Hollywood Studios

Disney-MGM Studios was the third theme park build at Walt Disney World. This park is themed on the show business era from Hollywood in the 1930’s. It is also home to my favorite roller coaster: The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. In 2008, Disney change the name from MGM to Hollywood Studios.

The Fletchers at Hollywood Studios

The icon of Hollywood Studios was Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat (seen in the background of our family photo above) but that was removed from the park in 2015. The reason it was removed was not made clear by Disney, and it caused quite a stir within the Disney World lunatics enthusiasts community. I surmise it was in preparation for the new areas that are being developed that are tentatively being referred to as Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land.


  • The Great Movie Ride
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
  • Star Tours
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
  • Voyage of The Little Mermaid
  • The Magic of Disney Animation
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage
  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Staring Aerosmith
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Hollywood Studios Theme Park Map


Hollywood Studios has some good dining, not the least of which is The Hollywood Brown Derby which is a Disney Signature Dining restaurant (read expensive). I think it’s worth it for the experience and the food there is really good. We’ve also had some good meals at Mamma Melrose’s.

There are also two great themed restaurants in the park: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Both of these have decent food but really shine in their atmosphere.

If you can’t find something to tickle your fancy in the park, The Boardwalk and Beach & Yacht Club Resorts are a short boat ride or a thirty minute walk. These resorts have some really great dining such as Cape May Cafe, Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, Big River Grill and Beaches & Cream, all of which are fantastic places to eat.

Here is all of the dining in the park:

  • The Trolley Car Cafe
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Tune-In Lounge
  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Min And Bill’s Dockside Diner
  • Oasis Canteen
  • Backlot Express
  • High Octane Refreshments
  • Studio Catering Co.
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Pizza Planet
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
  • ABC Commissary
  • Hey Howdy Hey Take Away
  • Starring Rolls Cafe
  • Toluca Legs Turkey Co.
  • Anaheim Produce
  • Rosie’s All-American Cafe
  • Catalina Eddies’s
  • Fairfax Fare
  • Hollywood Scoops


Much like Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Hollywood Studios has a special nighttime show. Here it is Fantasmic. I would highly recommend not missing this show. It is not a fireworks show but there are some impressive pyrotechnics. I think the most impressive part of the show is the projection of part of the story onto a mist of water.

Hollywood Studios Fantasmic Sea Monster
Fantasmic by Loren Javier is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The show portrays a lot of the Disney Characters in a magical tale where Mickey does battle with some of the Disney villains. It is a great story for kids of all ages (including dads in their mid-40’s).

We have gone to Walt Disney World a few times now during the holiday season. One of my favorite attractions has always been the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights which is it its last year, unfortunately. Thankfully, if you’ve not already seen me gloat about it, we are going again in December of 2015, so I will get to see it one last time.

Planning Your Day

This is one park that we usually can get through pretty quickly. Typically the longest wait times are going to be on The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Midway Mania. The longer wait of the two is going to be Toy Story Midway Mania, so I would do one of two things for that attraction: either get there at rope drop and go straight there or leverage a FastPass+ for it.

Toy Story Midway Mania!'s Mr Potato Head
Toy Story Midway Mania! by Matt C is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The line for The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster usually ebbs and flows, in our experience, so you can sort of keep an eye on the line and hit it when it’s lower.

The Star Tours line usually flows pretty fast so you don’t need to worry about that one.

One of the shows that I would recommend not missing if you have boys of any age is the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. They will be driving cars and motorcycles really fast, jumping them, setting things on fire and will have people falling from buildings! They also show you how they film stunts. It really is a great show.

One of the greatest things about Hollywood Studios is that it is a fairly condensed park when compared to the others so you can get from one attraction to another fairly quickly. I still recommend that you pick one area and stick with it as much as you can but this is one park where you can hop around a little bit.

You will likely not be able to get through all of the shows in one day here, so you will probably need to pick and choose what you want to see. If you have a princess who loves Disney movies you may want to catch Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. If you have a prince who loves action packed adventures you may want to catch Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. You may be able to catch both but it may be at the cost of missing another attraction.

I hope you have found this article useful in planning a trip to Disney World. If you’ve been to Hollywood Studios, I’d love to hear about your experience. Just leave me a note in the comments below.

8 Replies to “Hollywood Studios”

  1. I couldn’t ask for a more detailed recommendation of Hollywood Studios. I’m one of those who always has to know where the food is, and being vegetarian pickings are often slim. With the sheer number of restaurants you list, even the hardest to satisfy eaters should find something suitable. I like the fact that this park is more compact, so you can accomplish more in a visit then you ordinarily would. I have friends who take their kids to Disney World several times a year, and they never tire of it. I think they pretty much stick to the same routine, so I’m going to pass this article on to them, just in case they haven’t visited Hollywood Studios yet.

    1. Thanks for passing our site along, Hindy. If your friends have any suggestions for something that needs to be reviewed, I would love to hear from them.

      Regarding being a vegetarian, all of the table service restaurants offer at least one vegetarian dish at Disney World. And if that dish does not tickle your fancy, they will frequently create something for you that you will like if you just ask. They really take customer service to a new level.

  2. I have never been to Hollywood Studios before and I didn’t know there were so much to do and see. With so many attractions to choose from to take the kids, it definitely needs a thorough write up and you have provided a great review of Hollywood Studios. It is helping me make up my mind and my kids can have a read as well and can decide for themselves.

  3. Hi, thanks for providing a great write up about Hollywood Studios. We went to Florida last year as a family and can highly recommend it.
    @Tony – There is so much to do in Hollywood Studios alone that there is no way that you would get to see it all in a day. We had two weeks in Florida and tried to visit each of the main park areas twice whilst we were there and we still didn’t get to see everything.

    For children its just an amazing experience but then I don’t think its any different for us adults either!

    1. Hey Andrew, you are right. There is loads to do at every park. We have also been for as long as 15 days and it was great but there was still not enough time to hit everything. And as an adult I think I like it better than the kids. 🙂

  4. Hi Christian,

    I have no idea why you keep teasing me with these beautiful images of your family having a great time! You are really making me jealous here. 🙂 I am in South Africa and I can ony wish to visit all these nice places you keep sharing on your site. I guess Holywood studios also gets on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing and all the best to you.

    1. I’m sure with the business you’re building that you will make it there one day, Peter. Make sure to let me when you do and I’ll meet you and we can celebrate together at the most magical place on earth.

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