Hollywood Studios has recently completed 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. Our Top Hollywood Studios Tips for 2023 include our latest hacks and tricks.
You can’t do Hollywood Studios in 1 day.
Prior to the redevelopment, we felt most guests could complete the majority of Hollywood Studios in one day. This is no longer the case; at minimum, you will need at least two days to experience all the big E-Ticket attractions.
Create a Hollywood Studios Plan
Hollywood Studios planning is a serious business! In 2023 guests must consider DisneyGenie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, Early Theme Park Entry, and Disney Park Pass.
Our Free Walt Disney World Planners are a great resource to help create a perfect Walt Disney World Vacation Plan.
Book a Disney Park Pass
Your Disney Park Pass is the critical booking you must obtain as soon as you get your Hollywood Studios ticket. To access a park, pre-book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System. Availability is generally good, but they can run out.
To access the Hollywood Studios, guests must present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry.
Remember, to dine in the Hollywood Studios; you must also have a Disney Park Pass.
If you are planning to Park Hop, 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 can then enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours.
Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. 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, and park hours can change. Times can even vary on different days of the same week.
Make sure before you visit, you can access the My Disney Experience App throughout your visit. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make Disney Genie, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance food at select Quick Service Locations. Mobile Ordering is a great time saver.
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile devices before entering parks. Also, they recommend having location services and notifications enabled.
Are the kids big enough to ride?
Many of the Walt Disney World attractions carry height restrictions and are strictly enforced. At the Hollywood Studios, these are:
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Height 40″.
- Star Tours Height Requirement 40″.
- Rock n’ Roller Coaster Height 48″.
- Slinky Dog Dash 38″.
- Alien Swirling Saucers 32″.
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run 38″.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance 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.
Book dining reservations in advance & use mobile ordering
There is a 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window at Walt Disney World. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible, as they book quickly. There are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day. Read our Guide to Advanced Dining Reservations for more information.
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.
Don’t forget the other important reservations.
Do you want to 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.
Take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry
Early Theme Park Entry is a great benefit for onsite guests at Hollywood Studios.
Early Theme Park Entry is the replacement for Extra Magic Hours. All Walt Disney World Resort guests, and other select hotels, can gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park each day. However, you will need a Disney Park Pass.
Extended Evening Hours is not currently offered at Hollywood Studios.
Consider carefully whether to buy Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.
Disney Genie+ is the paid replacement for FastPass+, but it isn’t cheap, costing up to $35 a day per person. Purchasing Disney Genie+ allows you to book reservations for the Lightning Lane at select attractions in Hollywood Studios. The Lightning lane will enable you to join a shorter line than the regular standby line.
If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary for more extended vacations. Many attractions included with Disney Genie+ do not have long waits, and Lightning Lane isn’t required.
If you do decide to purchase Genie+ read our guide on when to start booking your attractions as Slinky Dog Dash often runs out in the first few hours.
Some of the most popular attractions at Hollywood Studios are unavailable on Disney Genie+. An individual fee of up to $25 is required to access the lightning lane for these attractions.
The list of rides has changed several times since the introduction of Individual Lightning Lanes, but currently, only one attraction in Hollywood attracts this fee:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Visit our guide to learn more about Individual Lightning Lanes.
Don’t miss Fantasmic
In our opinion, it is the best nighttime show at Walt Disney World. You should not miss it!
Be prepared for every type of weather
Sunscreen, a hat and waterproofing all might be needed 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.
Only pack essentials in your park bag
There is a lot of walking at Hollywood Studios and you will carry your bag all day. What are the things you must take into the park? List what you need, e.g., a camera, autograph book, poncho.
We have created an updated guide to what we think you should include in your Walt Disney World park bag
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.
Do you have any other Hollywood Studios Tips? Leave a comment below.
More Disney World
To learn more about Walt Disney World, visit our 2023 Guide to Walt Disney World.
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