Disney Hollywood Studios
Ride The Movies At Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios opened its doors for the first time in 1989 (previously known as Disney-MGM from 1989 to 2008). The Hollywood Studio rides are more modern, technologically advanced and better for bigger kids like me than most of Disney’s other rides. When Hollywood Studios opened in 1989, it was also used as a film studio. Movies such as Ernest Saves Christmas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear were all produced at this very location.
Remember! To Download brilliant Disney Apps and get lots of general Disney theme park tips, read my Walt Disney World Resort page. If you skipped ahead in the guide and just came straight to the Hollywood Studios page, try to read every page in Mr Brit’s Orlando Guide. There are hundreds of great tips throughout Mr Brit’s Guide To Orlando.
Star Wars And Toy Story Fans Will Love Hollywood Studios
The Brit Family have always loved Hollywood Studios due to its amazing shows and brilliant attractions for children and adults alike. Over recent years though, it has become the least visited park in all of Disney World. This is due to the ride closures to make way for new areas of the park. Toy Story Land is the newest area of the park to be unveiled and is now fully operational. The first phase of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is estimated to open on August 29th 2019. The second phase should open later in 2019.
The shows of Hollywood Studios are breathtaking and are ‘must do’s’ when visiting the park. I have always been a hardcore rollercoaster nut but since we started holidaying in Orlando, visiting Disney and Universal Studios theme parks, I have now been transformed into an out and out show lover. Some of the best theme park shows that you will ever see are the creations of the Disney World theme parks. Disney does not fail to impress with the shows of Hollywood Studios.
If you are the sort of person that would rather do the rides than the shows, watch Fantasmic and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and you may change your mind.
ADD ABOUT TOY STORY LAND. Mention that it is a mess and the reason is because it is Andy’s back garden so there are giant toy boxes and parts of toys scattered everywhere. The area is great and there is a storyline to be discovered by just walking around the area. The Slinky Dog Coaster ride queue has a great storyline. As you are queueing you can see how Andy got a plastic rolloercoaster as a gift and then he pimped it up with his slinky toy. His drawings and plans are brilliant and it really does help pass the time while queueing.
Meet the Disney stars….lots of them
Probably the best place to meet characters in all of the 4 main Disney theme parks is in Hollywood Studios.
The queue for characters from more recent movies usually tends to be the longest. If everyone is queueing for Buzz Lightyear and Woody, you may find it a good time to meet Mickey Mouse. The Disney staff are so helpful, taking pictures for you with your camera. They don’t rush you because they understand you have waited in line for quite a while.
The whole of Hollywood Studios is a really great place to find characters. Toy Story characters are always on hand for photos and autographs. Hollywood studios is the only park in Disney World where you will get the chance to meet characters from Star Wars. You may even get to see the Toy Soldiers from Toy Story walking around the park.
We met one of the Toy Story Toy Soldiers a few years ago and this guy made a lot of effort. Our son – Little Brit had a great time with him that day. The enjoyment we saw on Little Brit’s face with this soldier is one our fondest memories of Disney World. The soldier really did put a lot of effort into making Little Brit chuckle. The Disney Cast members are the best.
The Rides of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Toy Story Mania
Your little Brits will probably love it but if your kids are over the age of 10 it probably won’t be highlight of their day. The ride is a carnival themed ‘shoot em up’ complete with computer generated ammunition.
You are in a small 2 seater car and your task is to hit as many 3-D targets as you can. Each time you enter a different area of the ride, your ammunition changes from things like custard pies to darts. You need to aim for anything that pops up in front of you like characters, toys and birds. The first time we rode, my 4 year old Little Brit struggled to point and shoot at the same time. The trigger is a pull cord at the back of the gun and not a standard trigger. This makes it a little trickier than a standard gun.
The waiting area is great and Disney have done a brilliant job creating it. 5ft tall crayons and 6ft tall playing cards make you feel like you are a small toy. The ride is not worth a FastPass+ unless your party has lots of young children.
Toy Story Mania can be found in the Toy Story Land area of Hollywood Studios.
Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror
This is a real one of a kind experience that I would recommend unless you are afraid of heights. You are in an elevator that falls sharply, rises back up and falls again. Don’t worry about hitting your head when the lift falls because you are not standing up during the ride. You are strapped into a seat so you will be fine as long as you are not scared of heights.
This ride is very popular so you may want to FastPass+ this one to avoid a long wait. I actually thought that the lift would drop 13 floors (I must have heard this somewhere) but it doesn’t. You don’t really drop more than a couple of floors at a time so it’s not as bad as you might think.
The scariest point in this ride is when the Tower Of Terror window shutters open just before you drop. You are fully strapped in so you cannot fall out but it does take your breath away. As with all scary thrill rides, they always seem worse than they actually are. Tell yourself “I can do this” and ride the Hollywood Tower Of Terror. I bet you come off saying ” that wasn’t as frightening as I thought it would be”
My only criticism of this ride is that Tower Of Terror is over way to quickly. You just start getting into it when the exit doors open. Tower Of Terror has a height requirement of 40″ or 102cm. I wouldn’t recommend letting young children that are just over the 40″ ride this one.
Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror is located in the Sunset Boulevard area of Hollywood Studios.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Close to Tower of Terror is Aerosmith’s Rock n Roller Coaster. The queues can get really long on some days so you may want to FastPass+ this one. There is a short pre-show featuring Aerosmith which is quite fun. It features the band working in a studio when one of them spots you! You are then invited to join them for an ‘after show party’.
The actual ride is a high speed indoor rollercoaster that operates in the dark. If you have experienced Rita at Alton Towers, it launches a bit like this. The ride speeds you through many famous Hollywood landmarks and glowing signs.
This ride is the only loop rollercoaster in all of the four Disney World theme parks. If you like Kraken at Seaworld and The Hulk from Islands Of Adventure, this is one for you. This ride has FastPass+ and has a height requirement of 48″ or 122cm.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Star Tours is a 3D simulator that will be a big hit with Star Wars fans everywhere. Mrs Brit tends to feel a little bit sick on this ride but I have always been fine. C3P0 is piloting your ride to a planet in a galaxy far, far away. As always, the animatronics are excellent and because C3PO is a robot, it makes the whole experience even more realistic. Again, the queue area is excellent and you will get to see some famous faces while you wait. There will be space gadgets and other intergalactic stuff lying around to keep your eyes entertained.
One of the great things about Star Tours is that it changes every time. The odds of you seeing the same show twice are quite slim. The wait times are never usually bad so not worth using a FastPass+ for. This may change when the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in August 2019. There will probably be a large influx of Star Wars fans and they could add to the wait times.
The ride has a height restriction of 40″ or 102cm. Star Tours is located in the Echo Lake area of Hollywood Studios.
The Shows of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Voyage of The Little Mermaid
This 17 minute show will probably be a hit with anyone that loves the feature length cartoon film. The show features live actors combined with animation and special effects. You will get wet but not too wet and this all helps create the atmosphere for this lovely show. The show was good for us even though the Brit family had never watched The Little Mermaid franchise.
The show runs roughly every 25 minutes. Voyage Of The Little Mermaid is located in the Animation Courtyard area of Hollywood Studios.
Muppet Vision 3-D
A show full of old Muppets – no it isn’t Prime Ministers questions on a Wednesday afternoon, these are the original Muppets! This 25 minute show is a 3-D show with a difference. On screen Muppets are accompanied by live Muppets in the theatre. Again Disney have developed some amazing animatronics for this show.
The quality of the 3D isn’t up there with Avatar Flight Of Passage but it is still worth seeing. If you watched the old Muppet shows in the 1980s, you probably remember the 2 old blokes up in the theatre balcony. These old favourites Statler & Waldorf are still part of the furniture in the Muppet Vision 3-D show. They haven’t changed a bit and they heckle all the way through. They are as funny as they always were and they will make you giggle.
While you are watching the show, try to pay attention behind you. Some of the action is actually going on behind you and it is amazing how many people in the theatre don’t realise this. You wouldn’t want to miss out on some of the action.
The show is located in the Grand Avenue area of Hollywood Studios.
Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantasmic!!!
Another true marvel of entertainment by the Walt Disney World Resort. Fantasmic has it all, villains, a hero (guess who that might be), lasers, lights, dancing water, fire and what every great story needs – a fire breathing dragon!
Fantasmic doesn’t play every day but when it does, the show plays on the evening. The amphitheatre holds 6,900 but you are not always guaranteed a seat. You would need to queue early to guarantee your seats or book it via FastPass+.
The show lasts 25 minutes and the show seats are accessible 90 minutes before the show start. The stadium starts filling up as soon as the doors open and the seats are a but hard. It may be worth taking something comfortable to sit on. There will be a little bit of pre show entertainment to keep the crowd happy before the show. The arena has splash zones so think twice about rushing to the front seats for the best view
A great way of getting a guaranteed seat for the show is to book a meal reservation in any of the following restaurants – Hollywood & Vine, Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano or The Hollywood Brown Derby. You must pre-book the ADR – Advanced Dining Reservation and you must ask for the Fantasmic package. You would be best to book 6 months in advance to ensure a booking. The ADR telephone number is 001 407 939 3463 when calling from the UK.
Fantasmic is located in the Sunset Boulevard area of Hollywood Studios.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Another Brit family favourite. Little Brit idolises Indiana Jones and we have some wonderful memories of watching Little Brit watch this show. The Indiana Jones show has everything – explosions, fighting, romance and a little bit of comedy.
When Indy explodes into the show, keep your eyes on him as he tries to avoid the spears. This early stunt is amazing and will make you draw a breath. Another good moment from the opening scenes is how they reload the large stone ball up the ramp so look out for that as well. My personal favourite scene is the fight scene around the plane.
The set is amazing and it changes constantly throughout the show. You start to realise how things aren’t always what they seem in the movies. Even if you do not like the Indiana Jones movies, this show will definitely be one of the highlights of your visit. As long as you arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the show, you shouldn’t need a FastPass+.
The Indiana Jones show is located in the Echo Lake are of Hollywood Studios.
Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage
As the title suggests, this show is one of Disney’s old musical favourites. The most colourful show imaginable is going to be a real hit with the little princesses of your family.
A real treat for the eyes and ears is Beauty and the Beast. The fairy tale dresses, white doves and a guaranteed happy ending make this production another ‘must do’ of this amazing theme park.
The show lasts around 20 minutes and when we visited recently, we just walked into the arena a few minutes before the show started. You won’t always need to queue for this one or need a FastPass+.
Beauty And The Beast is located in the Sunset Boulevard area of Hollywood Studios.
Walt Disney Presents
This very interesting attraction guides you through the life and career of Walt Disney. Learn how Walt tried, failed and tried again to follow his dream of entertaining the world through the art of animation. Learn how Walt dreamed up a new cartoon character called Mickey Mouse and this new creation catapulted Walt back on the road to success.
This self guided tour was a lot more interesting than I expected and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Mrs Brit also appreciated this attraction but because there weren’t any seat belts to be fastened, the kids weren’t too impressed.
There are some great scaled models of the icons of the Disney World theme parks such as the Tree Of Life and the Epcot ball etc. Disney uprooted Walts original office from Buena Vista Street in Hollywood California and re-assembled it here. Walt hammered down many large movie star contracts on that very desk.
There is a short film at the end, covering the life of Walt and it is narrated by the man himself. One Man’s Dream is a 15 minute film that shows you some rare home footage of Walt and his family. The film charts his many successes and his many challenges. If you are the sort of person that likes museums and you like all things Disney then this will be a really good attraction for you.
Walt Disney Presents is located in the Animation Courtyard area of Hollywood Studios.
What To FastPass+ In Hollywood Studios
|Popular So FastPass+ If You Can||Good But Shouldn't Need To FastPass+|
|Slinky Dog Dash|
|Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror|
|Rock n RollerCoaster|