Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has been having the glow-up of the century. Epcot has its festivals, Animal Kingdom has – well, animals and Magic Kingdom is the home for every princess. But Hollywood Studios has always been a bit of an ugly step-sister, never really knowing who it was or where it stood in the resort. After a big overhaul and several new attractions, this park has quickly become one of my favorites. In the words of a fabulous cast member on my last trip, ‘Hollywood Studios – where we celebrate all movies, but mostly Star Wars.’
We all know the big E-ticket attractions littered around the park. The ones we rope drop and pay absurd amounts of money to skip the line for. In the shadow of these colossal behemoths are classic, beloved, and underrated attractions.
Alien Swirling Saucers
Located in the very back of the park, Alien Swirling Saucers is easy to overlook with the nearby Slinky Dog Dash towering above it. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve skipped this ride for years. It looks like a simple, boring, kiddy flat ride with minimal theming thrown in to fill out a new land for the park. And, it is – BUT! Disney does simple good.
With a line that rarely surpasses 20 minutes, Alien Swirling Saucers is well worth the wait. Board your personal alien stagecoach and hang out tight, as these little green guys spin you right ’round and whip your hair back and forth. Honestly, I’m surprised the restraints are so minimal because you could absolutely spill out of this vehicle as it rounds a corner. Do not miss your chance to disco dance beneath the claw.
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
The original Star Wars attraction – the O.G. is always on our to-do list for Hollywood Studios. Another short wait will whisk you away to planets unknown with everyone’s favorite droid drivers. From Hoth to Tatooine and Jakku, there are more than 700 unique adventures awaiting.
Will you be the rebel spy? Will you pose awkwardly in a room full of strangers for a picture no one knows about, and still not get picked for the 15th time? Who knows! If you’ve been prioritizing those shiny new Star Wars attractions, get back to your roots and visit the Ewoks at Star Tours.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
If you were born in the mid to late 80’s there’s a 50% chance your favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast. As a millennial myself, can confirm the only other option is The Lion King (which you can find over at Animal Kingdom). So, if you fall into this camp Hollywood Studios is about to make your dreams come true.
With five shows per day, you can finally see your favorite film come to life in this stage production. This is not a campy theme park filler show – Disney doesn’t do that. Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage is a full-fledged theater show. Complete with beautiful costumes, talented performers, and mesmerizing musical numbers – this abridged retelling is a highly underrated must-do.
Nearly half of the attractions at Hollywood Studios are character meets, and rightfully so! This is the park of movies and the stars are all here! Unfortunately, they haven’t yet secured a contract with Mark Hamil or Harrison Ford – but you can meet Han Solo and Chewie!
In fact, you can meet nearly all of your favorite characters here! Mickey and Minnie, Olaf, Edna Mode, Woody, and more. Now, the lines for some of these characters can get pretty long – particularly those that are new, rare, or from Frozen. But when will you have another chance to take a picture with any of the Incredible characters or BB-8?!
Remember – pics or it didn’t happen. So, make sure to set aside some time for these Instagram and Christmas card-worthy meet and greets.
Muppet Vision 3D
Last on this list, but certainly not least, is Muppet Vision 3D. If there is one thing that we cannot get enough of at the Disney parks, it’s Muppets. Thankfully this attraction has stood the test of time in a park that has seen so much change, and I’m here for it.
This adorable 3D experience is where immersion started at Disney parks! Muppet Vision 3D walked so that Toy Story Mania could run, and every time I step inside this theater it’s like a walk down memory lane. You’ll laugh with Statler and Waldorf, search high and low with Sweetums, and celebrate America with Sam Eagle.
Oh, and Fozzie Bear launches a cannonball through the back of the theater, because why not? Again, there’s never a line here it’s an indoor (air-conditioned) attraction and a downright good time. No need to rope drop this baby, it’ll be waiting for you whenever you’re ready.
What’s your favorite underrated attraction at Hollywood Studios?