Hollywood Studios may be headed towards a name change soon, and there are a lot of changes coming to the park as well! I’m excited, because I love Hollywood Studios and as sad as it may be to see old favorites go, it’s always interesting to see brand new things take their place, especially when you go to WDW often. Here are some of my tips for Hollywood Studios, as it is now.
Waiting: There seems to be a lot of waiting at this park. Waiting in line to meet characters, of which there are many. And waiting on benches to see shows. If you have a camera, these are good times to look back through your pictures and delete the ones that aren’t keepers. If you have kids, this is a good time to have them do schoolwork, or color in those placemats they give you at all the sit down restaurants.
If you get a snack or fast food lunch right before you go in to wait for a show it will make the wait seem shorter.
I bring cotton balls for little ears during the shows. Indiana Jones and the Lights, Motors Action Stunt shows are very loud for kids. They seem to enjoy it more with cotton balls in their ears. Fantasmic can also be loud and intense, so ear protection could work here as well.
Meeting Indy: If you want to meet the Indiana Jones stunt guy, wait til the show is over and walk down to the stage. Ask someone there if you can meet him.
Muppet vision 3D with kids: I bring little kids 3D glasses from the movie theater with me so that they fit my little guy perfectly in Disney’s 3D movies. I know they probably sanitize them, but bringing our own has to be cleaner, too.
If you head in to Fantasmic early with your kids, I would suggest taking them to the bathroom when it gets closer to show time. You don’t want to miss the show, and it will be very hard to see your way back to your seat once the show starts. It’s a night show after all!
Fantasmic is one of our favorite places to bring light up things to play with while we wait for the show to start.
For the First Time in Forever: Just be aware that this Frozen show won’t have a lot of time where Anna & Elsa are actually on the stage. I just don’t want you to be disappointed.
Where/how to sit at Disney Junior: Don’t sit too close to the stage or you won’t even be able to see the puppets! Sitting back is better. As an adult, when you sit, sit with your legs stretched out in front of you, in a Vee shape. They crowd everyone in here, and it’s nice to not be stuck in the criss-cross applesauce position halfway through the show. Let your kids spread out a little too when they sit down. They might want to be moving around during the show and will need the space to do it.
Seating at shows: When you sit, be aware that Disney is going to have you all squish away from the aisles several times during the seating/waiting time. Don’t get too attached to a seat. Also, if there is reserved seating, and you sit behind it, they may open these up right before the show if no one comes that’s eligible to sit there. So you may be able to get a better seat, provided you are alert and move quickly.
Jedi Training: It’s funny to watch the show, since there are kids on stage, not acting. If you have a sleeping baby, sit next door at the backlot cafe and enjoy. But if your young padawan wants to be in the show, get them to sign ups very early in the day to secure a spot.
Special Tower of Terror Rider Swap: I don’t know why the Tower Of Terror is so scary for people! It’s one of my favorite rides! Alas, my kids don’t like it. I just found out this past year, that there is a way to have your whole family go through the line together, even if you all aren’t going on the ride. This is also part of the wonderful Rider Swap service. You go through the line together and everyone gets to check out the spooky lobby and watch the Twilight Zone snippet in the library. In the next room (the Boiler Room) a cast member will ask you how many are riding. This is where you can tell them that you are doing a rider swap. They will have those riding now get on the ride and have those not riding go down an elevator to the basement. There you wait until your party gets off the ride. If you are doing a rider swap, you inform the castmember that you are ready to go back up, and a quick REAL elevator ride later you are right back in the boiler room, ready to ride.You skip going through the whole line alone.
Rock & Roller Coaster: If you want a smoother ride, ride as close to the front as you can. The back seat is rough!
By the way, if you are afraid to ride this because it goes upside down, don’t be. I don’t ride anything that goes upside down, except at Disney. You really won’t even notice it’s happening. Seriously!
Star Tours: If you hope to get chosen as the Rebel spy, sit down and buckle up, then look straight ahead and hope to be chosen. If you are looking to the side, talking to friends, they won’t pick you.
The Great Movie Ride with kids: This ride is very outdated, but I still like it. A word of warning though; when you go into the Alien room, cover your kids eyes or they could be waiting for things to jump out at them for the rest of the trip.
Toy Story: I like to aim the gun with my left hand, even though I am right handed. My right hand is stronger and faster for pulling back on the pop gun thingy.
Also, get to the Studios early and head straight for this ride so that you won’t have a long wait. Even if you have fast passes for later, ride it first, because it’s addicting and you are going to want to go again.
WHERE TO GO IF YOUR KID DOESN’T WANT TO OR CAN’T RIDE SOMETHING:
The Honey I shrunk the kids playset is great for this, or even just for a break for the kids during the day. It’s crazy, but they don’t get enough time to just play at Disney. (And don’t forget the hand sanitizer when you move along.)
The Muppets fountain can be fun for small cuties.
Get them a snack and sit on the shady side of the street at Streets of America and people watch.
If it’s hot, head to the giant Coke misters near Pixar Place to play and get cool.
Sci Fi Dine in is my least favorite place to eat at the Studios. It’s dark, too dark to see what you are eating. The idea is cool, but seating is weird. You sit in a car table, side by side. You can only fit 2 in a seat, so if you are eating as a group of 4, half of your party will end up sitting behind you, staring at the back of your heads. This is especially awkward when you have kids who need help getting the food into their mouths.
We like to eat at the Backlot, 50s Prime Time Cafe, and Hollywood & Vine. Read here for more info on why we like these places: eating-at-disney-where-what-we-love-and-why-we-love-it
The least busy bathrooms in my opinion are the ones off of Sunset Boulevard, on a small side street well before you get to the Beauty and the Beast theater.
If you meet Mator and McQueen of the Cars movies, get a picture with each vehicle. You can get a picture with both cars and you standing awkwardly in the middle, but get up close and get separate pics, too.
The Magic of Disney Animation has a room where you can learn to draw a Disney character from an artist. This is a good change of pace, so if you can get in the very next show, definitely wait for it.
Near Christmas: The Osborne lights are on for an hour after the park officially closes.
This is a great park at which to meet characters! The newest ones will be in the Magic of Disney Animation building.
We have had more meltdowns at this park than at any other. There simply aren’t as many things designed for the younger crowd as the other parks. My advice: Keep them fed. Also, if they aren’t having fun anymore, soon none of you will be having fun. So if they ask to leave or start losing it,just do rock, paper, scissors and have the loser take the small one back to the resort. And remember, this is just a phase!