12 Amazing Things to Do at Hollywood Studios
Ever since the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, one thing has become perfectly clear. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place to be among Disney theme parks.
When you visit, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy!
Read on to discover 12 things you can do at Hollywood Studios.
Catch a Cavalcade
All four Walt Disney World theme parks currently perform Cavalcades at random intervals.
What’s a Cavalcade? It’s like a regular Disney parade, only it consists of just a few floats.
At Hollywood Studios, the most charming Cavalcades involve Disney Jr. characters and The Incredibles.
All these characters ride in their own stylish vehicles, each of which features impeccable theming.
Vampirina’s spooky car includes spider webs for wheel covers. Edna Mode sits on the backseat of a quasi-futuristic spy car.
You’ll love the attention to detail for each car, while any children in your party will lose their minds over receiving a special wave from a Disney character.
Since the Cavalcades occur randomly, the experiences feel more intimate.
You should make sure to catch at least one during your visit.
Check Into a Classic Hotel
The Hollywood Tower Hotel embodies everything wonderful about the golden age of Hollywood. It’s a place where stars used to spend several weeks while shooting movies.
Then, tragedy struck when an elevator mishap trapped five people inside. Some say that they’re still in that elevator even now, haunting the building.
For this reason, guests fled the Hollywood Tower Hotel, never to return. The building’s old and decrepit now, long ago abandoned by paying tourists and hotel management.
Brave souls like you sometimes enter that elevator shaft, though. When you do, you’re transported to a realm far beyond this one, a place called The Twilight Zone.
More than 25 years after its inception, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror remains one of the best rides in the world.
Dine at a Drive-In
During the pandemic, movie-goers have fallen in love with drive-in theaters all over again.
However, Disney never gave up on this beloved form of cinema.
For many years now, guests have traveled back in time when they eat at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, a restaurant where you sit in the dark while you eat.
You do this due to the theming, which requires you to sit in a hollowed-out car and stare straight ahead.
A classic science fiction movie plays on the wall in front of you, providing a glimpse into hot dates of yesteryear, back when teens would drink a milkshake and hand hands at the drive-in.
Plus, the food’s unexpectedly good here!
Drive to a Concert
When’s the last time you rode in a limousine? Okay, I didn’t need to know that. Also, you came across as kind of braggy.
Well, for most of us, limousine rides are reserved for Prom Night, first weddings, and the occasional major award.
That’s why we all flock to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. On this ride, Steven Tyler himself demands that you ride in his stretch limousine so that you get to the concert on time.
This one’s quite possibly the best thrill ride at Walt Disney World, at least for adrenaline junkies. When you want a rush, it’s the roller coaster to ride.
Eat a Family Dinner
I presume that you’ll eat lunch and dinner at the park. If so, you’ll discover plenty of high-quality options including some I don’t even discuss here like Woody’s Lunch Box.
However, you’ll burn a lot of calories at Hollywood Studios. So, you can safely schedule a couple of big meals.
One of them should take place at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, a place that will remind you of awkward family dinners.
That vibe is intentional, as the servers will act like disapproving relatives who expect you to mind your manners…and maybe even clean the tables!
The food’s definitely on the heavy side here. You should plan a meal at dinner, as it’s probably too much for lunch.
Enter Enemy Territory
Let me be blunt. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is probably the best ride at Walt Disney World right now. At a minimum, it’s top-three, which makes it a must-do attraction.
Unfortunately, the Boarding Group situation changes regularly. Also, demand is outrageously high.
You may struggle to book a Boarding Group. As such, I’d strongly suggest that you plan your entire park visit around your two tries at securing one.
Presuming that you’re one of the lucky guests, you’ll experience an immersive attraction that takes you behind enemy lines.
You become a prisoner of The First Order and must make your escape! Fortunately, some familiar faces from the Star Wars franchise will try to help.
Fly a Starship
You know what’s better than escaping enemy imprisonment? Why, it’s flying the Millennium Falcon!
Since 1977, Star Wars fans have fantasized about this opportunity. Now, thanks to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you get to do just that!
Of course, flying a starship into enemy territory is no small task, and you make the situation harder on yourself by trying to steal an illicit, highly in-demand substance.
Yes, YOU are the smuggler here! How well you do depends entirely on your crew’s performance, as this ride counts as a competitive experience.
You must fly, shoot, and engineer your way out of trouble, preferably acquiring plenty of coaxium along the way!
Learn How to Drive Fast
Speed? Lightning McQueen IS speed! Thankfully, he’s also a gracious tutor, willing to pass along on his racing knowledge to you.
For this reason, you should visit Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy to learn all the tips and tricks to win the big race.
Watch out for that jerk, Chick Hicks, though! He seems like he’s up to something!
Who invited him to this race training session anyway?
Ride a Runaway Train
I mentioned a moment ago that Rise of the Resistance is probably the best Disney ride right now. If it’s not, the next-most likely vote-getter stars the Sensational Six!
Yes, Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway stars your two favorite mice, while their friends Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto appear along the way.
This ride is challenging to describe, as the core concept involves your entering a cartoon.
As your train runs away, you’ll encounter plenty of cartoon hijinks involving inclement weather, city construction, and some unintended swimming.
The cartoon you enter is called Perfect Picnic, but your misfortunes qualify as anything but that.
Happily, the ride ends with Mickey and Minnie getting their perfect picnic, though. So, all is right with the world!
Sing Along with Elsa and Anna
Everyone knows by now that Hollywood Studios is flying at half-mast during the pandemic. Park officials don’t believe it’s safe to operate most shows. Part of this decision is financially motivated, too.
However, at least one E-ticket show still runs. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration recounts some of the events from the Frozen franchise.
That part is lovely, but the better aspect is that you get to sing your brains out to your favorite songs from the Frozen soundtrack! Yes, that includes Let It Go!
Make sure to visit Arendelle during your next Hollywood Studios visit!
Swirl Some Saucers
Toy Story Land features three terrific attractions. You’ll find plenty of supporters for Toy Story Mania! and Slinky Dog Dash…and I’m one of them.
Alas, the other ride at Toy Story Land doesn’t receive enough love. I’ve made it my mission in life to change that.
You should ride Alien Swirling Saucers during your visit for two reasons. The first is that the lines are usually the shortest of anything on this side of the park.
The other reason is that Alien Swirling Saucers packs a wallop as a marvelously entertaining ride experience.
Disney’s proud enough of the attraction that it has duplicated the ride mechanic at three theme parks and counting.
The one at Disney California Adventure features a Cars theme, while Tokyo Disneyland recently introduced The Happy Ride with Baymax.
At Hollywood Studios, the Little Green Men from Toy Story happily steer your spacecraft poorly, causing your vehicle to recoil at breakneck speed.
You’ll whip into the person/people sitting beside you, a factor that children adore.
I consider Alien Swirling Saucers one of the most underrated rides at Walt Disney World.
Tour the Stars
Finally, I’ll suggest the one Star Wars-based attraction that doesn’t reside in Galaxy’s Edge.
Star Tours has anchored Hollywood Studios since 1989, with the new version, Star Tours — The Adventures Continue, debuting in 2011.
Since then, Imagineers have tinkered with the ride several times, introducing new footage from the most recent Star Wars trilogy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if The Mandalorian and The Child eventually worked their way into the rotation, too.
Star Tours randomizes each scene, meaning that you can ride it dozens of times without receiving a duplicate experience.
Plus, this motion simulator movie ride still brings joy to audiences, several decades after its release.
In that way, Star Tours mirrors Star Wars.