(Last updated: 2/9/2021) Hollywood Studios was the third park built at Walt Disney World, opening as Disney-MGM Studios in 1989 (it was renamed Hollywood Studios in 2008). It is an ode to movies, which, in a way, is why some of the park can feel a little mish-mashed. But from the Big Band Disney hits at the entrance (seriously, I’m listening to the soundtrack on YouTube as I type this) to the fantastic shows to some of the newest technology in rides, Hollywood Studios has quickly become a must-do park at Disney World. And here’s our complete Hollywood Studios guide!
COVID-19 Note: Not all rides, attractions, or dining are open. Be sure to check before you go. Also know that you must have a Park Pass Reservation in addition to your park ticket to enter the park. Fastpass+ reservations are currently unavailable as are dining plans.
Getting to Hollywood Studios
Depending on where you are staying, you can get to Hollywood Studios in a variety of ways. Let’s break them down:
Taking a Bus to Hollywood Studios
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you will be able to take a bus to Hollywood Studios. Check the bus schedule at your resort and/or at your resort’s bus stop. Busses run regularly before park open and after park close (but times can vary, so double check). If you are staying at a resort, you should also be able to check the bus schedule on the My Disney Experience app.
Check out other transportation options though, because there might actually be a faster way to get there depending on your resort.
Taking the Skyliner
If you are staying at certain Disney resorts, you can take the Disney Skyliner.
If you are staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you can take a Skyliner gondola directly to Hollywood Studios.
Guests staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Art of Animation Resort, or Pop Century Resort, can also take the Skyliner, but will have to change gondolas at Caribbean Beach.
Taking a Boat to Hollywood Studios
Resorts close to Hollywood Studios offer transportation via Friendship Boat. The Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club Resort, Yacht Club Resort, and the Swan and Dolphin Resort all have accessible Friendship Boat stations. Note that depending on which station you use, you may have stops at other stations before you get to Hollywood Studios.
Walking to Hollywood Studios
If you are staying in a resort close to Hollywood Studios, you can walk to the park. Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club Resort, Yacht Club Resort, and Swan and Dolphin all have walking paths you can use to get to Hollywood Studios.
Note that these walks can take a bit of time though — about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your resort.
Driving to Hollywood Studios
Driving to Hollywood Studios is of course also an option. If you are staying at a resort, you will not have to pay for parking at the park (though you will be charged for parking at your resort). Annual passholders also do not have to pay for parking.
If you are a day guest with a regular ticket though, you will be charged $25 for a day of parking.
Getting Around Hollywood Studios
Walk, walk and walk some more. Hollywood Studios is actually the only park that has zero transportation within the park (Magic Kingdom has the train and Main Street vehicles, Epcot has the Friendship boats, and even Animal Kingdom has the train that takes you to Conservation Station).
Luckily though, Hollywood Studios is also the smallest park space-wise, so you will probably still find yourself logging less steps than you will in other parks.
Guide to Hollywood Studios Rides & Attractions
Hollywood Studios is a celebration of the magic of movie making. In recent years it has seen several expansions aimed at attracting more crowds to the park (and away from the sometimes overcrowded other parks). As a result, Hollywood Studios now has some of the most popular attractions on property, making it even more crowded and one of the hardest parks to get a Park Pass Reservation for.
Let’s break the park down into sections, with a list of the attractions you’ll find in each one.
COVID-19 Note: Not all attractions are currently available, most notably the shows that make Hollywood Studios what it is. Because of the big emphasis on stage entertainment and character meet and greets in Hollywood Studios, there are probably more attractions closed here than any other park. We’ve done our best to note what is closed below, but note that this is subject to change.
You’ll enter the park on Hollywood Boulevard, a street lined with shops and restaurants that leads to the Chinese Theater. The Chinese Theater is where you’ll find Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the park’s newest attraction — a dark, trackless, family-friendly ride.
Hollywood Boulevard Rides & Attractions
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Turning right off of the middle of Hollywood Boulevard will lead you down Sunset Boulevard, another stretch lined with shops and restaurants, ending with some of the park’s headliner attractions.
Sunset Boulevard Rides & Attractions
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage (currently closed)
- Fantasmic! (nighttime show, currently closed)
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy (show)
The center lake and area around it in Hollywood Studios is known as Echo Lake (and is notable for its giant dinosaur: Gertie).
Echo Lake Rides & Attractions
- Star Tours — The Adventure Continues
- Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (live show, currently closed)
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (stunt show, currently closed)
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (show)
Animation Courtyard is located north of the Chinese Theater before you walk back to Toy Story Land. Here is where you’ll find several character meet and greets, notably Disney Junior and Star Wars characters.
Animation Courtyard Attractions
- Disney Junior Play and Dance!
- Star Wars Launch Bay (museum and meet and greet combo, currently closed)
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid (stage show, currently closed)
- Walt Disney Presents (museum and meet and greet combo, currently closed)
Commissary Lane is a street behind the Echo Lake section of the park. This is a small street that mostly has a couple restaurants, but there is a Minnie and Mickey meet and greet.
Commissary Lane Attractions
- Mickey and Minnie in Red Carpet Dreams (currently closed)
Grand Avenue is located between Star Tours and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is is home of The Muppets! It’s a small area of the park, but if you are a Muppets lover, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
Grand Avenue Attractions
- Muppet*Vision 3D (show)
Pixar Place (Municiberg)
Pixar Place is a small area of Hollywood Studios located just before you get to Toy Story Land. Before Toy Story Land opened, the entrance for Toy Story Mania was located here. Now though it is where you can spot The Incredibles and find Jack Jack Num Num Cookies.
There are no rides or attractions in Pixar Place. Also note that sometimes this area of the park is called Municiberg (because of the sole presence of The Incredibles right now), but on the Disney map it still shows up as Pixar Place (so that’s what we’re going with for now).
Toy Story Land
Opened in 2018, Toy Story Land puts you in Andy’s back yard and makes you feel like you are the size of a toy. This popular area of the park is often crowded and it has very little shade, so be aware.
Toy Story Land Rides and Attractions
- Toy Story Mania!
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucers
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the newest addition to the park, opening just in 2019. Here you’ll find yourself on the planet of Batuu, where you might just meet Rey and Chewie, or come across the dark side. Storm Troopers regularly patrol the area and are some of the most immersive character interactions in all the parks.
Also, use your phone as a datapad to decipher the language of Batuu. Use the Play Disney Parks app to decode the messages on various signs throughout the land.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is also where Rise of the Resistance is located, by far the hardest ticket to get in Disney World right now. In fact, you have to get a special boarding group to even be allowed to be in line for it (see more below).
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Rides and Attractions
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Plan the most magical trip with our guide: How to Plan a Trip to Disney World!
Most Popular Attractions and Fastpasses You Need
COVID-19 Note: Fastpass+ Reservations are currently unavailable, but we hope to see them return in the future. Single rider lanes are also unavailable.
Like every other park (except Magic Kingdom) Fastpasses for Hollywood Studios are broken up into tiers. When you reserve your three Fastpass+ prior to your park visit, you can only get one Tier 1 Fastpass+. The other two must come from Tier 2.
Hollywood Studios Tier 1 Fastpasses:
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Hollywood Studios Tier 2 Fastpasses:
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Star Tours
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Disney Junior Play and Dance!
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet Vision 3D
What Hollywood Studios Fastpasses Should You Get?
The Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ reservations you want to make completely depends on your park priorities. Sorry! I know that’s vague! But it’s true! You might be there with toddlers (in which case, skip the Star Wars stuff and Sunset Boulevard headliners), you might be there seeking the thrills, or you might be there just for the entertainment.
Here’s our advice though:
For Tier 1, we recommend trying to get a Fastpass+ for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. It is the newest ride in the parks, and therefore one of the most popular. It can be easier to rope drop the other two Tier 1 rides generally (i.e. head straight there when the park opens). If you can’t get Mickey and Minnie’s though, the other two Fastpasses are great options (that’s why they’re Tier 1!)
For Tier 2, we recommended prioritizing Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, depending on your priorities.
If you want one of your Tier 2 Fastpasses to be a show, we recommend the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. This is one of the most popular shows on property, and you could potentially get shut out of the audience if you arrive too late. Having a Fastpass+ guarantees you entry though.
Also, don’t forget about single rider! (Not currently available, but hopefully will be again in the future.) Two rides in Hollywood Studios have single rider lines: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. If your party is okay with splitting up, using the single rider line could give you a wait time almost as quick as a Fastpass+ without having to actually use a Fastpass+. (Know that with Smugglers Run though, you will likely NOT get the coveted pilot position and will probably get stuck in the back. So if that’s important to you, opt to wait with your group instead.)
How to Ride Rise of the Resistance
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge is the hardest ticket to get in Disney World right now. To ride it, you’ll need three things:
- A park ticket
- A Park Pass Reservation
- A Boarding Group (this is the last key!)
You can’t just go into Hollywood Studios on your reserved day and expect to ride Rise of the Resistance. Instead, you’ll need to be up early in the morning to book a boarding pass through your My Disney Experience app.
Here’s how it works:
- Before your Hollywood Studios day, familiarize yourself with the My Disney Experience app. Know where you’ll need to go in the app and make sure all your friends and family in your boarding group are linked in the app so you can select all of their names. Also make sure the app is updated.
- The first boarding group opens at 7:00 a.m. If you have a park pass for that day to Hollywood Studios, you will want to be on the My Disney Experience app BEFORE 7:00 a.m. (Note: You DO NOT have to be in the park to get the 7:00 boarding group.)
- In the minutes before 7:00 you can toggle back and forth between the home page and clicking the “Join” button until you have the option to join. Click “Join” as soon as you see it.
- Your friends and family who are linked should automatically show up and hopefully already be selected. If not, you can quickly click “Select All” and then join the group.
- If you are successful, you will see your boarding group number. Also, confirm that all the right people in your party are included.
- Once you’re in the park and your number is called, you’ll have an hour to get to the ride.
- If you are unable to get a group at 7:00 a.m., you can try again for the 1:00 p.m. group. This group has a much more limited selection of groups though and is harder to get! You also MUST be in the park for the 1:00 p.m. group.
Where to Meet Characters at Hollywood Studios
COVID-19 Note: There are currently no character meet and greets in the parks. Instead, you can see characters in character cavalcades (small parades) throughout the day.
There are tons of characters you can meet in Hollywood Studios, and many of them are characters you can ONLY meet in Hollywood Studios, like Star Wars characters and Disney Junior characters.
Let’s break down each area of the park with the characters you can generally meet there. Note that this can be subject to change. Below you’ll find information on character cavalcades (the only way you can meet characters in Hollywood Studios right now), but we’ve also included the regular meet and greets because we do hope to see them return in the future (and it this might be helpful if you are planning a trip into say, 2022.)
Right now, characters are only seen in Hollywood Studios through character cavalcades, or small parades throughout the day. These motorcades are not scheduled, but rather you’ll find them taking place during random times throughout the day. There are three main character motorcades in Hollywood Studios:
- Disney Junior Characters including Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins, and Vamparina.
- Mickey and Friends including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip and Dale.
- Pixar Pals including Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Green Army Men, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, and Edna Mode.
All three character cavalcades take place at the front of the park and travel down Hollywood Boulevard.
Hollywood Boulevard Characters
Sometimes near the entrance of the park you can meet classic Disney characters. Usually these are Daisy and Donald or Chip n’ Dale.
Sunset Boulevard Characters
At the end of Sunset Boulevard, you can see characters from Cars outside Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. These characters include Cruz Ramirez and DJ.
Echo Lake Characters
In Echo Lake, across from Backlot Express, you’ll find Celebrity Spotlight. This is where you can meet Olaf from Frozen. This is the only place you can meet Olaf in Disney World!
Animation Courtyard Characters
Animation Courtyard is the biggest place to meet characters in Hollywood Studios, and has characters you won’t find in any other Disney World parks.
Here you’ll find Disney Junior characters like Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Fancy Nancy in outdoor meet and greets (plus see Disney Junior Characters at Disney Junior Dance and Play!). You’ll also often find Pluto near the Disney Junior characters.
Animation Courtyard is also home to the Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can meet BB-8, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and sometimes Kylo Ren.
You’ll also find Walt Disney Presents here, which is where you can meet Mike Wazowski and Sully from Monsters, Inc.
Commissary Lane Characters
Commissary Lane is where you can meet Mickey and Minnie. Their meet and greet is called Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams and you’ll see Minnie in her Hollywood dress and Mickey in his Sorcerer’s Apprentice outfit.
Pixar Place (Municiberg) Characters
Pixar Place is where you can meet characters from The Incredibles. Usually this will include Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Edna Mode, and Frozone; but be sure to check your My Disney Experience app for more details.
Toy Story Land Characters
Toy Story Land is of course where you can meet the characters from Toy Story! These will include Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and Jessie. Plus you can catch the Green Army Men marching!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Characters
There aren’t actually character meet and greets in Galaxy’s Edge, but there are still plenty of characters to see! Chewie and Rey are often out trying to outwit the First Order, Storm Troopers are constantly patrolling, and Kylo Ren makes regular appearances.
Hollywood Studios Outdoor Entertainment
COVID-19 Note: No outdoor entertainment listed below is currently operating.
Hollywood Studios has two main nighttime entertainment events, both fireworks fueled spectaculars and both extremely popular shows!
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular takes place on Hollywood Boulevard, with fireworks and projections across the Chinese Theater.
Fantasmic! is the classic nighttime show at Hollywood Studios. It has been running since 1992! You can see it in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, which is located behind Tower of Terror. Take the path between Beauty and Beast and Tower of Terror and it will lead you to Fantasmic! Make sure you get there early — this is a popular show!
Hollywood Studios Dining Guide
Hollywood Studios hasn’t always had the strongest dining options, but some recent additions and menu overhauls have really improved thing. In this Hollywood Studios guide, let’s break things down land by land and discuss Table Service, Quick Service, and Snack Quick Service locations in each area.
Also keep your eye peeled for other snack booths throughout the park. In addition to the main locations listed below, you’ll find other kiosks offering ice cream, popcorn, pretzels, and more.
COVID-19 Note: Not all dining locations are currently open. Check for closures before you go.
Hollywood Boulevard Dining
- The Hollywood Brown Derby — Table Service restaurant serving American fine dining dishes. Also the location for Dine with an Imagineer (currently unavailable).
- The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is connected to The Hollywood Brown Derby and offers drinks and some of the same food as the main restaurant.
- The Trolley Car Cafe — Quick Service — the Starbucks location in Hollywood Studios, also offering cupcakes and pastries.
Sunset Boulevard Dining
- Catalina Eddie’s — Quick Service window offering pizza and salads.
- Fairfax Fare — Quick Service location offering tex-mex cuisine.
- Rosie’s All-American Cafe — Quick Service window offering burgers and hot dogs.
- Anaheim Produce — Quick Service Snack location with fresh fruit and veggies, plus Mickey pretzels.
- Hollywood Scoops — Quick Service Snack location offering ice cream.
- KRNR The Rock Station — Quick Service Snack location with hot dogs and frozen treats.
Echo Lake Dining
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe — Table Service restaurant offering throwback comfort food.
- Hollywood & Vine — Table Service restaurant offering American cuisine. This is also the only location for character dining in Hollywood Studios, with Disney Junior breakfasts and Minnie and friends lunches and dinners.
- Tune-In Lounge is connected to 50’s Prime Time Cafe and offers drinks plus the same menu as 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
- Backlot Express — Quick Service location offerings burgers and sandwiches.
- Dockside Diner — Quick Service located at the ship on Echo Lake, mainly offering hot dogs.
- Epic Eats — Quick Service Snack location with funnel cakes and ice cream.
Commissary Lane Dining
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant — Table Service restaurant where you dine on burgers and fries in a drive-in theater.
- ABC Commissary — Quick Service restaurant with American and global cuisine.
Grand Avenue Dining
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano — Table Service restaurant offering Italian dishes.
- BaseLine Tap House is a lounge/bar offering drinks and small plates.
- PizzeRizzo — Quick Service location offering Rizzo the Rat’s pizza. It is only opened seasonally or when crowds are high.
Pixar Place Dining
- Market — Quick Service Snack booth offering Mickey pretzels and churros. (Currently offering Jack Jack Num Num Cookies while Neighborhood Bakery is closed)
- Neighborhood Bakery — Quick Service Snack location. This is where you can find the Jack Jack Num Num Cookie.
Toy Story Land Dining
- Woody’s Lunch Box — Quick Service location with sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Plus they are open for breakfast, with some of the favorite breakfast food on property.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Dining
- Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo — Quick Service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer cuisine from Batuu (really American food with a bit of a twist and a creative name.)
- Ronto Roasters — Quick Service location known for Ronto Wraps (made with pork sausage). Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Oga’s Cantina — Bar/Lounge with Star Wars themed cocktails and mocktails. You will definitely want a reservation for this popular place!
- Kat Saka’s Kettle — Quick Service Snack location offering flavored popcorn.
- Milk Stand — Quick Service Snack location where you can get the famous blue and green milk.
Special Events at Hollywood Studios
Currently no special events are being offered at Hollywood Studios, and once we are through COVID-19 it will be interesting to see what, if any, special events return. Here’s a list of what has previously been offered, which might give us some idea of what could be offered in the future.
Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land — a special ticketed event offered on certain days before park opening. You could ride Toy Story Land rides with low waits and then have a provided breakfast.
Disney After Hours — a special ticketed event that allows guest to stay in the park after closing with certain attraction open with low wait times.
Hollywood Studios Current Closures and Upcoming Attractions
There are currently no refurbishment closures at Hollywood Studios. Although COVID-19 has caused most shows and all character meet and greets to be temporarily suspended.
Coming Soon: Roundup Rodeo BBQ — This Table Service restaurant will be opening in Toy Story Land. No official date has been given, as it was delayed from 2020.
Hollywood Studios Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you are ready to grab that Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass! Read up on how to do it ahead of time and be prepared.
- When Tower of Terror shows a 13 minute wait, that actually means it is a 0 minute wait!
- Take advantage of single rider lines! There are two rides with single rider lines in Hollywood Studios, which can save you a lot of queuing time if your party is willing to be split up.
- Don’t forget about child swap! Hollywood Studios has a pretty big proportion of rides meant to appeal to older kids and adults, so don’t hesitate to use child swap if you need it! (With child swap one adult can ride with the child while the rest of the party waits in line; then the adult who was with the child can ride the ride with what is essentially a Fastpass+.)
Want more park guides? Check out our Complete Guide to Disney’s Magic Kingdom!