This post is all about our time at Disney Hollywood Studios which was the second of our four days at Walt Disney World Orlando. I wanted to say that our tickets to Disney World were kindly gifted to us along with some amazing FastPass enhancements. Usually you get 3 FastPasses per guest at Disney and we had been gifted more on top of them.
We also had a Michael’s VIP tour guide for all four of our Disney days which I’d highly recommend if you are first time Disney visitors like we were. She was amazing at taking control of our day, taking us to the rides, organising our FastPasses and making sure we all had the most magical experience.
Disney World Hollywood Studios is one of the smaller parks out of the four main ones. We arranged to meet Brooke, our tour guide, just inside the entrance at opening time. The sun was already beating down and we had a short amount of time to pop some sun lotion and for Brooke to do the girls hair. The girls had decided I wasn’t good enough for hair dresser duties after our first day with Brooke.
The park was already rather busy with most guests heading for the newest part of Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Land. Thankfully having Brooke with us meant that she knew to avoid this early in the morning, instead she decided to make Freya’s day by heading for the Star Wars Launch Bay Character Meet.
I think the photos say it all really, I mean look at Freya’s genuine happy smile. She was in her element. First of all we queued to meet Chewbacca. Can you see my Mum’s happy face too? And then we popped round to see BB-8. Personally, I have never watched a Star Wars movie, but I was so happy to see Freya and Eva really excited about this character meet and greet.
Brooke then rushed us over to meet Olaf. This was my life made obviously. Elsa was named after the Frozen princess and grew up to also love the film. Freya now says she hates Frozen, but her face told a different picture as we entered to see Olaf in all his glory. I love how the character meets are not rushed, they each take their time and we captured some lovely moments.
After the initial rush of the parks opening, Brooke walked us round to Toy Story Land. I’m a 90s kid, and this film was my childhood. It was incredible to see it all brought to life, the colours, the sounds, the smells and seeing the characters wandering about too.
Toy Story Land is the main area of Hollywood Studios that has the bigger rides. The rest of Hollywood Studios is more about the live action shows in my opinion. As I said above we had extra FastPasses gifted and most of them were used in Toy Story Land due to the sheer volume and queue times.
Our first ride of the day was the Alien Swirling Saucers. This is a spinning ride so my Mum and Freya decided to sit this one out. I felt sad that Freya didn’t want to come on as she loves rides like the spinning teacups but we couldn’t persuade her.
Alien Swirling Saucers is suitable for anyone 82cm or taller. This meant that Elsa could ride. Hubby took Elsa and I had our little daredevil Eva. It was so thrilling! You can hear and see, me screaming in the video I created. It’s a great ride.
I have said already in my full review of Michael’s VIP that Brooke was amazing at making sure we were all entertained throughout every day. So when some of us went on certain rides and others didn’t, Brooke was there to either get them onto another suitable ride or entertain with her various goodies. Whilst we did the Alien Swirling Saucer (and Slinky Dog Dash) Brooke showed Freya how to do some flag tricks.
Let’s move on to the next ride we did. Oh my gosh this is definitely one of my favourites of all – Toy Story Mania. It’s a 4D shooting ride where you pull a little ball to shoot targets and compete for a high score. Freya was a little reluctant to ride this at first, we pretty much pushed her on but she also had a brilliant time and later on asked to do it again… and again! The ride is suitable for all heights and ages.
Slinky Dog Dash is the main rollercoaster of Hollywood Studios. It’s suitable for 97cm or taller. Eva was so excited for this. I think she found Magic Kingdom a little slow for her crazy side. Slinky Dog Dash had a huge queue and part of having Brooke meant that she wouldn’t allow us to queue for any longer than 10 minutes, so we used a FastPass for it.
It was only Hubby, Eva and me on the rollercoaster. It was so much fun, if a little scary. The rollercoaster zooms past giant toys and when you think it’s all over, it continues around the corner for some more thrills. Eva was on top of the world, she adored it!
As I said earlier, there are a lot of live action or 3D/4D shows at Disney Hollywood Studios. The first one for us to experience was the Muppets Vision 3D. It’s set in a theatre room and is a show featuring the well known Muppets characters along with live in-theatre special effects and musical songs. It was a really good show with lots of laughs.
Hubby, Eva and I then hopped into Star Tours. It’s a simulator ride which Freya hates sadly, as she’s our Star Wars fan. The ride is suitable for people over 102cm tall. I actually felt really nervous for this one, simulators sometimes make me feel a bit sick but this one was ok. It had the usual motions and was an enjoyable ride and a welcome escape from the outdoor heat.
The Disney Junior Dance Party was next on our list. It’s suitable for all ages, but was definitely focused on younger Disney guests. It’s, as the name suggests, a dance party featuring Disney Junior favourites – Doc McStuffin’s, Timone, and of course Mickey Mouse! Elsa was dancing and smiling the entire time.
The next live show was really exciting. We found our way to Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage. This show is a Broadway style musical show of the well known Disney fairytale. It was everything I expected it to be – simply magical! I have no idea how the cast actors perform in the scorching heat of Florida, it was just so amazing.
As Elsa is a big Cars fan, we took a side track out of our day to go to the Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. This is an odd experience, a real life sized car comes out that is then animated and speaks. Elsa loved it. I think one of the best bits about Disney is the natural smiles we received and seeing us all genuinely happy there.
You can’t come to Disney without experiencing the Frozen Sing-along… right? It was so exciting. This has got to be a favourite. Not only did the well known songs come up with lyrics on screen, they had two amazing cast members narrating the film in a sped up version. Their acting and humour was hilarious. I kept a lot of it in my video from our day because I loved it so much. Oh and who could go wrong with snow falling from the sky during “Let it go”?
It was coming to the end of our day with our guide, Brooke, so after experiencing the sing-along show, we said our goodbyes to her. We actually decided to stay longer in the park and use some of our left over FastPasses (somehow we still had some).
We asked the girls what they would really love to do next and it was a unanimous answer of Toy Story Land. I think the colours and the rides were so appealing over there so we made our way.
Of course our family favourite of Toy Story Mania was the first ride we did. Then we split up a little with my Mum and Freya doing the Toy Story Mania again, I took Elsa on the Alien Swirling Saucers (I captured the cutest moments in my video at about 16:20 into it) whilst Hubby took Eva on Slinky Dog Dash.
Once we had all met up again, we took a look over the map to check if we’d missed any rides or shows that we really wanted to tick off our bucket list. Disney have a great app which shows you your location, and all the park attractions including food, shops and rides etc. It’s a really useful tool for a Disney day out or preparing your trip.
As we wandered round to watch Voyage of the Little Mermaid, we were able to catch the end part of a Star Wars show on the Center Stage. This had some really cool special effects and all of the girls really enjoyed it.
Hubby had booked us in for a FastPass which means you turn up for a certain time slot. There was some time to wait before the show started so we took a nice sit in the waiting area for Voyage of the Little Mermaid. My Mum had brought along a flannel or two from the hotel room which was great for making damp and cooling off. Honestly, you can’t prepare yourself enough for the extreme heats of a theme park in Orlando. It was around 38 degrees each day!
Voyage of the Little Mermaid is another show suitable for all ages and heights. It of course features the awesome Ariel. There’s amazing puppets, awesome special effects and film clips too. I am so glad we didn’t miss this show because it was gorgeous!
Some how we managed to have just one more FastPass each for the day, Toy Story Mania was the chosen one (Toy Story fans will know what I did there). We enjoyed our last Toy Story Mania ride before heading to the gift shop.
My Mum had promised the girls to buy them a gift in the shop. They had fallen in love with this baby Disney characters in a carrying hamper blanket things. I tried to search them on the Disney Store to link but cannot see them on there. Anyway, the girls loved them after seeing them at Disney Springs so my Mum kindly bought them one each. Freya picked Angel from Stitch, Eva picked Bambi and Elsa had Lady.
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any food options at Disney Hollywood Studios. After experiencing the prices at Magic Kingdom, we had decided to only take snack items that we bought from Walmart. For us this was a really good option and it allowed us to spend more time with rides and shows as we just nibbled on snacks as and when.
We ordered our Uber to take us to a Wendy’s restaurant that was in walking distance from Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, the hotel we were staying at. The food at Wendy’s was great value and we managed to feed us all for around $20, this was a fraction of what it would have cost in Disney.
We had a brilliant time at Disney Hollywood Studios, I’d love it if you could take a look at my video so that you can immerse yourself fully in our day out and hopefully consider subscribing to my channel too.
Our next Disney day was Animal Kingdom, one of my favourites, and I can’t wait to share all about it soon.