Skip Hollywood Studios for two days at MK

This is our first trip to Disney, 2 adults, 3 kids (11,6,4). We are going at the beginning of May and will have 6 days to spend in the parks including Universal. I’ve read that quite a bit of Hollywood Studios will be closed. So My question is should we skip Hollywood Studios and spend two days at Magic Kingdom or one day for each.
Secondly, we are from Omaha, which has the number 1 rated zoo in the country, so is it worth going to Animal Kingdom?

If this is your first trip, I recommend at least 2 fays for the magic kingdom. There is a lot to do and see there. And for many it is the home of the magic.

And to be honest i am biased, it is my favorite park.

As to answering your question about animal kingdom. It is hard to answer. I personally do not spend too much time there. There are many who love it and feel it is the best park. There is more than just the animals there.

Each park has its good points. It is hard to say skip any. Grab yourself a copy of the unofficial guide, look at youtube videos and try and figure out what is best for your family.

And pleas feel free to ask any and all of your questions here. There are many who will help you.

We have 4days for wdw this trip. We are doing 2xMK HS and AK. Kids picked. This is their 2nd visit. They were 7/10 last visit and will be 10/13:this time. They like thrill rides and theming. Epcot has so few rides that they didn’t enjoy it last time.

Are there any Star Wars fans in your family? HS will have special fireworks and shows. It is also the only park with Disney Junior characters if that is important to you.

AK is not a zoo. AK transports you to lands and experiences. You go on an Afican Safari, walk through an African Marketplace, race down Everest as a Yeti is lurking!

Regardless of what you decide- enjoy!


There is so much to do at MK that it needs two days. AK has some great rides and shows. You can skip the animal bits and enjoy the rides and shows. I find that DHS studios is a confusing park with more to do than I can fit into my touring plan. I think on your first trip the other parks are great. My mantra for Disney is we can’t do everything. I would choose AK over DHS. My son has chosen DHS over AK this trip.

Will you have hoppers. We spend a full day at HS and as ^^ can’t fit everything into a 1 day plan. You could do a little Epcot on your H/S day and /or your MK day either before or after MK. We like to do 1 day at MK rd-3/4 then another day 2- close. If we do decide we want a few hours in Epcot we have hoppers so will go on our MK late start day.

[quote=“Banana, post:1, topic:21179, full:true”]
This is our first trip to Disney, 2 adults, 3 kids (11,6,4). We are going at the beginning of May and will have 6 days to spend in the parks including Universal. I’ve read that quite a bit of Hollywood Studios will be closed. So My question is should we skip Hollywood Studios and spend two days at Magic Kingdom or one day for each.
[/quote]If you were there for two weeks, and were talking about a day at DHS vs. a third or fourth at MK, I would say give DHS a try. But with a one week trip, and looking at only one day at MK if you do DHS… absolutely skip it and do a second day at MK, no question.

[quote=“Banana, post:1, topic:21179, full:true”]
Secondly, we are from Omaha, which has the number 1 rated zoo in the country, so is it worth going to Animal Kingdom?
[/quote]We’re from Toronto, and have a top 10 North American zoo ourselves. Other people here will give you different advice, but for me… a good zoo, like ours, kicks AK’s butt when it comes to the animals… to put it mildly. Our zoo, and I’m guessing yours if it’s the #1 US zoo, has 1000x more animals, and gives you 1000x more time with them.

[quote=“PrincipalTinker, post:4, topic:21179”]
AK is not a zoo.
[/quote]True… kind of . It’s not a zoo, but it’s not NOT a zoo also, if you know what I mean. AK is a hybrid… part zoo, part amusement park, part themed land. It’s a bunch of things, but each component is done better by something/somewhere else. A good zoo out-animals it (by a lot), and MK out-amuses it. Disclaimer: in my opinion.

Please don’t read any of this as hating on AK, I like it… but as I sit here looking forward to our next trip (70 days away!), I’m daydreaming about MK, and Epcot, and our hotel (Wilderness Lodge, AoA), even the waterparks… not AK.


Isn’t that what is great about Disney? You do not dream about AK but if I have a two night trip I will make sure I at least spend a few hours there! I guess I have enough love for AK for both of us!


With limited time, its always a hard choice. If you have park hopper, HS can be worthwhile for an afternoon to see Rock-and-Roll Coaster and Star Wars, and if you’re into it, Tower of Terror, or even the Toy Story ride. If none of those float your boat, then it may not be worth it for you. Its all about time and priorities.
With AK, like others have said, its the whole experience, not jut the animals. Expedition Everest would be a must do in any park; I enjoyed the seeing the different themes in the different areas…well, except for Dinoland…
As to the animals…I’ve been to lots of zoos…but AK isn’t a zoo even though it has zoo-like exhibits…I like Kilimanjaro Safaris and the walk-through Maharajah Jungle Trail. But there’s so much more.

As Vincent Vega would say: “That’s a bold statement.”
Full disclosure, when we went to Omaha to see the zoo among other goals; the zoo was about 1/3 closed for “refurbs”, which they did not disclose before we were inside…Just sayin’ :sunglasses:


Two things I’ll definitely give AK… the tree is unbelievable, my favourite focal point in WDW (including the castle). And Tusker House, for me, is the best character dining experience. Safari Mickey, Jungle Juice and kids on parade, awesome.

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I would say skip HS in your situation, too. Toy Story is great, but it’s one ride with a long wait. You’re going to Universal, so you’ll have plenty of roller coaster time there, so you might not miss the one that HS has. Star Wars Tour is fun, but, well, watch the movie. HS is going to be something special once it’s done, but right now, if you’re on a limited timeline, skip it.

As for Animal Kingdom, I always enjoy it, but I don’t make it a full day. We do the Safari twice, once in the morning and once on FP after lunch. I love the Lion King show - its like a mini Circe de Soliel, sort of. The Nemo show is quite nice, too. You may have a great zoo at home, but you don’t go to AK with the idea of seeing animals. You go for the experience and while you’re there, you get to see animals.

But if you’re looking to get rid of another park in favour of a rest day or a pool day, this is probably the park to miss.

Ummmmmmm…EE? Excuse me?

Edited to add: Big Thunder and 7DMT are better at night- Everest is amazing at night and soon everyone will have that chance!


FWIW, we’re not a big thrill ride or Disney Junior family. We literally spent just 2 hours hitting TSMM and the Star Wars stuff, and then we were done with HS.

Here, here… :tropical_drink:

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We had a similar dilemma with the HS closures.

We were already spending 2 days at MK though, and considering dropping it for a 3rd MK day. We did decide to keep HS. It’ll be a short, more restful day and we’ll get back to the resort to swim and out to Disney Springs for dinner.

Tough call. Our kids are 8 and 5 and they have no real idea what Star Wars is, which seems to be the main theme at HS now. If we weren’t already doing 2 days at MK, it would be an easy call for me to ditch HS.

I DONT love MK, and as a solo (or occasionally accompanied) adult I virtually NEVER give more than a day to it. BUT in your case I think you really need two there. To me, the ideal solution would be to split the day in question between DHS and AKL. I LOVE AKL, and always give it a full day, but DHS also has some pretty cool things - especially if you have Star Wars fan or thrill seeker in the family. Personally, if I had to choose, AK would easily win out over DHS - but it really comes down to which experience suits you better


Bswan26 has a really good point.

If you don’t have hoppers (we don’t) I would recommend doing MK one day first see how you like and if everyone wants to do it again - forgo Studios to do MK again. If people have had their fill of MK - then do Studio. We are getting there late one day and that is our Studio day. Studio does have Tower of Terror, Star Wars and Rockin Rollercoaster - so if you have thrill junkies - it is worth a day. However as you are going to Univeral too - there are plenty of thrills there and you have already had the “studio’esq” experience. Remember it is Walt Disney WORLD - you can’t see it all in one trip so don’t try. Just go enjoy and if you liked it - go back again and see things you missed.

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We just moved here to Florida from Des Moines. We have annual Disney World passes and have been there many times since we got here in December. Plus, we have gone to Disney World from Des Moines for a winter vacation. I have also been to the Henry Doorly Zoo many times.

I would say that, from my perspective, you would have a challenging day at Disney Hollywood Studios. I was there with my teenagers and my 8 year old last week, and we road Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, went to the Muppet 3D, road Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania, and then the kids were begging to go do something else. We spent four hours total in the park.

We also went to the Magic Kingdom that week because we were entertaining visitors from Des Moines. We had planned on spending 8 hours there, but ended up spending 12 and they wanted more MK!

In the past, we have gotten Hopper tickets and have done Animal Kingdom one half of the day and Disney Hollywood the other half. We have never spent a full day at either park.

Everytime we go to Animal Kingdom it seems to be hot and crowded, even on the days it’s not expected to be. We seem to tire very easily, but it’s got some great and popular rides, but they are most definitely for older children and teenagers, not for your 4 and 6 year old.

I really feel that comparing AK to Henry Doorly, your kids can see much more at their age at Henry Doorly for a phenomenal price, then they can at AK. At Henry Doorly the exhibits are out in the open, and the animals are so much easier to view. At AK there are a lot of trails, and the exhibits are surrounded by much vegetation and my memory is that the viewing areas are too crowded. Besides that, the kids are always more interested in finding a ride to go on, so they don’t really want to go see the animals. The animals are more in a setting like their own habitat, and sometimes they are just seem too far away from the viewing area, and the trails are tiring if you are navigated with a stroller or trying to navigate around other people’s strollers. This is just my experience after having been there six times.

Actually, AK is my second favorite park, but my kids are older and can handle the crowds and the walking better, plus, they are old enough for the rides. When they were smaller, my kids grew tired of AK very quickly.

AK does have a Safari ride that is a definite if you do go, but be sure to get Fast Passes because the wait is always more than 45 minutes There is also a train ride that takes you to the back of the park where there is a conservation area that is geared to younger children, including a petting zoo, that has one cow, a couple sheet, and many goats, but this will only keep your kids interest for about an hour.

If it were me, I would take two to four easy days at MK. Plan to go early in the morning, then go back to your hotel at noon and rest until 5 o-clock, and then attend all of the evening activities, and catch a few rides in the evening because the wait times go down with everyone gathering for parades or fireworkds. Do this as many days as it takes to get all that you want in.

One evening watch all of the evening shows, Main Street Electrical Parade, Paint the Night, Wishes… One night ride the rides while everyone else is watching the shows.

Fantasyland is always crowded from 10:30 on and you will wait, no matter how large the crowds are, more than 30 minutes for the popular Fantasyland rides, so it’s not worth tiring your kids by keeping them at the park through the hot afternoons. Make sure you get a Fast Pass for Peter Pan because the wait time is always more than 45 minutes.

I would probably do MK for 3 or four days and just go eat a nice lunch, swim, and nap off site during the middle of the days. Let your kids know that your plan is to do it this way because I have seen kids wail in the middle of the day when the parents spring it on them that they are going to leave the park for a rest period.

Epcot, for little kids is also a two day experience if you take the afternoons and go back to the hotel and rest. Have the kids do the Kidcot adventure. This will take up a good portion of the day.

So I would put off DS Hollywood and Animal Kingdom until the kids are older, or do both parks in the same day on a hopper, do 3 days at MK, or four days, and two days at Epcot.

Having just been to Hollywood and Animal Kingdom in the past week, I have been reminded that I won’t want to be going back there for quite a while and from now on, when I have visitors, we’re just going to focus on MK and Epcot.


I would say 2 days at MK and skip either AK or HS. probably AK since you have the zoo at home, unless you want to do the rollercoasters there or are especially interested in one of those shows. I think you will enjoy HS unless you really aren’t into Star Wars. Toy Story Mania is awesome, and it was also important to my daughter to see the Frozen show and meet Sofia and Doc McStuffins.