Hollywood Studios

Lights, Camera, Action....
Today we're taking an adventure through old Hollywood, a galaxy far, far away and all with your beloved toy pals... I'm talking all about Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Glitz and Glamour with a Touch of Magic
So how to exactly describe Hollywood Studios? It's a theme park with a little bit old school Hollywood, part thrilling adventures, a hint playful, and just a whole lot of fun!
What seems to be a random assortment of themes blends into Disney's Hollywood Studios. In the old days when we used to visit Hollywood Studios in the 80's, 90's and early 00's the park was like a Disney version of Universal Studios. The park featured working movie lots, a behind the scenes tram "backlot ride" and focused a ton of the glitz and glamour of movies and Hollywood with its numerous stage shows and entertainment options. On our more recent visits in 2015 and 2016 the park was undergoing a huge transition into what it currently is today with the additions of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. During those visits the park was definitely more of a "half day park" at best since there wasn't a ton to do. Thankfully with the new fun land additions that has completed changed!

Old Hollywood Meets NYC
The entrance to the park and its surrounding areas are heavily Hollywood based. With areas called Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake, it's easy to think you've been transported back to sunny SoCal rather than in the middle of Orlando.

In my most honest opinion, I found Hollywood Studios to be more of an "older kid" park. Not that it's a bad thing, but if you have a little one who doesn't measure up to the height restrictions, there's definitely less to do here ride wise. But what the park lacks in ride options for little ones, they make up for in entertainment options.

Here a just a few fun entertainment options that we all enjoyed together as a family or were dubbed as all ages friendly:

Lightning McQueen Racing Academy: This show was a HIT with our little guy. He loves Pixar Cars, so to have an entire show based on his favorite Lightning McQueen was quite amazing. The show features a life sized Lightning animatronic, with screen cameos from his favorites Cars pals from the movies. This show is perfect for any little (or big) lover of the Cars franchise.
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid: We didn't get to see this on our most recent visit, but it was a childhood favorite from the past. It's an indoor, live action stage show featuring your favorite pals from Under the Sea. It's family friendly and definitely a fun stop for all ages.

Disney Jr Dance Party: An energetic dance party featuring some popular Disney Junior stars. It's similar to the Disney California Adventure version and fun for the littlest of your bunch. Also a great way to cool off since once again... indoors! and a good way to get your toddler/little one's energy out since they're able to move about with the show.

Frozen Sing-a-long: Exactly what it sounds like, sing along to your favorite tunes from the film, along with live actors!

Beauty and the Beast show: Another favorite from childhood is this live action stage show. It's another good option for the entire family since there's no height requirement and its a great way to sit, catch a fun show and rest your feet during the busy day. The show has gorgeous sets, costumes and is a classic retelling in a Broadway-esque type of show.

For the older set of kids and the grown ups there's plenty to do around the area. For the sake of keeping this post from turning into a novel, I've just condensed the attractions into the general "Hollywood" area of the park, meaning the non Galaxy's Edge/Toy Story Land parts of the park. I'll also just highlight what we've found unique at Hollywood Studios compared to other Disney Parks around the globe.

Areosmith's Rock n Rollercoaster: This is such a fun ride for the roller coaster lovers out there. You, along with Areosmith have a gig to catch and you embark on a crazy "limo" coaster ride. It's thrilling, has a loop and has everything that a good Disney rollercoaster should have!

Hollywood Tower of Terror: I'd like to point out that this is the original version, the first out of all the Disney Parks around the world to have the attraction. It's also the best version in my personal opinion! It's got all the classic creepy "Twilight Zone" characteristics with a little twist that no other park has copied yet.

Indiana Jones Stunt Show: Unique to Hollywood Studios, this an entertaining stage stunt show! My family used to love watching this on each visit. I do have to advise that there are some frighting aspects in regards to sound/loud explosions and some surprises, so some sensitive little ones or ears may get startled.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away
We were definitely looking forward to check out out "Batuu East" as some have coined it. While we've already experienced Galaxy's Edge over in Disneyland (Read about it HERE) it was exciting to see what differences the WDW would have in store.
The verdict? It's almost an exact carbon copy of our Disneyland version on the west coast. Differences? It feels "smaller?" The space just feels a lot more compact in WDW, but other than that and a few things places in a different location you truly feel like you could be in either Disneyland or WDW at any given moment.
I will note some subtle, but fun differences found here at Hollywood Studios though. There's alcoholic blue and green milk! I don't drink, but my sister who was with us does and she tried the alcoholic blue milk with rum and said it was GOOD!

There's also a few fun magic shots that WDW offers! See below!

Toy Story Land
I think the highlight here at Hollywood Studios has to be Toy Story Land! You're transported into a world filled with your favorite pals from Andy's Toy Box! It's perfectly themed and you can't help but smile when you walk into the vibrant and playful land.
Slinky Dog Dash: SO GOOD! We almost skipped out on this attraction since the wait times were high and we thought it would be just another little roller coaster. But towards the end of the night waits weren't horrible at 45 minutes and we sucked it up to check out what all the hubbub was about. IT'S GOOD. It's not your typical roller coaster! We were genuinely surprised at how fun Slinky Dog Dash was and all of the cute little elements it had. Do not miss this one, the wait is worth it for the fun.
Alien Swirling Saucers: I'm totally biased since I love these little green aliens, but this ride was adorable! The ride is similar to Mater's ride over in Disney California Adventure's Carsland, but you're in little alien saucers instead of a mini tractor. It's cute and a fun little ride. Plus the soundtrack is out of this world!
Toy Story Midway Mania: It's the same version as Disneyland, except for the fun queue decor elements. If you haven't ridden before, its a 3D, interactive game/ride!

Minnie's Seasonal Dine

One of our highlights from our day at Hollywood Studios was the Minnie's Halloween dine at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant. It's a character buffet with the only set Disney pals dressed in Halloween attire that you'll find outside of the Magic Kingdom's Halloween Party! I can't say enough good things about this dining experience. We didn't know what to expect food wise since it's a buffet, but were so surprised at how GOOD the menu options were. We were told the menus rotate seasonally, so we had some frightfully delicious options with specialty theme desserts. This meal was the surprise hit of our trip. We also loved the characters interactions we had since the Cast Members made sure each character would stop by to say hello. We were able to see Minnie before we were seated, then Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy dropped by while we ate and each spent a decent amount of time at our table interacting with all of us. These character meals are such a great way to sit back, get a good meal in and meet the characters all at once.

Overall Thoughts
We had a blast spending the day at Hollywood Studios! It was fun to experience everything with my family. While there wasn't a ton of ride attractions that our little one could go on, he just loved running around the park and soaking in the atmosphere. It was truly a day to remember and we can't wait to create more memories at this park in the future. 💜

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