The Simple Guide to Disney Planning

Hollywood Studios2020-02-21T21:55:38-05:00

Guide Shortcuts

“Hollywood, 1939. Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town at the height of its golden age…”  – Rod Serling, narration for The Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror.

Lights! Cameras! Glamour! Hollywood Studios celebrates the arts of film and entertainment. Saunter down swanky streets lined with palm trees, and buildings inspired by iconic architectural styles of the 30s. The mission revival architecture and art deco touches transport you to the golden age of Hollywood. But this Land continues to evolve, and showcases modern cinematic favorites Star Wars and Toy Story.

In addition to hosting some of Disney World’s most thrilling rides, like Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios also features a daily lineup of shows, musicals, sing-a-longs, and even bursts of vaudeville on the streets. When planning a visit to this park, it’s important to check out the schedules (in either the Times Guide brochure available in the park, or using the My Disney Experience app) to plan out your visit and ensure you have time to make each showtime. For this reason, we find that 2 half days generally work best to give you more flexibility.

Don’t Miss:

Shrink to the size of a toy to play in Toy Story Land. Get a FastPass to ride the whimsical Slinky Dog Dash, a graceful rollercoaster that swoops and curves above the land, delighting adults and kids alike.

Visit the planet Batuu in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Feel the force as the Star Wars soundtrack swells throughout the evening special effects and pyrotechnics show, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.

Don’t be afraid to be a rebel while watching the syncopated stormtroopers’ intimidating March of the First Order on Hollywood Boulevard.

Dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant on Commissary Lane, where you’ll feel like you’re at a drive-in theater, underneath a starry sky, watching trailers from 50s science fiction films, from your car.

Download Park Map

Hollywood Boulevard

After entering the park you’ll stroll up Hollywood Boulevard toward the Chinese Theater which serves as center stage for evening entertainment. Toy Story’s on on your right and Star Wars is to the left. Taking Sunset Boulevard will bring you to the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror.

Who You’ll See

  • Jedi knights, droids and iconic villains from the dark side on stage for the live show Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

What You’ll Do

  • Enjoy evening entertainment watching nostalgic projections on the Chinese Theater during Disney Movie Magic, followed by fireworks and a rousing rendition of the epic battle with the dark side in Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.
  • Wander in and out of the many shops selling specialty Disney items and souvenirs.

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Tapas and swanky cocktails at the Brown Derby Lounge, or enjoy signature dining inside the restaurant.
  • Grab a breakfast sandwich, sweets and coffee at Starbucks in the Trolley Car Cafe (beware LONG lines during early morning magic hours).

Toy Story Land

Wandering through a landscape of primary colors and scrabble tiles and tinker toys bigger than your head, Toy Story Land brings out your inner toy. Visit at night and enjoy the glow of its colorful lightscape.

Who You’ll See

  • See all your favorite Toy Story characters, starting with a gigantic Woody welcoming you to the land.

What You’ll Do

  • The Slinky Dog Dash coaster is the feature attraction but the whole land is a marvel of scale with oversized everything and playful details that make you feel like you’re the size of a toy.
  • Shoot ’em up at a 3-D digital arcade while being spun around on the fun-for-the-whole family ride, Toy Story Mania.
  • Ride the very mild Alien Saucer Swirl with the little ones (but don’t wait in a long line for this one).

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Use the My Disney Experience app to place a mobile order for a light lunch and homemade pop tarts at Woody’s Lunch Box, to avoid the lengthy lines.
  • Cool down with a frozen cappuccino or the selection of iced drinks and coffee at Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea kiosk at the path to Toy Story Land.

Sunset Boulevard

Follow the enormous pink tower to get to Sunset Boulevard where you can ride 2 of the most thrilling rides in the (Disney) World. This is also where you’ll find the entrance to the stunning evening show, Fantasmic.

Who You’ll See

  • Beauty and the Beast in a 30-minute live musical stage show.

What You’ll Do

  • Plummet to your delight in the spooky Twilight Zone Tower or Terror where you’ll enter the once-glamorous grounds of a Hollywood hotel only to find cobweb-covered rooms and a story of vanishing guests after a bolt of lightening stuck in 1939. After entering an elevator clearly labeled “Out of Order” you’ll rise to the top and be dropped several times, experiencing both a momentary sense of weightlessness and inescapable laughter. The theming is so well done on this one, that it may be difficult to get more timid riders through the lobby doors.
  • Rock out on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, an indoor coaster that launches you from zero to 60 into L.A. traffic, loops, and corkscrew turns, set to a heart-pounding Aerosmith soundtrack. It’s as entertaining as it is thrilling.
  • End the evening with the dramatically staged Fantasmic, a pyrotechnics show on the water featuring classic Disney characters battling iconic Disney villains.

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Burgers, pizza, chicken nuggets, Tex Mex dishes and other quick lunch items at the Sunset Ranch Market, which features a variety of counter service options and ample outdoor seating.
  • Grab a cold beer at Sunshine Day Cafe or a frozen lemonade at Anaheim Produce.
  • Purchasing tickets to the Fantasmic Dessert party will grant you advance access to VIP seating, plus give you a sampler of snacks and treats to enjoy during the show.

Animation Courtyard

Who You’ll See

  • Little kiddos can meet their favorite characters from popular Disney Junior shows.
  • Encounter Kylo Ren and Chewbacca at Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can also view movie memorabilia and props.

What You’ll Do

  • Walk down Walt’s memory lane and see where it all began at Walt Disney Presents a multimedia journey of his life and legacy.
  • Watch Ariel tell her story in song at the live, mini-stage show Journey of the Little Mermaid.
  • Dance and sing along with puppet pals at Disney Junior–Live on Stage!

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Get a souvenir, refillable bucket of popcorn, and cold drinks at a nearby kiosk.

Echo Lake

Who You’ll See

  • You can give Olaf a warm hug, and sing along with Elsa and Anna in the stage show, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration.
  • Enjoy breakfast with Disney Junior characters at Hollywood & Vine’s Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine.

What You’ll Do

  • Learn tricks of the trade for stuntmen and stuntwomen in the live stage show Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
  • Sign up your little padawan (at park open–spaces go fast!) to learn the ways of the force and battle Darth Vadar and Kylo Ren in a live show and epic series of photo opp in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.
  • Board a Starspeeder 1000 and careen through a galaxy far, far away, on Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, a lively motion simulator ride.

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Dig into Mom’s Old-fashioned Pot Roast at Prime Time Cafe in a 1950s kitchen, by the glow of a black and white TV. Just keep those elbows off the table, or else!
  • Enjoy funnel cakes, ice cream floats, and draft beer at Oasis Canteen.

Grand Avenue

Who You’ll See

  • Muppets

What You’ll Do

  • Be entertained by Muppet shenanigans watching Muppet Vision 3-D.

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Grab a slice at PizzeRizzo, a family-style pizzeria or enjoy a sit down Italian meal at Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano (included in Fantasmic dining packages)
  • Sample a freshly tapped California craft brew at the BaseLine Tap House, alongside other nibbles like cheese and charcuterie.

Star Wars Land – Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the newest land to open in Disney World, having made its debut in August 2019, in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Crossing over into this land, you’ll land on Batuu, a remote planet on the edge of the galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories and arrive at Black Spire Outpost.

While this used to be a bustling outpost prior to hyperspace technology, it is now a melting pot of smugglers, rogues, renegades and The Resistance.

Here’s what you will NOT find on Batuu:

Cast Members – Only Batuu locals and travelers will be spotted here. You can ask them any questions you have, including directions (which you’ll probably need given that there isn’t any signage on the buildings to tell you where you are). Be prepared to understand the local “dialect.”

Restrooms – They have them, but you’ll need to ask for the “Refreshers” to get directions.

Blasters – Disney World’s no-gun policy extends to the edge of the galaxy.

Disney Merch – Not even Star Wars merchandise can be found here. All items for purchase are unique to planet Batuu and you should factor in quite a hefty import tax to your travel budget.

Who You’ll See

  • Be on the look out for Star Wars characters strolling amid the throngs at this outpost on the edge of the Galaxy. You’ll find Jedis covertly recruiting, Storm Troopers casually harassing tourists, and Black Spire citizens selling their wares, making repairs to cruisers and conducting daily business.
  • Characters don’t have traditional meet-and-greets in Galaxy’s Edge, so be ready at all times to snap a photo of your favorite milling about. You may find Chewbacca working on ships in the Resistance Area or Rey walking around the Market, or even Kylo Ren interacting with the TIE Echelon.

What You’ll Do

  • Explore the alien landscape of the planet Batuu in a land chronologically positioned between the films The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Shop for trinkets in an enclave of alien vendors or spend a few more Galactic Credits to assemble your own droid.
  • Customize your own Lightsaber at Savi’s Workship. Part of a clandestine society devoted to restoring galactic balance, the workshop Master can help you customize your very own lightsaber, while sharing a little Jedi Lore. You need a reservation for this paid experience.

Treats You’ll Eat

  • Outpost Mix (sweet and salty popcorn snack with a hint of spice) at Kat Saka’s Kettle.
  • Farm-fresh Blue Milk from the Milk Stand.
  • Exotic cocktails and snack mix at Oga’s Cantina.
  • Inventively delicious lunch and dinner options from counter service option Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo and grilled meat at Ronto Roasters.

More Star Wars Experiences

Star Wars doesn't stop at the border of Galaxy's Edge. There are off-planet experiences to indulge in throughout Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Fans–make sure to add these to your park plan!
  • Star Wars Galactic Spectacular fireworks show (plus options to purchase reserved viewing and a Star Wars-themed dessert party)
  • Board a Star Speeder 1000 and jump through hyperspace visiting Star Wars space-scapes and planets on the recently updated Star Tours–The Adventure Continues, a 3-D, motion simulation ride
  • Encounter Darth Vadar and Chewbacca at Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Sign up for Jedi Knight Training: Trials of the Temple (first-come, first-served basis)
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