Disney Hollywood Studios Tips and Tricks

By Laurie

On April 15th I went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS). I packed lightweight shorts and top because it might rain. A major issue in Florida is hypothermia because people prepare for a warm evening without rain or wind. Florida has deluges that can soak a man in a few minutes. The downpour is usually accompanied by strong winds that can turn a person into a block of ice. When you are cold and wet you slow down and don’t care about what the schedule is. You just want to curl up in a warm corner. I have a zippered jacket or sweatshirt for another change so I can stay dry in the worst storms.

I packed two sandwiches, two potato chip bags, and two cans of diet Coke. If I get chilled or exhausted I have instant fuel to keep me going. I packed a bag to cover my scooter tiller because scooters can quit working when wet. I arrived at DHS at 8:30 am after an hour drive as there was an accident along the way. I had bags open and magic band ready as I breezed through security and the entrance.

DHS lets guest in early so they can rent wheels, visit Guest Relations, get food and drinks, shop, visit the nurse, and get time guides. The cast members (CMs) form a rope midway up the street. Choose wisely your spot. Left goes up Keystone to Jedi Training signup, Muppets, and Star Tours. Right side turns onto Sunset Boulevard and guests are not allowed into the Animation Courtyard, no sneaky moves are allowed. I stayed in the center and headed toward the Animation Courtyard where we went through the arches and turned left. I stayed right so I just passed next to the wall and One Man’s Dream. Aim for a set of pavers one away from the wall as this will have you in line. I was boarding Toy Story Mania at 9:08 am.

IMPORTANT TRICK

I dropped my Fastpass (FP) for Toy Story Mania for the afternoon. As soon as I knew I did not need that FP it was replaced with another ride. As soon as you are scanned for the last FP you get on MDE and book a fourth FP. This gives you a better chance at what you want. If you cannot use a FP then immediately delete it and get another one like I did.

I was to be at the Frozen Sing Along around 10:30 am so I checked out the dead end then doubled back. One Man’s Dream can be seen any time, has no line, is indoors, and just off the main path, so, I saved this until later. However, I heard a CM say that there was no line for Mickey at the former Jack Sparrow building. I did that since the line would later be too long. Sometimes I do something as it is out of the way but I try to save as much as possible for later in the day.

Pixar Avenue goes on for a long ways and ends in a quiet area, smoker area, and Green Army Men meet and greet. It is possible for this area to add characters, carts, and stroller parking. Back to Frozen Sing Along and tips. The audience fills in 3/4 of the seats then the left side, including front row seats then lastly any remaining disabled seats. If they have just one seat they will try to fill it with a single person so don’t be afraid to ask for a front row single seat. There is a steep ramp outside to hold guests. Try to be at least five from the door and as low as possible for best spots. About the 6 – 10th person in each row will end up in the middle.

DHS3My next FP was for Star Tours. I saw the Jedi Training then did Star Tours. I was about 10 minutes into my FP return window. I had to check out the Muppets and Muppet Courtyard. As we predicted this area is a dead end. The last stop was Writers Stop which has high tables for guests waiting for Sci Fi. Currently they are keeping the old theme and bakery case. Jedi Training had a rope and disabled guests and kids often cannot see the show. Sign ups are done at rope drop.

By 1 pm I was ready for Indiana Jones stunt show with my third FP but a FP is not needed for the stunt show unless you want the center seats or seating down front. Spaces for scooters and wheelchairs are limited but there are seats one row down.

Backlot Express does not have soy-free side dishes so I went to the Brown Derby Lounge for lunch. I had the Cobb salad appetizer, dinner roll, iced tea, tip and tax for $18 which is about the same as lunch at Backlot Express. It is a light and delicious filling lunch that is way better than a burger.

While in lines, waiting for a show to start, or at meal time one should work on their schedule. I was able to hit Voyage of the Little Mermaid just before it started. I regret doing the Star Wars shows at the stage. They have refused to listen to guest complaints over the past decade. Kids and disabled will not see the show unless they are on the rope an hour before the show. I loved watching Plasma and her Stormtroopers but hated the stage show. They move the line forward so I was shoved back. It features quick character appearances and clips from the movies. The screen was of poor quality so I was left befuddled by snips of scenes that look like other scenes. YouTube at home has better clips of scenes. Watch Plasma then leave as the second show is boring.

I parked my scooter and checked the outlet. I have a plug with a light so that I know if the outlet has power. I missed Playhouse Jr. Live, but a sweet CM took me in a side door. I rocked as I cooled down after being in the sun too long. The music is easy on the ears, the show is cute, and the kids are fun to watch. I headed to Launch Bay for the movie that has clips from all the Star Wars movies and far better than that stage show. I met the autistic Kylo Ren who is so misunderstood. I wanted to do other stuff like Beauty and the Beast but needed a time out. Don’t push yourself or your group as you end up unhappy.

I left Launch Bay when the rain started and soon came the high winds. I dropped Beauty and the Beast, Fantasmic, and the fireworks as there was no way I would last 3 hours in the rain. I saw the preview of Jungle Book at One Man’s Theater which is one movie to watch. My last stop was the Great Movie Ride. I hope you learned some tips from this report. I cannot stress how important planning is for a trip and adaptability as well.

Coming soon will be reports on things happening Memorial Day, June 17, and later. Some like the Star Wars cantina and Pixar meets will be a year away. Others will be the end of the year. This Summer brings to DHS a character greet in the Frozen Sing Along building toward Star Tours. Also a big spectacular projection show against the Great Movie Ride.