Hollywood Studios First-Timer

I have never been to Hollywood Studios and will be going for the first time during my WDW trip this May. I was super excited about it until I read just how many people don’t like it or think it’s a waste of time. I understand it’s small, but I was able to perfectly fill up my touring plan with great things to do. I love all things Disney and Star Wars so I just don’t see how I would possibly have a bad time! I would love to hear your positive feedback about HS, and also opinions on why it isn’t so great.

Thanks :smiley:

First off, don’t worry about others who do not like Hollywood. IMO, it’s a blast.
If you like Star Wars and slick rides, Hollywood is your cup of tea.
Tower Of Terror, and Star Tours are an absolute riot.
Make sure to catch some of the Jedi Training Academy show - the commentary gets pretty funny.
Try to trade with the Jawas if they are around - they can be pretty funny as well.
You’ll have fun, I guarantee it.

HS is taking a bad rap now because it used to be better basically. Lots of attractions have closed to allow Star Wars & Toy Story Land to be developed so HS isn’t what it used to be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a good, fun time.

Tower of Terror, Rock N Roller Coaster & Toy Story Midway Mania are 3 E Ticket rides that can match up with anything in the rest of the parks and may be the top trio in any one of the 4 WDW parks. Star Tours and Great Movie Ride are both good rides. Star Tours is great for a SW fan - GMR is a touch dated, but still a fun time and offers some interesting twists - I had never realized there were 2 versions of the CM experience until our last trip after I don’t know how many rides before oddly enough. Indy is a fun stunt show, especially if you haven’t seen it 10 times already. Launch Bay is cool for a Star Wars fan and will be a must visit for you. Fantasia is also a top notch night time show, although many say the SW fireworks are better (haven’t seen them personally).

Restaurant wise, the QS offerings are fairly weak, but Brown Derby is top notch and Sci-Fi offers some of the best theming around.

It’s a fun park still - it may not be quite as great as it used to be but for our family it has four of our favorite rides (big 3 + ST) and is always a fun visit…

We love it, we spent 2.5 days there in Aug.

I think it’s hard to plan b/c of tiered FPP and show times, but it’s lots of fun. There’s too much to do for a first-timer IMO. We like it 4th best of the parks at WDW but that’s not actually a bad thing.

…and don’t rule out Frozen Sing-A-Long, whether you’re a “Frozen” fan or not. Comfy seats, show moves at a good pace, and the narrators we had in January were hysterical. They have a script + latitude, right down to dropping a Mariah Carey NYE joke. Did I mention “comfy seat?” We hit stuff like that as a form of rest break, a chance to sit in the AC for a bit and stop walking.


I was in a similar boat. I actually decided we may have to split up some during the day to fit it everything we want to do.

I’m guessing that a lot of the people who think it’s a 1/2 day or waste of time fall into one of three categories:

  1. Love thrill rides, but not big on the shows and not Star Wars fans - so they go for RnR, ToT, maybe TSM and ST and then done.
  2. Star Wars fans, but not thrill ride fans or the shows - so they go for Launch bay and the Star Wars attraction, but don’t spend time on RnR/ToT
  3. Not a fan of thrill rides OR Star Wars. - so they think the majority of the park is a waste.

Example: Our last trip, there wasn’t a ton of the Star Wars stuff there other than Star Tours. Our son was too small for RnR and didn’t want to do ToT. We decided the line was too long for TSM. Frozen didn’t exist and since our son didn’t really care about it, I don’t believe we saw B&tB. By mid-day, we were ready to go to a different park. This trip, our son LOVES thrill rides and Star Wars and I want to take our daughter to some of the more girly shows/attractions. I’m seriously worried about fitting in everything we want to do! We may have to come back later in the week!

I would second seeing the Frozen sing along! My husband and I were there a couple weeks ago and decided to go see it since we got a fastpass from Beauty and the Beast having technical difficulties. It was HILARIOUS!!! We laughed until we cried at times and love the ad libbing and “creative liberties” that the narrators were given. Definitely one of our favorite shows!

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These comments about the Frozen sing-along are fascinating. I had completely written it off as something I wouldn’t do unless I had my nieces in tow, but if it has wise-cracking in it, I may have to give it a chance. Universal’s Horror Makeup Show is one of my favorite things in Orlando because of the snappy host interplay, so if FTFTIF has even a fraction of that, I’ll like it.

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I concur with everyone here. DHS is my 2nd favorite park (after MK), and it’s my DW’s favorite park of the four. We’ve done two days on each trip we’ve made so far, and we’re planning on two days in the fall as well.

Granted, it is a little limited right now, but that just gives you a chance to go back and do some of your favorite attractions again.

50s Prime Time is another restaurant that has some great theming.

I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the Frozen sing along!

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HS is my second favorite park and one of my sons favorite park. We were there one day of our trip for a PPO ADR all the way until the end of Fantasmic. It was one of our favorite days of our trip. My kids love Star Wars and they loved Fantasmic. Frozen Sing a Long was cute and Indiana Jones is a great old school HS show.

Thanks so much for all this great info! It sounds like because I love Disney and Star Wars, I will have a great time. It seems like it’s a good place to visit if you’ve never been, but maybe once is enough? That’s what i gather from these comments. Also, I was not planning on doing the Frozen sing a long but now I guess I must!


Once is not enough! It’s our absolute favourite park.

We dropped Epcot to do a second day at HS last time. 1 day wasn’t enough with all the starwars stuff.

This is my current plan. I have not selected Fast Passes just yet because I can’t. Also, I won’t do RNR but my boyfriend will most likely do it twice in a row as thrill rides are his thing.


Your plan isn’t public so we can’t see it right now. There’s a way to make it public by checking a box or something, but I don’t know details off hand.

Do note for RNR there’s a single rider line that can greatly reduce waits most times of day so it’s worth using…

If you want to go - GO. It is in transition right now. So perhaps you spend a day where you are traveling or had wanted to spend some time at the resort etc. But if you have never been - go.

Ok here we go https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2270056

And yes, my bf will use the single rider line for sure. It helped a lot when we did AK last year and i didn’t want to ride Everest :confounded:

There are a number of reasons that DHS has a “bad rap” these days.

  1. People who are only interested in “rides” call it a “half day” park because there are only 5 rides in the park.

  2. People remember what it was like back in the 80s and 90s, and see the park in its current state as a sad shadow of what it used to be (I’m kind of in this camp).

  3. The shows have not changed in 20 years (except for the addition of Frozen). They’re all pretty good shows - the first 5 or 6 times you see them, but after 20 years, they’re kind of stale (I’m definitely in this camp).

But you’re a first time visitor. The rides will all be new to you. The shows will all be new to you. You will have no decades old memories to compare it to. You will love it. If you do all of the rides, see all of the shows, and look at all of the “exhibits” you will be hard pressed to get everything done in less than a full day - especially if you add in TS meals.