A lot of people ask what to see at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, since so much of this park is closed. Rides and entertainment, that were once favorites for many, are no longer around. In fact, a lot of people tend to skip this park completely, especially as of late, since it’s sort of in an “in between” stage right now, gearing up for a huge Star Wars expansion. A lot of great things are no longer here (Backlot Tour and Animation Studio to name a few), but that doesn’t mean there’s still not a lot to see and do.
Personally, some of our favorite rides are here – Toy Story Midway Mania, Aerosmith, Tower Of Terror (for Josh), but it’s definitely a half day park as of right now. I see this as a complete gem! It’s wonderful to not have to spend a whole day at a park, and amazing to be able to utilize our time elsewhere (relaxing by the pool, for instance), yet still have some Disney in our day.
I can see for those who go regularly how the park can seem a little bland. For us, who visit about once a year, we usually trade off on the shows – hitting some, skipping others. We did Lights, Motor, Action and Fantasmic last year, so this year, we hit Beauty & The Beast and Indiana Jones. The shows don’t change much (if at all), so hitting them every single time can be monotonous, unless you LOVE them. So what’s still here?
- The wonderful streets of Hollywood, full of fantastic shops, great street performers and entertainment.
- Characters. There are still plenty of them! We met Goofy and Daisy Duck right outside The Great Movie ride, and the lines aren’t as long as they are in other parks, which makes for a great experience. Here, you still get some of that “old Disney,” where the characters “just showing up,” without worrying about cast members turning you away for too long, and soon-to-be-closed lines.
- The Great Movie Ride. It’s simply a classic, and the updates they’ve made over the years are wonderful. It blends old Hollywood with the new, and definitely worth going on.
- Stage Shows. Voyage Of The Little Mermaid is no more, but you’ll still find the Beauty and the Beast stage show, which is located on one of my favorite Disney stages. I still remember watching Mickey and Minnie on here as a kid.
- Indiana Jones and the Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show. As I said above, we alternate between these, and as of right now, both of these shows are still present at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Personally, I wish they would increase the Indiana Jones presence, and if you’re a big fan of the franchise, I highly suggest you visit Disneyland California for an Indie ride that’s not to be missed!
- Star Wars. If you’re a fanatic like my husband, this is the park for you, and in the upcoming years, the presence of Star Wars is only going to increase. I’m not a big fan of this franchise (I always say I prefer Harrison Ford in the form of Indianan Jones), but even I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with it!
- Toy Story Midway Mania is hands down my favorite ride this park offers. In fact, it makes my top ten rides in all of Disney World, and this is the park you’d go to to experience it! It’s so popular, they’re adding onto it in order to fit more people, as the line can get extremely long (it’s a fast pass for sure!). In fact, Toy Story is another presence the park will be increasing in the coming years, and I can’t help but wonder if they’re going to do anything similar to that of the Disney in Hong Kong!
- Iconic Hollywood Studios. A major occurrence this year was the removal of Mickey’s hat. Some people loved it’s demise, others hate it. However, this piece of Disney’s MGM history still remains, which personally, makes me happy. Take a picture in it, of it, whatever, it’s pretty.
- Thrill Rides. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some of the best thrill rides in all the parks (re: Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rock and Roll Roller Coaster.
- Fantasmic. While we skipped out on this nostalgic nighttime entertainment this time around, since we just saw it last time, it’s still something to note. It’s wonderful, as is the addition of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Frozen Summer Of Fun, which was going on while we were there. I was impressed. Disney does fireworks well, period, and this was no exception! Also, it SNOWED. Disney snow, of course, but STILL.
Bottom line, while this park is half day for us, it could still easily be a full day for you, and many people utilize it as just that. There’s something so different about this park than say Magic Kingdom – less hustle and bustle and a far more laid back experience.