7 Things You Should Definitely Do When You Arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It never hurts to show up as early as possible to any of the Walt Disney World theme parks, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is no exception. Don’t assume that the park won’t be crowded because of the current construction. With so many walls up, it feels smaller than ever, but there are still plenty of people there. Here are seven things that you should do as soon as you arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Some of them can be done while you’re waiting before rope drop.

7. Learn the Map

As soon as you get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios pick up a park map. Study it while you’re waiting for the park to open for the day. It doesn’t hurt to have a plan for where you’ll head once you’re inside, so map out your route.

6. Grab a Times Guide

When you get your map, grab a Times Guide as well. Figure out which shows you want to see, and then check your FastPass+ times and dining reservations. You can then make a plan for the day. Like learning the map, this can be done while you’re waiting for rope drop. You can check the My Disney Experience app for show times, but having a Times Guide is easier. You won’t have to keep pulling out your phone, and the Times Guide won’t drain your battery like the app will.

5. Check Character Spots

A third thing that you can do while waiting for Disney’s Hollywood Studios to open is to check where the characters are going to appear. You can get a general idea from both the park map and the Times Guide, but you will eventually want to check the My Disney Experience app for this one. The classic characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios tend to move around a lot, so they might be in a different place than they were in the last time you visited. Don’t forget to close the app once you’ve finished to save your battery.

4. First Star Tours Ride

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll want to ride Star Tours – The Adventures Continue more than once. There are many different ride combinations, including chances to visit different planets and see various characters. It is highly unlikely that you’ll have the same ride twice in a row, so if you want to get the full experience plan to ride several times throughout the day.

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3. Ride The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride isn’t really something that you must hit early if you’ve never been before. That said, if all that you know of the ride is the Mugsy scenario, you need to ride it in the morning. During the early hours of the day there’s more of a chance that there will be two different robbers. The first one is still Mugsy, who will be hijacking trains all day long. In the second scenario there is a cowboy (or cowgirl) who will rob the bank before scaring off your guide and taking over the train. Ask a Cast Member if both scenarios are taking place, and if so ask again once you’re getting close to boarding if you can get on the cowboy’s train. It’s a fun twist if you’ve never done it before.


2. Head to the Other Tier One Attraction

FastPass+ uses a tiered system at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can pick one ride or attraction from Tier One and two from Tier Two. The park’s two most popular rides, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania! are both Tier One attractions. If you plan to ride both, make your Tier One reservation for one of them, and then head to the other immediately after you enter the park. The lines for either ride will grow insane as the day goes on.

1. Sign Up for Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

If you have a child who dreams of becoming a Jedi one day, he or she can start the journey at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Kids ages 4-12 can participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Shows run throughout the day, but spots for those shows go quickly. If your Padawan wants to be a part, the two of you need to head to Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost the moment that you enter the park. Don’t wait, or you might not get a space. Both you and your child must be there to sign up; you can’t give a name while your son or daughter hits Tower of Terror with another family member.

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.