Hollywood Studios TP Questions

I’m working on a November 10, 2019 HS TP. There’s 5 of us, but the TP is mainly focused on what my son will enjoy. He’ll have just turned 4. The highlight will be Toy Story Land, of course. I’m hoping to get through the 3 TSL rides & character meets (Olaf, Toys in TSL & M&M in RCD) in the morning and then do various shows in the afternoon after our 12:10 ADR at Sci-Fi. However, I have a few questions.

  • First, I know I want to try to get a SDD for our T1 FPP, but I’m wondering if it really matters what T2 FPP I get. They would be for shows, and it’s my understanding that as long as you arrive before a show starts, there probably won’t be a problem getting in. Or are T2 show FPP mainly to ensure good seating? And if so, which shows are the best to use for my FPP?
  • I was also curios as to why the Toy Story meet & greet isn’t listed as an attraction to add to our TP. Does anyone know why? And any idea how long we should planning on waiting to meet Woody, Jesse, & Buzz?
  • Given that my son is not a fan of the movie “Cars”, is the racing academy still worth trying? Or should we just skip it?
  • My TP has us starting out at TSM, arriving at 8:03am (on a day with Morning Magic Hours), but a wait time of 29 minutes. Is this accurate? It seems like 29 min. is a long wait for rope drop with Morning Magic Hours, even if it is a popular attraction. I was planning to get to the gates about 7:30 to rope drop TSM.
  • I don’t know if anyone would be able to answer my last question, but I’m curious about the new gondolas that will be in operation soon. We are staying at the Poly & I’m curious if it would be better to drive to HS (we’ll have our own car) or try to monorail to Epcot, then take the gondolas from Epcot to HS.
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Starting in reverse order:

  1. Getting to DHS - Either drive or take the bus.

Going from the Poly to DHS via Epcot would need park hoppers. The Gondola station is at the International Gateway. And if you’re planning to be at DHS for rope drop even on a normal day, Epcot won’t be open to walk through.

  1. At the moment there will just be EMH at DHS planned for 8am - 9am. If you want to be at the front of that crowd, plan to be at the gates 45-60 minutes earlier. The TP is showing a time for arriving pretty much at the start of EMH, but the line will grow with the rope drop crowd.

** However, depending on what happens with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, they may extend the extra, extra magic hours from 6am-9am. And no one yet knows what that will be like, and how it will affect the rest of the park (TSL will be open for those EEMH times).

Not sure about the rest. I think there may be separate queues for each character though, and reports I have read suggest those lines grow fast.

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Regarding the Cars show my 2yo is a Cars fanatic so we loved but it’s really nothing special if not a fan. On the flip side, it’s short and runs continuously so it’s easy to fit in.

  1. In the past I’d have told you the Tier 2 FPP for shows didn’t matter. Now that all rides, except Star Tours, are FPP Tier 1 the shows are about to get busier. Plus, using up your Tier 2 FPP are how you can get another Tier 1. So, if you want to get a 4th FPP – especially Tier 1 – you’ll want to tap out all 3 of your FPP. I’d recommend all of the shows. You really can’t go wrong. Pick whichever story you like the best and time that fits your TP.

  2. TP doesn’t list any character meetings that don’t have a dedicated show building. These are the only places you are “guaranteed” to have a M&G. These other casual encounters do have a show schedule and typically gather in a regular spot, but these can & sometimes do change. I will often add a “meal” into my plan at an eatery nearby the character spot substitute for these in my schedule. This way my TP knows where I’ll be in the park for walk times and I can edit in a time. I always give myself 30 minutes as a guide for M&G queues. I’ve had some interactions with no queue and some where I’ve waited an hour. Do your research and find out exactly where to be queued before the characters come out. There is usually a CM standing nearby about 5 – 10 minutes before they come out. Also, custodians know all the spots & are very helpful. I find they really enjoy interacting with guests as people often ignore them.

  3. LMRA is fun. If you have the time check it out. Might make a “Cars” fan out of them! It’s not a “must-do” only if you have extra time.

  4. Your TP is assuming you are in the middle of the RD pack not at the front. If you are really at the front your wait will be less than half of that. However, it really does get that crowded that early. The queue will build to a hour+ quickly in the morning.

  5. Just drive. If you have your own car it will be faster. The only reason for you to take the Skyliner will be to “ride” it like an attraction. (Which I totally understand. I’ve done it with the monorail numerous times)