Want to see how the touring plan works with over 100 pictures and explanations of each step? See this post.
The information below is available in an easily printable PDF here. Consider downloading it to your smart device for easy referencing.
General Touring Philosophy: Toy Story Mania is the highest priority and should be most guests’ first stop. It’s also the top FastPass+ priority. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror are the other two ride priorities. Star Tours and Great Movie Ride are the only other attractions that often have posted waits longer than 15 minutes. A typical problem is trying to see all the scheduled shows, which take 40 to 60 minutes to experience. With one day, you may need to prioritize several of the lengthy attractions that appeal to your group while skipping others – there just isn’t enough time.
Characters: The Star Wars characters in the Launch Bay are the highest priority and are best met as late in the evening as possible as they meet from park open through park close. The Toy Story characters across from Toy Story Mania are the next priority and see 30 to 50 minute afternoon waits and usually begin appearing at 9am. Try to visit immediately after riding Toy Story Mania in the morning if you have interest. Other priorities include the Disney Jr characters like Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First in Animation Courtyard outside Disney Jr. and classic characters like Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Pluto in front of Great Movie. Visit them before 10:30am to minimize waits.
Jedi Training Academy: Kids between the ages of 4 and 12 have the opportunity to participate in this show held next to Star Tours. You must bring the participating child to the Adventurers Outpost store to the right of 50’s Prime Time Cafe immediately after the park opens to guarantee a slot. There are usually 12 to 15 shows scheduled throughout the day. Ask for a show in the afternoon so it doesn’t interfere with morning touring. Kids participating in the show are required to return to the sign-up location 30 minutes before the show to practice.
Rope Drop: Hollywood Studios may be the most essential rope drop due to how fast Toy Story Mania wait times skyrocket. If you’re not among the first 200 to 300 people in line, you can expect to wait 30+ minutes. The Studios typically lets guests into the Park 30 minutes prior to open and holds them in about ten different locations close to the priority attractions. For Toy Story Mania, position yourself to the right at the end of Hollywood Boulevard near Great Movie Ride. For Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, head down Sunset Boulevard to the right. For Jedi Training, head immediately to sign up at the location described above. Try to stay in front of as many people as possible after you’re released, which is typically 15 minutes prior to open.
FastPass+ at the Studios
Like Epcot, FastPass+ enabled attractions are broken up into two tiers and guests may initially select only one Tier One attraction, which makes it a struggle for those arriving late to ride both Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Most guests want to select Toy Story Mania and ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster standby early in the morning. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster offers a single rider line, though waits are usually in the 15 to 30 minute range due to the way the vehicles are loaded and it’s impossible to gauge how many people are in line until the final loading area. Select Great Movie Ride as a 4th FP+ or ride after 6pm to minimize waits.
Tier One (Choose One):
- Toy Story Mania
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- The Great Movie Ride
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Tier 2 (Choose Two):
- Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Star Tours
- Frozen Sing-Along
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Disney Jr. Live on Stage
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Tower of Terror FastPass+ is a no-brainer if you’re interested in riding with average peak waits of 60+ minutes. A second Tier 2 selection may be less obvious. FastPass+ is largely useless at the shows, requiring users to arrive very early to enjoy any benefit and with the possibility that the reserved seats will actually be worse than standby. Voyage of the Little Mermaid wins out due to its small theater and the likelihood that guests arriving in the afternoon will have to wait through at least one complete show before entering the theater, resulting in actual waits of 15 to 30 minutes. FastPass+ allows users to walk right in to the specified show even as it nears being full with less lead time. Star Tours enjoys a healthy capacity with plentiful FastPass+ availability and is usually available as a 4th FP+, but it would save you 20+ minutes in the heart of the afternoon. The Frozen Sing-Along is prioritized over the other shows because it’s least likely to be available as a 4th FP+ and shows are most likely to be full, making FastPass+ more useful.
4th FastPass+ Availability: Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Frozen Sing-Along will either have extremely limited or no availability come 12pm. The first Fantasmic may or may not be available, but selecting it early means you won’t be able to use FastPass+ anywhere else until after the show in the late evening. Using a 4th FP+ at Great Movie Ride or Star Tours makes the most sense, but standby waits are reliably short before 10:30am or after 6:30pm most days anyway.
- Main tip board near the end of Hollywood Boulevard
- To the right of the Muppet Vision 3D entrance
- Tower of Terror’s old FASTPASS machines to the left of the attraction entrance
- Toy Story Mania’s old FASTPASS machines to the right of the attraction entrance
MORNING TOURING PLAN
Use FastPass+ at Tower of Terror (9am – 10am), Toy Story Mania (10am – 11am), Frozen Sing-Along or Star Tours (11:05am-11:20am for the Sing-Along; 11am – 12pm for Star Tours)
- Ride Toy Story Mania: 8:50am – 9:15am
- Ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: 9:25am – 9:50am
- Ride Tower of Terror with FastPass+: 9:52am – 10:10am
- See Voyage of the Little Mermaid: 10:20am – 10:40am (10:25am show)
- Ride Toy Story Mania with FastPass+: 10:45am – 11:05am
- See the Frozen Sing-Along with FastPass+ or Ride Star Tours with FastPass+: 11:15am – 12pm (11:30am show)
- Visit the Muppet Vision FastPass+ kiosk and select The Great Movie Ride for after lunch
- Have lunch: Studios Catering Co., Backlot Express, and ABC Commissary are nearby.
- See a show or do an anytime attraction.
- Ride Great Movie Ride with FastPass+ during an available return window
- Visit the main tip board FastPass+ kiosk and schedule another available attraction.
Alternative: If you’d only like to ride Toy Story once and prefer to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror multiple times, head to the thrill rides first and rely on FP+ at Toy Story Mania later in the day. Single rider at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is best from 9:30am-11:30am.
Afternoon and Evening: It’s time for the Studios’ scheduled stage shows and high capacity attractions like One Man’s Dream, Muppet Vision 3D, and Club Disney. For good seats at Beauty and the Beast, Frozen Sing-Along, and Indiana Jones, arrive 20 minutes before show time– earlier always results in better seats. For Disney Jr. Live on Stage, Jedi Training Academy, and Lights Motors Action Stunt Show, arrive 5 to 20 minutes early. Visit characters in the last 60 to 90 minutes that they’re scheduled to appear. Visit Star Wars Launch Bay as late as possible.
CHARACTER–CENTRIC TOURING PLAN
Use FP+ at Toy Story Mania (10am–11am), Frozen Sing-Along (11:05am-11:20am), and Disney Jr. Live on Stage (1:10pm-1:25pm)
- If desired, sign the kids ages 4 – 12 up for Jedi Training Academy. If you’re not signing up kids, you may be able to ride Toy Story Mania standby with a short wait before meeting the characters. Long waits may develop if you sign kids up for Jedi Training.
- Visit Toy Story Characters: 9am – 9:15am
- Visit the Disney Jr. characters in Animation Courtyard: 9:20am – 9:45am
- Meet characters in front of Great Movie Ride: 9:45am – 10:15am
- See Voyage of the Little Mermaid: 10:20am – 10:40am (10:25am show)
- Ride Toy Story Mania with FastPass+: 10:45am-11:05am
- See the Frozen Sing-Along with FastPass+: 11:15am – 12pm (11:30am show)
- Have lunch. ABC Commissary and Backlot Express are close.
- See Disney Jr. Live on Stage with FastPass+: 1:15pm – 1:50pm (1:30pm show)
- Get Great Movie Ride FastPass+ at the tip board FP+ kiosk for later in the day or return in the last two hours of operation when waits are short.
Afternoon and Evening: See above Afternoon and Evening section.
LATE-ARRIVAL TOURING: Use FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and for two of the attractions from Tier 2 that you would like to experience. Most people will want to select Tower of Terror and Little Mermaid or Star Tours. Visit the anytime attractions in the afternoon when crowds are heaviest, prioritizing the shows that run on a set schedule. Visit characters in the last 60 to 90 minutes they’re schedule to appear. End the evening with Fantasmic or visit Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania (in that order) in the final 90 minutes when waits are shorter. Disney will allow guests to enter the line and ride any operating attraction right up until official park close regardless of posted wait time. Posted waits at the end of the night are usually exaggerated.
FANTASMIC: Hollywood Studios’ nighttime spectacular is scheduled at least once almost every night. During busier times, a second show is scheduled 90 minutes after the start of the first, and the most crowded days of the year can see three shows. Shows can start as early as 6:30pm or as late as 10pm. If two shows are scheduled, the second will virtually always be less crowded, especially if it begins at 9pm or later, due to the number of families that opt for the earlier show. If you’re headed to the first or only Fantasmic, plan to arrive 60 to 75 minutes early to secure good seats together. For the second show, an arrival 15 to 30 minutes early should suffice. Seating is bleacher-style, uncomfortable, and without backs. The best seats are at least half way up in the middle section. Any closer and you risk getting wet and won’t be able to see what’s happening on the water. The Fantasmic Dining Package, a fixed price meal at Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood & Vine, or Mama Melrose, guarantees a seat for the show and a three course meal. Its reserved seats are front and center. Arrive at least 20 minutes early. FastPass+ has a reserved section next to the Dining Package section. Because it’s in Tier 1, most guests will want to use their pre-scheduled selection on Toy Story Mania or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and either see the second Fantasmic or check to see if the show is available as a 4th FP+ selection.
Wait Times By Crowd Level