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

Christy Caby

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a lot of great things to do and exciting character interactions.  There is a good mix of shows and rides, too!  If you are visiting the Studios on your next trip, then here are 7 things you should definitely do once you arrive:

7. Take pictures before (and after) you enter the park.

There are actually great backdrops to take pictures in front of right outside of the park.  You have views of the water leading over to Disney’s Boardwalk.  You also have beautiful topiaries and themed backdrops, not to mention the entrance to the park that says “Disney’s Hollywood Studios”.  Once you enter the park, then you can also take pictures in front of the beautiful Chinese Theater replica (which is somewhat blocked by the stage in the center of the park).  There will be PhotoPass photographers on standby, so you can take your own pictures and have Disney take them and save them to your My Disney Experience account to view later.

6. Grab a park map and Times Guide.

Once you enter the park, you will see the park maps and Times Guides.  You will definitely want to grab both and familiarize yourself with both so that you can prioritize all of your family’s must-do’s into the day.  The Times Guide is important at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since there are several different shows and you will be able to find all of the show times there so you can make sure to fit them all into your plans.

5. Head to Toy Story Midway Mania.

We like to head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania first.  Since the 3rd ride track has been added, we find the lines to be shorter than they used to be, but this is still one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World, and definitely at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  If you don’t have a FastPass, then knocking this one out early while the lines are at their shortest is a great idea.  If you have a FastPass, but know you want to ride the attraction twice, and then still head right over that you might be able to save a little bit of time for other things.

4. Ride the Tower of Terror during the day (and again at night).

I recommend that you ride Tower of Terror early so that you make sure you get a chance to ride it and so that you can experience the attraction during the day. Then, I always recommend guests to experience the attraction at night, too. I feel like both experiences are a little bit different.  During the day you can see more of the park and surrounding areas better, but at night you see the lights and it feels a little more spooky and scary than during the day.  Nighttime is probably my favorite if you really can’t fit in two rides on this one.

3. Ride Aerosmith’s Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster.

So after you have knocked out Toy Story Midway Mania (or if you have a FastPass and don’t intend to rush over there) then definitely head over to Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster.  It usually carries long wait times like Toy Story Midway Mania and if you made a FastPass for Toy Story, then that means you couldn’t make one for Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster due to the category selections.  So the same rules apply and heading right over there is a good idea so that you can hopefully catch shorter wait times than you will be able to get once the park fills up and the crowds start pouring into the park later after opening.

2. Meet Star Wars characters.

Star Wars characters like Chewbacca and Kylo Ren are only at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  You will definitely want to meet them.  The lines can get very long, so try to knock them out early.  You can also check out Launch Bay and the other Star Wars exhibits and happenings while you are over there.  You are likely to run into some Storm Troopers and maybe even Captain Phasma.  They may even talk to you, too!

1. Watch the most desired shows early.

The Studios does have a few major shows.  If you know there are particular shows that you know are must-do’s for you and your family, then you will want to try to work those in earlier in the day.  The later shows can sometimes get very full. Not only that if you wait until later in the day, you run the risk of something else running over and missing it.  If someone in your group has their heart set on one of these, it could be a good idea to go ahead and knock the shows out.  The exception to this is Fantasmic! since it is only shown at night!

About Christy Caby

I am a long time Disney addict! This love began as a child and stayed with me in my teen years. I completed the Disney College Program, was engaged and honeymooned at Disney, visited WDW while pregnant with each of our two boys, and have brought our boys since they were babies (they are now 5 and 2). We have over 10 Disney World vacations under our belt. Our recent adventure was a big move from St. Louis, MO to Florida! We knew that we needed more Disney magic that just a couple times of year, and we worked hard to make it happen! Now we hit the parks almost every weekend! We are working to dine at every location, experience every attraction and look for every hidden Mickey! We want to be able to say that we have one it all! We are branching into the Cruise Line and are planning a trip to Disneyland in California next year. To say that we are Disney addicts may be an understatement. When I am not at WDW with my family, I am reading Disney blogs and news, crafting (usually Disney décor for our home), planning Disney vacations for others or working on my dissertation for my doctoral program. I am a Project Manager by profession, so I have mastered fitting everything into a tight schedule! We feel we lead an exciting life where we get to spend a lot of time together doing what we love! I love being able to this love and Disney magic with everyone else so that others can make the most of whatever time they get to have at the most magical place on earth!