Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Kids

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is, in my opinion, the Disney park that has undergone the most change.  And so much for the better! There was a time when Disney’s Hollywood Studios would have been the least favorite park amongst families, but times have changed.  There is so much to enjoy with your family at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Today, I am going to share my favorite tips for visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Kids!

From toddlers to preschoolers to teenagers, and everyone in between, this Disney’s Hollywood Studios is amazing for families.  With the addition of Galaxy’s Edge and the kid friendly Toy Story Land, visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with kids is so much fun!

Characters, great dining options, well themed lands, and fantastic shows…..it is a “must visit” on your next Disney vacation! 

Hollywood Studios is the Disney park where you can feel the excitement in the air as soon as you enter.  Walking down Sunset Boulevard with the giant palm trees lining the street leading to the Chinese Theater is breathtaking.  You can’t help but feel a little starstruck, and as if you have been transported back in time to the early years of cinema and film.  While several of the park’s highlights are geared toward older children, the fun area of Toy Story Land and the Disney Jr. offerings make it fantastic for visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with kids of all ages.

Where Can I Find Great Dining Options for My Family at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood and Vine:  This will always be my number one favorite at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is the only character dining location at Hollywood Studios, and one thing I love about this location is it serves all three meals of the day. 

For breakfast, you can enjoy your Disney Jr. friends.  For lunch and dinner, Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine takes place for guests. With both of these options, guests see a lot of changes, as Disney likes to keep it updated.  If you have a little one, you know that the Disney Jr. Characters change over time, and Disney reflects this at the Play and Dine breakfast.  We’ve seen a range from the Little Einsteins to Handy Manny to Sofia and Doc McStuffins.  For lunch and dinner, Minnie and her friends reflect the current season.  This location is especially fun during the fall and winter when they are in their seasonal costumes.  

50s Prime Time Cafe  50s Prime Time Cafe is so, so fun.  This is a table service restaurant, and a great value if you are paying out of pocket.  I really like this location because it is fun for everyone in your family.  Adults love it with the 50s retro theming.  Kids love the menu ~ fried chicken and milkshakes!  This location is full of comfort food….so it’s one I personally like to enjoy when it is a bit cooler in Florida.

Backlot Express:  For a great Quick Service Dining location, you can’t go wrong with Backlot Express.  While Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t known for it’s fantastic QS locations, they serve their purpose for guests. Backlot Express has a great menu.  Also, the seating is very plentiful with both indoor and outdoor options.  

What Characters Can We Meet at Hollywood Studios?

When visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with kids, meeting characters is a must! Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some unique characters to itself.  First, it’s the only place you can meet your favorite Star Wars Characters.  BB8, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, and others are available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  

Guests can also meet Olaf at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  He is in his own meet and greet area that smells like summer!  Just to the side of the FROZEN Singalong is his area.  The meet and greet is so cute. He’s always happy to see guests and will give you a card with his “autograph” on it…with sticks for arms, it’s kind of hard to sign autograph books! 

Another unique meet and greet is the Disney Jr. Characters. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to the Disney Jr. Play and Dance. After the show, there are some of your favorite Disney Jr. Characters waiting for you at the exit! These change often, so be sure to keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app for who is appearing.

ToyStory Land is the only location you can meet Jessie and Woody together in one spot. Buzz Lightyear meets at Hollywood Studios, but you can also find him at Magic Kingdom.  However, Woody and Jesse, as well as some Green Army Men are located just outside Toy Story Midway Mania in Hollywood Studios. 

What are the Best Attractions for Kids at Hollywood Studios?

At the top of my list for attractions in Hollywood Studios are the Toy Story Land attractions. As soon as you step into Toy Story Land, you are in the most well themed area of Walt Disney World.  You feel as if you are in the middle of Andy’s backyard, and you want to stay all day!

One thing I really appreciate about Toy Story Land is that the attractions are somewhat close to one another. This makes it easy to move about, and enjoy some of them more than once. The entire family can ride Alien Swirling Saucers together.  Think of this as sort of a Mad Tea Party set up. It spins across the ride platform, making it a cute and fun ride.

Top Five Things to Do with Kids at Disney's Hollywood Studios

My absolute favorite ride is Slinky Dog Dash. Wait times for this can be fairly long, so it’s a good idea to go straight there in the morning, or at park close. Keep in mind, the queue is mostly outside and not super shaded. So it can be hot.  This rollercoaster is relatively mild, very similar to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It does have a “low” height requirement of 38 inches, so it is mostly fun for everyone.  

You also can’t go wrong with Toy Story Midway Mania.  This classic is one even my teenagers still love. While this is not a “new” attraction at Hollywood Studios, it fits perfectly with Toy Story Land.

The newest attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is found smack in the middle of the park. If you remember the Great Movie Ride, it is similar to that set up and in the same location! It also has no height restrictions, so that makes it perfect for everyone! This is also the first Mickey and Minnie themed attraction in any of the Disney Parks.  Definitely one for fans of the Mouse!

Hollywood Studios is also home to the now famous Galaxy’s Edge.  Even the youngest Star Wars fan will enjoy some time here!  However, many of the attractions in Galaxy’s Edge are geared toward older kids and adults.  If we were traveling as a family, we would probably part ways here and one of us would enjoy Galaxy’s Edge with the older two while the other took the younger one to get a snack, see a show, or meet some characters.  

Aside from Toy Story Land, there are still plenty of fun things for kids!  We love to enjoy the shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  These give us time to rest and get a snack while enjoying some of our favorite Disney characters on stage.

An absolute favorite of ours is Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. This is an outdoor amphitheater seating seat up.  So it can get kind of hot.  But, most of the seating area is covered and they do have fans.  Everyone in our family enjoys this show. The music is perfect and the costumes are fantastic.   

The FROZEN Singalong and Voyage of the Little Mermaid are both indoor shows.  These, along with Beauty and the Beast give your princess fans a look at their favorites.  Also, the FROZEN Singlaong is comical and very well done!  

Overall, with some careful planning, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great use of a park ticket for families. We have always needed just one day at this park, or park hopped there for an additional half day or so.  It makes a great park to visit toward the middle of your trip, and maybe even hop to EPCOT before or after. 

Did you know you can walk to EPCOT from Hollywood Studios?  Or take a boat or the Skyliner?  They are VERY close to each other. We often like to enjoy Hollywood Studios most of the day then hop to EPCOT for dinner.  Is your family planning a trip to Hollywood Studios?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Planning Tips:

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Carrie Hurst

Not only do I love sharing all my vacation tips and ideas here on A Princess and Her Pirates, but I also work alongside families to create magical vacation memories year after year! Email me at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to begin the planning process, and join hundreds of families on my current guest list.


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