I often get asked about the Disney parks in Orlando when clients are booking vacations. Which rides are in which park? Where’s the best place to eat? Which park will my child enjoy the most? Where do I meet Elsa?

I hear you! So let’s go over each of Disney’s 4 parks and Disney Springs. We’ll talk Hollywood Studios here but if you’re looking for other parks, you can read about Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.

For those of you saying “but wait, Justine, where’s Harry Potter?” let’s clarify something. Harry Potter is not owned by Disney. Harry Potter is at the OTHER park *gasp* Universal Studios. But, good news, I CAN help you book a Universal vacation or add on a day or two at Universal to your Disney vacation! Not to worry, Harry Potter fans, we’ve still got you covered. You can read more about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter here.

Let’s talk Hollywood Studios! Just a quick FYI: Hollywood Studios used to be MGM Studios =)

Rides & Attractions

Hollywood Studios is full of great entertainment. Some amazing live shows happen in this park as well as fun rides. The two newest lands are here as well: Toy Story Land and the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I’ve made a full list of rides and attractions, just for you. Rides with a * after the name are available for fast pass selection, meaning you can skip most of the line! For more on fast passes, check out my article here. You can find height requirements for rides here.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers*
  • Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage*
  • Citizens of Hollywood
  • Disney Junior Dance Party*
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along*
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular*
  • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Acedemy
  • March of the First Order
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (opening Spring 2020)
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (opening August 29, 2020)
  • Muppet*Vision 3D*
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith*
  • Slinky Dog Dash*
  • Star Tours- The Adventures Continue*
  • Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Toy Story Mania*
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror*
  • Voyage of The Little Mermaid*
  • Walt Disney Presents

My must do rides and attractions include Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Muppet*Vision 3D, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania and Voyage of The Little Mermaid. I’m SO excited for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and can’t wait for it’s opening in 2020!

Fireworks & Nighttime Shows

My all-time favorite nighttime show is at Hollywood Studios: Fantastmic! This show includes fireworks, dancing water, massive sets and more than 50 live performers (SO MANY CHARACTERS!). We’ve even sat through torrential rain to watch the show. It’s that good. Plus it’s in a huge amphitheater so there’s lots of seating. I still recommend getting there early or doing a dining package with VIP seating so you get a great view!

Places to Eat

There are some really great food options in Hollywood Studios. Keep in mind that if you have a dining plan, your table service credits work for character dining experiences! I talk more about character dining here. Not sure what the dining plan is? Read more about the dining plan options here!

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe- Table Service
  • ABC Commissary- Quick Service (Dinner requires reservations)
  • Anaheim Produce- Quick Service
  • Backlot Express- Quick Service
  • Baseline Tap House- Table Serivce
  • Catalina Eddie’s- Quick Service
  • Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo- Quick Service (opening August 29, 2019)
  • Dockside Diner- Quick Service
  • Epic Eats- Quick Service
  • Fairfax Fare- Quick Service
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby- Table Service (2 credits)
  • Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge- Table Service
  • Hollywood Scoops- Quick Service
  • Hollywood & Vine- Table Service- Disney Junior Character Breakfast, Mickey, Minnie & Friends at seasonal dining parties
  • Kat Saka’s Kettle- Quick Service (opening August 29, 2019)
  • KRNR- Quick Service
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano- Table Service
  • Market- Quick Service
  • Milk Stand- Quick Service (opening August 29, 2019)
  • Neighborhood Bakery- Quick Service
  • Oga’s Cantina- Quick Service (opening August 29, 2019)
  • PizzeRizzo- Quick Service
  • Ronto Roasters- Quick Service (opening August 29, 2019)
  • Rosie’s All-American Cafe- Quick Service
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant- Table Service
  • The Trolley Car Cafe- Quick Service
  • Tune-In Lounge- Table Service
  • Woody’s Lunch Box- Quick Service

My favorite places to eat are Woody’s Lunch Box (the adult lemonade is SO GOOD), PizzeRizzo for a quick personal pizza and Hollywood & Vine for a buffet dinner with great characters (and a diner package with VIP seating for Fantasmic!)

Character Meet & Greets

There are so many great characters to meet in Hollywood Studios. Some are at dining experiences (which I talk more about here), but these characters are at specific spots throughout the park during specific hours. You can check the day’s schedule at Guest Services or ask any cast member for times and spots! Here’s where you can find most of the characters that are in Hollywood Studios.

  • BB-8 in Animation Courtyard
  • Chewbacca in Animation Courtyard
  • Disney Junior Pals in Animation Courtyard
  • Green Army Men in Toy Story Land
  • The Incredibles in Pixar Place
  • Kylo Ren in Animation Courtyard
  • Mike and Sulley in Animation Courtyard
  • Olaf near Echo Lake
  • Red Carpet Minnie near Commissary Lane
  • Sorcerer Mickey near Commissary Lane
  • Woody, Jesse and Buzz in Toy Story Land

I love watching the Green Army Men walk around the park… or pretend to be statues and then surprise guests! Red Carpet Minnie is probably my favorite Minnie; she just looks so gorgeous in her fancy dress (and she LOVES when you tell her how pretty she looks).

Hollywood Studios Area Resorts

Looking to stay close to the action at Hollywood Studios? Maybe you’ll be spending the most time at this park or maybe you’re just dying to try out the new Skyliner! No matter the reason, Hollywood Studios Area Resorts are great. While Disney doesn’t actually say any resorts are in a “Hollywood Studios Area” these are the ones closest to the park/with convenient transportation to this park. You can read more about the different resort tiers here.

  • Disney’s All Star Movies, Sports & Music have short bus rides
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has a short bus ride and a Skyliner Station
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has a short bus ride and a Skyliner Station
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort has a short bus ride and a Skyliner Station
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort (opening Fall 2019) has a short bus ride and a Skyliner Station
  • Disney’s Beach Club, Disney’s Boardwalk, and Disney’s Yacht Club have the most transportation options: a walking path, a ferry boat, and busses

We stayed at Caribbean Beach for our Honeymoon in 2017 and even though it was under construction at the time, it was still incredible so I can only imagine how great it must be now. We also love Disney’s Boardwalk; there’s great nighttime entertainment and easy access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios via ferries and walking paths!

That’s all the important things for Hollywood Studios! Are you ready to book your next Disney vacation? You can email me at justinefafaravacations@gmail.com or fill out a vacation quote request here!