Planning Your Disney Itinerary: Tips for Hollywood Studios

Designing an itinerary is an important and fun part of planning your Disney vacation, especially for first-time visitors. Last time we visited the Animal Kingdom, and today I’ll look at itinerary tips for the fantastic Hollywood Studios!

Hollywood Studios’ most popular attraction is undoubtedly Toy Story Midway Mania, a 3D shooting gallery-style track ride. There should be suitably dramatic music to accompany the morning dash to this attraction to get in line or grab a FastPass. FastPass+ will likely alleviate the mad dash, but if you’re planning to ride sans FastPass, this should be your first stop. Other top priorities are the Rock’n’ Roller Coaster, an intense indoor coaster, and the Tower of Terror, an exploration of the fifth dimension with a few sudden drops at the end. Secondary priority should go to Star Tours and the Great Movie Ride – these attractions are popular and can have long lines, but they load lots of people quickly.

If you want to sign your children up for the Jedi Training Academy, where children ages 4-12 can learn the powers of the Force, go to the sign-up as soon as possible. The activity is very popular and there are a limited number of slots. If your group is set on doing this, make sure your itinerary is flexible – that way you can sign up for whatever time is available without having to reorganize the rest of your day.

Hollywood Studios also has several musicals and stunt shows – my favorite is Beauty and the Beast. Unsurprisingly, the early showings are less crowded, but if you arrive about a half hour before show time, you should have no problem getting seats. Indoor shows like Muppet*Vision 3D and Voyage of the Little Mermaid have huge theaters and short run-times, and so long waits are unusual – these are good choices for the hot afternoon. Other good afternoon activities include the walk-through attraction One Man’s Dream, and the Magic of Disney Animation tour.

Fantasmic is Hollywood Studios’ spectacular nighttime show. If you’re not planning to see Fantasmic, consider visiting on a day when Fantasmic isn’t showing (if applicable) – the park is usually less busy overall. If there are two showings of Fantasmic, try to go to the second, as it will be less crowded. If you want to see Fantasmic and you are thinking of having a table-service meal at Hollywood Studios, consider the Fantasmic Dining Package, which will give you access to a reserved seating area for Fantasmic, and thus less time waiting in line.

How do you plan your day at Hollywood Studios?

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful parents and sister. She enjoys long walks, happy thoughts, and Disney magic! Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong. After planning a second trip to Walt Disney World, Elizabeth is now her family’s go-to resource for Disney. She even has her own blog,, with advice on how to plan your next Disney trip. Someday, she even hopes to be an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Elizabeth’s Disney wish list is a mile long, so she’s always ready to plan her next Disney adventure.

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  4. Planning Your Disney Itinerary: Managing Crowds
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