Everything looks different lately because of COVID-19. Walt Disney World is doing everything they can to open their gates again while keeping all their guests and cast members safe. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has seen lots of changes in the past few years, with the closing of much loved attractions like The Great Movie Ride and the end of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Although we miss some of the older attractions, we saw the opening of Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. All are extremely popular. Here are ten things to know before your next trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Let’s just get the general new Walt Disney World information out of the way. All guests and cast members are required to wear a face covering that has at least two layers of breathable material with ear loops or ties. Gaiters or masks with valves are not allowed. They must fully cover your nose and mouth and fit securely under your chin. Face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking, but you should stay stationary at that time and maintain physical distance. Disney is very strictly enforcing this policy.
9. Hand Sanitizer
There are many hand sanitizer stations throughout the park, including the entrance and exits to each attraction. There are handwashing stations throughout the park as well. Let’s all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
8. No Live Shows
Although Walt Disney World is back open some of your favorite attractions are not. Shows such as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and the other live shows are still closed until further notice. You’ll have to wait a little longer to see some of your favorite movies come alive in person.
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7. No Fireworks
While we’re on the topic of no shows there is also no fireworks display. Walt Disney World is trying their hardest to not have groups congregate together, and to make sure that there is a minimum of six feet in between each party. This really is for the safety of all the guests. A large group gathered to watch end of the night fireworks is not a good idea right now.
6. Mobile Ordering
Mobile ordering is now more important than ever at the Disney parks. Instead of being able to walk into your favorite restaurant, you will need to go on the My Disney Experience App and select the restaurant of your choice. You will start by selecting a window of time that you would like to have your meal. You will then complete your order and pay; all through the app. When you arrive you will just go back on the app and select “prepare my order”. It’s that simple, but if you need help a cast member will be outside the restaurant to answer any questions that you might have.
5. No Pre-Show for Rides
Many of the rides have a preshow where groups of guests are gathered together in a room. For now, those are on the back burner to keep maintaining social distancing. You just have to know the backstory for attractions like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway before you arrive.
4. No FastPass+ or Single Rider Lines
Guests are used to being able to book their FastPass+ reservations weeks in advance. Right now, FastPass+ is not being used. Since Walt Disney World is limiting the number of guests in the park, the wait times are not usually too long. Just make sure that you pay attention to the social distancing markers on the ground while in line. The single rider lines are also closed. Disney is not pairing groups close together for the time being, so single rider is not needed. It is usually used to fill in any empty seats, but seats are being kept open on purpose for social distancing.
3. Character Cavalcades
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is usually a great place to meet characters, but that is not possible with the way that things are right now. Instead of meet and greets, you can now see Character Cavalcades. These are like short, one car parades, with a couple of your favorite characters. They take place throughout the day, weather permitting. A set schedule has not been released so that crowds will not gather. You can also still see “Star Wars” characters in Galaxy’s Edge, you just can’t get too close.
2. Smugglers Run
One fun thing about social distancing is that you and your party will get Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run all to yourselves. Instead of being handed cards with your roles, you can pick what you want to do. That includes pilot! The empty roles will be set to automatic, so you won’t miss any of the experience. With the short wait times, you can ride more than once so that everyone has a turn at each position.
1. Virtual Queue for Rise of the Resistance
One thing to know before you get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance still uses a virtual queue. You must have a Boarding Pass to ride, there is no standby line. Download the My Disney Experience App, and at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM they will open up the virtual queue. You and your whole party need to be scanned into the park in order to get a Boarding Pass, and you can only ride once per day. Make sure to get on the app right at those times, because spots will go fast. Once spots are full, they are out. Rise of the Resistance is a ride that you don’t want to miss.