Is Hollywood Studios Worth It? What You Can (and Can’t) Miss

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Each of the Walt Disney World parks has its charms.

For example, I love the nostalgia of the Magic Kingdom. I love the food culture at EPCOT. And Animal Kingdom is one of the more interesting zoos I’ve ever been to. 

Hollywood Studios? It used to be something of an afterthought, for me at least. 

It was known as a half-day park, the facility they created the park hopper for. You could knock out Hollywood Studios in half a day and then do something else. 

It had Star Tours and the Tower of Terror and also the old Disney-MGM Studios theming. 

And then Toy Story Land opened followed by Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Guests got a massive increase in value for their tickets. 

Rather suddenly, Hollywood Studios became an adventure

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Is Hollywood Studios worth a full day?

Yes. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, there’s so much to do in the park, getting EVERYTHING in would be tough. 

Can wait times be a problem? Sure, but with the help of Disney Genie+ you can get your money’s worth out of your Hollywood Studios tickets.

tall silver souvenir mug at ogas cantina in hollywood studios
You want to have enough time to enjoy the foods and drinks available at Hollywood Studios. For example, Oga’s Cantina is one of the most popular places to order a snack or drink (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

How much time do you need at Hollywood Studios?

Plan to spend at least a full day there, maybe more. Certainly, in an ideal world in which time and money were not objects, Hollywood Studios would need a day and a half to two days. 

At this point, part of the problem is culinary. There are so many interesting places to eat, you can’t feasibly fit them in over the course of a single day.

And you certainly can’t do it while planning around must-see attractions, shows and more. 

What are the most popular attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

For this purpose, attractions will include shows/entertainment.

So, let’s rank ’em from worst to best to help you decide what you can and can’t skip:

Beauty and the Beast Live Show
The Beauty & The Beast show did not impress (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

16. Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage

In theory, this should be a fun, Festival of the Lion King-esque romp. However, it is not. In my opinion, it’s slow and painful and stilted.

It may be the worst Disney theme park production I’ve ever seen. This one you can probably skip, unless you’re a huge Beauty and the Beast fan.

15. Disney Movie Magic

This is another skippable one. The other nighttime show in Hollywood Studios pales in comparison to Fantasmic! The show itself is good. But it ought to be great, evoking all that powerful nostalgia.

I think the venue is the issue. Specifically, the Grauman Chinese Theater building is just not imposing enough for the projection show to fully hit. I said the same when they had the Star Wars show here. 

Muppet Vision 3D Exterior
Muppet*Vision 3D is best known for the appearance of Sweetums (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Muppet*Vision 3D

This is a fun but forgettable 3D adventure. However, I will say the appearance of the Sweetums – the large hairy ogre – in live-action is really the highlight.

Overall, Grand Avenue could really use a Muppet ride, even if they’re just small carnival-style rides.

Hollywood Studio's Orlando Alien Saucers Ride
The Alien Swirling Saucers is a carnival-style ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

13. Alien Swirling Saucers 

A fun little carnival-style ride with Toy Story theming. It’s ranked this low because it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

I do think, however, a half dozen more of these little rides that are quick on and offs would really help with wait times and crowd management.

A Dumbo’s Flying Elephants ride but with Star Wars theming in Batuu, for instance, would be perfect.

Disney Junior Dance Party Exterior Hollywood Studios
Toddlers will enjoy the Disney Junior Dance Party (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Disney Junior Dance Party

This is the place to be if you’ve got toddlers or young ones who love Disney Jr.

Hollywood Studios is the only place for Disney Jr. characters, which is huge.

Nowhere else in Disney can the little ones meet Doc McStuffins, Vamperina or Fancy Nancy.

But I do wish there were better seating options for adults who don’t want to spend 20 minutes on the floor sitting criss-cross applesauce. 

The Upside Down Car at the Entrance of the Rock n Roller Coaster Hollywood Studios
The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster features rock and roll music on the ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith 

This is not my favorite roller coaster in the Disney parks. It’s not comfortable. It often feels more like a test of endurance than a ride.

I will say, I wish they get with the Beatles people to do a Yellow Submarine ride that is a mix of this, Guardians and Mickey & Minnie’s. That would be awesome. 

actors run from plane in indiana jones show at disney
The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Hollywood Studio is impressive (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

This is a great show but leaves you wishing Disney had figured out how to do more with Dr. Jones in Disney World. 

Read Also: Is There an Indiana Jones Ride at Disney World Orlando?

Frozen Sing Along Entrance Hollywood Studios
The Frozen Sing-a-Long is fun for the kids and also a good air conditioning break on a hot day (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-Long

Here we have a fun show for the kids who love “Frozen”.

For parents, it’s at least a good break in the air conditioning.

Star Tours Entrance at Hollywood Studios Orlando
Star Tours is a 3D ride simulator that is a lot of fun (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

The first and among the best of the 3D ride simulators. This is a fun Star Wars ride.

It’s a shame they couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate it into Batuu, but it’s still great. 

Slinky Dog Dash Coaster in Toy Story Land
The Slinky Dog Dash is a great starter coaster for kids and also fun for adults (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

7. Slinky Dog Dash

This coaster is a fun little coaster with innovative theming and launches.

Ride it at night to enhance the experience. 

Toy Story Mania Entrance Hollywood Studios
Toy Story Mania takes you through a series of Midway games (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Toy Story Mania

It wasn’t that long ago this was the best ride in Hollywood Studios. It’s still a great ride whipping you through a series of Midway games. 

inside the smugglers run ride at hollywood studios
On this Star Wars ride, you get to sit at the cockpit (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

On this ride, you get to walk into the Millennium Falcon, sit in the cockpit and also experience things from Han and Chewie’s viewpoint. If there was nothing else to it, it would be great.

The rest of the ride is wild and fun and somewhat confounding. But if you’re the guy that gets to punch it into Hyperspace? It’s a dream come true. 

Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railroad
The Runaway Railway is an immersive, trackless ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

This innovative ride represents the future of theme park attractions. It’s one of Disney’s big three trackless rides – along with Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. 

The Runaway Railway is fun, whimsical and at times thrilling. The immersion level is great. Truly, this is a heckuva ride.

Elsa at Hollywood Studio's Fantasmic!
Elsa of Frozen sings during the Fantasmic Show (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Fantasmic!

This spectacular nighttime show is the best in Walt Disney World and while I can’t compare it to shows in parks I haven’t been to, I can’t imagine there are many better theme park shows in the world.

It is a spectacle of the First Order.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Rey
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is worth it, especially for fans (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Immersive. Thrilling. Awe-inspiring.

On this ride, travel through space and get taken aboard a Star Destroyer. Then, you escape. It’s a technological wonder with great storytelling. Don’t skip this one. Get the Individual Lightning Lane. It’s worth it.

A Guest Displays a Finished Droid
Build your own droid at the Droid Depot (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What other Star Wars stuff is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? 

In addition to the rides and the restaurants and the shops, you’ve got the Droid Depot where you can build your own droid.

There’s also Savi’s Workshop where you can build your own lightsaber and the Star Wars Launch Bay – which is clear across the park but where you can meet Star Wars characters who aren’t walking through Batuu. 

Hollywood Studios Baseline Tap House
Try the California Cheese and Charcuterie Plate at Baseline Tap House (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Where are the best places to eat or drink in Hollywood Studios? 

We’re not going to try and rank them, but Hollywood Studios is a great Disney park for foodies.

For example, you’ll need to try Ronto’s Roasters in Galaxy’s Edge. They have smoked sausage with slaw and other stuff in the wrap – and they are wonderful.

Also in the Star Wars area, you’ll wait to visit Oga’s Cantina, where you can get an exotic Star Wars beverage. Choose from alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. Some light snacks include the Happabore Sampler – with cured and roasted meats, cheese, pork cracklings and Batuu bits – or Crispy Galaxy Snack Bits with Spiced Dip.

Outside the Star Wars area, my favorite place to eat is probably the Hollywood Brown Derby. It’s modeled after the famous Hollywood restaurant that served the stars of yesteryear.

The Cobb Salad is the specialty but this table service restaurant is a must if you want a more serious dining option while in the park.

Elsewhere in the park, popular spots include Woody’s Lunch Box, the Baseline Tap House and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe.

Read Also: What Is the Best Food at Hollywood Studios? 11 Snacks You Must Try

Do you think Hollywood Studios is worth it? What is your favorite part of the park? Let us know in the comments!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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