Favorite Park Series: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Everyone has a favorite Disney park; the one you HAVE to visit every time you attend Walt Disney World. My goal in this series is to give you a glimpse into the thrills and MAGIC* each park holds.

Now, let’s make our way on over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

My personal favorite!
My personal favorite!

Memorable Moments

The attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios appeal to people from all walks of life. Children can venture to Pixar Place to make small talk with Mr. Potato Head before hopping on Toy Story Midway Mania. Both teens and adults can enjoy the stomach-dropping thrill rides of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Looking to get your educational fix? Try the Art of Disney Animation and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. If you desire attractions fit for the whole family or if you need to get out of the heat, the Great Movie Ride and Muppet*Vision 3D are perfect crowd pleasers.

Awesome Atmosphere

Quite the happenin' place to be!
Quite the happenin’ place to be!

Open your eyes to the nostalgia of Hollywood’s Golden Age! As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, let yourself escape to the past. Peruse and select a thing or two from “The Darkroom” and “L.A. Shop Cinematic Storage”; shops that pay homage to a magical time in film-making. Stop and admire the classic cars…they’re a great photo-op! Disney’s Hollywood Studios allow the Baby Boomers to reminisce their days of adolescence watching the Mickey Mouse Club (in COLOR) while letting the youngin’s time travel back to a slower paced period before computers and video games. It’s an ambiance that creates “a Hollywood that never was—and always will be” – Michael Eisner.

Good Grub

Some of my favorite meals have been at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When I went to Disney World for the very first time, my most memorable meal was at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. The concept of eating at a drive-in theater INSIDE was almost too much for my six-year-old mind to comprehend. It was out of this world! *pause for a groan and eye roll* Experiencing the dancing hotdog and soft drink commercial as my parents had in their childhood gave me a “taste” (too punny?) of the past.

Ahhh, the comforts of home.
Ahhh, the comforts of home.

Another restaurant worth mentioning is the 50’s Prime Time Café. “Uncle Gary” made my dad remove his hat and put my husband in charge of passing out menus. He made sure my mom finished her green beans before he took her plate away and referred to me (to my elation) as “Princess.” Disney bumped it up a notch and made eating at a diner not just a meal, but an experience. Just make sure you keep your elbows off the table!

Innovative Illumination

Fantasmic! is a unique fireworks experience in a league of its own. Sorcerer Mickey takes you on an immersive adventure full of heroes, villains, and many of your favorite Disney characters. You’ll be captivated by water and fire pyrotechnics while appreciating the musical splendor of familiar Disney melodies. If you’re worried about getting a great seat, think about reserving a spot using the Fantasmic Dining Package. You’ll enjoy a scrumptious meal before enjoying an enchanting show. If you’re looking to become even more involved, you can “glow with the show” by purchasing mouse ears that light up in sync with the performance.

Completely Captivating

If you’re traveling with a lot of people, sitting together on rides and captivation’s is no small feat. Such attractions as the American Idol Experience (shameless plug here), Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and the Voyage of the Little Mermaid make it easy for whole families and groups to enjoy the park together. This unique feature, in addition to the constant sidewalk performances like Mulch, Sweat & Shears, Jedi Training Academy and the Citizens of Hollywood mean no waiting for your group to be entertained. You can have your turkey leg and eat it too!

What do you think of Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Which park do you favor? Which park would you like me to delve into next? Let’s get the party started in the comment section!

*M = Memorable Moments, A= Awesome Atmosphere, G=Good Grub, I=Innovative Illumination, C= Completely Captivating

Angela Dahlgren

As the host of TouringPlansTV, Angela produces weekly videos on our TouringPlans YouTube channel. When she's not talking about the happiest place on earth, she spends her time entertaining her own little Minnie and Mickey Mouse. You can find her on twitter @AngelaDahlgren or via email - angela@touringplans.com

10 thoughts on “Favorite Park Series: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • July 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I love the hollywood and sunset blvd scenes- amazing details- and some of the rides are amazing at DHS. Food is great- esp at Hollywood Brown Derby. But I feel like its a park adrift- Toy story is the last great ride or show added. American Idol is going away and not worth a repeat visit (on the same trip) as far as I am concerned. I think Disney needs look at DHS like disneyland’s DCA- a park with issues. Some decent stuff there but way more is needed.

    Ex: at DCA toy story never has more than a 40-60 min line due to no FP and many other great rides (scream’, soarin’, rapids, carsland) where as one you experience tower, toy story and rock and roll, star tours- I think the quality of attraction drops off at DHS. Not saying they are bad as great movie ride, muppets, idniana jones are fun, but the disney especially needs to invest in updates

    • July 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      I completely agree Will. DHS has the potential to be an extraordinary park. It just needs a little TLC 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  • July 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I agree with the above poster that Hollywood Studios needs to be invested in majorly, as was done with California adventure when they went through the major expansion and rehaul. That park improved so greatly, and what was once a “eh, if we have time” became a true experience worthy of more than a single day. HS could be that as well – it just needs more to do! To me Hollywood Studios is full of wasted space and potential- I hope to see it grow and expand soon!

    • July 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      My hope is that with the addition of the Frozen Summer Fun Event, it will bring more attention and guests to the park. Wouldn’t it be great if they added a Frozen themed attraction or even extended the Summer event through the rest of the year?!

  • July 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I heard a rumor that Cars Land may be coming to DHS. Has anyone else heard that? I think it would be a perfect place for it!

    • July 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I think cars land idea is dead, it now Star Wars land that is coming to DHS (starting in January ’15?)

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  • July 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    This is my least favorite park. I think the layout of it is what made it worst of all and the wait times were ridiculous! We decided to let my son do Jedi Training and I am upset we did because it was such a time sucker. You have to get there as soon as the park opens and then spend 30 – 45 minutes in line just to get signed up. You then have to get there 30 minutes before the show and then the show. That time could have been used enjoying the park. The Muppet Movie was so ahead of it’s time years ago but now it seems so outdated. I think with the resurgence of the Muppets they could invest in the whole Muppet of the area of HS. I think what angered me the most was the location of Tower of Terror and Rock and Roll Coaster. I had to walk far to get a FP (I know this doesn’t matter anymore). Then, later on, I had to walk really far to get back to Tower of Terror. My plan was to go on Rock and Roll Coaster because I was by myself and I could just go through the single rider line – WRONG! FPs were gone for the day and they shut down the single rider line because it was full. They told me to come back later and I made the long walk again and – surprise – single rider line was still full. This was on a day that the crowd level was only a 4. There were a lot of young tour groups that would send their groups through the single rider line (which ticked me off). I must have spent a full hour of just running around the park! My poor hubby and little kids were bored trying to find things to do while I was running back and forth. I did love the car show, Star Tours, and Tower of Terror but that was it. I did like Toy Story Mania but did not think it was worth the madness. I wanted to go on the Backlot ride but it close at 2pm (what?!). I never did get on Rock and Roller Coaster (sadly), I didn’t get to enjoy the atmosphere, we were not going to stand in a 2 hour line for Fantasmic, all the “museum-like” stuff I wanted to see but just didn’t have the time. I think they need to make some improvements with flow in the park.

    • July 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm


      When during the year did you go? I hope you get the chance to ride the roller coaster on your next trip as it’s a blast.

      I agree about the commitment when participating in a show. When I was on the AI Experience, I was out of commission all day. I hope your son enjoyed it regardless!

      Thanks for reading!

      • July 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        We went in January of 2013. Planning on going again in a couple of years and I am determined to ride it!

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