How to Avoid Standing in Line All Day at Hollywood Studios
Okay, if you’ve read any of MickeyBlog’s articles about current ride wait times, you know the deal here.
During the summer, Walt Disney World theme parks experience massive traffic surges, even during the pandemic.
Lately, the worst of them is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has exploded in popularity due to the arrival of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
On a recent day, more than 70 percent of the park’s rides required waits of 40+ minutes, which isn’t ideal.
So, today, I’ll offer you some advice on how to avoid standing in line all day at Hollywood Studios.
Understand Park Tendencies
Walt Disney World theme parks come with an ebb and flow. You’ll spend less time standing in line once you understand this schedule.
For example, the parks include the smallest crowds when they open because most people aren’t early birds.
I’ll explain a tactic to take advantage of that behavior in the final section, but it’s merely a piece of the puzzle.
You should also understand that the time from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. represents the most crowded time for the park. So obviously, you’ll face the longest lines then.
However, some trends are helpful. To wit, many people eat lunch in/around noon, which can lead to some lower wait times.
You should plan to dine at off-hours, maybe 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. to take advantage of these potential gaps.
Then, as other guests head to restaurants, you can study My Disney Experience to notice which attractions have gaps where they’re less crowded.
Also, plan to stay late. After 4 p.m., guests gradually leave the park to do other things like return to the hotel or visit Disney Springs.
You shouldn’t wait for an hour to ride something at 2 p.m. when you can do it in 35 minutes at 7:30 p.m.
I looked up the stats, and that’s a strategy that applied to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway the day I wrote this.
At 2 p.m., its wait time was 65 minutes as opposed to 35 minutes at 7:30 p.m. That’s 30 minutes less time spent in line!
Watch Some Shows
Hollywood Studios embraces its proud movie heritage by hosting several shows that pay tribute to classic films.
Many of these shows last 15 minutes or more, and that’s before we factor in the time it takes guests to get seated.
So, when you watch a show-based attraction like Beauty & The Beast – Live on Stage, you’re getting off your feet for 40 minutes.
Better yet, the show rarely requires a wait beyond lining up your arrival with the next scheduled performance.
So, visit the destination 15 minutes before a show. You’ll get a break from standing in line. Plus, you’ll get to watch a performance of a beloved Disney story!
I recommend indoor shows over outdoor ones, especially in the summer. You’ll escape the heat while saving yourself some stress from waiting in lines.
Still, I should mention that whenever you just need a break to get off your feet, one outdoor show works perfectly.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! almost always includes ample available seating. So, it’s a solid rest spot, even though it’s outdoors and can get hot.
Take Your Time at Restaurants
Everyone vacations differently. You may be someone who prefers to grab-and-go with counter service meals.
On the other hand, you may be like my family and love sit-down dining at Table Service restaurants.
No matter your approach, you should take your time when you eat. Use this time to rejuvenate so that you’ll feel refreshed while standing in line.
You should take at least 30 minutes to dine at places like Backlot Express. When you eat at 50’s Prime Time Café or Sci-Fi Dine-In, stretch your meal to an hour.
You’re not wasting time when you do this. Hollywood Studios is open 11 hours a day during the summer, more when there’s not a pandemic.
So, you’re taking a break in an air-conditioned atmosphere rather than standing outside.
Even when you dine outdoors at Backlot Express, you can (and should) still find a shady spot.
The idea is to replenish and hydrate so that longer waits don’t impact you as much.
Utilize Single Rider
When you want to skip lines, Single Rider is your salvation.
Walt Disney World doesn’t offer Single Rider lines as much as some other theme parks.
However, you’ll discover two such options at Hollywood Studios. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith won’t even cause you to miss the pre-show.
You’ll merely stand in a different section as Illeana Douglas guiltily offers you a limousine ride to the Aerosmith concert.
Yes, you’ll sit beside a complete stranger on the ride, but who cares? Your friends would probably judge you for your ridiculous screams at the start of the ride anyway.
Alas, you will miss some stuff when you choose Single Rider at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
For starters, you won’t get to perform the mission with your traveling party. Also, if you care about piloting, you likely won’t get to do that, either.
The main party for your experience will probably settle on the pilots before they even meet you.
Plus, you don’t have as much time for photo ops in the interior of the Millennium Falcon.
However, Single Rider will cut your wait time by at least half. So, you can decide whether the sacrifices are worth the reduction in aggravation.
Don’t Be Afraid to Leave the Park
Remember how I said that Hollywood Studios is open 11 hours a day. Have you ever worked an 11-hour shift? If so, you know that’s a loooong time.
You shouldn’t feel like you must spend the entire day standing in lines at the park. Instead, you can leave and try out the amenities in the surrounding area.
Hop on the Disney Skyliner and ride to one of the connecting resorts. Then, do some shopping, dining, and exploring there instead. It’ll be much less crowded.
If you’re staying at a resort in the area, this afternoon is a perfect time to take a dip in the hotel pool.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can Park Hop to EPCOT at 2 p.m. A meal at the World Showcase might make your day that much more magical.
If you just want to relax, a boat runs between Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Of course, it stops at some Disney resorts, too.
I love this bit of sailing, as it’s a serene way to spend half an hour.
Head Right at Rope Drop
At the start of a park day, Hollywood Studios guests primarily head north. They’re going to one of three locations.
The target is either Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
You can go along with the crowd and follow them to one of those locations. Depending on your arrival time, you may even benefit from this strategy.
The first people in line at Slinky Dog Dash and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run can shave off more than two-thirds of the regular wait time.
Alas, the people after that receive little advantage from Rope Drop, as the crowds swell quickly.
So, I recommend a different tactic. Hollywood Studios only offers nine rides, excluding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which you may not get to experience.
You can knock out two of them within your first hour if you head right instead.
Once you’re in the park, go straight to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Afterward, jump in the Single Rider line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
Bam! You’ve just checked off two of the nine rides in a matter of minutes.
Afterward, you can either crisscross the park to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, or you can bite the bullet on Runaway Railway.
Either way, you should have done one-third of the park’s rides within the first two hours. Every decision should seem simpler after that.
As you can see, you have plenty of options to take more control of a Hollywood Studios visit.
Yes, the lines can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but nobody makes you wait in them! You have options that can help you overcome the frustration!
By using some or all of these tactics, you’ll enjoy your park day much more.
Feature Image: DisneyWorldVacationGuide.com