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One Day Plan for Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has gone through enormous changes with more to come in the future. With all these new changes (a new land, new tiered fastpass+, new hours) it can be difficult to know how to tour this park. Although there really hasn’t been a “normal” day in Hollywood Studios for a while now, we tried to create a general touring plan to help guide guests through the park. 

 

 

Before we lay out the One Day Plan, here are three points to keep in mind:

1. Extra, Extra Magic Hours

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is having extra, extra magic hours until November 2nd. This means the park is opening to Disney resort guests at 6 am. If you are visiting during this time, we highly recommend taking advantage of these extra hours.

2. Rise of the Resistance

If traveling after December 5th, Rise of the Resistance, the second ride in Galaxy’s Edge, will be opened.  As we aren’t sure what to expect with crowds, loading process etc. we aren’t sure what to predict for waits here.  It is safe to say that wait times will be long as this highly anticipated ride opens.

3. Fastpass+

With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, Disney adjusted the FastPass+ tiers in Hollywood Studios. Tier one now includes all Toy Story Land as well as Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. With this adjustment, guests will need to be selective with their fastpass+ choices.  We recommend focusing on Slinky Dog Dash if that is a priority for guests if not look to Tower of Terror or Rock n’ Roller Coaster for tier one fastpass options.  For tier two, we suggest Star Tours and a show of choice. No matter what fastpass+ choices are being made, we highly recommend looking at getting fastpasses scheduled for before 1 pm.  This will allow guests to try for additional fastpasses in the afternoons.

Slinky Dog Dash

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One Day Plan

Next, we have broken down a one-day touring plan for Hollywood Studios.  This is just a suggestion based on what seems to be the trend lately in the parks.  Once Rise of the Resistance opens on December 5th it might change a little.

1. Morning

  • Toy Story Land: When guests arrive in the morning, we suggest heading to Toy Story Land right away.  Ride Toy Story Mania first unless you weren’t able to grab a fastpass+ for Slinky Dog Dash in that case head straight there to ride as soon as possible.  Try riding both Toy Story Mania as well as Alien Swirling Saucer before using a fastpass+ for Slinky Dog Dash.  We recommend this because it allows guests to knock out all of the land and then head out before the heat and more crowds show up. If wanting a quick breakfast, Woody’s Lunch Box has some fun, unique options for guests to choose from.  Consider grabbing something on the way out of the land.
  • Sunset Boulevard: Once guests are done with Toy Story Land, then head towards Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster.  Try riding both of these right away as wait times will continue to grow throughout the day.  Also, if wait time for Rock n’ Roller Coaster is around 30 minutes or more, consider riding single rider which sometimes will get guests through a lot faster.
  •  Snack: Now that a lot of the rides have been experienced, allow time for a break and snack.  In Disney’s Hollywood Studios snack carts as well as Starbucks at Trolley Car Cafe are all great options for a quick bite to eat.
  •  Star Tours: Before lunch time, we suggest riding Star Tours with the tier 2 fastpass.  Try to do this around 11:30 or 12:00 to help the final fastpass to be done before 1 pm.
Star Tours

2. Afternoon

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is full of shows.  It can sometimes be difficult to catch all of them in one day, but here is our suggestion.

  • Indiana Jones or Beauty and the Beast: Start by trying to see either Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage or Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.  Both of these live action shows have more limited show times so trying to get to one of them done early on in the day is a great option.  
  •  Lunch: Although there aren’t a lot of options in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are fantastic for lunch, options are getting more numerous.  Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land is a great choice for a quick meal as is Backlot Express and even Docking Bay 7.  Don’t forget to use mobile ordering to help expedite the process.
  •  More shows: After lunch is a great time to catch some of the wonderful shows in Disney.  As we started early, consider using one of the tier two fastpasses for a show.  For the First Time in Forever:  A Frozen Sing Along Celebration or Voyage of the Little Mermaid are both excellent options for the use of a fastpass.  Again, try to use this between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.
  •  Rolling Fastpass+: While eating or waiting for the show to start, we suggest looking for additional fastpasses.  Although it isn’t always successful, sometimes tier one fastpasses can be discovered.  Snag whatever fastpass that would be of interest. 
  •  Shows and more: As guests wait to use the rolling fastpasses they were hopefully able to snag, we recommend hitting more shows.  Muppets 3D or any of the other options that weren’t seen before would fit in here.  Also, guests can enjoy the Citizens of America on Sunset Boulevard or Star War Launch Bay.

3. Evening

  • Galaxy’s Edge: As dusk starts to show up, we recommend heading to Galaxy’s Edge.  The evening in Batuu is simply amazing.  Here we suggest trying to ride Smuggler’s Run, grab a drink or snack in the land and just enjoy the sights.  As of right now, single rider is an option that guests can take advantage of so keep that in mind when wanting to catch a ride on the Millennium Falcon.
  • Supper: If supper hasn’t happened yet, Docking Bay 7 or Woody’s Lunch Box are great options for a quick meal (again consider mobile ordering).  If a sit-down meal is needed, consider 50s Prime Time, Sci-Fi Diner or even Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge as excellent choices.
  •  Evening Show: This is where it gets tricky again. Crowds will typically lighten up in both Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land as the evening shows get closer.  Determine if you would prefer more time in these lands or if you want to experience a nighttime show. In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are two options on most nights for evening entertainment.  First is Disney’s Fantasmic.  This show takes place in an amphitheater around a lagoon.  Here Disney characters come to life with songs, fireworks and projections.   The second option is Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular where favorite characters from the beloved Star Wars series come to life with lasers, projections and fireworks.  Unfortunately, to get the full experience of either show you have to choose one.  We personally lean toward Fantasmic but that is a personal preference. No matter what you choose to wrap up your evening in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it will be a memorable experience.

With the recent opening of Galaxy’s Edge and the changing of the tier fastpass+ system in Disney’s Hollywood Studios touring became a little bit more challenging. A good strategy is always getting there super early to beat a lot of the crowd and then use those fastpasses as much as possible.  We hope this will help you figure out how you want to spend your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.