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Best Hollywood Studios Rides & Attractions Guide (2024)

No visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be complete without doing its top rides and attractions. In this guide, we are going to give you a complete list of Hollywood Studios Rides, Attractions, Shows, and other Entertainment. Then we are going to tell you the best rides and rank every one of them.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides happy guests on Slinky Dog Dash

Since it opened its doors in 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has had some amazing attractions, but maybe none more so than its current lineup. There has been a dramatic shift in the type of attractions over the last few years, and instead of taking you behind the scenes to see how movies are made, these rides take you into the movies.

Thanks to these new additions, it’s even gotten to the point where I could make the argument that Hollywood Studios now has the best lineup of rides in Walt Disney World, at least at the top. They’ve also changed this park from a potentially 1/2 day destination to one where you could stay 2 full days if you wanted to see everything.

If you have small children, Hollywood Studios isn’t going to be the best park for you, but adults and teens will especially like the rides here as they offer some of the best thrills around.

In order to make the most out of your time, you need to know the best rides and attractions, including height requirements, Genie+ information, as well as which rides to skip. This will help you plan your day in Hollywood Studios right and save you the most time possible.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance first order star destroyer hanger bay

Before we get started, if you are looking for a specific strategy when you visit the park, I suggest you refer to our Hollywood Studios Touring Plans and Itineraries where we give you specific information on the best way to see each of the attractions. We have many 1-Day and 2-Day itineraries there so have a blast!

You also will find our Rope Drop Guide for Hollywood Studios very useful as it’s an essential strategy if you plan on doing all the “big” attractions in a reasonable time. We explain how to do it and what time to be there in the morning.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest updates on all the newest additions to the parks as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

List of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions

Hollywood Studios FastPass Rise of the Resistance queue mission board

Even though Hollywood Studios doesn’t have the most attractions in Disney World, it just very well might have the best. The lineup of rides available is extremely strong and excellent, especially for guests who are looking for thrills.

Right now, Hollywood Studios has 14 attractions. Just think, before the opening of Toy Story Land, 6 of those didn’t even exist yet. That’s quite a difference from where we are now, and it looks like the long wait has paid off!

Here is the complete list of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions:

Hollywood Studios has quite a few rides that are not for small children. Before your visit, make sure to read all the Disney World Height Requirements so you know ahead of time which rides your kids can go on.

How Many Rides are there at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

There are only 9 actual rides at Hollywood Studios in Disney World. There are a total of 14 attractions but there are only 9 rides in a moving vehicle. The rest of the attractions are shows, walking trails or interactive experiences.

Is Hollywood Studios a Half-Day Park?

For a few years in the recent past, Hollywood Studios was a half-day park. It was in the middle of a huge transformation and many of the previous attractions were shuttered for new projects in Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge.

This has changed, however, and since all the new rides have opened up, we are happy to say that Hollywood Studios is once again a full-day park. You especially want to take your time exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, one of the most detailed theme park lands ever created.

If you don’t want to do all the attractions and shows here, you can get by doing a quick highlights tour in a half-day. However, if you are the type of guest that likes to do it all, there is more than enough here to keep you occupied and you will need a full day.

Best Rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Ranked)

Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides Chinese Theater

Of course, as with any theme park, it’s important to know all the must-do attractions at Hollywood Studios before you go. This will help you plan your day so you can concentrate on the best rides first. Once you get the top attractions done, you can concentrate on the rest depending on the time you have left.

The best rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order are:

  1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  2. Tower of Terror
  3. Toy Story Mania!
  4. Slinky Dog Dash
  5. Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run
  6. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  7. Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster
  8. Muppet Vision 3D
  9. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

In order for your visit to Hollywood Studios to be a success, each of the above-mentioned attractions needs to be on your “to-do” list. First concentrate on doing the above list as they are all the top rides at Hollywood Studios. Then do the remaining attractions according to the time you have left.

Millennium Falcon Smuggler's Run cockpit outside

Let’s take a more in-depth look at all the Hollywood Studios rides.

Below we have a brief explanation about each attraction including Genie+ info, thrill level height requirements, what audience they are each good for, and when the best time to visit each of them is.

We also have a number rating for each ride from 1 to 10. 1 means it’s a terrible attraction, while a 10 means it’s one of Disney’s finest. Of course, these ratings are our own, and you might have a completely different list.

Make sure to let us know if you agree with our top rides or if your list looks different in the comments section!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (8/10)

  • Location: Hollywood Blvd (Chinese Theater)
  • Ride Type: Dark Ride, Trackless
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Individual Lightning Lane Selection: No
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 5 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Ride Vehicle side

This is the newest attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opened on March 4, 2020. It is built inside the Chinese Theater in the same building where The Great Movie Ride used to be.

This is the first ride-through attraction ever in a park for Mickey Mouse, and you join him on a wacky adventure with Minnie and Goofy, who is conducting a runaway train. What makes this nice is that it utilizes a new 2 1/2D technology to bring the environments to life in ways you haven’t yet experienced in a theme park attraction.

It also uses the same trackless ride system as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot, which we find makes this ride is even more fun and more unpredictable than expected. It’s great for the whole family, young and old, and Mickey Mouse fans will love it.

While some of the effects could have been done better and we wish there were more animatronic figures throughout the ride, we think this is one of the best attractions in Hollywood Studios and a must-do for everyone.

  • Best Time to Visit: First Hour or Last Hour of the day. Make this ride your priority when entering Hollywood Studios and do this first thing in the morning. Read our Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Guide which has more information on the attraction and what to expect when riding it.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (8.5/10)

  • Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Ride Type: Flight Simulation Ride, Dark
  • Thrill Level: Medium
  • Good For: All Ages, Teens, Adults
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 5 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: 38 inches (97cm)
Millennium Falcon Smuggler's Run Ride droid animatronic

This was the first of the two Galaxy’s Edge rides to open up with this new land. It puts you in the cockpit of the most famous spaceship in cinema history and lets you pilot the Millennium Falcon.

This is a simulator ride that you can think of as a more tricked-out and interactive version of Star Tours. You and 5 other guests will take part in completing a mission for smuggler Hondo Ohnaka, where you each have the role of Pilot, Engineer, or Gunner.

There is some shaking motion, jostling, and drops, so if you are affected by motion sickness this might not be for you. I’d gauge it to how you feel when you ride Star Tours as this is slightly less rough of a ride.

Some people love Smugglers Run and some hate it saying it’s a cheap knockoff of Star Tours. We don’t think it’s the best ride in Hollywood Studios however it’s not only about the actual ride, but the entire experience leading you up to that point. The Smugglers Run ride queue is our favorite of any domestic Disney park, and the Hondo animatronic figure is for sure one of the best we’ve ever seen.

The attraction itself we think is flawed for sure, but still very fun and we only get laughs of joy when we bring friends on it for the first time. It’s not a perfect ride but if you grew up a Star Wars fan you will never forget stepping into the hallways of the Falcon for the first time!

  • Best Time to Visit: First Hour or Last Hour of the day. Smugglers Run has Genie+, but we usually don’t use one on this. Instead, wait to ride Smugglers Run until the last ride hour of park operations on the day you go. The wait times are greatly reduced from the morning or the middle of the day.

Read our Full Guide to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run for more tips and tricks.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (10/10)

  • Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Ride Type: Dark Ride, Trackless
  • Thrill Level: Medium
  • Good For: All Ages, Teens, Adults
  • Individual Lightning Lane Selection: Yes
  • Ride Length: 18 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches (101cm)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance inside shuttle

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the marquee ride for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and has taken the theme park world by storm. This is the most advanced and immersive ride ever built in a theme park, and something that should be at the top of your list to do when visiting the park.

More than just a ride, Rise of the Resistance is an entire experience which includes 4 ride systems, live actors, and dozens of audio animatronics that will all leave you in awe at the realism. This has some of the most amazing effects and spaces I’ve ever seen in an attraction before and for sure belongs right there on the list of the best rides in Hollywood Studios.

The sets are bigger than anything I’ve ever seen in an attraction and everything from the live actors, dozens of audio-animatronics, and special effects are beyond convincing. For 20 minutes, I truly felt as if I had been transported into outer space.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not only the best ride in Hollywood Studios, it’s the best ride in Walt Disney World. The only downsides are the long wait times and the fact that it breaks down too much. However, this ride is so amazing that even those otherwise big problems which would derail other rides, can’t put a dent in Rise of the Resistance.

For more general info about the ride read our Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Guide where we cover all your FAQs and share all the info about the attraction itself. Once you experience this ride for yourself, you will see why it’s become the top attraction in Disney World.

Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster (8.5/10)

  • Location: Sunset Blvd
  • Ride Type: Roller Coaster
  • Thrill Level: High
  • Good For: Teens, Adults
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 90 Seconds
  • Height Requirement: 48 inches (122cm)
Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides Rock n Roller Coaster

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has been around for more than 20 years now, yet it’s still just as fun as on day one! If you like thrills, this is one of the best attractions in Hollywood Studios as it reaches speeds of almost 60 mph, and has inversions too.

The best part though is jamming along with Aerosmith in your headset as you zoom your way through the busy Los Angeles traffic on your way to the concert. We know that it’s an incredibly short ride, clocking in at under 90 seconds in length, but they are some of the most fun 90 seconds you will have in Disney World.

Some other Disney fans are not as high on the ride as us, but we think it offers some of the best thrills in any Disney theme park, period. There is no rush like hearing Love in an Elevator blaring in your ears while zooming up and around Hollywood traffic signs. If you like roller coasters then Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster is a must-do!

  • Best Time to Visit: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster usually has one of the longest lines in Hollywood Studios so to ride it, make sure to use one of your Genie+ selections if using the service. You can also take advantage of the Single Rider line if you don’t mind going solo.

Read our post on the Best Roller Coasters in Disney World to see where Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster lands in the rankings.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (10/10)

  • Location: Sunset Blvd
  • Ride Type: Free Fall Dark Ride
  • Thrill Level: High
  • Good For: Kids, Tweens, Teens, Adults
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 4 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches (101cm)
Disney's Hollywood Studios Attractions Tower of Terror from a distance

The Tower of Terror is another one of those rides that have been in Disney’s Hollywood Studios forever, but it gets better and better with every ride. This used to be the no-brainer best ride in Hollywood Studios and is a timeless classic that shouldn’t be missed by anyone not terribly afraid of heights or drops.

There are no mistakes about it, this is a thrill ride, and if you don’t like closed spaces or big drops, then this is not for you. It’s one of the most beloved attractions in Disney World and this is our favorite version of the Tower of Terror anywhere in the world.

The story is an original tale based on the classic Twilight Zone franchise where guests board a rickety, old maintenance elevator trying to find out what happened to the people who vanished into thin air in the hotel’s elevator shaft.

Everything in the queue is done masterfully, with many hidden details worked in throughout. The pre-show is gripping and the build-up for your ride is almost unbearable. You definitely could make a case that this is the best ride in Hollywood Studios. If you like thrills then you absolutely can’t miss the Tower of Terror!

  • Best Time to Visit: To ride it we recommend making Tower of Terror one of your last rides of the evening. The wait time will be shorter and it’s even better at night when those elevator doors open! It’s also a good Genie+ selection since the wait times can be long. If you don’t have a Genie+ then go in the morning or late in the evening.

Muppet*Vision 3D (8/10)

  • Location: Grand Avenue
  • Ride Type: 3D Show
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 17 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides miss piggy statue outside Muppet Vision 3D

Muppet*Vision 3D has to be one of the most underrated attractions in Walt Disney World and is classic Muppets humor at its finest. Join Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang as they perfect their latest invention: “Muppet*Vision.”

This 3D show is an all-around good time that will have you laughing at all the jokes and gags the film has to offer every time you go. Even if you’ve seen it 20 times, the “cheap 3D tricks” never get old.

There are so many people that just skip Muppet Vision when they come to the park, and I’m sorry that today’s younger generation just doesn’t relate as much to these characters. This show is genius and a true masterpiece of creator Jim Henson and we hope it never goes away!

  • Best Time to Visit: Don’t worry about lines here, it’s very easy to get into throughout the whole day, however the afternoons are best so you can enjoy the air conditioning.

Slinky Dog Dash (8.5/10)

  • Location: Toy Story Land
  • Ride Type: Roller Coaster
  • Thrill Level: Medium
  • Good For: All Ages, Kids, Teens, Adults
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 2 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: 38 inches (97cm)
Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Attractions Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash opened in 2018 with Toy Story Land and immediately jumped to being the most popular attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Rise of the Resistance has now taken over that title, but the lines are still incredibly long every morning at rope drop.

Andy built the Slinky Dog Dash coaster with his Dash and Dodge Mega Coaster Kit that you now have the pleasure of building. It’s not as thrilling or intense as Rock ‘n’ Rolle coaster, and even if you are normally hesitant, you will still enjoy this. It’s incredibly smooth and very fun while surrounded by all the Toy Story Land theming. It’s even fun for teens and adults for its sneaky thrill factor.

While I love the idea of a Toy Story coaster, I think some of the potential was not fulfilled in the end. We do get the nice show scene at the end with Wheezy, but I would have liked to see more throughout the ride.

Riding it at night is awesome and helps include it among the best attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  • Best Time to Visit: This should be your first Genie+ selection and we highly recommend getting one if you are going to ride it. If not, you should do this at rope drop or make it the last ride of the night to experience the amazing lighting.

Toy Story Mania! (9/10)

  • Location: Toy Story Land
  • Ride Type: Dark Ride, Trackless
  • Thrill Level: Medium
  • Good For:
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 4-5 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Hollywood Studios Genie+ Toy Story Mania! entrance

Toy Story Mania! is a 3D attraction/game hybrid in the Toy Story universe where guests shoot targets and accumulate points based on how they do. The points system is a similar idea to Smugglers Run but executed much better.

Kids who are used to the world of gaming will immediately feel at home, but it’s fun for guests of all ages. It has an easy learning curve and even friends and family I’ve been with who are in their 60’s and 70’s have had a great time.

You and 3 other people enter the ride vehicle with 2 people on each side. The vehicle then spins and flies through 5 different show scenes where the goal is for you and your partner to clear as many of the targets on the screen as possible, all the while competing against each other and the rest of the guests in the park.

Our only complaint is that they should add new scenes from time to time to mix things up. Think about how much more replay value it would get if the scenes were random and you didn’t know which ones you were getting each time!

It’s a blast and definitely one of the best rides in Hollywood Studios! Don’t forget to stop for a minute and watch the amazing Mr. Potato animatronic do his comedy skits.

Best Time to Visit: While not as busy as it used to be, it makes a nice Genie+ choice, but usually not necessary. In the morning and evening, the wait time is minimal. The queue is mostly all air-conditioned so even if you have to wait, it’s not bad.

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (8/10)

  • Location: Echo Lake
  • Ride Type: Dark Ride, Trackless
  • Thrill Level: Medium
  • Good For: All Ages, Kids, Teens, Adults
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 4-5 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches (97cm)
Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides R2-D2 in Star Tours queue

Star Wars is now one of the oldest attractions left in Hollywood Studios and a classic that all ages love. This is the original Star Wars flight simulator ride, and it even outshines Smugglers Run in many ways.

Guests are loaded into a 3D motion simulator where they are then brought to two random Star Wars locations on a mission. Locations now even include planets found in The Rise of Skywalker, The Last Jedi, and The Force Awakens, and the visuals have been refreshed in HD.

This Hollywood Studios attraction puts you right in the middle of the Star Wars universe and will wow you with special effects, music, and 3D technology you would come to expect.

Many would argue this is a better ride than Smugglers Run, and while I’m not willing to go that far, it’s still a must-do for most guests and has withstood the test of time.

  • Best Time to Visit: Genie+ reservations are usually available for Star Tours, though they usually aren’t necessary if other E-Ticket attractions are available. It’s not a good choice to rope drop, just ride standby in the afternoon or evening.

The Rest

Alien Swirling Saucers (4/10)

  • Location: Toy Story Land
  • Ride Type: Spinning Ride
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: Small Children, Kids, Tweens
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Ride Length: 90 seconds
  • Height Requirement: 32 inches (81cm)
Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides Alien Swirling Saucers

Alien Swirling Saucers is relatively new to Hollywood Studios, opening up in 2018 with the Toy Story Land expansion.

This is your typical spinning ride, on the same type of system that the teacups use. If you’ve been out to Disney California Adventure then you’ll recognize the similarities between Alien Swirling Saucers and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, as it’s almost an identical clone.

It’s going to appeal to kids more than adults and is not a must-do for guests without families. If you suffer from motion sickness, this is not for you.

Let’s face it, Alien Swirling saucers is a poorly done spinning ride that you could find at almost any traveling carnival or local amusement park. I mean they have “The Claw” hanging from the ceiling, how hard would it be to make it lower down every now and then over the spinning guests?

I was really excited about its potential since Hollywood Studios has very few rides for small kids, but the design fell flat on this one. Easily the worst attraction in Hollywood Studios.

  • Best Time to Visit: If you do decide to ride it, try doing it in the morning when you are visiting Toy Story Land and the lines are still low. Don’t waste a Genie+ reservation here.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy (7/10)

  • Location: Sunset Blvd
  • Ride Type: Cars Show
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: Small Children, Kids, Adults
  • Genie+: No
  • Ride Length: 10 Minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Lightning McQueen Racing Academy Hollywood studios

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a somewhat attraction/show hybrid based on the popular Cars franchise where Lightning himself teaches you and the audience how to race.

It’s a nice attraction and has a full-sized Lightning McQueen animatronic figure onstage taking you through the show. There is a huge wrap-around screen that is the focal point of the show where the track and other race cars whiz by.

The Lightning McQueen animatronic is really impressive and fun to watch, and there are definitely some really fun moments and effects. Both adults and kids will find it fun and entertaining, but it’s just missing a little “something” to make it a true must-do attraction.

  • Best Time to Visit: This show appeals to the whole family and is a great air conditioning break in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. Don’t worry about getting in, there is hardly ever a long line.

Star Wars: Launch Bay (5/10)

  • Location: Animation Courtyard
  • Ride Type: Walkthrough Exhibits, Costumes, Props, Character Meets
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Ride Length: Self-Guided Walkthrough
Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Attractions Star Wars Launch Bay

This is an attraction in Hollywood Studios that absolutely can’t be skipped if you are a Star Wars fan. Located in the Animation Courtyard, it’s essentially one big Star Wars exhibit that is full of props and replicas from the films, along with a gift shop.

They have everything from Jedi and Sith lightsabers to speeders and even stormtrooper helmets on display. The nice thing is that it’s constantly updated with more props from the latest films and shows, meaning you could come back time and time again to see what’s new.

Another big part of the Launch Bay is the Star Wars Character Meets, where you can get your picture taken with Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and BB-8. There is no better feeling than meeting Darth Vader for the first time.

Non-Star Wars fans will not find this “museum/exhibit” fun or interesting. At least in Galaxy’s Edge, there are attractions and fun theming all around to draw you in, the Launch Bay is basically just a big exhibit of Star Wars props and replicas.

  • Best Time to Visit: No Genie+ is required and you can tour it at your own speed, whenever you like. We recommend an afternoon visit though to rest from the heat.

Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie (6.5/10)

  • Location: Echo Lake
  • Ride Type: Film
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 15 minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Mickey Shorts theater

In the last few years, the new animated Mickey Mouse shorts have been all the rage, and now the Mickey Shorts Theater is home to an original animated short “Vacation Fun.” This is a straight-up film inside a theater.

These animated shorts are done in the same style as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and they take a look at Mickey and Minnie’s favorite vacation memories.

Even though there isn’t anything “special” about this attraction we really enjoy the cartoons and find them very funny. We might have toned down the “Disney World commercial” aspect of the film, but overall it’s a fun show that the whole family will enjoy.

  • Best Time to Visit: There isn’t usually a long line for the Mickey Shorts Theater, so any time of day is fine to visit. We prefer going in the afternoon since it gives you a nice air-conditioned break from the heat.

Walt Disney Presents (7.5/10)

  • Location: Animation Courtyard
  • Ride Type: Walkthrough Exhibits, Film, Costumes, Props, Character Meets
  • Thrill Level: Low
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Ride Length: Self-Guided Tour, Film 15 minutes
  • Height Requirement: Any height
Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Attractions Walt Disney Presents DCA Model

Walt Disney Presents is a walkthrough exhibit taking you through the History of Walt Disney himself, his animation, and how he started the theme parks. Good for guests of all ages, and extremely interesting to see.

You will find props, artifacts, and models of theme park icons such as Spaceship Earth, Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the original Mr. Lincoln audio-animatronic. The props on display rotate from time to time, so pop in every visit and see what’s new. There is also a short film called One Man’s Dream which explains the life of Walt Disney and his vision.

Any space that is dedicated to the history of the man behind all the films and theme parks, is a winner in my book. The film at the end is outstanding and everything here will make you appreciate the parks more with each visit.

Best Time to Visit: This attraction is not usually busy, so anytime is ok to visit. We recommend going in the afternoon to get out of the heat. No Genie+ is available, just show up and start looking around.

Shows & Entertainment

Indiana Jone Epic Stunt Spectacular getting update

Almost as much as we love the rides in Hollywood Studios, we also love the park’s entertainment offerings. It has a wide variety of top-notch stage shows, walk-around entertainment, and 3 nighttime shows too.

Disney is constantly offering new shows and entertainment in Hollywood Studios, even offering various seasonal shows.

We’ve made this list in alphabetical order, listing the location, type, show length, description and more for each one. We’ve also given each of the shows a score from 1-10 so you can see where they rank.

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage (8.5/10)

  • Location: Sunset Blvd
  • Type: Live Stage Show (Musical)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Show Length: 25 Minutes

Normally we are more for the rides than the stage shows when visiting any Disney park, but Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage is an exception. Since the show is only 30 minutes long, it is a condensed re-telling of the classic love story, but the music, choreography, and storytelling are top-notch.

Of all the stage shows in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we’d put Beauty and the Beast in second place behind another more action-packed show you’ll read about later on. But it’s easily the best musical in the park.

Best Time to Visit: You can get a Genie+ for it, but if you do it early in the day you won’t have a problem. We recommend that if possible because it is an outdoor show and it gets very hot. Save some of the indoor ones for later in the day.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (9.5/10)

Indiana Jone Epic Stunt Spectacular Sign
  • Location: Echo Lake
  • Type: Live Show (Action, Stunts)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Show Length: 30 Minutes

Ever since I was a kid, this has been my favorite Disney stage show in any of the parks. This is a stunt show with live actors, performing film-like stunts you would see in a movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark. In fact, the 3 scenes they perform are all taken from the classic Indy film.

From the moment it opens with Indy having to navigate through the temple for the golden idol, all the way to the last scene where he fights the monstrous guard, this show will have you on the edge of your seat!

It is now the oldest attraction left in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and even though we would like to see it updated soon, it is still a classic and worth going to see every time you come back. Don’t miss what is hands down the best show in Hollywood Studios!

  • Best Time to Visit: First or Last Showing of the day. It gets very hot in that section of the park, especially with the explosions, so make sure to do the first show of the day or the last show. Genie+ is available, but not necessary.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along (7.5/10)

  • Location: Echo Lake
  • Type: Live Stage Show (Sing-Along Musical)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Show Length: 30 Minutes

This is your classic Disney musical sing-along show, complete with the cast of Disney’s smash hit Frozen. The show is set up as the Royal Historians of Arendelle retell the story of Frozen, with the cast singing your favorite songs from the film. It’s a little light on the story as many parts are left out, but it’s only 25 minutes, so not enough time to tell everything.

The show is fine, we just don’t happen to like it quite as much as the Beauty and the Beast show which is pulled together more tightly, and we prefer the songs there to here. One thing this show does have going for it though is the theater. It’s the best in Hollywood Studios and very comfortable after being on your feet all day.

Overall it’s an enjoyable show, with some funny humor thrown in that adults will appreciate.

Best Time to Visit: Afternoon/Evening. If your family is huge Frozen fans then this is a must-do, otherwise, come for an A/C break if you are in the area.

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (8/10)

Disney's Hollywood Studios Attractions Jedi Training with Kylo Ren and Darth Vader
  • Location: Echo Lake
  • Type: Live Stage Show (Interactive)
  • Good For: Small Children, Tweens
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 20 Minutes

(Temporarily Closed) If you have young kids who are Star Wars fans, this is a dream come true for them. Every day dozens of children are chosen for the Jedi Training show where they can go on stage and learn to wield a lightsaber. Then they come face to face with the dark side and use the training that they learned.

It’s really a cool show and something we would have loved to do as children for sure! The special effects are cool, and so is the big payoff at the end. It does get very hot here in the middle of the day, so make sure you go to one of the first couple of shows if you can fit it in.

  • Best Time to Visit: Early in the Day. Parents can register their children over by Adventures Outpost in Echo Lake. Make sure to get there as early to park opening as you can as spots fill up fast, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Disney Junior Dance Party (6/10)

  • Location: Animation Courtyard
  • Type: Live Show (Musical)
  • Good For: Small Children
  • Genie+: Yes
  • Show Length: 25 Minutes

Disney Junior Dance Party is just what it sounds like, a dance party with characters from the Disney Junior shows. DJ Deejay plays your favorite music from Disney Junior, while Mickey Mouse, Timon, Doc McStuffins, and Vampirina all join in the fun.

I can’t say to have spent many vacations at the Disney Junior Dance Party because it wasn’t around when I was a child and I don’t have children of my own. It is fun for what it is and will appeal to small children and kids up to 10 or 11 years old.

I think the space could be used for something more entertaining honestly, and with the rumors of more Pixar attractions coming into the area, we’ll keep an eye on this one.

  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoon to escape the sun.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid (6/10)

  • Location: Animation Courtyard
  • Type: Live Stage Show (Musical)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 17 Minutes

(Temporarily Closed) Voyage of the Little Mermaid has been in Hollywood Studios since 1992, and sadly it’s starting to show its age. It’s a shortened version of The Little Mermaid story (hey you can only do so much in 17 minutes) which is retold on stage with a mix of live actors and puppets.

The lighting effects and lasers were probably all the rage then, but the whole thing needs a makeover. They should either do a full upgrade or replace it with something else. We think the second option is the more likely scenario. We like it, just don’t consider it a must-do anymore unless you have kids who are big Little Mermaid fans.

  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoon/Evening. It’s usually a walk-on and should be used for an air conditioning break.

Green Army Men – Drum Corps and Army Patrol (7.5/10)

Disney's Hollywood Studios Rides Green Army Men Drummers
  • Location: Toy Story Land
  • Type: Street Performances (Drums, Comedy)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 25 Minutes

When you are visiting Toy Story Land, you absolutely have to take a few minutes to watch the Green Army Men perform. There are two types of shows, one is the Drum Corps and consists of three high-energy drummers playing at various locations in the land. The other is the green army men up to funny antics and interacting and playing with park guests.

Both groups are very underrated and very talented and deserve a few minutes of your time.

Best Time to Visit: Early in the Day. They don’t have a set schedule, so pass through every now and then, and hope you run into them.

Citizens of Hollywood (8/10)

  • Location: Hollywood Blvd
  • Type: Street Performances (Comedy)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 15 Minutes

(Temporarily Closed) These guys are a blast and a genuine treat to watch. As with almost all Disney street performers, the Citizens of Hollywood are extremely talented and extremely entertaining. They portray fictional characters from old Hollywood around the 1920s or 30s and specialize in improve acts.

They have many comedic skits and are hilarious to watch. Our favorite is probably the “Funniest Citizen” finale, so make sure to stick around for that. They are around periodically throughout the day so there isn’t a fixed schedule you can follow somewhere.

  • Best Time to Visit: I highly recommend taking 10-15 minutes when you are in between Genie+ reservations or just have some extra time, and head over to Hollywood Blvd to check them out.

Night Shows

Hollywood Studios Touring Plan Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show

When the sun goes down is when the real fun starts in a Disney theme park, and a huge part of that are the nighttime spectaculars. This is the best time of the day to be in any Disney park as the temperatures cool down and the lights come on.

We highly recommend for first-time visitors to Walt Disney World that you stay until the nighttime shows at each park at least once. They are all incredibly well made and worth the time, no matter how cranky your child or spouse may be! 😉

We’ve given you a brief description for each show, plus a score as we did above. Here are the nighttime shows currently available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Fantasmic! (8.5/10)

Fantasmic poster concept art
  • Location: Sunset Blvd (Theater)
  • Type: Nighttime Spectacular (Fireworks, Characters, Pyrotechnics)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 30 Minutes

Fantasmic! is your classic Disney, good vs. evil showdown, all with your favorite mouse, Mickey on center stage. It’s the best nighttime show in Hollywood Studios and something you have to see at least once.

Because Fantasmic! is such an amazing show, lines start forming an hour ahead of showtime. If you are in the standby line, that’s when we would recommend getting there to grab a good seat. It lasts 30 minutes and is worth the wait.

To get there, head over to Sunset Blvd and take a right before arriving at the Tower of Terror. You see the line forming there which takes you in through a small, winding queue, which leads to the amphitheater. It holds 6,000 people which is a lot, but in comparison to the daily attendance is quite small.

Unlike the other shows in the park, this could be a worthy use of a Genie+ selection if Disney decides to make it available for Fantasmic! in the future. It’s known to have long lines so it could save you some time waiting. Another option is to get the Fantasmic! dining package which includes dinner at one of three Hollywood Studios restaurants, and a guaranteed reserved spot for the show.

If you happen to go on a night where there are two showings, we recommend going to the first show. That will give you time to go back out and ride more attractions while the rest of the people are either seeing the second show or are gathered around the Chinese Theater for the fireworks.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (7.5/10)

Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Shows Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular Nighttime fireworks
  • Location: Hollywood Blvd (Chinese Theater)
  • Type: Nighttime Spectacular (Fireworks, Projection, Pyrotechnics)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 14 Minutes

(Temporarily Closed) If you are a big Star Wars fan, which is common in Hollywood Studios these days, you will love Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. It uses a mix of pyrotechnics, fireworks, lasers, and projection mapping to display some of your favorite scenes from the Star Wars films on the Chinese Theater. Don’t get me started on the awesome soundtrack from the films too.

It isn’t the best show in Hollywood Studios, but it’s very solid. We think there are some things Disney could do to tighten it up, fewer flames and more fireworks for example, which would make it feel epic on the level that Star Wars should be.

Still, overall it’s a show we enjoy seeing again and again. We say if you are big Star Wars fans, stay for this, if not, then head over to Sunset Blvd for the last nighttime spectacular…

Wonderful World of Animation (7/10)

  • Location: Hollywood Blvd (Chinese Theater)
  • Type: Projection Show (Classic Disney Characters)
  • Good For: All Ages
  • Genie+: No
  • Show Length: 12 Minutes

The Wonderful World of Animation is a fireworks pre-show so to speak, which uses pretty cool projection mapping technology to display on the front of the Chinese Theater, making it come to life with classic Disney animation. Since so many of the new attractions nowadays are based on new IP, we love when they take us back to the classics, where it all began.

There is a nice mix of classic and modern IP like Coco, Sleeping Beauty, The Incredibles, Steamboat Willie, Coco, Lilo & Stitch, and of course, Mickey Mouse.

You can show up 10-15 minutes before it starts and get a spot no problem. Then you may as well stay for the next show.


Hollywood Studios characters Chewbacca

Characters are a huge part of any family’s day, especially if you have children. Hollywood Studios may not be the park with the most princesses, but there are still some really solid characters to find here. In fact, there are so many of them, it would be really hard to do them all in one day, especially if you want to do the rides too.

Here is a list of all the character meets you can find in Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Celebrity Spotlight

  • Characters: Olaf
  • Location: Echo Lake

Disney Junior Characters and Animation Courtyard

  • Characters: Sofia the First, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins
  • Location: Pixar Place

Incredibles Characters

  • Characters: Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, and Edna Mode
  • Location: Pixar Place

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

  • Characters: Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, and Cruz Ramirez
  • Location: Meet-and-Greet area outside

Meet Mike and Sulley at Walt Disney Presents

  • Characters: Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc.
  • Location: Walt Disney Presents

Red Carpet Dreams

  • Characters: Mickey and Minnie Mouse
  • Location: Commissary Lane

Star Wars Launch Bay Characters

  • Characters: BB-8, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader
  • Location: Star Wars Launch Bay

Toy Story Characters

  • Characters: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Bo Peep
  • Location: Toy Story Land

OUR PICKS: Out of all the character meets in Hollywood Studios, our favorites are the Toy Story characters and the ones over at the Star Wars Launch Bay. It’s all personal preference, but nothing compares to coming face to face with Darth Vader for the first time or hanging out with Woody in Andy’s Backyard.

TIP: The character meets in Disney’s Hollywood Studios do NOT have the Genie+ service, so it’s best to make a list of the most important character meets you want to do and then plan your strategy accordingly. Prioritize them and then do the ones high on your list early in the day.

Keep an eye on the wait times in My Disney Experience while you are touring the park. When the wait times are low enough, take the opportunity to visit them.

Disney Genie+ in Hollywood Studios

Disney Genie Planning App

As you may have heard, FastPass+ has been eliminated in Walt Disney World and replaced with the new Genie+ service and Lightning Lanes. This has totally changed the way guests plan their day since we were so used to the FastPass+ system for many years.

Genie+ is very similar to FastPass+ in that it lets you skip waiting in long lines all day and it pushes you through the “Lightning Lane” and ahead of the rest of the guests waiting in the normal standby line. This can save you some serious time if planned properly.

Guests can make reservations for attractions they want to ride throughout the day in a specific time slot like FastPass+. They then come back when that time slot arrives. Reservations are limited to one at a time, so you can’t have 3 all at once like before, and reservations can be made once every 2 hours.

The only drawback with Genie+ is that it is NOT free and it’s an extra charge to use it. Disney Genie+ costs $15-$39 per day, per guest.

Don’t confuse this with the free Disney Genie service which gives you suggestions about what to do but has nothing to do with skipping the lines.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Guide

Besides Genie+, there are also Individual Lightning Lane selections. This is another pay-to-ride service separate from Genie+, and with another additional cost. Unlike Genie+ which gives you access to many attractions, Individual Lightning Lane selections allow you to pay to ride just one attraction at a time.

There are only 2 attractions using the Individual Lightning Lane in each park. It’s not necessary to purchase Genie+ to make an Individual Lightning Lane selection as they are 2 different services. Prices for Individual Lightning Lane selections at Disney’s Hollywood Studios range from $20-$25 each, per guest.

Attractions using Disney Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane include the following:

Hollywood Studios

Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

Individual Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Is it Worth It?
At times it is, but $15-$39 per day, per guest can start adding up quickly. We wouldn’t recommend using it throughout your whole vacation, but only on potentially chaotic days. We will say that Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom are the two best parks to use Genie+ and the only ones really worth it.

We cover this more in-depth in our post “Is Genie+ Worth It?

We recently finished a full guide to Disney Genie+ and the Lightning Lane which answers all of your FAQs and has some tips to help you make the most out of it. Make sure to read our other guide which includes tips specifically on how to use Genie+ at Hollywood Studios and in the other parks.

Best Thrill Rides in Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror and Rock n roller coaster

If you are a fan of thrill rides, then Hollywood Studios is probably the best park for you to visit in Walt Disney World. To be thrilling a ride doesn’t have to go upside-down 10 times, but it’s a combination of the excitement, build-up, speed, and unexpected twists and turns that make a thrill ride.

We’ve identified 6 rides that you could describe as thrilling, and we’ve ranked them from least to most thrilling. This isn’t a list of the best rides per se, but just the most thrilling. Half of them are new within the last few years, and the other half is Hollywood Studios classics.

These thrill rides in Hollywood Studios are sure to get your adrenaline flowing…

  1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  3. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  4. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  5. Slinky Dog Dash
  6. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

While we rated Rise of the Resistance our number one overall attraction, it’s not the most straight-up thrilling. That honor belongs to the Tower of Terror. After 25 years, it’s still scaring us time and time again!

Best Rides for the Whole Family

Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Attractions for families Toy Story Mania

Sometimes not everyone in the family wants to go on big and scary rides are you are looking for something that everyone can do. While Hollywood Studios doesn’t have the biggest selection of family rides, it does have quite a few.

We came up with this list of the best attractions in Hollywood Studios for all ages. Some of them do have height restrictions, but none of them would classify as true “thrill rides.”

Here are the best family rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order:

  1. Rise of the Resistance
  2. Toy Story Mania!
  3. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  4. Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run
  5. Muppet*Vision 3D
  6. Star Tours
  7. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
  8. Slinky Dog Dash
  9. Walt Disney Presents

We think all the rides on this list are all very fun for guests young and old and the majority shouldn’t have a problem riding any of them.

So that wraps up our guide to the rides and attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I hope that was some help to you and will be useful when planning your trip. Be sure to check out our Hollywood Studios Touring Plan Guide which will give you specific itineraries to fit your vacation needs.

For more attractions, be sure to check out our other Disney World Ride Guides:

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, make sure to read our Disney World Planning Guide. There you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

In the meantime, leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think the best rides in Hollywood Studios are and how you would rank them!

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios…

  • What is your favorite attraction?
  • Which new attraction are you most looking forward to?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂


Tuesday 21st of November 2023

As I've gotten older things have changed some. While I love Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, can't ride those anymore. I focus on other rides I've gotten to love. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Train, Rise of the Resistance, Toy Story Mania, Smugglers Run, Muppets, and more but not a rough Rides. Slinky Dog is as wild as I get. I've gotten to really like Walt Disney Presents, Beauty and the Beast show, Frozen Show, and a lot of other "low key" attractions. As we get older and deal with our limitations Hollywood Studio's offers so much more we can do that certainly keep us young in heart and mind.

George Mells

Saturday 12th of August 2023

During a 2019 visit to Disneyland I took my wife on the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! tower ride. She still has not forgiven me. Riders on these attractions need to have some idea of the effect the drop will have on them. While we were able to do Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run, which was interesting but not GREAT unless you are a pilot, Rise of the Resistance was not open and I think I missed one of the best Disney experiences ever, and that includes being at Disney World the day Space Mountain opened.


Saturday 22nd of July 2023

Where is Star Tours Located?

Ziggy Oskwarek

Monday 24th of July 2023

Hi Jan. It's in Hollywood Studios in the Echo Lake section of the park and heading down toward Grand Avenue