Hollywood Studios has been undergoing a period of massive change. The biggest changes have been the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. The new attractions have led to big crowds and long waits within the park. Now more than ever, you must have a strategy to maximize your time at Hollywood Studios. How you plan your visit has changed in 2021 with several changes due to social distancing. Our Top Hollywood Studios Hacks for 2021 include our latest Tips & Tricks. Our Hollywood Studios Tips will keep you ahead of the rest of the crowd.
Be prepared for extra safety checks and differences in how you plan your day
There are a number of changes throughout Hollywood Studios to keep you safe:
- All Guests ages two and up, and Cast Members, are required to wear face coverings. Make sure you don’t forget it!
- Temperature screening will occur. Any guest recording 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry.
- Physical distancing and limited contact will be in place throughout the resort.
Also, your planning process will be different as the following are not currently available at Hollywood Studios:
- Single Rider Lines
- Extra Magic Hours(this isn’t returning)
- Disney Dining Plan
- Character meet and greets
- The majority of tours and special experiences
Not everything is currently available at Hollywood Studios
Throughout Walt Disney World, there are attractions currently closed. We expect these will slowly be reduced over the year, but there is still plenty to do in the park. Any entertainment that causes the gathering of crowds has currently been postponed. Entertainment that has been temporarily suspended at Hollywood Studios includes:
- Character meet and greets
- The majority of large shows including Fantasmic, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage
Keep checking My Disney Experience for the latest information.
You can’t do Hollywood Studios in 1 day
Previously, we felt most guests could complete the majority of Hollywood Studios in 1 day. This is no longer the case as a minimum you will need at least two days. Even with the current closed attarctions we advise that most guesst will need two days.
Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. Currently, the opening times of Hollywood Studios regularly change! Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Check the My Disney Experience App before you visit
Not every day at Hollywood Studios is the same. Attractions close for refurbishment, showtimes vary & park hours can change. Times can even vary on different days of the same week.
It seems almost inevitable that changes will happen throughout 2021, assuming the pandemic comes under control. Make sure you don’t miss out if suddenly FastPass restarts. Keep checking My Disney Experience for all the latest information, including park hours.
Book a Disney Park Pass
Forget FastPass+; the key booking now you must obtain as soon as you get your ticket is your Disney Park Pass. To access a park, you will need to prebook a reservation online through the new Disney Park Pass System. To access the Hollywood Studios, guests will have to present both their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Remember, to dine in any theme park restaurant, you must also have a Disney Park Pass.
Don’t forget the other important reservations
Do you want to have a drink at Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge? Or do you want to build a droid or lightsaber? You need to secure an advance reservation for the following:-
- Oga’s Cantina
- Droid Depot
- Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers
Guests may make advance reservations for dining and other experiences up to 60 days in advance. In addition, Disney Resort hotel Guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days). Visit My Disney Experience for further information.
Check the latest information on Park Hopping
When Walt Disney World reopened, Park Hopping was suspended. However, Park Hopping will be available in 2021, but it will be slightly different. Guests will still need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another.
Guests will then be able to enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours. Park Hopping Hours are subject to change, but initially, they will be between 2 pm to close at all parks. Park Hopping will be subject to park capacity, and Disney advises you to check My Disney Experience for the latest information. You should also note that Rise of the Resistance is not available for guests Park Hopping, but exclusively for those who have a Hollywood Studios Park Pass reservation.
What about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
FastPass+ might be suspended, but you still need a reservation to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The rules of how virtual queue reservations are distributed have changed several times, but the current rules are:
Guests with a valid ticket or Annual Pass and a Disney Park Pass Reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to request access to the virtual queue starting at 7:00 AM on the day of their reservation. This can be done before you leave your Disney Resort hotel or on your way to the park. The virtual queue will reopen daily at 1:00 PM for anyone inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios who wasn’t already able to join a boarding group earlier in the day.
Ensure you are logged on to My Disney Experience before these times and be quick reservations go quick! Only Guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and guests who Park Hopping will be excluded.
Make sure you check the latest information before you visit as we suspect it will likely change again.
Are the kids big enough to ride?
Many of the Walt Disney World attractions do carry height restrictions and are strictly enforced. At the Hollywood Studios these are:
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Height Requirement 40 inches.
- Star Tours Height Requirement 40 inches.
- Rock n’ Roller Coaster Height Requirement 48″ inches.
- Slinky Dog Dash 38 inches.
- Alien Swirling Saucers 32 inches.
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at least 38″.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at least 40″.
When children are not big enough to ride, it does not mean adults and older children can’t. Rider Switch allows guests with small children to take turns riding while another adult stays with the child. You can learn more in our Guide to Rider Switch.
Don’t miss Fantasmic
It might currently me suspended, but we reckon it will be back for Summer 2021! In our opinion it is the best nighttime show at Walt Disney World.
Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential at Hollywood Studios during 2021. We recently reviewed our top Walt Disney World Tip and named having the ability to access wifi as our number 1 for 2021.
Having access to WiFi allows you to access My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their vacation. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make FastPass+, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance your food at Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and much more essential information via the app.
- Grab a spot in the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile device before entering parks. Also, they recommend having location services, and notifications enabled.
You might be on vacation, but you must have your phone whenever you visit Hollywood Studios.
Only pack essentials in your park bag
What are the things you must take into the park? Remember, you will be carrying your bag all day. Make a list of what you need, e.g., camera, autograph book, poncho. Pack your bag the night before and check it before you leave in the morning. Also, don’t forget a facemask!
We have created an updated guide to what we think you should include in your Walt Disney World park bag.
Be prepared for every type of weather
Sunscreen, hat & waterproof all might be needed on any day in Hollywood Studios. Have a plan for what to do if the weather turns.
Read our guide to Orlando Weather for more tips & tricks.
Plan Meal and Drink Breaks
The heat in Orlando, especially in summer, can be very hard going. Dehydration and sunstroke are easy to acquire but easy to prevent. Carry water and drink regularly. Don’t skip meal breaks, a 40-minute break in an air-conditioned restaurant can reinvigorate the whole family.
Book dining reservations in advance & use mobile ordering
During the reopening period of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants will be open, and some will subject to reduced capacity. A new 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window applies. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible as they book-up fast. There are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day.
I used to think Mobile Ordering was pointless, but I was wrong! In fact, it is perhaps the greatest time-saver at Walt Disney World, order your food in advance at quick-service restaurants. Ordering is simple through the My Disney Experience app. Disney is encouraging all guests to use this during the reopening period.
Do you have any other Hollywood Studios Tips? Leave a comment below.
More Disney World
To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.