Planning a Day at Hollywood Studios

Planning a Trip ⇒ Planning a Day at Hollywood Studios

This guide to spending a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios assumes that you plan on spending the entire day at the park.

The first thing to do when planning your day at Hollywood Studios to select your Fastpasses.  I would suggest making the following Fastpasses for the morning (9 am – 12 pm):

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Slinky Dog Coaster
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Your strategy for booking Fastpasses should be to avoid shows at all costs.  The reason for this is that Fastpasses are not needed.  You’re not going to wait much longer for a show if you don’t have a Fastpass.

Rise of the Resistance - Storm Troopers

Start the day by having breakfast at your hotel before heading to Hollywood Studios as there aren’t a ton of breakfast options in the park and you don’t want to waste time eating when the park is at it’s quietest.  If you have Disney Junior fans in your family, you might want to make a breakfast reservation at Hollywood and Vine before the park opens.  This is a great way to meet Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Roadster Goofy before the park even opens.

The first thing you need to do is secure your Rise of the Resistance boarding pass. Rise of the Resistance is the most ambitious ride Disney has ever done, and it’s extremely popular.  Therefore, a boarding pass is required to ride the attraction.  Boarding passes are available as soon as the park officially opens.  They can be obtained in the My Disney Experience app, but they disappear quickly.  The boarding pass is similar to a FastPass and will give you a window to return.  Just fit your return window into your touring strategy.

Slinky Dog Dash

The first attraction to head to when the park opens is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway if you were not able to get a FastPass.  If you do have a Fastpass for it, head straight to Smuggler’s Run at rope drop.

The rest of your morning will be spent using your three FastPasses.  Once you’ve used the Fastpasses, you can try to get a fourth (or fifth) for Star Tours or Alien Swirling Saucers.  Grab a Tier 1 Fastpass if you see any, but they’ll probably be gone by now.

After using your first three Fastpasses, it should be around lunchtime.  I’d recommend Backlot Express, Fairfax Fare, or Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner as solid, quick lunch options. 

Sorcerer Mickey Meet and Greet

We recommend using your afternoon to ride some of the attractions that have shorter wait times or that you were able to get additional FastPasses (Tower of Terror, Star Tours, Alien Swirling Saucers).  You can fill in your afternoon by meeting characters that are exclusive to Hollywood Studios such as Sorcerer Mickey, Olaf, or Darth Vader.  There are also lots of shows to see at Hollywood Studios.  Try to arrive at shows 20 – 30 minutes before their scheduled showtime.  The way you spend your afternoon will largely be up to your personal preferences since it will be difficult to fit in everything.

For dinner, you might want to consider 50s Prime Time Cafe, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, or The Hollywood Brown Derby.  Hollywood and Vine is a good option if you’re looking for a character meal where you can meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Daisy in seasonal attire.

Fantasmic - Snow White

You can end your night with Fantasmic or Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.  I’d suggest getting to each between 30 – 45 minutes before showtime.  Depending on the entertainment schedule you might be able to see both if they are spaced far enough apart.  The third option for the evening is to ride the Slinky Dog Dash and any other attractions you haven’t ridden yet.  Wait times are shortest just before park closing.  

If you have an extra free evening, it might be needed to see all of Hollywood Studio’s nighttime entertainment or ride all the attractions.

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