurants

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some exciting dining options, but too often rookies don’t know  about them. They miss the opportunity to eat in a car at a drive in theater, or to watch black and white sitcoms while dining in a similar kitchen.

Solution: Read up on the restaurants. Don’t learn just about the food, but find out about the atmosphere as well. Atmosphere is extremely important at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when it comes to dining, whether you’re eating in the recreation of a classic Hollywood restaurant, or you’re grabbing pizza surrounded by lame jokes and bad puns. The restaurants are all unique and special. Don’t forget that you can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance.

6. Mistake: Riding Star Tours Only Once

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue offers guests a chance to blast off into outer space and visit a galaxy far, far away. You’ll see characters, ships, and worlds from the movies. It’s not like other rides where you will experience it all by riding once.

Solution: Ride more than once. There are dozens of ride combinations, even if you ride several times you still might miss something. The lines for Star Tours are shortest early in the day and near closing time. If you want to ride in the middle of the day, this could be a good use of one of your Tier Two FastPass+ selections.

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5. Mistake: Missing the Characters

Characters can be a fun part of any of the Walt Disney World theme parks, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios there are some good choices. The problem is, with the construction going on, the characters can sometimes be hard to find.

Solution: Download the My Disney Experience app, that will tell you where the characters are supposed to be. Also, a couple of hours before Fantasmic!, keep your eyes and ears open. Character Palooza is not found on the app, and Cast Members will tell you that it doesn’t exist. It’s a quick character meet and greet that changes locations and characters. If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch it.

4. Mistake: Skipping the Shows

There are some fantastic live shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Too often, rookies skip them, especially if they don’t have FastPass+. They assume that the live shows will just be a retelling of the movie.

Solution: Some of the live shows do retell the movies that they are based on, but is that a bad thing? It is exciting to see the magic unfold before your eyes! The live shows are done incredibly well, and you don’t have to pay the price of a Broadway ticket. You’ll also have a chance to sit down for a little while, which can be a welcome break. You won’t usually need FastPass+ for a live show, there’s plenty of seating. 

3. Mistake: Not Using FastPass+

FastPass+ gives you a chance to make reservations for up to three attractions in advance per day of your vacation. Some rookies assume that it’s not a free service, or that it’s not worth the hassle. 

Solution: Use FastPass+. The service is free, and it will help you to cut down on your waits. It’s simple to use, all that you need is a My Disney Experience account with tickets linked to it. If you’re staying at a resort, you can make your reservations 60 days in advance, if not, it’s 30 days prior. FastPass+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in tiers. You will make one selection from Tier One (Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania!) and two from Tier Two. The best choices for Tier Two are Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

2. Mistake: Walking Past Walt Disney Presents

Walt Disney Presents (formerly Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream) is a museum of sorts that is dedicated to the man who started it all. It’s located on the way to Toy Story Land, and it’s easy to miss.

Solution: Make a point to look for Walt Disney Presents and head inside. You’ll learn a lot of information about a fascinating man, and about the parks around the world that are named after him. Plus, recent additions provide models for the lands that are on their way to Hollywood Studios. The air conditioning inside also feels great on a hot and humid afternoon.

1. Mistake: Skipping the Park All Together

With so much going on, rookies might wonder if spending a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is really necessary. After all, there are some construction walls and a lot has closed. Wouldn’t it make more sense to save the park until after the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway open?

Solution: Don’t skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Yes, there is construction, but it is exciting to think about the future of the park. There have been a few things that have closed, but there is still plenty to see and do – especially now with the opening of Toy Story Land. If you skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios now, you might miss something that won’t be there your next trip. The park is a lot of fun, and is definitely worth at least one day of your vacation.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.