Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an awesome place to visit during your Walt Disney World vacation. Read about our best Hollywood Studios FastPass Recommendations plus an example of a Hollywood Studios Itinerary that is perfect for families.
About Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has seen the most evolution in the shortest time. If you are my age you may remember it as MGM. I remember visiting as a kid and loving all the behind the scenes views of movie magic. My dad and I were picked to participate in one of the boat scenes and it’s a moment I will never forget.
In the last decade Hollywood Studios has seen a lull but that is all about to change. With the opening of Toy Story Land (June 2018), Star Wars Land (August 29, 2019), and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Attraction(2020) Hollywood Studios is becoming a full day park full of attractions and entertainment your entire family can enjoy.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Recommendations
- Any Toy Story attraction in this order: Slinky Dog, Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucer
- Tower of Terror
- Rock and Roller Coaster
- Star Tours
Quick Overview of Disney’s FastPass System
A FastPass is a virtual line that allows less wait times at attractions and is free to all guests with a park ticket. You reserve your time window for particular attractions and visit during your time. This allows more time to explore the parks and less time waiting.
I have shared step by step on how to set-up your FastPass and get you started in my post, Disney World FastPass Guide: How to Use It, What To Do, + How to Make it Work for You.
How a Visit to Walt Disney World Has Changed
I have shared this in previous FastPass posts so I won’t go on too much but you need to know that Walt Disney World has changed. A visit to MGM, like I did in the early 90’s, is not the same as a visit today.
The main reason I stress planning before you arrive at the parks is to save you time and money. If you visit often you may not mind missing an attraction or two, but if this is your first visit or once in a lifetime, you want to enjoy the best of Disney.
It is no secret that a visit to Walt Disney World is pricey, if you arrive without a plan you will spend your day walking around and not experiencing attractions or waiting in very long lines. This is not the best way to spend your day and you will feel like the money was not worth it.
Your time is just as valuable! Making FastPass reservations before you arrive will save planning time as you enter the park, it will save you less time waiting in lines, and it will help you enjoy the visit.
Let’s be honest a family vacation at Walt Disney World can be stressful-having a plan helps reduce the chaos and keeps everyone happy.
Things to Know for Making Hollywood Studios FastPass Reservations
- Purchase your tickets before you arrive at the park and link them to your My Disney Experience account before your FastPass reservation day. There is also an App that you can use while you are at the park.
- Guests staying on-site at a Walt Disney World resort can book their FastPass reservations 60 days in advance. Guests staying off-site can book 30 days in advance. This starts at 7:00 AM Eastern.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios has tiered attractions. This means you pick 1 FastPass from Group A and 2 FastPass from Group B. More on the Tiers below.
- You can book 3 FastPass reservations per day/per park in advance. During your visit when all 3 have been used you can pick a 4th. As you use your FastPass you can continue to book more, one at a time.
- FastPass attractions will run out during the day. The most popular attractions will run out 60 days in advance.
- FastPass, FastPass+, and FP+ are all the same thing.
- I always suggest going over all the attractions at the park with your family. Then create a list of attractions you would like to experience.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tiers
As of August 29, 2019 the FastPass Tiers are changing. I have added them to their new tiers in bold. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening on August 29 but as of now they are not offering FastPass for the Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction. Any guest making a FastPass reservation for a visit after August 29th will have to use the updated tiers.
Choose 1 from Tier 1:
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucer
- Toy Story Mania
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (As of 8/29/19)
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (As of 8/29/19)
Choose 2 from Tier 2:
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (Will be Tier 1 as of 8/29/19)
- Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Will be Tier 1 as of 8/29/19)
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- MuppetVision 3D
- Star Tours
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Disney Junior Dance Party
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tips
- Toy Story Land are the hottest FastPass reservations and they are going quick. I suggest Slinky Dog, Toy Story Mania, then Alien Saucer for your FastPass reservations. You can only make one but start in that order.
- Arrive early and walk to Toy Story Land to ride the rides you do not have a FastPass for. Follow the same order as above but skip the one you have a FastPass.
- Don’t make a FastPass reservation for something you are not interested in riding or experiencing. If you have little kids you may not want a Tower of Terror FastPass.
- Save shows for later in the day. Typically you do not need a FastPass for shows and by mid-day you may want to sit and take a break.
- There are a few attractions that rarely need FastPass. Muppet Vision 3D is typically a short wait but it is one of our favorite shows at Hollywood Studios and I always seeing it. Indiana Jones show and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage also rarely need FastPass reservations.
- From Tier 2 you want to book Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
- Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror tend to be best for school age children and up. Although Tower of Terror has a height of 40 inches, it can be scary for most preschool age children. Star Tours is not scary and most kids enjoy it.
UPDATE- With the updated Tiers you will have to choose a Toy Story attraction or Rock and Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror. If you want to experience them all I suggest making a FastPass for Tower of Terror or Rock and Roller Coaster later in the day and visit Toy Story immediately when the park opens.
We visited Hollywood Studios in December and didn’t have a FastPass for the Toy Story attractions and were able to ride them in the first 1.5 hours. Read about our day at Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Families
This is an example of an Disney’s Hollywood Studios itinerary for families. I like to write down my plans and you can use this worksheet to create one for your family.
Check the opening time of the park before you plan your day. Lately they are letting people into the park early to control the crowds at Toy Story Land, this can always change but plan accordingly.
This Hollywood Studios itinerary is based on a 9:00am opening.
7:30-7:45: Take the bus from Resort to Hollywood Studios. Consider time to pack your bag for the day, walk to the bus stop, bus ride, and walking to park entrance. This can often take more time than anticipated.
8:20-8:30: Line up at Hollywood Studios entrance. While in line we typically eat an on the go breakfast.
9:00: Park Opens!! This is the order we did all the rides including our FastPass and meals.
- Walk to Toy Story Land: Ride first 2 attractions that we do not have FastPass for.
- Ride Slinky Dog (FastPass 9:00-10:00)
- Star Tours
- Lunch at Backlot Express
- Tower of Terror (FastPass 12:00-1:00)
- Rock N Roller Coaster (FastPass 1:00-2:00)
- Shows or Characters, Walk Around and Explore Park/Toy Story Land
- Any Attractions we missed or wanted to ride again
Disney Hollywood Studios has Star Wars characters and shows. Make time to meet the Characters at Star Wars Launch Bay.
The Lightning McQueen racing show is a great place for preschool kids. It has a Cars themed show and meet and greet. Learn more about it from Simply Bessy.
You can also meet the Disney Junior characters and should if you are visiting with a preschool child.
We picked lunch at Backlot Express due to the location during our itinerary. There are many other restaurants that offer better choices. We like PizzeRizzo, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
This plan requires a bit of walking back and forth due to the opening of Toy Story Land. The park itself is not very large and the walking will be worth it to see the characters you would like.
Disney Hollywood Studios is getting better and better. The next few years will be a great time to visit with your family. I hope these Hollywood Studios FastPass recommendations help your family plan a great family vacation.
Leave a comment if you have a question or just want to chat!
More Walt Disney World Planning Tips:
- Disney World FastPass Tiers + 7 Tips to Get You Started
- What to Expect at ‘Ohana Breakfast at the Polynesian
- Why You Should Plan a Non-Park day during your Disney Vacation and What to do