10 Experiences You Might Not Have Tried Around Hollywood Studios

Even in the midst of the major construction projects in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are still plenty of attractions to experience, sights to see and things to discover in the park. While guests are anticipating the arrival of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, the rest of the park remains open and full of great experiences. To help guests make sure they are exploring every opportunity that the park offers, we have put together a list of 10 experiences you might not have tried around Hollywood Studios.

10. Key Under The Mat

While the Muppet Courtyard is expanding to include the new quick service restaurant “Pizza Rizzo”, in the meantime, guests can enjoy the whimsical and always fun Muppets 3D experience. While the attraction takes place inside the Muppet theater, the fun starts as soon as you enter the queue. Outside the building are posters of fictitious Muppet movie parodies staring your favorite characters. Inside, the ticket booth displays a sign stating “back in 5 minutes, key is under mat. Low and behold, if you look downward, a mat is sitting on the ground underneath you. Lift it up to discover a key to the building (though you may have trouble picking it up). This is one of the many incredible details added to the queue, keeping guests well entertained as they wait for the next show.

9. Character Palooza

Unpublished and unannounced, Character Palooza typically occurs on any night in which Fantasmic is being performed at Hollywood Studios. Anywhere between 5-10 random characters will show up at an unspecified location within the park (and sometimes outside the entrance). This makes it a real treat as guests who happen upon it will get an opportunity to meet some hard to find characters with minimal wait times. Character Palooza usually takes place between 4pm-7pm and lasts only about 20-30 minutes so make sure you meet your favorites as soon as you see them.

8. More Than One Star Tour

Guests who have had the opportunity to try Star Tours know it can be a thrilling ride, not to mention a queue packed with amazing characters, ships and droids to see. What some guests forget is the fact that there is a different story almost every single time you ride. Over 50 combinations of characters and locations make the twists in every story an adventure. Make sure you ride more than once so you can experience something completely different.

7. Help The Citizens Of Hollywood

Along Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and around Echo Lake, the Citizens of Hollywood bring the glory of Hollywood’s Golden Era to the streets of Hollywood Studios. This troupe of incredible improv actors can be seen at various times throughout the day. Always comedic, no show is ever the same as each time they come out, the audience is encouraged to participate by offering suggestions throughout the performance to help the story move along. If you see a crowd forming, chances are good that the citizens are up and about, so make sure to find a spot to watch the show and offer a suggestion or two along the way.

6. Fantasmic Dining Package

Highly sought after, the Fantasmic Dining Package is great for guests who are looking to see Fantasmic, but would also like to spend as much time in the park as they can. Alongside a VIP ticket for reserved seating for Fantasmic, guests who get the Fantasmic Dining Package also receive an appetizer, entrĂ©e, non-alcoholic drink and dessert for a fixed price. The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano and Hollywood & Vine all offer the package, but due to their popularity, it’s important to book early as the packages are limited.

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5. One Man’s Dream

While there are many thrilling rides to choose from in Hollywood Studios, One Man’s Dream is not one of them. Instead, if offers guests a glimpse at the journey of Walt Disney, from his childhood through to the legacy he left in Disney. Props, models and sketches fill this self-guided tour, and any guest who is a fan of Walt will surely enjoy the nostalgic trip through the moments in Walt’s life. At the end of the tour is a 15-minute film hosted by Julie Andrews that includes some very rare recordings of Walt as well as historic footage that covers the incredible work he did.

4. Star Wars Food

Just outside of Star Tours, the Backlot Express quick service restaurant had its menu revamped to offer some brand new items paying homage to the Star Wars Universe. While the menu continues to grow and offer new items, some of the fan-favorites include the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles complete with Vader Waffles, the Galactic Chicken Salad, and the Royal Guard Burger, topped with barbecued brisket and pepper jack cheese and served on a dark bun. Themed desserts like the Darth Vader Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake and the colorful BB-8 Lemon Cupcake help round out the selections and make this a fun place to grab a bite to eat for any Star Wars fan.

3. Both Great Movie Ride Scenes

Inside the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Great Movie Ride is a nostalgic look through some scenes inside classic films. Complete with your own tour guide, the Great Movie Ride has its own storyline to follow through the tour. Depending on whether you are seated in the first tram or the second tram, your storyline will look different. Sitting in the front vehicle, your group will enter the Western scene where your guide interacts with a live actor. In the rear vehicle, your group will be held up in the gangster scene there a Bugsy Malone-type character will set the scene along your journey. It’s worth checking out both scenes, so make sure to try the Great Movie Ride more than once.

2. Carrot Cake Cookie

With the menu change at the Writer’s Stop, many guests were worried that they would lose one of the park’s most popular treats. Instead, the signature Carrot Cake Cookie migrated to Sweet Spells on Hollywood Boulevard. This cookie is really two baked carrot cake rounds with a cream cheese frosting in the middle, making this decadent snack irresistible. While the Writer’s Stop appears to be carrying the cookie again, it’s good to know you can find it in either spot in the park to indulge your sweet tooth.

1. Toy Story Bonuses

Aboard the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction, guests complete a series of carnival games in a variety of settings. In each car, guests compete with one another to achieve the highest scores, but there are a few tips and tricks for skilled players. Hidden bonus targets with high scores will appear if a series of actions are completed in a timely manner. The bonuses appear when some of the following takes place:

  • In “Ham and Eggs” hit the fox on top of the hen house and then each of the chickens that pop out (each worth 1000-2000 points)
  • In “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts” break all of the lava balloons and the volcano will spew balloons worth 500 points each as well as comets in the upper right and left corners

Some bonuses require both players to work together like the following:

  • For the “Green Army Men Shoot Camp”, early in the round, two plates pop up, worth 2000 points. If both players hit the plates, a number of high-point plates will begin to pop up
  • In “Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers”, landing rings around all of the aliens in the central ship will reveal a monster who opens his mouth for rapid firing rings.

Regardless of strategies, guests who manage to reach the bonuses are in good shape for reaching the highest score in their car, and even the daily high score.

About Ryan Miller

Ryan loves all things Disney: from the smallest details to the biggest surprises and all of the magic in between. He loves the fireworks of Wishes, the thrill of Tower of Terror and of course, the dining at Disney Restaurants. As of yet, however, he has been unable to replicate his favourite dishes and snacks at home. In between trips, you can usually find him reading about the history of the parks and attractions when he’s not at work for his local public library in Burlington Ontario. Ryan’s favourite Disney moment was proposing in front of Cinderella’s Castle to his (now) fiancée, Lauren.