Six Legit Ways to Save Time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll have the time of your life. But unfortunately, you’ll also face some challenges.

Time constraints at this park are real, as the average wait for each ride is longer in totality than the amount of time you’ll spend there.

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In other words, you’ll have about 13 hours of park time at most, but the rides come with a composite wait of 16 hours. What should you do?

Here are a few tips to save time at Hollywood Studios.

Skip the shows

Beauty Beast Live

Photo: Gene Duncan

Here’s a hard one to suggest, but you should prioritize the rides at this park.

Most of the shows here re-tell the stories of some of your favorite Disney films. You’ll find recreations of Beauty and the Beast and Frozen as examples.

Indiana Jones

Sure, there’s also the Indiana Jones Epic Spectacular!, which I recommend in a vacuum. However, it’s just not as entertaining as the new rides at the park.

Hollywood Studios has recently opened Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the world’s first Mickey Mouse-based ride.

Toy story land

Photo: Disney

The demand for these attractions ensures that you’ll stand in long lines to experience them.

You can pull up Frozen on your phone while you’re doing that. It’s the better choice than spending 45 minutes waiting for the Frozen show and then watching it.

Stay at an Official Disney Resort

Grand Florida Studios

(Kent Phillips, photographer)

This suggestion is undoubtedly one of the best pro tips for saving time at Hollywood Studios.

When you stay at an official Disney resort, you gain unique amenities like Early Theme Park Entry.

This benefit entitles you to enter Hollywood Studios 30 minutes before regular guests, the ones who aren’t staying at Disney resorts.

Reedy Creek

Credit: Disney

People utilize this benefit the most at Hollywood Studios. So, you’ll need to have a plan to maximize your half an hour.

Most guests head to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The idea is that even if you’re in line with all the other Disney resort guests, you’ll still wait less than an hour.

Disney Genie pricing

Image Credit: Disney

You could theoretically exit Rise of the Resistance only 30 minutes after the park opens.

I recently had a fortunate friend who was off the ride before regular guests could technically enter!

Source: Forbes

You should speak with one of the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Mickey Travels.

They can find you the best Disney hotel and admission ticket deals for your needs! Even better, you won’t have to pay a dime for their services!

Prioritize the New Stuff

Disney World Summer 2020

Image Credit: Disney

I wouldn’t offer this suggestion at any other Disney park on the planet. That’s how differently Hollywood Studios works, at least right now.

Still, I think you should consider skipping some of the older attractions at the park.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and (especially) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are terrific.

Disney World May

Photo: Disney

However, as I type this, the two attractions have required an average wait of nearly three hours for the past week.

The juice may not be worth the squeeze for a ride as short as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. As for Tower of Terror, I think it’s the gold standard at Walt Disney World.

Rock'n'Roller Coaster

Even so, I couldn’t justify waiting two hours for it, given that I’ve ridden hundreds of times previously.

Depending on how often you visit Walt Disney World, you may feel differently. It’s as close to a perfect theme park attraction that the world has ever known.

Should you spend two hours of your precious park time waiting for an attraction from the 1990s, though?

These are the sorts of decisions you’ll face at Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately, the opportunity cost is often high.

Eat Quick Service, Not Table Service

This suggestion fundamentally bothers me because my favorite Disney restaurant, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, resides at Hollywood Studios.


Photo: Disney

Despite this fact, I still suggest that people pick Quick Service rather than Table Service during a visit.

I say this because Table Service dining takes too long at Hollywood Studios.

Photo: Disney

Even when you have an Advanced Dining Reservation, you may wait half an hour before being seated.

Then, the meal will take upwards of an hour, sometimes even more. You cannot waste 90 minutes or more on a meal at this park!

Instead, you should use Mobile Ordering to select your meal. You’ll have plenty of time to order while standing in line for various attractions.

Disneyland young adults

Credit: Disney

After you depart the attraction, you can head to the restaurant and signal that you’re ready for the kitchen to prepare the food.

Park pros can be in and out of a restaurant in less than 30 minutes. You’ll appreciate that extra time when you want to ride more stuff.

Visit During the Off-Season

Disney Book with Confidence

Photo: Disney

Disney theme parks don’t have true off-seasons now. For many years, you could target times when virtually no one would be at the parks.

There’s no such time on the annual calendar now. The closest proximity would be in mid-January after the holidays have ended.

Hollywood Studios

Photo: Disney

You can find other times on the calendar when crowds are lower, though. For example, after New Year’s week, Walt Disney World slows down until mid-March.

The first half of May and the second half of August are other excellent times. Currently, September rivals mid-January in terms of traffic as well.

Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary

So, you can save valuable park time simply by visiting during the slow periods on the calendar. The lines will be shorter then.

Buy Disney Genie+ and/or Lightning Lane

Yeah, I know. Some people loathe this idea and bristle at the very thought of paying for what we used to call FastPasses.

Well, you can spend the entire time you’re not complaining at Disney about the concept of paid FastPass.

When you’re there, you’re on the clock, so to speak. Every second counts, and the harsh truth is that Hollywood Studios comes with a time crunch.

Rise of the Resistance

Photo: Disney

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance alone could take three hours to experience, possibly even longer depending on when you visit.

You’ll have somewhere between 12 and 15 hours for the entire park day. As such, you gotta deal in reality when you’re there. Pragmatism matters.

Even though you may hate Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane in theory, you’ll appreciate both when you have them at Hollywood Studios.

A Lightning Lane at Rise of the Resistance could shave 70 percent off your wait time.

Meanwhile, virtually all the top attractions at Hollywood Studios are available via Disney Genie+.

This is the one park where it’s a no-brainer purchase, no matter how you resent the idea.


Photo: Mickey Blog

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