Let’s be honest, not too long ago Hollywood Studios wasn’t a great park. There just wasn’t a whole lot to see or do here—especially if you weren’t a fan of live shows—and this made the park more worthy of a half-day visit rather than taking up an entire day of your vacation. Fortunately, that time has passed and Hollywood Studios is now an amazing place to be. In fact, we love this place so much we might even dedicate an entire two days of our vacation to this park, and we’re guessing we still wouldn’t run out of things to see, do, and eat. Of course, this poses a problem if you only have a single day to spend in the park. It leaves many people wondering what they should dedicate their precious vacation hours to. Below are our answers.
1. What to See
Hollywood Studios is full of amazing shows to see and characters to meet. For this reason, if you have a lot of time to spend in this park, we highly recommend making time for a few different entertainment options such as the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular”, the “Disney Junior Dance Party”, and the Star Wars meet-and-greets. That said, this article is focused more on what you absolutely must see, and as far as we’re concerned, there is only one show that fits firmly in this category…
- Fantasmic!: Fantasmic! is Hollywood Studios’ tried-and-true nighttime spectacular. It features projections, a wonderful score, a whole host of characters, and a very powerful storyline focused on the power of the imagination. We appreciate the big firework ending, which really creates a magical end to a magical day.
2. What to Do
Now that we’ve discussed characters and shows, it’s time we take a look at the rides in Hollywood Studios. There are quite a few amazing new rides in this park, and combined with some fabulous old favorites, they make for a decently long list of things you absolutely must do while in the park.
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- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad: This is the newest ride in the park and is, in our opinion, one of the best rides in Disney World. It uses a trackless ride system, some seriously amazing animation, and lots and lots of awesome details to put guests into a magical cartoon world unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: This is another brand new trackless dark ride, and it is blowing guests out of the water. The storyline in this ride is incredible, and whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, you’re sure to enjoy the experience. Be warned that in order to ride this ride, you must first receive a boarding group. In order to do this, it’s necessary to arrive before opening and enter with the first visitors of the day, as numbers are limited. Sorry, late sleepers.
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run: The second of the two new Star Wars rides, Smuggler’s Run is a super fun adventure that visitors actually get to help pilot. Each guest is given a job upon arrival: Pilot, Gunner, or Engineer. They must each then complete various tasks while completing a mission from aboard the Millennium Falcon. This is a super cool cross between a video game and a ride. It’s highly recommended for guests who like Star Wars, but is fun for absolutely anyone.
- Slinky Dog Dash: Easily our new favorite roller coaster in all of the Disney Parks, Slinky Dog Dash may not be the most thrilling ride out there, but it sure is fun. The track offers just enough up and down to get you in the belly without being scary, and the boosters and smooth track make the experience even more fun.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: A Hollywood Studios classic, Tower of Terror is always exciting. This awesome attraction is a perfect mix of dark ride and thrill ride. It features some fun effects that add a nice layer of creepiness, and the quick up-and-down of the elevator at the end of the ride is equal parts terrifying and fun.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: Finally there’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This is easily the scariest ride in all of Disney World. It features super high speeds, an upside down track, and it’s all in the dark! The Aerosmith music playing as you twist and turn through the blackness is just perfect, and we cannot recommend this one to thrill seekers enough.
3. What to Eat
Finally, there’s the matter of where to eat while in the park. There are several great table-service places in Hollywood Studios, but only a handful of good quick-service options. Below we’ve listed the best of each, so you can choose what’s best for your family on a given day. (Just remember that the more popular table-service eateries like the ones on this list will require reservations.)
- 50’s Prime Time Café: Ever wish you could step back in time and enjoy a meal with family during a simpler age? You can at 50’s Prime Time Café. This super fun dining experience features 1950s decor and a number of old-school TVs playing programming from the time. Your waiter will be a “member of your family”, and is likely to be lovingly nit-picky. To add to the experience, the entire menu is based on home-cooked meals a family may have enjoyed during the 1950s. Fried chicken, anyone?
- Hollywood Brown Derby: If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience at Hollywood Studios, look no further than Hollywood Brown Derby. This restaurant is modeled off of the Hollywood restaurant of the same name, which was a hangout for many movie stars. The food here is wonderful. The menu is a bit limited, but there is something for everyone and the drink menu is fantastic. Additionally, this place offers the best service in the park.
- Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo: Lastly, we must mention Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. This is the new quick-service restaurant in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and it’s one of the best counter-service spots in all of Disney World. Some favorites served here include the Endorian Fried Tip Yip (chicken and potatoes dish) and the Battuan Beef Pot Roast. We love the theming of this place, and recommend giving yourself plenty of time to look around after your meal.
There you have our list of what to see, do, and eat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Did your favorite make the list?