Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my husband’s favorite park at Disney World. Which I can certainly understand because it is filled with attractions that boys of all ages will love. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s plenty of things here for the girls to enjoy as well!
Depending on your group and what everyone wants to do, you should be able to do this park in a single day. Your mileage may vary on that, and with the inception of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge it will become harder to do in a single day if that is your bag.
I’ll try to give you an idea in this guide of all of the fun things there are to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’ll also give you a little bit of help along the way with where to eat and give you a brief review of the attractions so that you can figure out what you might want to do and what you might want to skip depending on how much time you slate for this park.
History Of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios was originally known as Disney-MGM Studios Theme park and opened on May 1, 1989.
As the third of the four major parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood. Featuring film, television, music, and theatre it has a very different feel than any of the other parks.
In fact, originally Disney’s Hollywood Studios had a fully functioning backlot which allowed it to be used as a television production studio. In 2008 the park changed the name to Disney’s Hollywood Studios as we know it today.
If you want to read more about the rich history of this park, check out the video below from Expedition Theme Park.
Daily Operation and Hours
Generally, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is open from 9 AM to 9 PM. However, operating hours vary by season and the park reserves the right to change them whenever they wish.
They also offer Extra Magic Hours from 8 AM to 9 AM on Sundays for guests. But here again, this can change at any time and they may offer special Extra Magic Hours depending on the time of year.
You’ll want to check out our Disney world maps for a Hollywood Studios Map if you need one right now.
Map Of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
You can click on the map to enlarge it.
At Hollywood Studios, you’ll find everything movies from Star Wars to Pixar to Frozen to Indiana Jones themed attractions. Additionally, there is a great deal of live entertainment to see at this venue, which makes planning a challenge when you try and fit them all into your schedule. That’s where our guide to fastpass+ at Hollywood Studios comes into play. We cover all the different rides and give you some touring plan options for your day.
Hollywood Studios offers Star Wars character interactions and you can even go on a wild roller coaster ride with Aerosmith. Check out our guide to find out best times to check out each attraction, how tall you need to be, and more.
Daily Events at Hollywood Studios
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular – This used to be my husband’s favorite fireworks show in all of Disney World. But, since Disney changed to a much lighter pyrotechnics display, it’s kind of a let down for him and he tends to enjoy other shows more at this point. If you are a fan and you have time to catch it, then it is worthy of viewing at least once.
Disney Movie Magic – It’s like a pre-show for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular and is a 10-minute long projection show featuring movies (including Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Book, and TRON). It ends about 30 minutes before the fireworks start.
As you are roaming around Disney’s Hollywood Studios throughout the day you may see the Citizens of Hollywood performers. There are also other character meet & greets throughout the day like Vampirina, and play areas for the kids. We will be updating this post, but for now, you can read our review of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Dining at Hollywood Studios
Now we realize that we aren’t mentioning every single nook and cranny of things to eat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but we’re going to give you some highlights and discuss some of our favorites. There are plenty of places to get pizza and other kids favorites as well as food trucks where you can grab a quick bite. There are also a few other seasonally open places that we won’t get into here as well. Such as Minnie’s Holiday Dine, Star Wars Character Breakfast, and character dinner.
Hollywood and Vine – This is our personal favorite restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not just for the fact that it’s a great meet and greet with Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake, Vampirina, and Roadster Racer Goofy. But rather because the buffet here is pretty darn amazing! Also great if you have picky eaters because they have everything under the sun here for food. There are times during the year that they will have a special meet and greet with Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Daisy, but I won’t get into all the specifics on that here.
50’s Prime Time Cafe – Welcome to the 50’s! This diner is the quintessential throwback American diner with Mom’s kitchen built right in. Just a warning…. keep your elbows off the table and take your hat off when you sit down to dinner! If you want a really good meal then this table service restaurant will treat you like your family and give you family sized portions as well! Highly recommended.
Baseline Tap House – Located in a bar inspired brick building right across from Tatooine Traders. This is a great place to grab a quick appetizer and a California craft beer, wine or your favorite cocktail.
Fairfax Fare – I found the food here to be quite good as well as the portion sizes. They have a good variety of quick-service options which include some Tex-Mex inspired options, and also have one heck of a pulled pork sandwich.
Hollywood Brown Derby – The theme of this restaurant is directly matching that of the famous Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant. You’ll see your favorite Golden age stars adorning the walls in caricature form. The restaurant has all of the Hollywood touches that you would expect. You may even catch a live performer singing music in the background here from time to time. The menu is very small, but the food is very good and won’t break the bank. Totally worth a reservation if you need one.
ABC Commissary – Counter service for the stars! This restaurant is themed after the commissary of a working studio lot. Posters adorn the wall paying homage to ABC entertainment past and present. Lunch is served like any other counter service. However, for dinner, you’ll place your order, take a pager, and when your order’s ready, it will be delivered right to your table!
Woody’s Lunch Box – Our newest favorite and the newest addition to the lineup of restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The food here is actually pretty good and they have a great selection for your picky eaters as well. It’s quick service, but it does the trick, and honestly, it’s the only place to grab a bite while you are in Toy Story Land. But the barbeque brisket is to die for and is not to be missed in my opinion!
Oga’s Cantina – This is a new favorite as well, if you can get in! Make sure you make reservations at Oga’s Cantina well in advance to get in this Star Wars themed favorite!
Shopping at Hollywood Studios
Main Entrance Area
- Crossroads of the World – Small souvenirs.
- Oscar’s Classic Car Souvenirs – Nascar items.
- Celebrity 5 & 10 – Standard Disney Studios souvenirs.
- Cover Story – Get your picture on the cover of a magazine.
- The Darkroom – Camera and film sales.
- Disney & Co. – Disney fashion and accessories.
- Edith & Adrian’s Head to Toe – Personalized character merchandise.
- Keystone Clothiers – Upscale clothing for men and women.
- Mickey’s of Hollywood – Character merch and souvenirs.
- Pluto’s Toy Palace – Disney character toys and gifts.
- The Beverly Sunset – For the Pixar movie lover in the family.
- Carthay Circle Theater – Disney themed home and holiday items.
- Legends of Hollywood – Children’s costumes and accessories.
- Mouse about Town – Disney clothing and housewares.
- Planet Hollywood Super Store – Planet Hollywood stuff.
- Reel Vogue – Toy Story and general Pixar merchandise.
- Rock Around the Shop – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster souvenir shop. Featuring rock-related merchandise.
- Sunset Club Couture – Personalized watches and jewelry.
- Sunset Ranch Pins and Souvenirs – Pin traders paradise.
- Tower Hotel Gifts – “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” gifts
- Launch Bay Cargo – Everything Star Wars.
- The Studio Store – Features items and souvenirs from a current Disney animated release (theme changes frequently).
- In Character – Children’s costumes and accessories.
Echo Lake Area
- Frozen Fractal Gifts – If you are looking for Frozen merchandise, this place has literally everything.
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure Outpost – Indiana Jones themed gifts and souvenirs.
- Tatooine Traders – Star Tours puts you right inside this shop when you get off the ride. How convenient! Plenty of Star Wars merchandise and you can get custom posters made here. We did that once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away!
- It’s a Wonderful Shop – What would shopping in any Disney park be without a Christmas shop!
- Stage One Company Store – Tons of fine art, sketches, and assorted other merchandise from Star Wars and more.
Special Events at Hollywood Studios
Flurry of Fun – From November through early January, you can enjoy a holiday festival in Disney’s Hollywood Studios called Flurry of Fun. Including…
- Sunset Seasons Greetings – Watch as the Tower of Terror is transformed into a winter wonderland with “snope” and all!
- Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam – A festive fireworks display that takes over the nightly spot of the Star Wars fireworks.
I would strongly urge you to put a solid day aside for this park. I think you will find a special place in your travel planning for Disney’s Hollywood Studios just like we have. If you’d like more tips for your visit to Hollywood Studios, then check out our tips page over here.