We are planning our first Disney vacation in November and after reading up a little on Hollywood Studios I am thinking about skipping the park for this visit. We have 4 day tickets for 2 adults and a 10, 8 and 6 year old. We were going to do one park each day. We will also be going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party, so we’ll be at Magic Kingdom 1 1/2 days. I was just curious if we should skip Hollywood Studios and visit a park 2 times instead. (My 6 year old is pretty brave, but I don’t think she can handle roller coasters/tower of terror yet)
Since it’s your first visit I’d hesitate to tell you to skip any park. Since your going during the holidays HS has the Osborne Lights which are truly something to see, Fantasmic!, Animation Academy, Toy Story Midway Mania, Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast shows, Star Tours, some meet and greets that are unique to the park, Disney Jr if your kids are into that. Would they want to do the Jedi Training? And you might be surprised about ToT and RnR. We have some liners who’s 3 and 4 year olds absolutely love those.
However, if you don’t think it’s a good fit then I’d suggest either another day at Magic Kingdom, or a second day at Epcot. Especially if your kids are into the fun of World Showcase and meeting cast members from all over the world. Plus they can do Agent P adventures which gives the adults more time to shop and eat their way around the world.
We took DS4 and DD2 a few months ago. Magic Kingdom was by far the favorite - so we would probably do two days there next time. Hollywood Studios was nice but definitely just a half-day park - especially if you aren’t riding the big attractions. My kids LOVED the character lunch at Hollywood and Vine as well as Toy Story and Jedi Knight Training.
We are planning on going again this fall before DD turns 3. We will probably do 2 days at MK and another half day at HS because my son is looking forward to seeing Darth Vader again.
I’ve heard that Animal Kingdom is also a half day park - so perhaps its possible to do both HS and AK in the same day? Not sure if you’d want to cram both in though - or if that’s even feasible?
Both in one day would be tough. AK has short hours most days. As for it being a half day park it really depends on the kids. Some absolutely love it and could easily spend 2 days there. For us it’s a ride what we want and get out kind of park lol. Plus it’s always soooo hot there with all the vegetation preventing any airflow.
That makes me feel better about having no desire to go to AK. Luckily my kids are too young to know its an option!
I always thought of AK as a half-day park, but I’ve recently realized it isn’t. You can easily spend a full day there, if you’re willing to take time and breathe, enjoy the details and shows, etc. I would really encourage you to think about spending more than a half-day there.
Edit: @Outer1’s ride-and-leave strategy is definitely an option. I have done AK like that many times and enjoyed it. Lately when I visit I’ve been trying to spend more time on details, shows, and relaxing. Both ways of visiting the park have their benefits
@cjhall, I do think DHS is a half-day park these days, but I wouldn’t advise skipping it. There are some fun rides (and delicious cupcakes) there. I would do it on the morning of your MVMCP day. Even if your 6yo isn’t up for roller coasters (there’s only the one), you can do a rider swap if the bigger kids will enjoy it.
I will say I enjoyed it this last trip a lot more than in the past, mainly because we went in December and it was a lot cooler. There are a lot of fun little things to do there, and the Lion King show was awesome, but if I have to give up time in any of the parks that one is still the first to go for me lol. In fact we’re skipping this next trip.
I think that AK in the heat is the circle of hell that Dante forgot to write about. That park seems to have almost no shade, and somehow feels warmer and more humid than any other spot in Central Florida. I like the park a lot more than I used to, but after about noon I find myself nope-ing right on out of there. I think it’s a full-day park, I just split that full day into two mornings
On a first-time trip I would not skip any park. One thing to remember is that even though RnRC and ToT are the “biggest” thrill rides at WDW, they pale in comparison to thrill rides at other major parks, so you may be able to get DD to ride them is she is all enough. After going to UOR, DD described the WDW attractions as “kiddie rides” in comparison.
One thought is to go to HS on your party day, but that would mean missing the Osborne Lights. It’s not Christmas at WDW without seeing them.
I think of it as a skipper since ds5 has zero desire for much there except… Toy story mania! It’s a do not miss for him!!! We also tried the Osborne lights for the first time a year ago… It was amazing! My ds loved that it snowed and the music/lights are just unbelievable! This year we are going to try Jedi training since Star Wars is a big hit now in this house I would try it out since you’ve never been… There is enough there to keep your kids busy for at least a half day… I would shoot for an afternoon/evening to do tsmm and the lights!!! Happy planning!!!
If Osborne Lights are up HS is a must do park!
Do you have park hoppers on your tickets? Then maybe you could do AK in the morning and HS in the evening. You would miss the worst heat of the day at AK, and still get a chance to see the Osbourne lights at HS.
I’m with the “don’t skip any park” crowd. But if you’re set on skipping DHS, and you already have 1 3/4 days at MK, I would do the second day at EP. It’s a huge park (really 2 parks connected). You would be able to get FPPS for Soarin’ on one day and TT on the other. Except for Mission Space, virtually ALL of the attractions/shows/films are very “family friendly” in both FW and WS. And EP has hands-down the best food and drink in WDW.
And I agree, if you are going mid-to-late Nov (and they are still doing them), the Osborn Lights are a MUST SEE. Last Nov we did AK from RD to about 4:00PM, then hopped to DHS to see the lights; you could also see F!.
I have to agree with some If the other posters here that I would not skip a park. Hollywood Studios has some great stuff. Though it isn’t our favorite park, we never skip it and couldn’t imagine missing out on some of the experiences it has to offer.
We’ve taken DD four times and she’s never liked HS. She likes, but does not love, TSM. She likes ST but it makes her sick to her stomach. Won’t ride RnRC or TOT. We’re skipping HS on our May trip.