Wally World Tips and Tricks -- Disney's Hollywood Studios

Here's a link to the 2013 Disney Hollywood Studios map. This map can be found in all it's glory after you pass through the turnstiles. They are in various moveable holders, so you can miss them, but you can find maps in the locker rental place, which is the circular building in the center of the road as you enter the park. Again, familiarize yourself with the layout prior to going to the park.

For some reason, I always find this park excessively hot. It might be all the cement and open design. Throughout the day, street actors will be going through their routines at various locations on the streets. Never watched the parade here. It just didn't seem interesting to me.

To be totally truthful, we ride the rides at the Hollywood Studios and vamoose out of there right after lunch. But if you like watching the shows, then you need to plan a long day ahead of you. Many of the shows are 45 minutes to an hour long, and that doesn't include the queuing time. Shoot, some of the rides are very time-consuming, especially the Back Lot Tour and The Great Movie ride.

If you take a right at the first intersection, it will take you past the entrance to the nighttime spectacular -- Fantasmic ( make time to see this show--yes, you have to get in line early unless you do a meal deal to get 'priority' seats), past the Beauty and the Beast stage, to Rock n' Roller Coaster with Aerosmith--it's a dark coaster with twists and loops, and Tower of Terror.

Fast Passes are offered at Rock n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. If you get a fast pass, you will NOT miss anything in the pre-ride lines. Sometimes Rock n' Roller Coaster has the Singles line open. So keep that in mind if you don't mind not sitting with your family. I'd suggest riding once with the family and then hitting the singles line.

As you walk back toward the Sorcerer's Hat and then turn right again, you'll enter the Animation courtyard. In here, you can watch animators working on the next movie, Disney Junior show, and the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show--this is a MUST see, though it's dark and Ursula gets big and scary, so be prepared. A little farther to the left is Pixar Place with the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. GET A FAST PASS, but check the return time! This is one ride that you need to wait in the long queue line to see the full effects of the ride. It's totally worth it!

I'm a fan of Muppet Vision 3-D. Sorry, but it probably reflects my age, but I do enjoy the show. And the new Star Tours is a do not miss. For pre-teens, there is a Jedi Training show, to the left of the Star Tours entrance, that boys and girls might enjoy participating in. Every time you go on the ride, the show is random. So try to ride it multiple times. Indiana Jones is good and reflects the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. Lights, Motors, Action Stunt show is okay, but I'm not a car fan, so I was 'meh' about the show.

And that's it in a nutshell, I will admit that we don't do very many of the shows and I don't know a whole lot about them. The Great Movie Ride and the Backlot Tour ride, we do occasionally . . . about once every 4-5 years. It's not one of the rides we really enjoy, since we are fans of the Tower of Terror elevator drop (multiple drops, and different every time!), and the rollercoaster.

Personally, I don't see this park as very 'kid-friendly'. It has a few things that might entertain the kiddos, but not for an extended period of time.

Here's my quick glance spreadsheet notes. Verify this information on site, the shows have changed since I typed this up:
Tower of Terror FP D SO 40"
Rockin' Roller Coaster D FP SO 48"
The Great Movie Ride D SC
Star Tours FP SO 40"
Sounds Dangerous
Indian Jones Epic Stunt FP
Beauty and the Beast
Voyage of the Little Mermaid FP
MuppetVision 3D FP
Extreme Stunt Show
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-Playground
Playhouse Disney Onstage
Backlot Tour SC
Who wants to be a Millionaire FP
One Man's Dream
Magic of Disney Animation

MS--Motion Sickness
FP---Fast Pass
SO---Switching off option

Must sees, in my opinion, are:
  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock n' Roller coaster (singles line)
  • Beauty and the Beast show
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid show
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (your arms will feel like they are falling off afterwards!)
  • Star Tours
  • Muppet Vision 3-D
  • Fantasmic--night time spectacular--totally awesome!!
Food-wise, again, I hate to say it, but there's nothing spectacular here. Oh, the Sci- Fi Drive In movie experience is fun, but the food is okay. We tend to eat at Pizza Planet--with a personal pizza , you also get a small salad. What a great meal deal!

And that's Disney Hollywood Studios in a nutshell.

Later, Peeps!

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