Do you love shows? Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place for you with stage shows, nighttime spectaculars, and a Frozen sing-a-long.
Love thrill rides? Hollywood Studios has the only inverted coaster at Disney World, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, as well as my personal favorite, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
My boys don’t fall into either category as they typically do not enjoy shows and won’t ride roller coasters (sorry, Slinky Dog!). This honestly doesn’t leave much to do at Hollywood Studios at the moment and we’d have a hard time filling an entire day there as a family.
However, that doesn’t mean that the remaining attractions are duds. My kids LOVE the rides and attractions on this list…
1. Alien Swirling Saucers
While the crowd dashes to Slinky Dog Dash at rope drop, we leisurely steer to the left of the wave of humanity and casually make our way to the far end of Toy Story Land where Alien Swirling Saucers awaits. This ride is just FUN, whirling around in little spaceships navigated by cute aliens. It’s easily a walk-on first thing in the morning.
And if you arrive early, you can even usually ride twice in a row with a minimal wait before the line begins to grow for the day. This ride does have a minimum height requirement of 32 inches, so all but the littlest of littles can ride on this space journey.
My boys are huge Indiana Jones fans so the Epic Stunt Spectacular is an exception to their usual aversion to shows. This one has changed little in the past 30 years, but it’s always thrilling. Recently, both Mom and Dad have been selected as volunteer cast members on two separate trips so it’s even more fun for the kids when the parents are involved!
A tip for anyone wanting to participate in the show – immediately jump up with your hand raised when the cast member asks for volunteers and stay animated (but not obnoxious!) until all volunteers have been selected. Most people will remain seated and raise their hands to volunteer, but both my husband and I stood up which we think made a difference – more of us to see in that big crowd of people that the cast member is choosing from!
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Here’s another oldie but goodie. Not only do my boys laugh through this entire show every single time, but we think the MuppetVision 3D preshow might even be funnier than the show itself! If you aren’t in a rush and the theater is ready to begin loading when you arrive, strongly consider holding back and waiting until the following show so you can experience the entire pre-show.
We also love sitting in the front row here. MuppetVision is mainly a 3D movie, but enough action happens up front to make a close seat worthwhile. The animatronic penguin orchestra is more nuanced than expected and Sweetums has a part as well, staying right up front.
This show offers FastPass and, although it’s never busy enough to need one, we usually get a MuppetVision FastPass as one or our three reserved FastPasses. We know we’ll use it and we are able to redeem our three reserved FastPasses quicker that way so we can start searching for the fourth and more additional FastPasses for the Toy Story Land rides.
4. Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Mania is similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin over at Magic Kingdom … but 100% better! The kids enjoy Buzz, but never quite get the hang of the shooting aspect because it’s difficult to determine which laser dots are yours (not that Mom has this problem … nope, never, I ALWAYS know exactly where I’m shooting…). The Toy Story Mania blaster is much easier to shoot and see exactly where the projectiles are landing.
And we love that this isn’t the go-to kids ride at Hollywood Studios anymore since all of Toy Story Land have opened. It’s pretty easy to get additional FastPasses for Toy Story Mania during the day now and it’s no longer the ride to which everyone is stampeding at rope drop. After tapping our MagicBands and getting in line, I’m usually able to refresh the MyDisneyExperience app and get an additional FastPass within just a few minutes while I’m still standing in line!
This is a fun one to enjoy multiple times since it’s a different experience every time. You can aim for different targets to rack up a higher score with your previous strategy’s successes and failures still fresh in your mind!
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5. Star Tours
And we end with another old school Hollywood Studios attraction. Well, the scenes may have changed from earlier Endor days, but the ride vehicle is as classic as ever.
I love the randomly selected scenes in Star Tours so that you usually don’t have the same experience twice. For that reason, we will often ride Star Tours multiple times in one day. Like I said, we can’t fill up a day at Hollywood Studios so we love that the additional time allows us to repeat favorites, especially for rides like Star Tours that are different every time.
For what it’s worth, both boys mentioned Woody’s Lunch Box as a favorite “attraction” as well. Those lunch box tarts mighty tasty and if you visit right after that rope drop ride on Alien Swirling Saucers while everyone else is still occupied on the Toy Story Land rides, it’s usually quite easy to get a table during the first hour of day – something you can’t say as lunch time nears!
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What are your family’s favorite Hollywood Studios rides and attractions?