Disney’s Hollywood Studios is, in some ways, Walt Disney World’s best underdog story—what was as soon as thought of the resort’s most dismissible park has grow to be considered one of its hottest, even rivalling Magic Kingdom.
The park has had a unusual historical past from the start. It opened in 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios, a dreamchild of then-CEO Michael Eisner as a response to the success of Common Studios’ parks. Sarcastically, it wasn’t formally linked to MGM—Disney merely licensed the identify and the studios’ film library. When Disney tried to make use of the MGM identify as a part of the park’s stint as a working studio, MGM was not blissful, and the identify was finally modified to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2008.
Whereas the Disney’s Hollywood Studios of at the moment has drifted from its film-production roots, it stays Disney’s most eclectic celebration of cinematic storytelling, a spot the place company can step into the worlds of Star Wars, Toy Story, the Muppets, the Twilight Zone, and the rock music business to expertise thrills of a lifetime.
Possibly you’re planning your first Walt Disney World trip, or it’s been some time since your final go to. Alternatively, perhaps you’re a longtime fan who has family and friends wanting to go to, and you would like there have been a way you can shortly sum-up the important thing “need-to-knows” for a tremendous Disney trip.
This information is the third in a sequence beginning right here at Theme Park Vacationer to meet that want—sharing the fundamentals you have to know to profit from a Walt Disney World trip. Our objective is to arrange you for what to anticipate, in addition to assist you keep away from the snags that spoil too many doubtlessly nice holidays.
In our first installment, we targeted on what you have to find out about Walt Disney World general—give that piece a learn in the event you haven’t but, because it covers among the “massive image” details about visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth. In our second piece, we dove into the highest issues you have to find out about Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
At the moment, we’ll be zeroing in on the highest 10 stuff you NEED to know earlier than visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios…
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Take a while to analysis Disney’s newest pandemic insurance policies. These are often altering, and lots of insurance policies are nonetheless in place on the time of this writing, together with that you just can’t enter a Disney park with no Disney Parks Cross reservation. You’ll find data on the newest developments in Disney’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic right here at Theme Park Vacationer and at Walt Disney World’s web site.
1. It’s now not a half-day park
Whereas Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t Walt Disney World’s smallest park (that honor truly goes to Magic Kingdom), it has usually felt small in comparison with different Disney parks. Certainly, the park has lengthy suffered from a foul repute as a half-day expertise.
Up to now, this repute was partially deserved. When Disney-MGM Studios first opened, it felt threadbare in comparison with different Disney parks, relying closely on dwell exhibits and a prolonged backstage tour attraction. Over time, Disney began filling out the park with common rides like Star Excursions, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster starring Aerosmith, however these nonetheless weren’t sufficient to make the park really feel fully full.
Two main additions modified issues.
First, the arrival of Toy Story Land in 2018 offered a much-needed draw for households, bringing with it Slinky Canine Sprint, the park’s solely outside coaster. The largest shift, nevertheless, came about in late 2019 with the arrival of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Regardless of a considerably rocky opening at Disneyland Resort earlier within the 12 months, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was extraordinarily well-received at Walt Disney World, drawing crowds in such numbers that the park often needed to open hours earlier than posted instances.
The turning level was the arrival of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Rise of the Resistance proved to be the win the park had wanted for years—an attraction so celebrated and common that it required the implementation of a digital queue system (extra on that shortly). The opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2020 solely added to the park’s enchantment. For a lot of 2020, after Walt Disney World reopened following COVID-19 pandemic closures, Disney’s Hollywood Studios stood out as Walt Disney World’s most attended park.
What this implies for guests at the moment is that you will see that a lot to get pleasure from all through your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, significantly in the event you take your time on the park’s immersive themed lands.
2. It’s Walt Disney World’s most teen-friendly park
After we appeared on the Magic Kingdom in our final piece, we talked about that youngsters usually wrestle to benefit from the extra child-focused elements of Walt Disney World, particularly Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the other—in some ways, it’s simply Walt Disney World’s most teen pleasant park (alongside Disney’s Animal Kingdom)…
It’s not that Disney’s Hollywood Studios solely appeals to teenagers—the park has a very good stability of sights to attract all ages. It’s that Disney’s Hollywood Studios hits all the precise notes for teen guests who are likely to want thrill-heavy parks like Common Orlando Resort.
For one factor, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has among the resort’s greatest thrill rides together with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, The Hollywood Tower of Terror, the Rockin’ Curler Coaster, Star Excursions, and even (to some extent) Slinky Canine Sprint. Different rides like Toy Story Mania enchantment to online game followers and teenagers with a aggressive streak.
The opposite win for teenagers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is that lots of the park’s sights encompass content material that Gen-Z grew up loving: issues just like the ever-expanding Star Wars saga and Toy Story sequence. Even Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway provides a cheekier tackle Disney’s most well-known cartoon couple, one which teen guests may discover extra palatable than classic Disney fare.
3. It has among the resort’s greatest rides
Disney’s Hollywood Studios stands out as the house of a few of Disney’s most bold rides. Whereas the park doesn’t have almost the amount of rides that Magic Kingdom does, it makes up for this within the high quality of its sights.
For starters, we are able to’t go on sufficient about Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance—it’s really considered one of Disney’s best achievements. The 18 minute expertise makes use of 4 completely different journey programs to launch company right into a Star Wars journey so immersive that it’s truly thought of a part of the official Star Wars canon. If you happen to’re in a position to get a spot within the journey’s digital queue, it’s an expertise like no different.
It isn’t the park’s solely winner. Disney’s Hollywood Studios stands out each for its richly-themed thrill rides just like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster, in addition to its immersive and interactive sights like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (which places you on the controls of the quickest ship within the galaxy), Toy Story Mania, and Star Excursions. On high of this, the park has some really unimaginable dwell exhibits just like the beautiful Voyage of the Little Mermaid and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (these are at present closed however will hopefully reopen later this 12 months).