Now that you’ve gotten your Disney tickets on the cheap with the handy guide, it’s time to explore the parks. Let’s talk about the best rides at Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: where Disney and Hollywood come together to make magic. Classic Hollywood is the park’s inspiration and the rides and decor are nods to iconic television shows, music, and movies.
Only at Hollywood Studios will you travel back in time to the Twilight Zone, go to an Aerosmith concert, be a kid again with Andy’s toys in Toy Story Land, explore a new galaxy, and watch a comedy show featuring the Muppets without ever leaving the park!
It is truly a sight to behold and an unforgettable experience, but like any of the Disney theme parks, Hollywood Studios can be overwhelming. Let’s take a look at some of the best rides that Hollywood Studios has to offer. You won’t want to miss these!
Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the most exciting and mysterious ride in Hollywood Studios-Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror. It’s worth it to visit Hollywood Studios for this ride alone.
The entrance of the ride’s line begins outdoors and gives you the feeling that you are waiting to check into a hotel (wait, didn’t we already do this when our trip began?), albeit a creepy and abandoned one. The feeling doesn’t go away when you enter the hotel either.
Exquisite attention to detail replicates the hotel experience, though it’s clear that they fired the cleaning staff (or they died?) years ago. But as you descend into the hotel’s boiler room, a place where no guest of a REAL hotel belongs, you will realize that you are heading for the ride of your life. You will be ushered into the hotel’s service elevator to begin the ride. Once you are seated and you cannot turn back, you will learn the tragic story of a family who met their demise riding in that very elevator during a freak thunderstorm. Soon enough, it’s your turn. Sit back, relax, and try to survive!
The Tower of Terror is suitable for riders ages 6 through adult, although some elements may be too scary for young riders, including darkness, scary scenes, loud noises, and sudden drops. It is important to note that if a rider in your party is prone to motion sickness they may want to sit this one out.
Disney employs a rider swap service for this ride that will be particularly useful for parties with small children, located outside the ride’s line queue. This service allows caregivers of non-riders to ride the ride and then swap without having to wait in line again. Due to the popularity of the Tower of Terror, it is recommended to visit within the first hour of the park’s opening or use fast pass to reduce wait times. The Tower of Terror can be found in the Sunset Boulevard section of the park.
Rock ‘n Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
Disney really prides itself on the attention to detail and authenticity of the ride experience. The Rock ‘n Roller Coaster is no exception. As you enter the ride’s line, you go on a tour of Aerosmith’s recording studio. You will get to see videos of the stars ‘interacting’ with you as you take in some pretty amazing decor.
Before you approach the loading dock, the stars of Aerosmith invite you to a concert but the catch is you must leave right away to make it on time. Your mode of transportation is the rollercoaster, decked out to look like a luxurious stretch limo. Once you are loaded in, it’s time for takeoff! You’ll speed through the streets of Hollywood, jamming out to amazing and incredibly loud Aerosmith hits before finally arriving at the concert, signaling the ride’s end.
This indoor rollercoaster is suitable for ages 6 through adult but this ride also has elements that might be too scary for young riders. The rollercoaster is entirely in the dark and contains upside down loops. Additionally, very loud music is playing. If members of your party are not able to ride, the rider swap service is available.
It is recommended to ride this ride within the first hour or use fast pass. Rock ‘n Roller Coaster is also located in Sunset Boulevard.
Star Tours-The Adventures Continue
Who doesn’t love Star Wars? The answer is no one, making this another one of the park’s most popular attractions. If you head on over to Echo Lake, you will be able to experience Star Tours-The Adventures Continue.
This ride is a motion simulator, meaning that a combination of video and movement will make it feel as though you are right there with the Star Wars characters on an amazing space adventure. Because there are so many variations of the ride’s script, each ride’s story is different.
This ride is suitable for ages 6 through adult. Because of the nature of the ride, those with motion sickness may struggle. If anyone if your party is prone to mild motion sickness, they are advised to sit in the middle or choose not to ride if their motion sickness is more severe.
Rider swap is available if there are members of your party who cannot ride. The capacity of the ride’s vehicle is fairly large so the wait times remain pretty low, but it is still recommended to visit the ride within the first two hours of the park’s opening or wait until the last two hours before the park’s closing.
It is also advised not to ride immediately after the Indiana Jones show ends as it is located close to Star Tours and makes a logical next ride for the large audience to visit next, making the wait longer.
Toy Story Land
One of the most exciting and highly anticipated additions to Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Land. You will feel like you have fallen into the toybox as you walk through the area surrounded by giant blocks and tinker toys, passing all of your favorite Toy Story characters.
Many of the ride’s queues are adorned with retro toys and games, so while you are busy feeling like a kid again you will also remember your own childhood. Toy Story Land is a rider swap-free zone but that won’t be a problem because your children won’t let you experience one moment of this magical playground without them!
Toy Story Mania
Combination arcade game and ride, this is one experience you will not want to miss! You will load into one of the cars, each of which holds four people-two in the front and two in the back. The cars are equipped with a “gun” for each person that will be used to interact with the attraction.
Once loaded into the car, you will travel along the track, stopping periodically to play a carnival-style game featuring the Toy Story characters. The ride keeps track of each rider’s score, adding a bit of competition to the atmosphere of the ride.
Don’t forget to stop and say hi to Mr. Potato Head. He likes to hang out in the queue and interact with guests as they are walking by.
Toy Story Mania has been part of Hollywood Studios since before Toy Story Land was built and it has always had a reputation as one of the busiest rides in the park with the longest wait time. You will definitely want to use a fast pass for this ride or visit within the first hour of park opening. There is nothing scary about this ride to be concerned about and it is suitable for guests aged 3 through senior.
Slinky Dog Dash
You remember the loyal and loveable Slinky Dog from the Toy Story franchise. Well, now he has been reimagined as the vehicle for his namesake family-friendly rollercoaster. This runaway train-style rollercoaster features twists, turns, and tilts but no steep drops or upside down loops. At one point along the track, the car will pause and give the impression of slinky stretching out before shooting off again along the track-a fun nod to the nature of the iconic slinky toy and Slinky Dog’s helpful ability in the movies!
Slinky Dog Dash is suitable for riders aged 6 through senior. It is recommended to ride within the first hour of the park’s opening or use fast pass because although this is a milder ride, it is still very popular among guests!
Before leaving Toy Story Land, don’t forget to check out the Alien Swirling Saucers. Perfect for the youngest members of your party, this magic teacup style ride is exciting but gentle, featuring those adorable Pizza Planet aliens.
If you are planning on visiting Hollywood Studios in the late summer or early fall, you are in for a special treat! Coming in late August 2019, a new land will be open for business in Hollywood Studios, honoring the Star Wars franchise!
Named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, this land will be decked out to convey the fictional planet of Batuu, located on the border of the Star Wars galaxy. Shops and restaurants will make up a large part of this Star Wars land, creating the atmosphere of an out-of-the-way outpost. A key feature of the outpost will be that guests can attend workshops at the shops and create their own lightsabers and droids. A downloadable app makes the land secretly interactive, providing ways to interact with the land accessible only through the app.
While this land is made up largely of shops and restaurants, the star attraction in this new area allows guests to ride alongside Hans Solo on the Millennium Falcon in a ride called Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. On this ride, guests will be able to man the cockpit of the Falcon while going on random missions with the characters of the Star Wars movies.
All this may seem like more excitement than even a die-hard Star Wars fan can take.
Stepping foot on a planet from Star Wars? Interacting with characters from the movies? Building your own lightsaber and droid? Interacting with the world like a VIP? AND riding the famous Millennium Falcon? What more could a guest ask for?
Well, there IS more. Later on this year, another ride will be open for Star Wars fans! Information on the Rise of the Resistance ride is still largely based on speculation but it is pretty certain that guests will be launched into space and land right in the middle of an attack by Resistance fighters. With all these amazing features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is not an area you will want to skip!
While noteworthy rides and exciting new worlds can make for a day’s worth of adventures all on their own, Hollywood Studios does not skimp on awe-inspiring shows featuring characters and storylines from your favorite Disney movies and shows.
Make sure you add these favorites to your itinerary! Younger kids will enjoy the Disney Jr. show, featuring Sophia, Doc, and Jake from Sophia the First,
A Frozen sing along, Little Mermaid show, and Beauty and the Beast show will thrill the princesses in your party while action lovers will not want to miss the Indiana Jones and Stars Wars shows or the Jedi training.
Finally, guests can take a step into the past and re-visit those funny and loveable muppets. Muppet Vision 3D is a combination show and ride that puts you right in the middle of muppets hi-jinks.
With so many shows and rides featuring everyone’s very favorite characters, Hollywood Studios is the ultimate experience. Set aside a day for this park and take a look at this plan by Undercover Tourist to help you make sure you experience everything this park has to offer.
Please note that Undercover Tourist’s daily plan may not have been updated to account for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge by the time you are ready to visit so make sure you consider the activities offered there when planning your day!
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the park souvenirs and legendary Disney food, don’t forget to get your copy of Disney on a Budget to help you take advantage of the park’s eateries and shops without breaking the bank!