Best Time to Visit Disney's Hollywood Studios

Choosing the Right Month, Day, and Time of Day Can Make All the Difference

Toy Story Mania
© The Walt Disney Company

More than 10 million people visit Disney's Hollywood Studios, which until 2008 was known as Disney MGM Studios. In the U.S., it is the fifth most visited amusement park.  Knowing this, It might be a good thing to know when is the best time to visit.

With the 2011 opening of Star Tours, the continued popularity of Toy Story Mania, the Tower of Terror, and the Rock n' Rollercoaster, it can be tough to see everything you want.

The best time to visit all depends on you. Are you staying at a Disney Resort or not? If you are or aren't can help determine the day that might be the best for you. 

Best Time of Year

When you are planning your Disney vacation, you should first choose the time of year that best suits your needs, then you can focus on the day and time that works best for your travel party. Most months at Disney have special events throughout the year.

Use these handy month-by-month guides to Disney World that give you helpful information and tips so you know what to expect.

If you are looking for fewer people crowding the parks, then your best bets are probably May, after spring break, the middle of August before Labor Day weekend, and early December, after the Thanksgiving weekend and before the winter break.

As for best days to visit, it depends if you are staying at a Disney Resort or not. If you are a resort guest, then you might want to take advantage of the Disney Resort "Magic Hours." This is a perk that is only for Disney Resort guests, which allows you entry to the park an hour earlier or allows you to leave an hour later.

Disney Resort Guests

If you are staying at a Disney-owned resort, then head to Hollywood Studios on a Friday morning for an extra "Magic Hour." If you prefer to visit during the evening to catch Fantasmic!, plan to head to Hollywood Studios on a Wednesday evening, and you will be able to stick around and play after the park has closed to non-resort guests. Make sure to check the Disney schedule before solidifying your plans, the park can close or cancel magic hours for special events.

Not Staying at a Disney Resort

Since Hollywood Studios usually hosts extra magic hours on Wednesdays and Fridays, avoid visiting on those days if you are not staying at a Disney Resort. The park will be crowded with resort guests who will most likely plan to take advantage of this perk. If you visit on a different day, then you will likely see a lot less congestion, though popular attractions like Star Tours will still have a line most times of the year.

Best Time of Day

If you plan on spending the day in the park, head there first thing in the morning on the day you have chosen.

If you are using the Disney transportation system, allow at least 30 minutes of travel time. If you are driving yourself, you may need a little less time. You should be waiting when the park opens and proceed directly to your favorite attraction.

FastPass Cuts Line Time

Disney's FastPass+ service was added as a way for customers to cut down the waits for popular attractions in their parks. There is no additional cost to use FastPass+ service―it is included with your theme park admission. Although, the sooner you get your park admission, the sooner you can sign up for FastPass reservations for rides, shows, and character encounters. You can reserve FastPass selections 30 days in advance. And, if you are staying at a Disney Resort, you can make reservations 60 days in advance.

FastPass selections may also be made the same-day at a FastPass kiosk in the theme park or using the My Disney Experience mobile app.

If you have not secured your FastPass reservations before arriving at the park, then consider sending the fastest member of your party to a kiosk or make reservations by the app to secure your FastPass options for attractions later in the day. Toy Story Mania typically has the longest line and runs out of FastPass for the day mid-morning during the busier times of the year.

Fantasmic Fireworks

If you prefer an evening visit to Hollywood Studios and want to catch the "Fantasmic!" fireworks show, you should make plans to arrive at dinnertime. Note that during busy travel periods, there still may be long lines—even at dinnertime.

Need More Help?

If you feel that planning all these things on your own is overwhelming, then you should consider enlisting the help of a Disney travel specialist. These agents—most work on commission from Disney—usually charge no fee to the customer, attend Disney courses, and can assist you with all your travel plans including tips on the best times to visit, scheduling FastPass selections, magic hours, and finding a Disney Resort that fits your family and budget.