The third theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida is also one of the most exciting. With many changes over the past few years, Disney’s Hollywood Studios features themed rides, thrill rides, and fun live shows – with things to do for the entire family. Here’s our ultimate guide to Disney Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions.
I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you.
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Disney’s Hollywood Studios is located near Epcot and the Disney Boardwalk section of the park. It’s accessible via boat, Skyliner, and bus from the Disney resorts and theme parks. If you haven’t been to the park in recent years, you may be pleasantly surprised with some of the fantastic changes that have been made with some new major attractions. While several rides and attractions have closed, new rides have opened in their places.
You can definitely spend at least a full day at Disney Hollywood Studios. There are also some delicious restaurants there, so you’ll have plenty of places to eat at the park. In the past, we’ve spent about a day and a half at the park. With recent additions, I think it’s more of a day and a half to a full two-day park.
Disney Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions
Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
My favorite Disney Hollywood Studios ride (and one of my favorites across all of the theme parks) is the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. This ride offers Genie+, a single rider line, and a standard standby line.
After you go through the queue, you’ll see a brief show, where you’ll learn about the premise of the attraction. You are there to see the band Aerosmith record, but they have to leave because they are going to be late for their show. They ask their publicist to provide transportation and backstage passes to their guests (you!).
After the pre-show, you’ll be guided to a short queue where you wait to board the ride vehicles. If you’d like to sit in the front of the ride vehicle, alert the cast members and you’ll be directed to a separate queue to wait.
The Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster features loud Aerosmith music which adds to the atmosphere. You’ll take off immediately, and the ride goes upside down several times in the dark. It’s so much fun, and we love this ride. Get a Genie+ reservation or get in line early. The single-rider line can be a good option, but keep in mind that parties will be split up and you aren’t guaranteed to be on the ride any quicker.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Another one of my favorites is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. While the Disneyland attraction was transformed into a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride, the Hollywood Studios ride has stayed with the original Twilight Zone theme.
After going through the queue, you’ll enter a pre-show area where you’ll learn about what happened that fateful night at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Then, you’ll be guided to a short queue and brought into the elevators.
The Tower of Terror shoots up and drops down at random intervals. It’s unlike any coaster-style ride because you won’t know when you are about to drop up or down.
Younger kids above the height limit may be a bit intimidated by the scary Twilight Zone theme, but the ride really is a lot of fun. Genie+ is offered for this ride.
Even though my kids are older, we still can’t miss seeing Muppet*Vision 3D when we visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This 3D movie features the beloved Muppets, including Kermit and Miss Piggy as they attempt to put on a show.
The theater is pretty big, so the most waiting you’ll do is usually only until the next show starts. The queue is indoors, so it’s a good way to avoid rain or excessive heat.
My kids were a little afraid of the loud noises in the movie when they were really tiny, but otherwise, it’s a great show for little ones. There’s no height requirement, unlike some of the other Hollywood Studios rides.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
If you are up for a Star Wars adventure, you’ll want to check out Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. In this ride, you’ll have the opportunity to seek out the rebel spy as you ride in a flight simulator.
While my family loves this ride, I usually sit it out. I’m sensitive to motion, and the flight simulator is a bit too realistic. But it is a fun ride, and if you are lucky, you may even be the rebel spy.
Star Wars – The Adventures Continue was a park attraction well before Galaxy’s Edge was added. As a result, this ride is outside the new land.
Toy Story Mania
Battle your family and others in your ride vehicle with this fun midway-style ride. As you pass through the ride queue, you’ll be able to grab 3D glasses which become important in the ride.
After you board the vehicle, you’ll ride into a brief practice area where you’ll learn how to use the shooting mechanism. Then it’s off to the world of Toy Story.
While kids absolutely love this game, adults do too. I would ride all day if I could because it’s so fun to battle against my family members and my high scores.
If you haven’t visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios since Toy Story Land opened, you’ll find the entrance to have moved a bit. It’s now right in Toy Story Land.
Slinky Dog Dash
One of the newest Disney Hollywood Studios rides is Slinky Dog Dash. This family-friendly coaster, part of the new Toy Story Land, is themed after everyone’s favorite Slinky Dog.
The standby queue is lots of fun, with plenty of elements from Toy Story throughout. I recently waited in line for about 45 minutes, and I was entertained throughout.
While the ride is pretty kid-friendly, it does feature some small drops, and riders have to be at least 38 inches to ride. Set kids’ expectations early if they are a little too short to ride.
It’s definitely one of the most popular Disney Hollywood Studios rides, so get a Genie+ reservation or arrive early.
Alien Swirling Saucers
The other new Hollywood Studios attraction in Toy Story Land is the Alien Swirling Saucers. On this ride, you’ll spin around in a ride vehicle that is themed after those popular aliens from Toy Story. The ride’s motion is similar to that of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree ride at Disneyland.
Alien Swirling Saucers does have a height restriction of 32 inches, but it’s a mild ride that is great for little ones who love the Toy Story movies.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
This stunt spectacular is a show, not a ride, but it’s a fun way to learn about how stunts are done. You’ll sit in a theater for this 30-minute show. Adult volunteers are solicited, so if you want to try your hand at performing, this is a great opportunity.
During the show, you’ll see fight sequences and other stunts performed in front of you. My kids really enjoy this show, and it’s a nice way to get off your feet for a little while.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
There are several Disney Hollywood Studios shows. Frozen fans will want to join this sing-along show featuring the popular tunes from Disney’s Frozen. Shows run throughout the day, and Genie+ is offered. During the show, you’ll see segments from the movie play out along with live characters. The lyrics are shown, so you don’t need to know all of the words.
Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
This stage show, based on the beloved Disney movie, runs several times per day. It’s a little less than 30 minutes long, and Genie+ is offered.
If you don’t get a Genie+ reservation for the show, be sure to line up early so that you can make sure you get a good seat. Daily showtimes will be listed in the My Disney Experience app.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Galaxy’s Edge, one of the most highly-anticipated additions to the parks, is now open at Walt Disney World. This land opened with one ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, followed by Rise of the Resistance.
This ride features a Genie+ lightning lane, a standby line, and a single rider line. The ride vehicle, the Millennium Falcon cockpit, accommodates 6 passengers. Two serve as pilots, two as gunners, and two as engineers. As you enter the ride pre-show, you’ll be given a random card with your assigned role.
The most interactive of the roles are the two pilots, but if you are in the single rider line you’ll almost definitely be an engineer. It’s a fairly mild ride, with some drops and loud noises. A height minimum of 38 inches applies, so be prepared if traveling with a smaller Star Wars fan.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Shortly after Galaxy’s Edge opened to the public, the newest ride, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance was introduced. This immersive experience is more than just a ride, it’s a full Star Wars adventure.
While Rise of the Resistance initially had a virtual queue, it now has a paid lightning lane entrance. Guests can choose to purchase access to the lightning lane, which helps save time. Prices vary based on date and demand, but I definitely recommend it if you want to ride this attraction.
Rise of the Resistance is now one of the most popular rides and is considered one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World. It’s also one of the longest rides – running about 15 minutes. During this time, you’ll join the resistance, get captured by the first order, and travel in several different vehicles.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
This ride, 2020 in the former location of the Great Movie Ride. Surprisingly, it’s the first ride at any Disney Park that actually stars Mickey and friends. It’s based on the popular Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway does have a Genie+ line (which was originally only a lightning lane line), and does not have a height requirement.
Character Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
During our Walt Disney World trips, we’ve always enjoyed the unique character greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are characters at this park that you won’t see at the other parks.
While characters are always subject to change, you can expect to find some of the following here:
- Buzz, Jessie, and Woody
- Minnie and Mickey
- Chewbacca, BB8, and Kylo Ren
- Mike and Sulley
- Disney Junior characters
The Best Disney’s Hollywood Studios Rides
I feel that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the best rides at Walt Disney World. In my opinion, here are the best Disney Hollywood Studio Rides. If you want to experience all of these in one day, we’d recommend Genie+, in addition to the Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance. It’s the best way to avoid long wait times, even though it does add quite a bit to your ticket price.
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock N Roller Coaster
- Rise of the Resistance
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Toy Story Midway Mania
Hotels Near Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I generally recommend staying on property at Walt Disney World if you are going to spend all of your time at the Disney parks.
The most convenient hotels to Disney’s Hollywood Studios are the Swan and Dolphin (which aren’t technically Disney-operated resorts), the Boardwalk, the Yacht Club, and the Beach Club. From these resorts, you can get to Hollywood Studios by walking or taking the boat.
You can find more hotel and lodging options on the map below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, while it is home to some great thrill rides, there are some fun things for younger kids as well.
The best way is to purchase an individual lightning lane. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to wait in a very long line.
Yes, although I recommend a day and a half to two days if you want to go on more of the rides. While you can save time with Genie+, you may still want to spend more than one day there.
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