Are you in the planning stages of your upcoming Disney World trip? Maybe you're still on the fence about going to Hollywood Studios in Orlando for one of your park days?
I was a little apprehensive about planning an entire day there but I'm so happy we stayed the full day at Hollywood Studios in Orlando! There was a great mix of entertainment for all ages. Since we truly had a magical time and I wanted to pass along exactly how we planned our day.
Before we arrived at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, I planned out the full day because I didn't want to waste any time wondering what we were going to do next or what we were going to eat. There are only so many hours in the day and vacation time is precious, especially when visiting Disney.
It can also be intimidating to plan a family trip given the number of show selections, showtime schedules, rides (and height requirements), making FastPass selections, not to mention trying to figure out Star Wars Land and making reservations for Droid Depot.
Read about how to navigate Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge here.
Therefore, I have listed out the exact steps that I took to plan out the perfect day at Hollywood Studios in Orlando (and everyone was happy).
So after reading this post, you will feel less stressed and more organized because you will know how to plan an amazing day at Hollywood Studios by following these six easy steps.
You can apply this six-step method for planning all of your park visit trips to Disney too. I've used this planning method for most visits to Disney and we’ve always had successful trips with minimal time spent waiting in lines.
Step 1: Choose your three FastPass rides
First, you need to decide which rides you and your family want to enjoy. I suggest choosing your rides first because there are limited FastPass times which may influence how you plan your day. After your ride all three rides, then you can make additional FastPass selections if there is availability.
You can select up to three rides for FastPass and I suggest using your FastPass selections for the most popular rides that have the longest wait times like Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run.
Currently, you are not able to choose Rise of the Resistance as a FastPass ride. To ride that particular ride, arrive at the park before opening and use your My Disney Experience app to join a virtual boarding group (boarding groups are limited so arrive early).
Now given your Fastpass ride selection times, you can start to shape your day at Hollywood Studios in Orlando.
Step 2: Make activity reservations
If you plan on visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and want to experience the ultimate lightsaber experience or customize a droid, then I suggest making these reservations in advance here.
Now you should have your ride and activity times planned out.
Step 3: Choose your dining: Do you prefer quick service, table service, or a combination of both?
Now it's time to decide on your dining selections. There are several different quick-service locations and sit-down locations in Hollywood Studios Orlando.
If you are not sure what quick service is all about then let me break it down. It's basically ordering food at a counter (like at a fast-food restaurant). It's quick, convenient, and yummy (plus you can order ahead of time through the Mobile Food section of your My Disney Experience app). I'll explain that in another post.
Hollywood Studios in Orlando is actually one of my favorite places to eat at Disney World because of the unique restaurants. A great website to check out that has everything you could ever want to know about Disney restaurants is the Disney Food Blog.
Now, depending on your family, you may choose to have quick service for lunch and sit down for dinner.
My family enjoys eating casual lunches that are prepared quickly, and then when dinner rolls around, we enjoy sitting indoors (hello A/C) and taking our time, talking about the magical day we've had.
Quick Service: Back Lot Express is a fun restaurant for the kids because there are so many old movie prompts to check out while your eating. Plus there is ample seating (indoors and outdoors).
Table Service: 50s Prime Time Cafe is our favorite because the food is delicious and entertainment is all around you (plus the kid's meals come with cupcakes). So that is always a winner!
Step 4: Choose your showtimes, parades, and fireworks
So after you choose your dining, work on filling in the gaps with showtimes because Hollywood Studios in Orlando has some great shows to see.
Speaking of, the Frozen Sing-Along is pretty on point so I highly recommend that one plus the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.
The fireworks are pretty amazing at Hollywood Studios Orlando but so is exploring Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in the evening without the crowds. We typically opt to forgo the fireworks so that we can ride more rides. However, both are great choices and it depends on what your family enjoys.
Step 5: Character Meet and Greets
Now that you have your showtimes mixed in with your ride selections, activities, and dining reservations, your day should be pretty much planned out. Check out the Disney calendar for character meet and greets, Jedi training times, and much more here.
Again, since the character meet and greets and additional activities are spread throughout the day, I like to schedule those items last.
And since you already know which lands you will be in because you have your FastPass selection booked, you should be able to find character meet and greets that coordinate with the land that you will be visiting. For example if you will be riding Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land, check to see when Woody will be around.
Step 6: Snacks
Maybe your friends and family are snackers and maybe they're not. Either way, Hollywood Studios has some great snacks to check out like the cupcakes from the Trolley Car Cafe, ronto wraps from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, or totchos from Toy Story Land.
Definitely make it a point to take breaks in the different lands and sprinkle snacktimes between the rides and shows.
Now your day at Hollywood Studios in Orlando should be scheduled by following the six planning steps. It was that easy!
ProTip- If you are staying on Walt Disney World property, try to schedule your Hollywood Studios Orlando day when there are Extra Magic Hours. You can find a schedule of Extra Magic Hours here.
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Hello! I'm Tiffany, a creative travel writer, mother to three awesome kids, and Floridian. We like to visit beautiful Florida beaches, Florida State Parks, and of course Disney! I like to write about our travel adventures and provide tips to other families traveling or relocating to the Sunshine State.