While it is possible to experience the highlights of Disney Hollywood Studios in a single day, let’s face it – two days is better!
With two days at your disposal, there is no need to rush everywhere, and worry that you’ll miss the park’s signature evening show – Fantasmic! or the latest night-time event: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.
And let’s face it, there are several rides that kids – and adults – will want to take again and again, and staying at Disney Hollywood Studios for two days will allow you to relax and enjoy your time there all the more.
Before You Go
If you want to see the Fantasmic! show which is held on selected evenings at 7 pm, or the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular that takes place on selected evenings at 7:45 pm, it’s essential that you plan ahead with your dinner reservations. Give yourself at least two hours to start dinner to make sure you’re done in time to attend these shows. FastPass is available for Fantasmic! but not for the Star Wars show.
For this reason, make sure you make your dinner reservations online at those restaurants – or any of the table-service restaurants in Disney Hollywood Studios.
For an extra fee, you can purchase a Fantasmic! dinner package to The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood & Vine or Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. This entitles you and your guests to a meal at the restaurant, and then VIP seating at the Fantasmic! show. But it’s essential that you make reservations well in advance for this, via the Disney website.
Orlando typically has lovely warm weather year-round, but it does rain practically every evening for a few minutes at least, so bring a rain poncho to be ready for any sudden downpours.
Pick up a Times Guide (show schedule) as you enter the park, and go over it thoroughly to see what the actual times are for each show, and make a plan of which ones you absolutely want to see on Day One, so that you can see the rest of them on Day Two.
Attractions & Rides
- The Great Movie Ride
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Star Wars)
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Star Wars Launch Bay Theater
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
- Star Wars Photo Opportunities
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
- Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage (5 performances daily)
- Celebrity Spotlight (9 am to 8 pm)
- Citizens of Hollywood (9 am to 5:30 pm)
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage (10 performances daily)
- Fantasmic (7 pm on selected nights)
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (10 performances daily)
- Indian Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular (5 performances daily)
- Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (15 performances daily)
- Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams (9 am to 8:00 pm)
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (7:45 pm on selected nights)
- Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away (6 performances daily)
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid (23 performances daily)
As you can see, most of the stage shows have multiple performances so it’ll be easy to see favorites on Day One and have new experiences on Day Two – unless your kids prefer to see the same shows again and again which often happens!
Select a Rendezvous Point and Time if Necessary
Even in these days of cell phones, if you and your party plan to split up and meet later, make sure you arrange a rendezvous time and location. Cell phones do get lost, or batteries might go dead at an inconvenient time, so it’s best to just set up a rendezvous time in advance.
Familiarize Yourself with the Park
As you enter Disney Hollywood Studios, you’ll be able to pick up a park map as well as that essential Times Guide. Use a bright yellow marker to mark each show you want to see, and each ride you want to take, and plan a route through them all which takes into account show times and distance from any restaurants or Quick Service eateries.
Start the route first thing on your first day in the park, saving shopping for last thing before you return to your resort, and pick up the route where you left off the next morning.
By the way, you can also download a My Disney Experience app free from the App Store or Google Play, depending on your phone’s operating system. It includes an interactive GPS-enabled map and wait times for attractions.
Proceed to Have Fun!
Wait times for each ride – the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania!, Star Tours (Star Wars). Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Muppet*Vision 3D and The Great Movie Ride – are posted outside the entrance to each ride.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, two of the most popular rides in the park and therefore usually with long wait times (until about7 pm at night) are quite close to each other, so you can, if desired, use FastPass+ to make a reservation for one of these rides while you stand in line at the other. Once you’ve completed your ride at the first one, it should be time for your reservation for the other one, so you can take care of both of those rides one after the other!
- Choose this first day to skip Fantasmic!, and choose that time (7 pm) to get in line for the most popular rides (Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster). Most people will be at Fantasmic! or will have gone home for the night, so wait times will be significantly less than during peak times.
- If you enjoy The Great Movie Ride, ride it twice – once in the front cars and once in the back. Each one provides a different experience!
- Audiences for shows typically number over a thousand, while an adjacent ride can handle only 800 people an hour. Once a show is over, many people head straight for the rides – which inflates the wait time. Instead of getting in line for a ride right after a show ends, find a ride that you want to take, and get in line at the same time that an adjacent show is about to start. This will lessen wait times.
If you missed anything on your Day One list, today is the day to visit those attractions or see those shows first.
Perhaps you saved all your Star Wars experiences for this day, such as Star Tours – the Adventure Continues, Star Wars Launch Bay, or Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.
An absolute MUST visit on this day is Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, a self-guided tour of a mini-museum featuring rare props, models, and sketches of Walt Disney’s life from childhood to animation career to theme park creation.
Be sure to peek around corners, open closed containers, and read signs carefully. If it is onstage (within guest view), then there is a reason for its existence. Never be afraid to try things around the park. You will find there are discoveries just waiting to be enjoyed.
There are many “hidden secrets” inside Disney Hollywood Studios to be found – the Singing in the Rain Umbrella that will cause rain all around you; pulling on the Do Not Pull rope outside the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular; finding the key under the mat in the Muppet*Vision 3D; finding the tribute to Mortimer Mouse (Mickey’s original incarnation); and much more.
The information in this guide is current as of January, 2017. It will be updated periodically.