One of the best mornings you can have in Disney can be had if you have an effective hollywood studios plan. You will want to arrive early, because everyone will be doing the Toy Story Mania dash. I’d recommend getting there no later than 8:15 and if you want to really be at the front of the line, try 8.
Before you begin, decide how many times you want to ride Toy Story Mania. It’s one of our favorite rides, and it potentially can be ridden three times in a day without messing up your schedule too bad. That of course depends on how busy the park is.
Hollywood Studios Rope Drop
Step 1: If you get there early enough, you should be among the first to get fastpasses, and your return trip will be somewhere around 9:50-10:50. Grab the fastpasses and get on the ride. You won’t see the line this short the rest of the day.
Step 2: If you have kids that want to see Buzz and Woody, immediately take them across the street to meet and greet as soon as you get off the ride. This will cost you in time, but you won’t get a better opportunity. You will want to “eyeball it” and make the decision for yourself. The Buzz and Woody line fills up fast and as with all characters, can take up a lot of time.
Step 3: Depending on whether you saw Buzz and Woody or not, you’re immediately high-tailing it over towards the Tower of Terror. If you got an early enough return time on Toy Story, you might be able to get Fastpasses for the Rock N Roller. If you are still 15-20 minutes out, go ahead and ride Tower of Terror. The line might be 15 minutes or so depending on crowd level and how many elevators they are using.
Step 4: Leave this area once you have FP for Rock N Roller and have ridden Tower of Terror. Head back to Toy Story Mania and ride for a 2nd time. When you are finished, you should be able to head BACK and ride Rock N Roller.
Step 5: The first two hours at Hollywood Studios are among my favorite in Disney. Three great rides before lunch, and you do one of them twice. Also, my family is currently a little young for Rock N Roller, so I’ll use a couple fastpasses and sometimes ride that 2 times.
Step 6: Head to lunch. I recommend Pizza Planet for a continued Toy Story feel. Before popping in (it should be around 11 and not packed yet), go to Star Tours and get fastpasses or go to Toy Story Mania IF THEY ARE STILL GIVING OUT FASTPASSES.
Step 7: You should next be able to step outside and watch the Kermit show, then head over to Star Tours.
Step 8: As far as the thrill rides, you’ve now done them. Hollywood Studios is all about the shows at this point. You really have three options:
Option A) Call it a day and take the kids back for naps
Option B) Ride the thrill rides again, though the lines will be very long now
Option C) Plan to watch a few of the many shows Hollywood Studios has to offer.
Which Show to choose?
Indiana Jones, Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Disney Junior, an Extreme Stunt Show and American Idol are among the shows you can see. You’ll have to choose the ones that fit your family, as they are all excellent. A group of teenagers wouldn’t be caught dead in the Disney Junior show, but my 3 year old was fascinated the whole time.
Just understand that it will be tough to see them all. You will have to leave a few on the table. I would also recommend Fantasmic as well, as it is among the best spectaculars in all of Disney. However, that will probably require leaving if you have small kids, as that would be a very long day.
If I was going to pick between the shows, I’d see if you can see Beauty & the Beast and the Little Mermaid. Both of those are excellent and keep you in the “Disney” frame of mind.
Ready to head to Epcot?