Rookie Mistakes to Avoid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Now that the parks have been reopened for a while, we can start talking about things that newcomers do wrong.
Don’t worry. It’s not your fault! If you’ve never visited Walt Disney World before, you cannot possibly anticipate all the quirks at each park.
MickeyBlog can help with that! We have centuries of combined park knowledge that we want to pass along to you.
Here are eight rookie mistakes to avoid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Not Knowing about Boarding Groups
Even at the Most Magical Place on Earth, guests sometimes experience setbacks that put them in a bad mood.
In fact, anyone who has spent time at Hollywood Studios knows what I mean.
The park guests who want to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance must schedule a Boarding Pass.
We’ve published several guidelines about this process. Alas, Disney keeps changing the rules.
Currently, you must wake up early and book a Boarding Group at 7 a.m. Otherwise, you must physically be inside Hollywood Studios at 1 p.m. to do it.
Not knowing about Boarding Groups is a rookie mistake that will ensure you don’t get to ride arguably the best attraction at Walt Disney World.
Not Knowing the Park Hours
Before the pandemic, I wouldn’t have even mentioned park hours. Alas, Disney has maintained flexibility since the parks reopened.
Some smart individuals spend their entire days deciding the optimal number of park guests. Simultaneously, they balance park hours to keep crowds in check.
So, the operating hours at all four Walt Disney World theme parks fluctuate regularly.
For example, on a recent Friday, Magic Kingdom stayed open until 9 p.m. while Disney’s Animal Kingdom closed at 5 p.m.
Imagine if you had shown up late for Animal Kingdom that day! You would have had only a few hours to do everything.
For the month of February, Hollywood Studios consistently opens at 9 or 10 a.m. and then closes at 7 p.m.
However, that information could change at a moment’s notice. You should always check Walt Disney World’s operating hours before visiting.
Note that this information is available on My Disney Experience, too.
Not Using My Disney Experience
Speaking of which, Disney has leaned heavily toward My Disney Experience during the pandemic.
I recently wrote an article about 14 different things you can do with the app, and I had to cut several others for the sake of brevity.
Imagineers have programmed My Disney Experience to show wait-times, book restaurant reservations, display pictures, and provide directions.
Most importantly, you can pick and buy your meals via Mobile Ordering, which is a lifesaver at Hollywood Studios.
Restaurants like Woody’s Lunch Box and ABC Commissary participate, which means you’ll eat well…and on your schedule!
Skipping the Shows
Look, you’ve probably heard that Hollywood Studios isn’t running most of its shows right now. That’s totally true.
However, you shouldn’t mistake that news for ALL shows being closed.
On the contrary, four excellent attractions will entertain you.
Plus, these shows will allow you to beat the heat or escape the rain when you need a break.
Your current options are For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Vacation Fun.
That last one is an animated short starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse! So, you’ve got your choice of Cars, Frozen, the Muppets and the mouse couple. You can’t go wrong!
Rushing through Themed Lands
For many years, there were valid criticisms about the themed lands at Hollywood Studios. None of them distinguished itself from the rest.
The park had a sameness until recent years. Thankfully, that changed with the introduction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.
When you visit Toy Story Land, you’ll have your choice of three high-quality attractions. Don’t miss out on the Pixar magic that surrounds you, though!
Imagineers have created a delightful family-friendly dynamic. Easter eggs abound, and you’ll believe that you have shrunk down to the size of a toy.
Then, you’ll cross over to Black Spire Outpost, a hub on the alien planet of Batuu.
The attractions may lure you to Star Wars Land, but you should keep your eyes open for the special touches.
Black Spire Outpost represents the most immersive themed land ever created. You’ll feel like you’re entering your own Star Wars story here.
Don’t rush through the area! Take your time and explore every nook and cranny. You’ll find many touches created by Star Wars fans for Star Wars fans.
Overlooking the Classics
For a while, Hollywood Studios didn’t even qualify as a half-day park. When The Great Movie Ride closed, only a handful of rides remained active.
Now that the park has introduced six attractions since the summer of 2018, some rookies overlook the older stuff.
Still, these rides have stood the test of time. They’re bona fide classics, and Tower of Terror, in particular, still ranks in the top ten among Disney attractions.
That ride still receives mentions on industry top 10 lists more than a quarter-century after its debut.
Yes, you’ll want to ride the new attractions at Hollywood Studios. Don’t miss the forest for the trees, though! You should seek out the classics, too!
By the way, this rule also applies to Star Tours. Yes, you’ll find newer Star Wars attractions at the park, but Disney updates the original one regularly.
Ignoring the Cavalcades
You won’t find many limited-time offerings at Walt Disney World. Most stuff at the parks is there to stay.
An exception (possibly?) exists during the pandemic, though. Since Disney cannot host full-fledged parades, it’s added Cavalcades instead.
At Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, you’ll find floats, buses, and carriages that carry characters around the parks.
Hollywood Studios takes a different approach. All its characters ride in slick automobiles.
I mean, Edna Mode owns a nicer car than I do, and she’s not even real!
The Incredibles and several Disney Junior characters all receive the chauffeur treatment as they ride around the parks.
You’ll hear a sound that signifies that a Cavalcade is incoming. Once you do, stop what you’re doing and look for the cars!
The vehicles themselves feature stunning detail and exceptional theming.
However, the best part is that you’ll avoid the crowds by watching a Cavalcade.
Disney has designed them such that they’re more intimate experiences, ones that don’t draw a large gathering and thereby violate social distancing.
So, you can get closer to Edna Mode and her IncrediCar than you ever could during a parade. It’s awesome!
Skipping the Disney Skyliner
Okay, this one’s technically not inside the park.
Still, I don’t want you to overlook one of the best new amenities at Walt Disney World.
A few months before the pandemic, the Disney Skyliner debuted and promptly became the most stylish form of transportation since the monorail.
A station resides only a few feet away from the security gates at Hollywood Studios.
You should take the time to hop on a gondola and ride somewhere.
If you’re Park Hopping to EPCOT, the Disney Skyliner will take you to the International Gateway.
You don’t need to have a destination in mind to enjoy this trip, though.
My family jumps on the monorail and goes to eat or snack at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
The view from the gondola is mesmerizing and the only one of its kind in the Disney parks. You do NOT want to miss that.