Is HS currently a nightmare with a small child because of ROTR crowds?

My 2.5 year old and I are staying at POP end of April so I switched our AK day with HS day because of the Skyliner. Why not take advantage of the closer/easier park?

I’m second guessing myself looking at the crowds of people trying to get ROTR boarding groups. I’ve never been to HS and don’t know how people get spread through the park. I don’t have any desire to see Baatu this go round if it is packed.

Is it insane? I don’t want to be miserable or worried my daughter is going to be run over - people who’ve been there, does it stay packed throughout the day? Parents with small children what has been your experience?

if you don’t plan to go on ROTR then just skip the first hour in the park. It’s super crazy right now because you have the long weekend crowd. But I found the RD crowd at HS no different than MK or AK once in the park.


Absolute zoo! We rope dropped Hollywood Studios at 8am last Thursday with our DS2 & DS4. It was insane. Only reason was due to us having an 8:45am FP for SDD(which was awesome!). The line to get into Toy Story Land winds around the whole way to The Star Wars Launch Bay. We managed to fight through the crowds and get on Alien Swirling Saucers pretty quick. Toy Story Mania never went below an hour wait(standby). SDD was 120 minute wait within minutes of the park opening and never let up. The lines to see the Toy Story characters weren’t terrible, but at least 30 minutes. Is your 2.5 year old at least 38 inches tall to ride SDD? If we could do it over we would have kept our original 5:30pm SDD FP and rolled the dice on it being less crowded in the afternoon. Hope this helps.

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To me, AK has more to offer a 2.5 year old than HS. Unless you really are into the Star Wars material or you think she/he would love specific shows. The few rides she/he can likely ride are going to have huge lines. At AK you have the Safari, train and petting zoo in Planet Watch, Lion King show (which is bona fide awesome and not just because of IP) and Navi River ride plus the dinosaur playground and a more toddler-friendly night show. If I had to pick HS or AK with a little one I’d go to AK.


I love AK for a 2.5 year old if she likes animals. The trails are wonderful, the safari is great, the Boneyard playground and conservation station are too.

I have not been since ROTR opened, but if you go to HS, my advice is to 100% have a stroller. That will provide a safe place and buffer for your daughter.

I would definately take a look and figure out how many attractions you all will want to participate in for both parks and compare to help decide.

Thank you all for your insights - I switched us back to going to Animal Kingdom.

Perhaps not as easy to get to with buses, but I think we will have a less stressful time.

HS can wait for another trip when ROTR is switched to FP system.

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Have a great trip! I’ll be there in April also with my DD’s 3 and 7. It’s really fun to have that time with them and just do whatever they will enjoy!

Wise decision. We went in January. We found by 9 am there wasn’t much for our young kids to do (shows didn’t start until 10:30 at the earliest) and we did Toy Story Land at RD at 7 am. It was chaos.

@meekomist and @pjurban, Did you notice if RD for RnRC and ToT were smaller than GE and TSL? Not a fan of crowds, but I would like to try for RotR BG. Kids will want TSL but wondering if waiting after RD rush is any better?

For me, I prefer HS (now with TSL and SGWE) to AK, but with a 2.5 y/o I would prefer AK over HS. When my daughter was 3.5, we skipped DH and went to AK, but when she was 4.5, she really wanted to see TSL so we skipped AK and went to HS. Both were good decisions based on her age.

Since our kids are little we didn’t really try to do those two rides. I would assume that part of the park wouldn’t be as crowded.

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We didn’t go to RnRC/ToT for RD because we had peeps that did not want to go on them (or couldn’t in the case of the 6 year old), so when had the 6 year old we RD’d TSL both days. We RD’ed SDD both times (I"m pretty sure, the trip is a blur!). Once things got moving at park open (7 am in my case) it went fast and at no point did we feel “crowded” as they keep areas open next to where you line up. So if anything, TSL RD is better than SWGE from a crowd standpoint.

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My kids would stay in the AK Boneyard all day if we let them. And they are much older.