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    Disney's Hollywood Studios Overview

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Disney began a major overhaul of Hollywood Studios in 2015 that culminated in the opening of two new lands and five new rides. Toy Story Land opened in 2018 with two new child-friendly rides. The other land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opened in 2019 with two cutting-edge rides geared to older kids, teens, and adults. And the Studios launched the family-friendly ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in early 2020 to rave reviews.

In past editions of this book, a similarly small number of attractions was enough for us to say that the Studios wasn’t worth your time or money. For older children, teens, and adults, that’s not the case today because several of the new rides at the Studios are among Disney’s best and most popular. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is arguably the best ride Disney has made in decades, while Runaway Railway is so immersive, colorful, and full of Mickey’s personality that it’s impossible not to come out with a smile on your face.

Parents with small children may want to opt for a second day at the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom rather than visit the Studios. At present, the Studios has just four child-friendly rides, one musical, a Muppets film that’s 30 years old, and two walk-through exhibits unlikely to appeal to most small children.

Arriving at Hollywood Studios

If you’re staying at an EPCOT resort, it’ll take you 20–30 minutes to walk the mile or so from your hotel to the Studios’ entrance. Boat service is also available from the EPCOT resorts to the Studios, and it’s about a 20-minute ride on the Skyliner system (see page 440), which links EPCOT’s International Gateway with Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Riviera, Pop Century, and Art of Animation Resorts. In addition to the Skyliner, Disney may offer bus service to the Studios from these hotels on days with high attendance. Guests at other Disney resorts access DHS by bus.

As we went to press, guests at Pop Century were lining up for the Skyliner to the Studios as many as 3 hours before official opening. While the Skyliner is free, that’s not a great use of time. A better option is to use a ride-hailing service, described in the next section.

The DHS parking lot is located next to the park. Take a tram or walk from the parking lot to the front gate. There can be traffic delays in the morning while everyone waits for the lot to open.

If you want to drive while avoiding traffic, consider using self-parking ($27 per day) at the Swan and Dolphin, and then walking the 0.5 mile to the Studios entrance. Doing this avoids having to wait for Disney transportation. The cheapest, easiest, and least risky option of all, however, might be to use a ride-hailing service to drop you off and pick you up at these hotels instead.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge is currently operating using only a virtual "Boarding Pass" system that becomes quite operational at park opening and again at 2 PM. Most days the regular Boarding Groups are gone instantly. If you are not at Hollywood Studios 45-60 minutes before it opens and in the My Disney Experience app waiting to snag that Boarding Group, you will most likely not be able to ride Rise of the Resistance that day. In our opinion, the ride is good enough to warrant an early morning and a little hard work. Just make sure your entire party is with you and through the gates of the park or the app won't let them join your group.

One side-effect of the need to arrive early for Rise of the Resistance is that other rides like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash, and Toy Story Mania begin forming lines a little earlier than they normally would have. We recommend choosing either Smugglers Run or Slinky as your first attraction, then following a Touring Plan from there.

Getting Oriented

On your left as you enter, Guest Relations serves as the Studios’ headquarters and information center. Go there to pick up a park map or entertainment schedule (Times Guide), to report lost persons, or to access the Baby Care Center. To the right of the entrance are locker, stroller, and wheelchair rentals; Package Pickup; and Lost and Found.

As at the Magic Kingdom, you enter the park and then pass down a main street. In this case, it’s the Hollywood Boulevard of the 1930s and ’40s. At the end is a replica of the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, home of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

As you face the Chinese Theatre, two themed areas, Sunset Boulevard and Animation Courtyard, branch off Hollywood Boulevard to the right. Branching left off Hollywood Boulevard is Echo Lake. Grand Avenue holds Muppet-Vision 3-D and Mama Melrose’s, a full-service Italian restaurant.

Toy Story Land’s attractions are located behind the Chinese Theatre and to the left of Animation Courtyard (Disney calls the tiny dead-end street you pass on the way to Toy Story Land Pixar Place). Finally, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is in the upper-left corner of the park, accessible from Grand Avenue and Toy Story Land.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Services
Baby Care Center At Guest Relations; baby food and other necessities available at Oscar’s Super Service
Banking Services ATM outside the park to the right of the turnstiles, by the Echo Lake side of Keystone Clothiers, and on Streets of America near Pizza Planet restaurant.
Camera and Photo Supplies At The Darkroom on the right side of Hollywood Boulevard as you enter the park, just past Oscar’s Super Service
First Aid At Guest Relations
Guest Relations and Information Before you enter the turnstiles: There's a window before the alternate security checkpoint at the far left of the main entrance. After you're in the park: As you face the hat, the far left of the entrance.
Live Entertainment and Parade Information Pick up a park map and Times Guide at the merchandise kiosk after you enter the park, at Guest Relations, or at retail and dining locations throughout the park
Lost and Found At Guest Relations. After park close, all items are taken to the resort's main Lost and Found at the Transportation and Ticket Center
Lost Persons Can be reported at Guest Relations, the Baby Care Center, or to any Cast Member
Storage Lockers Can be rented for day-use to the right after entering turnstiles, on the left of Oscar's Super Service
Wheelchair, ECV, and Stroller Rentals To the right of the entrance at Oscar's Super Service

Last updated by Len Testa on March 24, 2021

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