We were most excited about visiting Hollywood Studios, it’s one park I do remember from when I visited in 1994 (When I was 9!) And again when we visited in 2019.
All information & exchange rates are correct at the time of our visit (28th November) Prices exclude tax
I’m going to start off with a couple of the main disappointments of the visit
One of our main memories was the Epic Indiana Jones Stunt show – think dangerous stunts, fire and explosions! It’s an amazing show based on the Indiana Jones Chronicles.
So imagine our disappointment to find that it is still closed and not due to reopen until 19th December 2021. Yes we could have read this online if we had checked but it wouldn’t have stopped us being disappointed.
Another favourite of ours – Voyage of the Little Mermaid is also still closed with no reopen date available at all, This is a UV puppetry show and it is magical. Even as an adult I really enjoyed watching it.
Parking at Hollywood Studios
For a car it is $25 (£18.75) standard or $50 (£37.50) for express
For a larger vehicle it is $30 (£22.50)
We aren’t sure what they class as a larger vehicle as we have a 15 seater mini bus and were charged the car rate!
The car parks are great though they are all named – We were in Yellow Mickey Mouse – and the row you are in is clearly marked at the end of the row.
Take a photo of the board or drop a pin on your google maps if you need help remembering where you parked.
Do check the app for opening times as they can vary – For us it was showing 9am and we got in just before.
Security tip : If you have a glasses case or power bank, hold this out in front of you as you go through the security scan as this sets off the scanner
Here you will find their Christmas tree in the middle of the lake surrounded by giant baubles floating around it.
Depending on the ride there’s a few different ways you can collect your photos.
Going to the counter – Some of the rides still have a counter where you will need to go to get your photo from a staff member added to your card / magic band. If you or any of your group have removed your mask they will refuse to download the image for you (or print it)
Automatic download – Some of the rides will ‘scan’ your pass as you go past the camera and automatically add your image to your account. We had a few problems with this one on the Tower of Terror, it uploaded the video (which I have screen shot below) but not the actual photo.
Self Service – Lastly you may exit the ride to a wall of screens displaying all the images and you can press your card / magic band against the button that relates to your image and it will download.
Walkabout Photographers – These will have a handheld scanner which you press your card / magic band against and the photos will be added to the photo section of your app
Masks are still required in all indoor areas at Hollywood Studios including on the rides (as you will see from our photos)
This requirement is for everyone 3 years and up regardless of your vaccination status.
Snacks & Quick Dining
There are a lot more smaller vendor stalls here, meaning much less queuing for snacks.
We went to Rosie’s All-American Cafe for lunch – They do a ‘power pack’ for the littles containing a Smoothie, Apple Slices, Carrot Sticks, Cheese Crackers, a Mini baby bell and a drink for $7.19/£5.42.
No pictures because I was Hangry and just needed to eat before I shouted at someone
They also do beer, pretty much everywhere!
We used Genie+ again here and it worked much better as we were able to reserve every 2 hours.
The app will tell you what time you can book your next ride so set an alarm for that time so you don’t miss a slot!
Rock’n’Roller Coaster & Cars
They offer parent swap for this, just grab a ticket from one of the cast members so the other parent can skip the queue once you’ve been on.
Tucked away behind the Rock’n’roller coaster you will find a 4d Cars / Lightning McQueen show which was really good!
It never had more than a 10 minute wait the whole time we were there and we think this may have been down to the fact it is so well hidden you wouldn’t even realise it was there!
There are a lot of shops here down Sunset Boulevard – you’ll find Pandora inside Sparkle on the Boulevard selling exclusive Disney charms – We grabbed one each for Chloe ($75/£56.50) and Lottie ($70/£52.75) and myself ($65/£49)!
Toy Story Land
If you have littles, you should head straight for Toy Story land.
If you haven’t been able to reserve a spot on the Slinky Dog Coaster this queue WILL hit over 2 hours very quickly (it was already 70 mins by the time the park opened to all guests)
Again the auto photo thing didn’t work so we missed out on the ride photo too, luckily there are some good spots to catch your own images if someone isn’t riding.
There were a few characters milling about at various points in Hollywood Studios.
Holly was super excited to meet Minnie Mouse, she got all shy when she saw her and Minnie loved that Holly had a Minnie Mouse t shirt on!
Doc McStuffins, Vampirina & Fancy Nancy were also tucked away by the (closed) Voyage of the Little Mermaid attraction, again no queue because it wasn’t very obvious they were there.
We also caught the mini parade down Hollywood Boulevard with The Incredibles and Toy Story which the girls loved, we didn’t love the adults who stood right in front of the pushchairs the littles were sat in ready to watch.
Frozen Sing Along
Again this is another one of my favourites – Not only is it a live action show but they also play all the Frozen classics with subtitles so you can sing along!
It’s narrated by 2 village historians (I think that’s what they called them) who are hilarious (and perhaps slightly in love with Chris Hemsworth)
They even rolled in jokes about the masks we all had to wear (yes even to sing!) and other current events in the world.
There is also a snowy surprise at the end which all the littles loved!
Some things to note
You cant queue with anyone under the height even if they aren’t riding (however at Universal this is exactly what you have to do for parent swap!)
If you go on the Tower of Terror – when you get to just before you board the lift, there are 2 lines and everyone seems to follow each other to the one line but if you go straight on there is a 2nd line which is shorter!
There are baby changing facilities in both the mens and women’s toilets, in every one we visited.
We still had a great day at Hollywood Studios even though the 2 attractions were closed.
It was still pretty busy from the Thanksgiving half term but as I said above lots of short queues for the children’s rides/attractions.
Any questions just ask!
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