The Hollywood Studios Conundrum

Howdy Touring Plan Forum Family! I wanted to get some advice about three items related to Hollywood Studios. I’ve been trying to craft my touring plan and am considering scrapping the whole thing and not even visiting the park because I’m getting so frustrated. I’m hoping some of you with more experience can help me see the light.

Conundrum #1 - Which Quick Service to plan for? We are using the Disney Dining Plan and do not have a table service booked at HS. Other than Starring Rolls, the other QS options seem to get poor reviews. Any recommendations for a late breakfast (right now I’m planning Starring Rolls) and/or a 2:30-3:00 lunner (lunch/dinner)?

Conundrum #2 - How do I effectively use my Fast Passes? We have a 10, 7, and 5 year old. Rocking roller coaster is out because they hate rides that are mostly dark. I don’t think any of them will be able to handle Tower of Terror, so that leaves us with Toy Story Mania (Fast Pass #1), Star Tours (Fast Pass #2), and then…what? I think I’ll need to use the third FP on a show, but which is the best bang for the buck?

Conundrum #3 - Is Hollywood Studios worth the time? It seems like HS is less about rides and more about shows and experiences. Is there enough “action” to keep kids entertained if I take some of the headliner rides off the table?

I greatly appreciate your help! THANK YOU!

Hi, I agree that Hollywood studios is the most difficult to plan, has the worst CS options and has poor third choice FP options. That said, I still think it’s worth visiting. The shows are worth watching and there’s Star Wars meet and greets if your kids like them. TSMM is worth it on its own.

Could you use some of your snack credits? Carrot cake cookie gets fab reviews.

For your third FPP pick the show you’d like to see most. It may not give you the most bang for your buck, but I’m not sure any of them do and that point.

Am I correcting in my assumption that you do not have park hoppers? Although HS gets a bad rap on QS options you can always find good choices throughout the park. Even ABC has a salad that is pretty tasty. Recently they have added a few kiosks that may be interesting ( baked potatoes have replaced the turkey leg stand).

When is your trip? Pizza Rizzo will open sometime in Septemeber?

H&V, Sci Fi & 50’s Prime time are popular with kids your age. If you have girls maybe use your FP for frozen sing along. If your kids aren’t shy they might enjoy jedi training.

The QS options are not the best in HS, so we always eat at Sci-Fi (table service) for lunch. It is an inexpensive out of pocket meal, and a nice cool break from the parks. It has been my DS12’s favorite restaurant for many years. We love HS and would never skip it, but we ride TOT and RnRC many times. As for a 3rd FPP, you could use it on GMR. When I was there in May with some girlfriends we ended up waiting 30 minutes for it. Wish we had a FPP!


I think GMR is still tier 1, but I hear your chances of picking up an extra FP for it are quite good

@PrincipalTinker - We do have park hopper passes. We are planning to be at HS on December 30. The plan is to arrive a bit before park opening and attempt to sign up for Jedi Training then head to Toy Story Midway Mania for our first Fast Pass. The way I have things structured now, we should be done with HS by 2:00 or 3:00 at the latest if we go see several shows. I think my oldest will love the shows, but the husband and my boys will most likely not. Trying to figure out how to make the day good for everyone without wasting too much time. I’ve given some thought to park hopping over to MK since they have really late hours on 12/30, but haven’t made a final decision yet.

@Wahoohokie - We may have to look back into a table service reservation at Sci-Fi. I had originally planned to take the family there for dinner, but then cancelled because I felt like once we left the park around 2pm/3pm that we most likely would not want to come back in the evening. The only draw for returning at night is the Star Wars Galactic spectacular. The more I read about it, the more awesome it sounds, but it also seems like it is hard to find a good spot to watch if you won’t save a spot early.

@Tate - Right now when I optimize my touring plan, it has us starting with Great Movie Ride. I had originally thought we would try to go directly to Toy Story in the hopes of riding it first in standby and then riding it again with a Fast Pass since I hear it is awesome. But, the standby line at rope drop for Toy Story is already at 30 minutes and I don’t know how long the husband and kiddos will be in the Jedi Training line.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts! I promise to pay it forward and be a troubleshooter to others once I experience Disney World this December!

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If you are struggling with FPs have you thought of saving them for your hopping park or just booking 2 and immediately booking the 3rd one at MK? If you are planning on leaving- CS lunch at a resort instead of forcing it at HS- in the crowds?

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I like that suggestion! Thank you! I definitely could do a late morning QS at Starring Rolls, use two Fast Passes in the morning for Toy Story and Star Tours and then head out around 2 or 3 for a QS at our resort. Rather than burn my MK fast pass on a ride, I could use it to get a good spot to watch the fireworks and have the evening entertainment at MK be focused on enjoying the shows rather than the rides. Thanks @PrincipalTinker!

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I think they’ve stopped FP for Wishes and Electrical parade because they are now paid events. Tony’s DP for Electrical parade, but not for the 30th Dec, and some form of Wishes Dessert party. Is Wishes on the 30th the special NY ones? I think they do them the night before too. Can you see the starwars fireworks on another night?

Definitely do TS at RD, if you can. If you walk there with purpose it won’t be a half hour wait. That said, you’ll have to go to Jedi Training first, so unless you can do that before RD (and I don’t know if you can), then you’ll be further behind the line in Toy Story. Still, walk over there and see. Great Movie Ride is fairly close, so you can always backtrack to it.

Actually, with all the closures, a lot of the park is close. You might also consider the Indiana Jones show, if you’ve never seen it.

As for QS, we were loyal Pizza Planet people until the closure. I would try that again, though. Our other choice was burgers at the Backlot Express. We enjoyed them. It’s fast food. But Disney’s fast food is better than some sit down restaurants in the real world.

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In fact, TSMM is long immediately at rope drop as the mob dashes there, then the line stabilizes and/or settles as folks distribute themselves more throughout the park. Also, the 3rd rail should be helping. Having said that, once your kids have done TSMM once, they WILL want to do it again. Are all the kids doing Jedi training? If not, you may want to hit TSMM at RD with anyone who isn’t, then meet up again once TSMM is done and Jedi training sign up is done.
If your TP suggests bigger crowds, MV3D also not a bad option for 3rd FPP. Or VoLM (although I personally find it dated).
Also, we came out of Fantasmic at 9:05 and just found a spot near the main entrance inside the park to watch the fireworks and they were amazing.


Thank you for the advice everyone! I’m continuing to try and optimize and evaluate all of the different options. Not knowing if or when the kids will get to do Jedi training is complicating things, but I’m going to keep at it. Hearing from others really helps! Thank you!

Definitely keep at it as HS is worth a visit. As said above, TSMM is great. We also loved the Frozen Sing-along and Voyage of the little Mermaid and there is some great character meet opportunities too. We are hoping to try a milkshake at the Tune In lounge on our visit!

I rave about it every chance I get but make sure you take the kids to see Fantasmic! It’s personally my favorite Disney show. It’s got fireworks and lasers and characters… it’s just an absolutely fantastic show for everyone.

@suebedoo - Did you see the Beauty and the Beast show? I have Frozen Sing-a-long and the Little Mermaid show on our list too. Right now when I optimize my plan, it has us doing all three shows in the afternoon back-to-back, which I think could be a bit much. I’m going to try to manually move some things around without impacting our wait times too much. Just wonder if you recommended one show over the other?

Beauty and the Beast has live performers (well, many lip syncing) and Little Mermaid is a combo with basically Ariel singing (if I am remembering correctly). Personally, I would pick Beauty and the Beast- it just feels more like a show to me.

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Sorry for the late reply! I have not seen Beauty and the Beast yet as last visit we did HS as a half day from lunchtime and ran out of time. I have seen The Little Mermaid. Personally we liked the Frozen better but would do Mermaid again, time permitting, and will definitely do Beauty and the Beast.

I’m a little late to the party but here are my thoughts:

We agree that HS is lacking in food options. We have found our fave to be Bill & Min’s Dockside Diner. Stumbled upon in December and going back again.

As for FP+ - we’re in the same boat, no interest in RnR so we do TSMM and Star Tours. I think we did one for the Frozen singalong last time? Can’t remember for sure! It does make it difficult.

IMO HS is worth a visit, especially if you have Star Wars fans. The launch bay is nice and the character meets as well as the store, Star Tours etc…I like that you can see Disney Jr. characters there as well. I have never seen the Beauty and the Beast show but hear good things. There’s also Fantasmic.
I am still however getting over the end of Osborne Lights…loved that!