Spending the Day in Hollywood Studios
I have always loved Disney’s Hollywood Studios, from the time it opened (as Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park) to this day, as it is still one of my favorite parks to visit! Right now, in case you haven’t noticed, Hollywood Studios is going through some big changes. Some of the popular attractions that held special places in our hearts are no longer there, but it’s because Disney is always changing and wanting to do more and boy, is there a lot to look forward to in the next couple of years! I, for one, am counting down the days to the opening of Toy Story Land! This is going to be an area that the whole family will love! Really, who doesn’t want to shrink down to the size of Andy’s toys and play in his backyard? Then, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge…even for those who are not Star Wars fans, this is going to be a “not-to-be-missed” experience!
But, during this time of refurbishments and changes, I sometimes have people tell me that they want to skip Hollywood Studios on their trip or that they really don’t think they can spend a whole day there. While I do understand that people may not love Hollywood Studios as much as I do (really, I can’t even think about not visiting this park on a trip) I think that there is a misconception that there is nothing left to do there.
During our most recent visit, my husband, 10-year old son, 2-year old daughter and I, spent the entire day at Hollywood Studios and still didn’t get to everything that we could’ve done. We started our day with breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. We had a pre-park opening reservation so that we could get an early start to our day. As my husband and daughter checked in for breakfast, my son and I headed over to the Jedi Training Academy registration area. We had one happy kid when we scored a spot in one of the afternoon shows! Then we headed back to Hollywood & Vine for a delicious breakfast and a chance to meet some of our favorite Disney Jr. characters, including Doc McStuffins, Handy Manny, Sofia the First and Jake from the Neverland Pirates.
Woody, Buzz, and Toy Story Mania
After breakfast, we headed over to Pixar Place and met Woody and Buzz. They are two of our favorites, so it was a great experience for all of us! We hopped over to Toy Story Mania! for some carnival game fun. My daughter literally squealed with excitement the whole time. It is so awesome to experience Disney through my kids’ eyes! We knew we had to do this one again later…
Star Wars Launch Bay
We made our way over to Star Wars Launch Bay next. The Storm Troopers are guarding the entrance and have some really fun interactions with guests passing by. They are so entertaining to watch, but don’t get on their bad side! Inside the Launch Bay is an incredible gallery for Star Wars fans to check out. We only quickly went through it this time, so that we could get to the characters. Later, my son and husband visited again and took more time to explore the gallery. Inside, we met Chewbacca and BB-8. Kylo Ren was there, too, but my daughter was starting to get a little antsy, so he would be on our list to visit later.
Disney Junior Live on Stage!
Next, we headed next door to Disney Junior Live on Stage! Here we got to sing, dance and play with some adorable Disney Junior “toddler-size” puppets! I think the bubbles were a crowd favorite! As we headed over to Frozen Sing-Along, we got to see the March of the First Order happening along Hollywood Boulevard. It is awesome to watch the Storm Troopers marching along while the Star Wars music plays.
The kids and I went to sing our hearts out at the Frozen Sing-Along show. It was really fun and Olaf even made a special visit! While we were doing this, my husband headed over to Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N Rollercoaster. We thought about doing Rider Switch for these rides, so that I could have a chance to go on them, too…but I knew I was heading back to WDW in a couple of weeks (I know, not such a bad life!) and I would ride them then.
Star Tours & Muppets 3-D
Next up, Star Tours for the boys and Muppets 3-D for the girls. I wasn’t sure at the beginning of our trip how my daughter would do with characters, rides and shows…since she’s 2 ½, you just never know. I have to say, she was great with all of these! She learned that she had to wait in line, but that in the end she would be doing something awesome!
As we passed the line where Olaf was meeting guests, we noticed that the wait wasn’t long at all and maybe this would be the perfect time to meet our favorite snowman!
Baseline Tap House
Now it seemed like a great time to grab a little snack and we knew we just had to check out Baseline Tap House. Our snacks consisted of Bavarian pretzels, water and a couple of California brews! We sat on the deck and enjoyed a few minutes of downtime before getting ready for Jedi Training Academy!
Jedi Training Academy
It was time for my son to become a Jedi and use the force to defeat the Dark Side! This was one of my favorite experiences of the trip. If you haven’t done this, you definitely need to check it out! Since my son defeated Kylo Ren, he thought it would be appropriate to head back over to the Launch Bay to get some photos with him (and apparently have a stare down after reminding Kylo Ren that he had just defeated him!) The boys spent some time exploring the memorabilia in the Star Wars Launch Bay gallery, while my daughter and I hit some shops along the Boulevards.
We had just enough time to catch Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular before dinner, so we did that and headed right over to Sci-Fi! We sat in a car, watched some movies and enjoyed a fun dinner. The kids loved it!
One More Time!
After dinner, we paid our respects to the Great Movie Ride (it will truly be missed by this family), checked out the handprints and took some fun pictures in front of the Chinese Theater. Then we headed back to Toy Story Mania! one more time and loved every second of it. Sunset Seasons Greetings had just started at Hollywood Studios while we were there, so I wanted to take some time to see Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards turn into a winter wonderland. However, the boys wanted ONE MORE RIDE! So, they headed to Star Tours again, while the girls experienced a magical snowfall. We all met back up to catch the beginning of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! before heading over to Fantasmic! We had VIP seating from our dining package (we were able to add this on during breakfast that morning.) This saved us from having to line up early to get good seats and allowed us to see some of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Fantasmic! was, well, fantastic (as always!) and we had an amazing day from park opening to park closing at Hollywood Studios. There were still characters we could’ve met and shows we could’ve seen, but we just didn’t have time.
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