Disney’s Hollywood Studios does not closely resemble Walt Disney World’s third theme park that opened back in 1989. Still, sometimes change is good. Toy Story Land is set to open on June 30, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is going to open that year as well. There is plenty to do at the park, even while waiting for the new attractions. Here are eight things that you won’t want to miss.
8) Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
The longest running attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! has been wowing guests since a few months after the park opened. In it scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark are recreated, and then the audience is shown some movie making magic. There’s a good amount of humor in the show, and some audience members are chosen to participate. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! has been rumored to be on the chopping block for years, but fortunately none of those rumors have ever been credible.
7) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Thrill ride fans have been drawn to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for years, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is part of the reason why. It’s a drop ride unlike those that you’ll find in most theme parks. You’ll enter the Hollywood Tower Hotel and hear the story of a fateful night in 1939. You’ll then board the elevator, which will drop 13 floors. You won’t drop just once, and you’ll never know if you’re about to go up or down because the sequence is random. The ride is both fun and creepy, and the seamless editing of the film so that Rod Serling narrates adds to the experience.
6) Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is filled with incredible live entertainment based on classic Disney movies. You can’t go wrong with any of the choices. With both the live action and animated versions of Beauty and the Beast being so popular right now, Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage becomes a must do. The 25 minute show hits all the highlights of the animated movie, including some of the most famous songs. The theater holds 1,500 guests, and there are no bad seats. Ask a Cast Member how early to get in line on a busy day if you don’t have FastPass+.
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5) Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Another thing that is hot right now is Star Wars, and there is plenty to keep a fan of the franchise busy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Launch Bay and March of the First Order are just two of the things that you will want to check out. You will also not want to miss the 3D ride, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. It will take you deep into the Skywalker Saga. Your pilot is C-3PO, and of course R2-D2 is there to help. On your journey you’ll visit two planets and encounter both heroes and villains. While Star Tours in one form or another has been around for years, the current version of the ride will get you excited about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
There is something special about the end-of-the-day shows at Walt Disney World, and Fantasmic! is no exception. This classic show will take you inside of Mickey’s nightmare using water screens, fire, lasers, and plenty of characters. The show can be a bit intense for the little ones, so be ready to assure them that Mickey will be just fine. Although the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater seats almost 7,000 (plus standing room), spaces will fill up early. If there are two shows try for the second, it will usually be less crowded. If you don’t want to chance it, book a Fantasmic! Dining Package.
3) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
The other ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that keeps thrill seekers busy is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. You’ll hit almost 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds, but the launch is just the beginning of the rush. There are three inversions, but you won’t see them coming because the ride is in the dark. The premise is that you’re headed to an Aerosmith concert as guests of the band and you’re running late. The music of the famous rock band plays throughout the ride. It doesn’t take long for the line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to grow, so get there early or use FastPass+.
2) Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is unique because there are two gigantic nighttime shows instead of just one. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular uses projections on the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the surrounding structures to retell the Star Wars movies. Fireworks and lasers add to the experience, and the whole show is set to the music of legendary composer John Williams. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is a must do experience, even if you are not a Star Wars fan.
1) Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Mania! is one of the most popular family rides at Walt Disney World. You’ll wear 3D glasses and play carnival style games by shooting at targets. Toy Story characters will cheer you on the whole way. Trying to get the high score in your car is part of the fun. Of course, two more Toy Story rides are about to also make the must do list. Toy Story Land is opening on June 30, and with it there will be two new rides. On Alien Swirling Saucers you’ll ride in a toy rocket and try to avoid The Claw. Slinky Dog Dash will be a family friendly roller coaster. The ride car is based on Slinky Dog and you’ll encounter some familiar faces along the way. If you’re a fan of Toy Story, you’ll want to head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this summer.