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How do you fit in all of the shows at Hollywood Studios? – PREP001

How do you fit in all of the shows at Hollywood Studios? – PREP001

(Article last updated: November 18, 2014)

Ever wondered how the heck you were going to tour Hollywood Studios and fit in all of the shows?

Today, I’ve got some ideas on how you can do that and a tip for when to show up to all 4 Disney World theme parks.


Touring Hollywood Studios

General Hollywood Studios touring advice: show up at 8:15 because it normally opens at 8:30 a.m. (update: 8:50-9:00 is now the normal opening time), ride Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Star Tours and then figure out the rest of the day.

Advice on planning the rest of the day to include shows:

  • Narrow down the show list. The same people who want to see the toddler shows might not be the same people to see the stunt shows (but they might be!).
  • Check for show times to try to plan before your trip.
  • Eat a meal while attending an outdoor show to save some time. The outdoor shows include Beauty and the Beast, Lights Motors Action, Indiana Jones and Fantasmic.

Sample touring plan to include all shows (check times before your trip):

  • Ride Toy Story Mania
  • See Voyage of the Little Mermaid at 9:15 a.m.
  • Disney Jr. Live on Stage at 9:40 a.m.
  • Kill some time doing non-show things and attend 11:45 a.m. showing of Beauty and the Beast, stopping to get Quick Service food across the street beforehand
  • Walk briskly to Indiana Jones show at 12:30 p.m. (spread the shows out more if this schedule is too tight)
  • Lights, Motors, Action at 1:20 p.m.
  • In the evening, attend the 7:00 American Idol show (the last show of the day which has the winners of the previous shows)
  • See Fantasmic at the end of the night (if there are 2 shows scheduled, the last one will be less busy)

Quick tip

You should arrive to all 4 parks before they open. All of the parks open earlier than the posted open time except Magic Kingdom, but you still want to arrive there early to get in the front of the line. (Updated 11/18/2014: Magic Kingdom now usually opens about 10 minutes early as well.)

It’s best to arrive to all parks by 8:30 or so when they have a 9:00 opening time.

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Thursday 20th of August 2015

Any updates since 2014? We are planning a trip May 2016.

Shannon Albert

Thursday 20th of August 2015

This was a podcast episode. I don't re-record the audio for the podcasts so a lot has changed since then. Encourage you to listen to the newer ones for current info.


Wednesday 28th of January 2015

Any advice on how to squeeze in the Frozen show?


Wednesday 21st of August 2013

Thanks for all the great info!! Does your advice (arriving at the parks 30 mins/45mins before they open) apply to extra magic morning hours too? Is that possible using Disney transportation (do they run that early)?

Shannon Albert

Wednesday 21st of August 2013

No, arriving that early for Extra Magic Hours isn't necessary. The buses are running that early to get you there for the EMHs.

Afton Rio

Monday 19th of August 2013

This was great! We are doing Hollywood studios for the first time in Jan and my kids are super excited about shows. I have 8 am breakfast reservations but now I'm second guessing them since the park opens early... I'd rather get a jump start on rides ... What do you suggest? What is your favorite restaurant there for kids? I think it's fantasmic that is said to be somewhat scary for kids. Is that your opinion as well? Lots of questions :)

Shannon Albert

Monday 19th of August 2013

Thanks, Afton! I usually do advise against early breakfast at HS for the reason you mentioned. How about an early lunch at Sci-Fi Diner instead?

Fantasmic is dark and scary for some little ones. Might want to watch a video on YouTube to get a feel for it and see if the kids in your family will be OK with it.