Disney’s Hollywood Studios: One Day Touring Plan
First-time visitors to Walt Disney World are often surprised at just how many things there are to do. Disney property is enormous, and it would be easily possible to spend a month or more exploring all of the details. The sheer size of the resort can be intimidating, and without a plan, many new visitors spend most of their time wandering aimlessly.
While it is true that a short visit will not allow you to take in all the details, one day is plenty of time to take in the major attractions at Disney-Hollywood Studios. It is crucial to make a touring plan in order to maximize your time. Although the exact details of your plan will vary based on your interests, some basic tips and tricks will apply to everyone.
- Order your discount Disney World packages and elect to have your tickets waiting for you at your hotel. This will save you time as the ticket line can be quite long in the morning.
- Catch the first shuttle bus in the morning from the Disney World hotels so you can arrive at the park early and get a head start on the crowd.
- Do not stop to shop on your way into the park. Visit attractions first, then double back to do your shopping.
- Head directly to Sunset Boulevard, located at the back of the park to your right. Grab a Fast Pass for either Rock n Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, then ride the other. Get a Fast Pass for the one you just rode, and use your Fast Pass at the other attraction. Reverse the process, and you can ride both attractions twice in a short period of time.
- The two themed restaurants – Prime Time Café and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater – are attractions in their own right. Try to get reservations for one or the other, preferably at an off-hour.
- Make sure you pick up a Times Guide (show schedule) on your way into the park. The majority of attractions are shown, so plan your day around the listed times.
- Unless you have a strong interest in the parade, plan to skip it. Take advantage of the diminished wait times at popular attractions instead.
- Special events, such as Star Wars Weekends and Super Soap Weekend are sometimes held at the park. If you are not interested in the event, do not visit the park that day. Events draw enormous crowds and some attractions may be shut down. If you want to see the event, realize that most of your day will be spent at event-related attractions, so expect not to see most of the regular attractions.
- Bring a rain poncho. Rain is extremely common in central Florida, but most park guests do not prepare for it. Proper rain gear will allow you to keep going, taking advantage of much smaller crowds.
- Fantasmic , the nighttime spectacular, often has two performances. The first performance is by far the most crowded, with guests lining up two hours or more prior to showtime. Visit popular attractions during the first show, then see the second performance with a much smaller crowd. Plan to arrive for the second show 30 to 60 minutes prior to showtime depending on crowd levels.
- Use FASTPASS carefully. Some attractions get longer lines than others, so some FASTPASS tickets are worth more than others. At Disney-Hollywood Studios, getting a FASTPASS for Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster or Voyage of the Little Mermaid will save you most time.
- Do not leave the park during the day. Opportunities abound for a midday in-park break, from the produce stand on Sunset Boulevard to the air conditioned comfort of the Animation building. Take advantage of these opportunities rather than wasting time leaving and returning to the park.
- Stay late. Crowds thin dramatically in the evening, and it is often possible to see more in the last three hours than you saw all day.
- One option for table service dining is the Fantasmic Dinner Package. For a set price per person (prices vary depending on the restaurant selected), you can have dinner at one of the full service restaurants, then enjoy Fantasmic from a reserved seating area. The time normally spent in line for the show is instead spent enjoying an excellent meal.
- The shops will be closed when the second performance of Fantasmic ends, so be certain to plan shopping time into your day. Wandering through the shops could be your midday rest break.
- Whenever a ride queue splits into two lines sometimes guests ignore the left hand side as they are right handed. Even if there are no guests in waiting in one side, if it is not roped off it is usually open. Quite often you can save a lot of time passing guests who did not notice the open line.
Familiarize yourself with the various attractions prior to your visit. Since the bulk of attractions at Disney-Hollywood Studios are shows that are performed at set times, it may be difficult to see all of them. Nevertheless, by following the tips and tricks listed above, and developing a schedule based on the showtimes, it is easily possible to see all of the park’s highlights in one day, and even have time to re-visit your favorites.