November 17, 2011

Top 10 Don’t Miss and Top 10 to Skip: Hollywood Studios

Note: This Post has 4 Parts

These Top 10 lists are aimed at adults visiting WDW – especially if you only have a very short amount of time (2 days or so) to see all 4 parks.  Except for when I was visiting as a young'un myself and went with my younger brothers and family, I have never been to WDW with children, so I cannot advise for those with young families.

Here are my Top 10 List of Must-Do’s and Top 10 for things you could Skip in Hollywood Studios (if you have limited time in WDW), plus my Quick Serve food faves for those of us without a minute to spare.


Do not miss Toy Story Mania!!
Top 10 Must-Do:

  1. Toy Story Midway Mania – Get your Fast Pass for this as early as possible. The line is often 100 mins or so long.  Absolutely love this ride/game though!!
  2. Tower of Terror – You could go on ToT more than 5 times in one day and have a different ride experience every time. The hotel lobby is so gorgeously decorated with amazing attention to detail. I notice something new every time.
  3. Aerosmith Rock ‘N Rollercoaster – True roller coaster with inversions, even. Except indoors, dark, with black lights, and Aerosmith music blasting. Doesn't get much more rockin' than that.
  4. Star Tours – Newly re-done and opened within this past year, it’s awesome.
  5. Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show – Very amazing car, motorcycle, and water stunt show. Love it.
  6. Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular – Another great stunt show, been around for ages, but always great. If you want to sit in the front and possibly get an “extra” spot on stage, then get there early. If not, any seat or even standing room is a fine view.
  7. Studio Backlot Tour – Get to see some very neat stuff from big films, backstage areas at WDW, costumes, props, etc. And there totally isn’t an earthquake and oil tanker explosion resulting in a huge waterfall and flood. I didn’t tell you that.
  8. Great Movie Ride – This is what Hollywood Studios is all about – the movies. I never miss it and it’s usually my last ride of the night at HS.
  9. Muppets 3D – Silly 3D show, a little dated, but I just love the Muppets.
  10. Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage – excellent stage show musical.  Even if you pop in for just a few minutes of it, it’s worth checking out.

Skip Fantasmic! if you're strapped for time.
...sorry Mickey!
Top 10 to Skip:
  1. Fantasmic! – Yes, I said it. Skip this. I went once, ever. We got there early (1.5 hrs in advance) as advised…And was underwhelmed. It's neat, but you really need to have a good seat if you want to see. If you only have 2 nights in WDW, spend them at Wishes and Illuminations. 
  2. American Idol Experience – Never been to this, and I don’t feel like I’ve ever missed anything. I may check this out as an audience member this trip upcoming, we’ll see.
  3. Voyage of the Little Mermaid – Went to this once. Regretted it instantly.
  4. Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey – Should be called Sounds like Not Much, it’s closed so often for repairs! I’ve only been to it once, many years ago. Skipperoo.
  5. Magic of Disney Animation – Take it or leave it. I’m ambivalent, so if you’re pressed for time then it’s safe to skip. If you have some time, check it out.
  6. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream – This one is nice, you can walk through at your own pace. Very easy to get sucked into reading all the fascinating facts about Walt Disney’s life though and before you know it 20+ minutes is gone. Not good for those of us on such a tight time-budget.
  7. Disney Jr. Live – No idea what this is but I always see way too many strollers outside it to ever set foot in the door.
  8. Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – It’s a neat playground for little kids. I remember my little brothers spent a long time climbing around the leaves and stuff when they were small (aww).
  9. Pixar Parade – Again, I’m not a fan of parades. You’ll see some of it because you won’t have a choice. It will probably block your path to get to where you’re trying to go. Always does for me, especially HS – so frustrating.
  10. Disney Channel Rocks – Well since I’m not 12 and therefore not a fan of Hannah Montana or whoever is doing stuff for Disney these days, this is an obvious “skip” from me.

The quick-serve food options at HS don’t thrill me, so I don’t eat here very often except for snacks. I would much rather eat at just about any of the other Parks, so my fave food list is pretty short.

Food Favorites (Quick-serve since you don’t have time to sit for long!):
  1. Toluca Legs Turkey Co. (Sunset Blvd) – if you didn’t get your turkey leg yet, now’s your chance.
  2. The Writer's Stop (Streets of America) - had a fantastic iced coffee and cookie break here one day this past July. It was tucked away, quiet, and cozy. Much needed caffeine break that hot afternoon!
  3. Backlot Express – Nothing fancy, sandwiches etc. I usually get a snack before or after the Indiana Jones show.
  4. Studio Catering Co. – same as Backlot Express more or less. I just get a quick sandwich on my way to or from Lights, Motors, Action or the Studio Backlot Tour. I don’t need anything fancy at this point in my day, just need fuel to keep moving!!


  1. I generally agree w/ this list, but I'd add Starring Rolls to the food recommendations list for the cupcakes alone. Also, their ham or turkey sandwiches look more appealing than most of the fast food fare at counter service locations.

    For The Voyage of the Little Mermaid- did you hate all of it or just the overall attraction? I *love* the opening, black-light Under the Sea number, but could skip out on the rest. I always get stuck waiting 15 min. to get in though, so I end up skipping it more often than not.

  2. I didn't know what to expect with Little Mermaid, but it seemed so sad compared to the other shows. I ended up sort of feeling bad that there were really talented actors on stage. Thought it would be more of a "Voyage" not a "sit there and cringe". Last time I saw it was years ago though, I just remember the feeling I had walking away rather than any one specific thing - you know what I mean?

    Also re: Starring Rolls: thanks for the tip! I got a great cookie and iced coffee/cappuccino thing at HS last time (July '11), that I'd wanted to mention above, but can't seem to find where that was or what it was called. Didn't think it was S.R., but maybe. Hm.

    Do you know? A little coffee shop looking place with board games and cozy chairs?

  3. Just got my answer via Twitter - The Writer's Stop. Added above :)