12 Sensational Experiences You Must Have at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney

Since it’s opening in 1989, Hollywood Studios has grown and expanded and continued to do so today! While some rides and attractions are considered classics, new experiences in the park have also moved in, bringing with them a new generation of fans. Whether you are visiting for the nostalgia of old Hollywood, or you prefer modern day, here are 12 sensational experiences you must have when visiting Hollywood Studios:

12. Walk the Red Carpet 

Visit Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams and walk the Red Carpet yourself. Plus, here’s your chance to meet Sorcerer Mickey! Mickey sports his classic Fantasia outfit while Minnie is dazzling in her red carpet best. We love this spot for great photos, autographs, and typically short wait times.

11. Get Goosebumps from The March of the First Order 

Gulp! This one is pretty impressive. Stand back as commander Captain Phasma leads a squad of Stormtroopers up Hollywood Boulevard to Center Stage. Let the goosebumps continue, as you watch their epic First Order demonstration and finally their march out from Center Stage.

10. Get Scolded at the 50’s Prime Time Café

A note for this restaurant: you’ll need to bring your sense of humor! In a kitchen setting straight out of the 50’s, the vintage 50’s Prime Time Café is a themed dining extravaganza. Your family members (Mom, Cousins, Aunts and Uncles) will certainly make sure you are minding your manners at the table. It’s fun, it’s funny and it’s extremely likely that you’ll be scolded for etiquette you have forgotten. Make sure you wash your hands and keep your elbows off the table and you might just stay on their good side – otherwise, enjoy the punishment reserved for misbehaving children.

9. Volunteer for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

This show is great to watch and even more fun to be a part of, so when the casting director is looking for volunteers, make sure your hand goes up! You’ll head onstage and take part in the action as a costumed extra in certain scenes within the show. Get your game face ready so you can act afraid or surprised – just don’t wear a Hawaiian shirt or you might be confused with someone else!

8. Check out the Citizens of Hollywood

These street performers have walked right out of the Golden Age of Hollywood and right onto the streets of Hollywood Studios. Masters of improv, each show is different, using suggestions from audience members and sometimes using audience members themselves in the action. The one thing guaranteed to be there is the laughter and since no two performances are the same, you can check it out anytime you see them pop up in the streets.

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7. The Front or Back seat of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Fully enclosed, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (starring Aerosmith) takes you on a wild ride from the recording studio to the concert venue via a super-stretch limousine. The limo rockets from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds as you roll straight into the first of 3 inversions. The ride is amazing from any seat on the train, but is particularly special when sitting in either the front seat or the back seat. In the front, you feel the full force of the wind rushing past you on your incredible smooth ride while the back seat whips you around a little more as the last cars keep up with the rest of the train. You can’t go wrong with any seat, but the front and back make for an exceptional experience.

6. Shop and Experience Stars Wars Launch Bay

Head to the Star Wars Launch Bay to check out what all the Star Wars hype is about! Browse through the shop to see the incredible movie props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; watch the Star Wars saga 10-minute movie in the Star Wars Launch Bay Theater; visit with Star Wars characters such as Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and BB-8; and even enjoy a few video games while you’re at it!

5. Get the Top Score (in your vehicle) on Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania has been one of the most consistently popular rides at Hollywood Studios, based on the fact that the stand-by wait time is usually very long even with the opening of Toy Story Land. On the ride, there are so many different strategies for racking up points. You can work together with your partner to unlock some of the high-scoring targets or try and go it alone to pick up points in shear volume. Regardless of your strategy, there’s something so sensational about reaching the end of the ride to find your score displayed as the top score within the vehicle.

4. The Front Row on Tower of Terror

As the iconic ride of Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror continues to be a fan favorite, since it combines a chilling atmosphere with a great storyline and caps it all off with a huge thrill. The truly sensational experience comes when you get lucky enough to sit in the front row of the elevator. You have the perfect view of the story happening in front of you and you are right at the edge as you plunge upwards and downwards, looking out over the park as the windows open near the top. If you want to take it a step further, try riding at night – the lack of light when the windows open give you that extra thrill as you’re lifted out of your seat and you feel yourself held down by the seat belts.

3. Hands Up on Slinky Dog Dash

Explore Andy’s backyard in Toy Story Land with great views on Slinky Dog Dash. Slinky Dog has joined in the fun with smooth dips and turns on his roller coaster! This is a great family-friendly coaster that is sure to be a favorite after just one ride. Have a blast with the breeze in your hair and your hands up… just don’t forget to look around at all the awesome sights you’ll see across Andy’s toy-filled backyard.

2. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

It doesn’t matter if you are a Star Wars nerd or not – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is the perfect way to close out a night at Hollywood Studios! Watch as the Chinese Theater turns into a huge screen for a 14-minute show full of high-definition projection surrounded by lasers, fire, incredible music and sound effects, and of course – the sky lights up with awesome fireworks! It’s an unforgettable Hollywood Studios moment!

1. Fantasmic

The last sensational experience on our list is also one of the best things to do towards the end of your day at Hollywood Studios. You can choose to grab a Fantasmic dining package which includes a reserved section for you to sit in, or just show up for the general seating. Either way, you’re in for a treat. In the midst of Mickey’s dream, the story, the projections, the lights and the characters all combine to create a sensational experience. The 30-minute show takes place on a rocky mountain, surrounded by over 1 million gallons of water. Filled with fan favorite characters, Mickey takes on some of the most infamous Disney villains in an incredibly entertaining story. Lasers, lights and pyrotechnics set the stage for the finale, which is capped off by fireworks.

What are your favorite sensational experiences at Hollywood Studios? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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.