Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) has probably changed more drastically than any other park in the Walt Disney World Resort. From rides and attractions coming and going to a general lack of direction, it is often thought of as a 1/2 day park. There just aren’t enough E-Ticket or big attractions to fill a day or like most of the parks so much that it takes more than a day to cover.
This park is slowly changing and I think may become the most popular park in the resort as new lands like Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge come online. I would still argue that it is not a park to be missed. I love the old Hollywood styled buildings at the entrance and the attention to detail through the park. I don’t disagree that it needs an overhaul but I hope some of the characteristics that have kept it alive stay with it as it evolves further.
5. Star Tours
Star Tours pre-dates Disney’s purchase of the film franchise and in so many ways was Star Wars Land before anyone could have thought it was possible. The ride has seen upgrades over the years and holds a firm spot in the “must” category when it comes to the limited attractions in Hollywood Studios. I am curious to see how this ride fares both here and in Disneyland once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens this year. I don’t see how they will connect them in either park and wonder if the ride could be re-themed to something else in either park.
4. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
A well-themed thrill ride the Tower of Terror does a great job telling a story, building suspense and then dropping you at an accelerated rate. I feel like this ride’s days are numbered after the change to a Marvel/Guardians of the Galaxy theme in California Adventure. We’ll see but regardless of theme this is one of the most fun rides at the Disney World Resort.
3.Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
1950’s themed to be like a night at a drive-in movie. You eat in a car and everyone is positioned to have a good seat for the black & white kitsch that is playing. It is fun, the food is good and typically you can get a seat. Nothing wrong with that. The food is a little more creative than you would expect a 1950’s drive-in with a Falafel Burger and a New York Strip on the menu. It is dark and the car seating might make this a challenge for anyone with vision impairments or small children.
2. Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land is the newest addition to the park and with new rides and food so far it is a hit. When we were at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris we saw a version of Toy Story Land and this while themed similarly was very different in scope and rides. The three rides Slinky Dog Dash (new), Alien Swirling Saucers (new) and Toy Story Mania (old ride – new entrance) are some of the best in any park and a great addition to the resort period. This new land is a shot in the arm for Hollywood Studios.
1. Waiting on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Set anticipation to high. Really high. Stuck with Star Tours for years fans of the Star Wars franchise are finally getting a proper Star Wars Land in Galaxy’s Edge. This is on the Top 5 because while it isn’t open there isn’t much in the park that isn’t pointing to its arrival and how it could change everything for both Hollywood Studios and both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The Mouse is putting a lot into this reportedly spending more on the park’s new lands than it did buying the Star Wars franchise. The upside potential has locked this into the number one spot this year with both Galaxy’s Edge sites opening in 2019. Like a first-round draft pick everyone will be expecting something amazing – here’s to hoping it lives up to all that speculation.