Just like the other adult guides, this is a reference to what should absolutely be included if you’re heading to Hollywood Studios on an adults-only trip.
- What the essential attractions and must-dos are
- A few ways to approach touring this park, and FastPass+ recs
- and my favorite restaurants, eats and drinks you may want to check out while in the park
Hollywood Studios is great for adults – it is one of the easier parks to tour!
This means that you hopefully won’t be completely worn out, can enjoy plenty of relaxing downtime, and even do a half day and accomplish a ton.
There aren’t as many actual rides at this park as others, which is also a benefit for your wait times.
This means that you can reserve your 3 FastPasses for major headliners, and only have a couple left to do.
You can attempt to grab more FastPasses for those rides after your initial three are used, or aim your touring strategies so that you really won’t have to encounter many waits at all!
This will leave you with plenty of time to catch to see plenty of the classic shows in the park, and just generally enjoy the parks ambiance. We love just hanging out at this park, and we’re starting to notice more and more catered towards adults (like the Walt Disney Exhibit, pop-up bars and lounges all over the park, and lots of great gift shops).
Most important: this is a park you won’t need a huge plan for, it’s the smallest park, and there’s not a lot of pressure to arrive at park opening or early.
In fact, we recommend planning for either a shorter day or half a day if you’ve been before. Use your other half of the day to hang out at have dinner at the Boardwalk or Disney Springs, or park hop over to EPCOT for the evening.
However, there’s no need to necessarily get to rope drop if you despise being up at 7am on vacation (no thanks), and you will likely have time for sit down meals and a happy hour in the park.
Park Arrival, Touring Strategies, and FastPass
If you are an early bird, by all means enter the park as soon as it opens. You’ll likely want to head straight to Toy Story Mania or Slinky Dog Dash and ride whichever ride you did not secure a FastPass for.
Otherwise, feel free to arrive late. You’ll want to book your FastPasses to start when you arrive, and in as close of consecutive time slots as possible.
The three FastPasses I recommend at this time is:
1. Tower of Terror
2. Rock n Roller Coaster
3. Slinky Dog Dash or Toy Story Mania (life is hard, isn’t it?)
When we book, we intentionally put the end of the first Fastpass window when we are going to arrive, and use our first two on Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
These two attractions are right next to each other, and this way you will be able to ride them back to back if your timing is right. These two rides are tucked back in the park, so this way you won’t have to backtrack (saving your feet some energy).
We arrive at the park at 10am.
Tower of Terror is booked for 9:30-10:30am.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is booked for 10:30-11:30am.
By the time we enter the park, maybe grab a coffee and then ride Tower of Terror, our window for Rock N Roller Coaster has then opened.
If you are still newer to FastPass, make sure to check out my post on Common FastPass+ Mistakes to Avoid.
The List of Essential, Do Not Miss Attractions:
1. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
3. Star Tours
4. Toy Story Mania
5. Slinky Dog Dash
6. Walt Disney Presents Exhibit (formerley One Man’s Dream) – this is a great walk through exhibit for adults, showcasing Walt Disney’s legacy.
And if it’s your first time, I recommend catching all of the following shows as you can (that interest you, of course):
Photo by Scott Ellis
7. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectactular!
8. Muppet Vision 3D
9. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
10. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Seeing all 4 shows can end up taking a chunk out of your day, so if you don’t have a park hopper and are planning out a full day, you may be able to experience all of them.
It’s a small park so…we’ve covered most of the attractions.
You can definitely skip the Disney Junior show, and the Frozen Sing-Along if you’re not a Frozen fan (but if you are, it’s pretty cute and hilarious, and you should check it out).
There aren’t too many classic foods or snacks at Hollywood Studios, but more restaurants. There’s nothing in particular I’m compelled to tell you to not miss.
The Carrot Cake Cookie is available at the Trolley Car Cafe (Starbucks), and is a bit of a cult classic, but does have mixed reviews.
A few classic restaurants are in Hollywood Studios, and we include the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater on this list.
The Sci-Fi Dine In is a darker indoor restaurant, where you’ll eat in cars and watch classic drive in movie clips on a screen in front of you.
The food isn’t anything to write home about or waste your DDP credits on, but it’s a fun and classic setting. We usually go once a year and grab some appetizers (the spinach artichoke dip is an excellent choice!).
Photo by Norm Lanier
The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is a restaurant themed to be in the 1950’s, like you’re eating in “mom’s” home. It’s comfort food all the way (meatloaf and fried chicken), and the waiters are in full character. It’s a hoot, and there’s also a fun lounge here to grab drinks in.
Looking to go a little nicer and more adult? The Hollywood Brown Derby is the signature restaurant in the park, and one of the more affordable and enjoyable signature restaurants at that.
If you’re looking for a great meal at the end of the day, this is where you’ll want to make a reservation.
There are drink stands and bars popping up all over Hollywood Studios in the past few years, so if you want to get your drink on at a park, this is probably your second best option outside of EPCOT. I think the idea behind this is to get the exhausted parents lubed up enough to say “f*** it, get all the Star Wars merchandise you want” to the kids, but we don’t have to worry about that as adults…just ourselves.
Baseline Tap House is the Hollywood Studios version of a craft beer bar in a park. If it’s a nice day out, there’s a great patio to enjoy a brew out on. However, we didn’t find anything remarkable about this spot, and would rather be walking around the park with a beer or at the spot I’m about to mention.
…the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.
You will see an outdoor patio outside the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, and here is where they are serving plenty of delicious drinks and small plates.
And there are wonderful and creative offerings like cheese and meat plates, sliders, and martini and margarita FLIGHTS.
Yep – MARGARITA FLIGHTS.
You should definitely plan on making a stop here if you like your cocktails. It’s a great spot to people watch as well. For the perfect ending to your day, I suggest a happy hour here while you let the crowds die down, and then go re-ride your favorite attractions before you see Fantasmic.
There are great gift spots all over the park, with my favorite being anything Pixar. Similar to Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, all of the buildings on Hollywood Blvd when you enter the park are shops.
And of course for you Star Wars fans, there’s a huge Star Wars shop when you exit Star Tours.
Lastly, you’ll want to end your day by seeing Fantasmic, or Star Wars Galactic Spectacular if you’re a Star Wars fan. I say or because Hollywood Studios schedules these close together, and it’s hard to catch the entirety of both shows.
Unless you’re a huge Star Wars fan, I say do Fantasmic if it’s your first time. It’s an amazing show.
And if you’re determined to do both and only have one day – you can scurry your way out of Fantasmic and try to catch a spot for a decent portion of the Star Wars show.
Hollywood Studios is the smallest park, and been going through tons of changes over the years. There’s been some negative press since there’s been so much construction with Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land and rides and shops they’ve closed as a result. But the park is so classic, and the attractions there are top notch. We think Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Toy Story Mania are three of the best and most creative rides at Disney World.
You will absolutely have an enjoyable day!
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As always, I want to hear your thoughts, questions, and anything you can think of about what it’s like touring Hollywood Studios as adults.
See you real soon!