Hollywood Studios at Disney World – What You Need to Know

A Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World | AllEars.net A Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World | AllEars.net

Disney’s Hollywood Studios contains some of Walt Disney World’s best rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Tower of Terror, and Slinky Dog Dash.

Chinese Theater

This Park — which is an ode to Hollywood that in recent years seems to be all about immersing guests in the movies they love — offers a slew of attractions and experiences for everyone in the family.


Walt Disney first had the idea for a Park based on the movies more than 40 years ago, but it wasn’t until May 1989 that the Walt Disney Company unveiled the Disney-MGM Studios, where guests of Walt Disney World could witness the inner workings of living, breathing movie and television production facilities. In January 2008, the theme park underwent a major name change and is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Updated Hollywood Studios Arch Sign

Through its exciting attractions, Broadway-caliber shows, and hands-on participation, the Studios not only entertains but also educates. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has nearly doubled in size since it opened, and it continues to expand.

In October 2001, the Studios became the focal point for the 100 Years of Magic celebration, a 15-month-long observance of the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birthday. The celebration marked the introduction of a new icon, a giant Sorcerer Mickey hat, as well as an in-depth exhibit on the life and times of Walt Disney called One Man’s Dream.

Sorcerer Hat [Disney]
In 2015, the Sorcerer Hat was removed when Turner Broadcasting entered into an agreement with Disney to sponsor The Great Movie Ride. In 2018, the Studios welcomed the brand new Toy Story Land. And, the biggest news of all: in August 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened with Oga’s Cantina, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, with the opening of Rise of the Resistance following later in the year, in December.

In March 2020, a Mickey Mouse-themed attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened! The Chinese Theater, home of this new attraction, remains as the Park’s icon. This is the first attraction in any Disney Park to feature Mickey Mouse.

Runaway Railway Scene



At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests enter the tapstiles onto the main street, Hollywood Boulevard, where reality blends into fantasy; neon and chrome details meld with art deco and modern architecture.

Hollywood Boulevard

To enhance the old-time atmosphere, Citizens of Hollywood (formerly known as Streetmosphere) characters like 1930s detectives, starlets and gossip columnists, populate the streets, interacting with the crowds they draw.

Citizens of Hollywood

Colorful shops and restaurants reinforce the feeling of yesteryear. The Hollywood Brown Derby, for example, faithfully recalls the landmark meeting place of the stars, right down to its signature Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake.

Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant

As you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, straight ahead is a replica of Mann’s Chinese Theater, which formerly housed The Great Movie Ride but is now home to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

In front of the Chinese Theater, you’ll see where numerous celebrities, including Robin Williams, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Joel, and Christie Brinkley have left their handprints in cement.


To the left of the Chinese Theater is Commissary Lane, featuring several dining options, including the ABC Commissary Quick Service restaurant and the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant.

ABC Commissary


The first left you encounter off Hollywood Boulevard takes you past Echo Lake, distinguished by the towering Dinosaur Gertie who serves up snacks and desserts.

Echo Lake

You pass by a pair of eateries: Hollywood & Vine, home of a character breakfast featuring Disney Junior friends, and the ’50s Prime Time Cafe, where the servers treat you like family — right down to scolding you for putting your elbows on the table!

50s Prime Time Cafe

As you follow around the lake, you encounter the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, a live show with death-defying stunts. Nearby, Star Tours-The Adventures Continue takes you on an amazing 3D journey to a variety of Star Wars destinations, featuring some of the familiar Star Wars characters.

Star Tours

The nearby  Hyperion Theater is the location of the For the First Time in Forever Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.


As you make the first right off Hollywood Boulevard, you come upon Sunset Boulevard, with its specialized shops that feature gifts themed to classic films and Disney characters, especially the Disney Villains highlighted in the night-time show Fantasmic!

Sunset Boulevard

In fact, the entrance to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, home to Fantasmic!, is just a little further down Sunset on the right. Light dining and snacks can be found at the outdoor Sunset Ranch Market on the left.

Sunset Ranch

Looming menacingly at the end of Sunset Boulevard is the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which dares guests to enter The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Adjacent to the Tower of Terror is the Studios’ thrill ride, the indoor Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror

Near Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, say “Ka-chow!” with your favorite race car: Lightning McQueen! The Lightning McQueen Racing Academy brings a stellar animatronic McQueen to life!

Hi, McQueen!

Across the street from this coaster is the Theater of the Stars, which houses Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage, a lovely musical stage show based on the hit Disney movie.


Go through the Studios archway to the right as you approach the Chinese Theater to get to the Animation Courtyard. Here you’ll find Walt Disney Presents, which hosts a character meet-and-greet, as well as an exhibit on the life of Walt Disney and sneak previews of what’s coming next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Walt Disney Presents

You’ll also find the popular Voyage of the Little Mermaid, delighting young and old. Across the Courtyard, children can see their favorite characters like Vampirina, Fancy Nancy, Princess Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins in a character meet-and-greet location.

Fancy Nancy

The Disney Junior Live! show features Disney Channel characters. The Star Wars Launch Bay, which is currently the primary location outside of Galaxy’s Edge for fans to celebrate all things Star Wars, opened late in 2015 in the space formerly occupied by the Magic of Animation Tour.

Star Wars Launch Bay

In this multi-sensory space with an outdoor queue area lined with special concept artwork, guests can interact with beloved Star Wars characters, tour galleries featuring treasured memorabilia and replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, and play the latest Star Wars interactive video games, plus have access to special Star Wars merchandise.


The former Streets of America area in the Studios has been reimagined by Walt Disney Imagineers to become Grand Avenue.

Grand Avenue

The area captures the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, with vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures of the city. The BaseLine Tap House, a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California, has opened on the site of the former The Writer’s Stop.

BaseLine Tap House

The former MUPPETS COURTYARD is now part of this area, and the theater has been renamed The Grand Arts Theatre. In the theater, the Muppets star in Muppet*Vision 3D, which combines Jim Henson’s puppets and special effects with Disney’s famous Audio-Animatronics.

Muppet Vision 3D

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

At the end of Grand Avenue guests find one of two entrances to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (The second is located off Toy Story Land.) Galaxy’s Edge’s Grand Avenue entrance opens to the land’s Resistance area, featuring the innovative attraction Rise of the Resistance.

Rise of the Resistance Entrance

As guests explore Black Spire Outpost (the village that is Galaxy’s Edge) on the planet Batuu, they encounter shopping in the Market, where Toydarian Toymaker, Creature Stall, Jewels of Bith, and Black Spire Outfitters embrace the other-worldly theme.

Galaxy’s Edge’s Market

Other popular shopping locations include Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, First Order Cargo, and Resistance Supply.

First Order Cargo

Guests can build their own droid at Droid Depot and seize power by building their own lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop.

Savi’s Workshop

Dining in Galaxy’s Edge includes snack stalls — Kat Saka’s Kettle, Milk Stand, and Ronto Roasters — a Quick Service restaurant — Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo — and a watering hole called Oga’s Cantina.

Oga’s Cantina

The land’s second attraction — Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run — features the land’s centerpiece: a life-size Millennium Falcon. The fastest hunk of junk in the universe is parked in the back center of the land.

Millennium Falcon

Galaxy’s Edge is home to some iconic characters from the movie franchise. No formal meet and greets are arranged here, but expect to see favorites like Chewbacca, Rey, Stormtroopers, and Kylo Ren wandering the land.


Turn right in front of the Chinese Theater, then make a left to discover Toy Story Land. The land officially opened June 30, 2018.

Toy Story Land

It is home to the extremely popular Toy Story Mania, which opened to the public May 31, 2008. The queue for Toy Story Mania was reworked to be accessible from the land when it opened in 2018.

Toy Story Mania

New attractions in the area include Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash coaster. Slinky Dog Dash quickly became the hardest FastPass+ to get in all of Hollywood Studios.

Slinky Dog Dash

The Green Army Patrol, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Woody appear in this area intermittently throughout the day.

Hi, Jessie!


Disney’s Hollywood Studios typically opens daily at 9AM, but since the opening of Rise of the Resistance in December 2019, the Park has routinely had earlier opening hours. Check times before leaving for your trip and before the day of your visit. Closing times vary according to the season, with the Park often staying open later during summer months and holiday times.

Plan to arrive at the Studios about half an hour before Park opening — unless you want to ride Rise of the Resistance. When Rise uses a virtual queue with boarding groups, you must be scanned into the Park in order to get a boarding group via My Disney Experience. You will want to be tapped into the Park before official Park opening. To do that, plan to arrive 30+ minutes before Park opening.

The dreaded “all boarding groups… have been distributed” sign!

Fantasmic! is shown several times a week at Park closing. During busier seasons, Fantasmic! may be performed nightly or may have two performances nightly. When this is the case, the later show is much less crowded — consider staying for that if it’s practical for you. Or take advantage of the Fantasmic! Dining Package for special seating, to avoid the long wait. If you don’t mind waiting, though, plan to arrive at the theater early to ensure getting a seat at this popular show.


Visit Shopping the Studios At-A-Glance page for info on the various stores around the park.


Visit Dining at the Studios At-A-Glance for an overview of the main dining options at the park.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios has several opportunities for children to meet and greet their favorite characters.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Characters at a Glance
Character Meet and Greet FAQ!


The HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon”, a 13-part drama, was in production in two sound stages throughout 1997.

Films shot at the studios include: “Marvin’s Room,” “Passenger 57,” “Oscar,” “Quick Change,” “Ernest Saves Christmas,” “Splash Too,” “Separate But Equal” (Emmy-winning TV mini-series, starring Burt Lancaster), and “Instinct.”

Some of the many television shows which have taped at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include: “ER,” “Full House,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “ESPN College Football Awards,” “Talk Soup,” “Step By Step,” “Barbara Walters Special,” and “Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee.”

Among the hundreds of actors, comedians and entertainers who’ve appeared at the studios are: Charlton Heston, Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, Warren Beatty, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Hanks, Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Michael J. Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, Lou Gossett Jr., Drew Carey, Oprah Winfrey and Susan Lucci.