Park Guide, Tips & Strategy
While Hollywood Studios may not have the most rides, it does have several of the most popular rides in all of Walt Disney World. Because of this, you'll find longer wait times at those key attractions, which makes Genie Plus a very popular add-on for this park. That said, you can get a lot of those rides done quickly if you arrive early for rope drop or Early Entry.
Attractions that Require a Virtual Queue
Rides that are NOT Included in Genie Plus
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance*
*Offers Individual Attraction Lightning Lane
Rise of the Resistance is notorious for breaking down – often for long periods. If this is a must-do, consider purchasing the Individual Attraction Lightning Lane or ride it first so that you have less risk of missing out
If there are two showings of Fantasmic, consider going to the second show. You can pretty much always walk in at the last minute and get a great seat at that second showing and it often starts after park close so you don't use up valuable park time watching it.
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Early Entry Strategy
Rise or Slinky? Maybe try Sunset...
Pretty much everyone taking advantage of Early Entry at Hollywood Studios (a perk of staying at a qualifying hotel) will start that extra thirty minutes with Rise of the Resistance or Slinky Dog Dash. If you're there super early and on the front lines of that early entry crowd, either one is a great pick. But we love heading down Sunset Boulevard instead and starting with Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror instead. You can sometimes get both done and hit the line for Runaway Railway before the park even opens.
Most Popular Early Entry Attractions
1. Star Wars Rise of the Resistance
You might get to start the pre-show section before early entry even begins
2. Slinky Dog Dash
This is a super fun way to start your day
3. Rock 'n Roller Coaster
If you start here, you can likely get Tower of Terror done, too
Early Entry Tips for Hollywood Studios
Disney buses will typically start running 1 hour before early entry, though they can arrive as early as 2 hours before (it's rare, but we have seen it happen), but the Skyliner pretty much always starts up between an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes before Early Entry begins
If you are planning to start with Rise of the Resistance, be sure to have a "Plan B" in the event it is not functioning. Cast Members will usually let you know while you are waiting to enter if it will definitely be down, but they don't always know in advance
Rope Drop Strategy
For early risers who don't have Early Entry
Getting to the park before it opens so you can get a jump on things as soon as they "drop the rope" and let everyone enter is often referred to as "rope dropping." If you're not a morning person, you might want to check out our video about how to sleep in and still manage to get everything done. If you are an early riser, though, you can cross a lot of things off your list early if you play your cards right.
Our Recommended Rope Drop Attractions
Lots of people will tell you to rope drop the biggest attractions in the park, which would be Rise of the Resistance or Slinky Dog Dash. Here's the problem with that: both of those queues are going to be packed with folks from Early Entry. We'd recommend hitting these rides instead:
1. Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror
A 13-story drop will wake you up better than a cup of coffee
2. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
The perfect first stop if you have little ones
Rope Drop Tips for Hollywood Studios
This is one of the most popular parks to rope drop and it doesn't have as many tapstiles as Magic Kingdom, so try to arrive extra early to avoid a really long wait to enter
If you want a good cup of coffee to start your day, avoid Starbucks and the Joffrey's near Toy Story Land. Instead, hit the Joffrey's outside of the exit from Tower of Terror. Lots of folks have no idea it's there and there is a MUCH shorter wait than the others.
3. Rock 'n Roller Coaster
If the line is short, hit this one first. If not, try after Tower
Genie Plus Strategy
The Genie helps a LOT at Hollywood Studios
It's definitely debatable whether you really need Genie Plus at Epcot and Animal Kingdom, but at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios it can be a game-changer. In this park, the problem is that there are not many rides, but most of them are extremely popular. That means more people in fewer queues, which equals crazy long wait times. The Genie can cut down on those waits considerably, but keep in mind that you need to book those key rides fast because they run out of Lightning Lanes very quickly.
Most Popular Genie Plus Lightning Lanes
Genie Plus Tips for Hollywood Studios
1. Slinky Dog Dash
Book this at 7:00 am SHARP!
2. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
This is a good second ride for thrill-seekers
3. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
Consider this one instead if you have little ones
4. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
This one is getting easier to book
It is really important to grab Slinky Dog Dash as quickly as possible. You may still get a less-than-ideal return time. If that happens, modify the Lightning Lane and aim for a return time that is as close as you can get to park open so you can tap in right away and free yourself up to grab the next Lightning Lane.
There are so many attractions that Gene Plus is really helpful for in this park that it is best to avoid using the "2-hour rule" as much as possible. Aim for quick return times so you can tap in and book again without waiting 2 hours.
Consider using a Lightning Lane for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular on really busy days
5. Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror
This one is easier to grab now that it is running at full capacity again