Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Our Favourite Disney Theme Park
When we first started to research our trip to Walt Disney World Florida, we all voted a trip to Hollywood Studios number one on our list. Walking under this sign felt huge, there was so much in this park we all wanted to see and do. We love Star Wars, we’ve grown up with Toy Story, then there’s the themeing and let’s not forget the never seen before Character meets. We read so much about the interaction with Storm Troopers, the amazing experience for children at Jedi Training and the fireworks at night. What better place to immerse yourself in the Disney Magic.
This park has everything. It’s so immersive. It is a theme park for all the family. We spent two days in this park and would recommend doing it the same way to ensure you don’t miss anything. This is the only Disney park we hung around for two days. They were long days, but completely worth it. I think we did it just right. Right for us. It is safe to say we are huge Star Wars fans so this park was always going to grab our attention.
From its movie theme, layout, to thrill rides and awesome character meets Hollywood Studios, Orlando really is a brilliant family adventure. I would recommend visiting on a week day, we found this more enjoyable in all of the parks that we visited. We arrived 45 minutes before opening which meant we were very close to the front of the queues for entry. What’s great about this park is that the entrance is so close to the car park and a short boat ride over to The Boardwalk. A great spot to grab lunch or dinner as you leave and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the park.
We didn’t take a packed lunch to this park as we had a hit list of restaurants we wanted to try. If you are on a budget I would highly recommend doing so as well as ice cold water bottles which we filled up around the park using the water fountains or the water station at Starbucks. This park for some reason felt warmer than the others, I don’t know what it was but we all felt it and there are limited spots for shelter. As part of your visit you will need to pay for parking ($25) which can be used at all the Disney parks. And so I thought I would share our experience of visiting…
Hollywood Studios – Our Favourite Disney Theme Park
Rides and Roller-coasters
After visiting Hollywood Studios at Disneyland Paris and being too scared (me) and too young (George) we were all looking forward to riding the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. George and Mr H rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster twice, it goes without saying he loved the ride. I only rode it once, gosh it was fast. And then my personal favourite was Slinky Dog Dash, great ride. So much fun. I love that this park has the perfect blend of coasters and experience rides like Star Tours, Toy Story Mania and many more. Since we visited Star War’s: Galaxy’s Edge has arrived. We cannot wait to return.
Where do I start. Having been to Disneyland Paris three times before we have already ticked off many characters. There were however several at the top of the list that were knew to us. Mickey Fantastia, Mike and Sulley, Olaf, BB8, Chewy, Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren. If like us you are huge Star Wars fans then I would recommend hanging outside of the Launch Bay – after the Stormtrooper March the characters make their way to this location. Great spot to see them up close. It goes without saying that we met some of our favourite characters here and I am so glad that we had a memory maker. We have some great memories. Awesome photos. Such good times.
Special Events & Tours
We booked two special events for our time at Hollywood Studios. After month’s of research we realised that to truly experience the magic of Toy Story Land and to avoid the crowds and in excess of 2-3 hour queues to ride Slinky Dog Dash – investing in the Early Morning Magic was right for us. As they say in Andy’s world, you’ll be able to play BIG before the park opens. And honestly, having seen the park at it’s quietest and busiest you won’t regret it. Look at how quiet the park is. Walking through Toy Story Land when it looked like this was one of my top 10 favourite moments from our trip. If you’d like to read more about the Early Morning Magic event then you can read all about it here.
Our second event was the Star Wars Guided Tour. Perfect for any Star Wars fan. This tour gives registered guests VIP access through all of the Star Wars themed experiences at the park. We actually booked this as a surprise for George. You also get to march with the first order which in itself was an incredible experience. My favourite part of the tour. And if you have kids you automatically get entered into the Jedi Training which in itself was a huge relief – it is incredibly difficult to get registered for this event on it’s own. It was George’s favourite part. The tour also includes access to a special viewing location for the Star Wars Fireworks at the end of the night.
Tip – if you are staying on site at Disney or are planning on visiting the Disney Parks for more than 7 days you won’t need to book the Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land. As we only had two days at Hollywood Studios we wanted to make the most of our time. And secondly, due to Star War’s: Galaxy’s Edge opening after our visit I am unsure if this dedicated tour is still on the list.
Where to eat
We ate some great food in the park, one was our favourite snack from all of the Disney Parks! The nom nom cookie – you can buy this from the Neighbourhood Bakery in Pixar Place. Jack Jack’s nom nom cookies are huge warm chocolate chip cookies, they are delicious and great for sharing as a family. We also ate at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre which was a fun experience. A little pricey as it’s in the park however if you like burgers and shakes and fancy sitting in a cool 50’s car whilst watching old school cartoons – it’s a must visit. It’s all part of the Disney experience.
If you need a break from Hollywood Studios, I would recommend hopping on a taxi boat over to The Boardwalk and grab a takeaway pizza from the Pizza Window. Just a few minutes on the boat, a great price and a gorgeous view over the lake. And then there’s the Backlot Express right next to Star Tours. We had breakfast there as part of the Star Wars Guided Tour. Great food and location.
And that’s our thoughts on Hollywood Studios – Our Favourite Disney Theme Park. Of all the parks I felt Hollywood Studios was the most accessible, the most fun, quick to access from the parking lot, had something for all the family with great dining experiences and our favourite snack! This park for me is the one that holds the biggest memories. With some of the best photos on our Memory Maker. Some might disagree but for me this is the park you’ll want to go back to again and again.
I have written a series of posts about our trip visiting the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. If you are looking to maximise the fastpass system I would read my 6 tips here. I’ve also written about our 10 favourite snacks.