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Avoid Wasting Time

Often guests who visit the Studios will spend time at attractions that aren't worth seeing at that time of the day, thus wasting time. Assuming you do not have more than one day at Hollywood Studios on your trip, you're going to want to avoid falling prey to the smaller attractions Disney puts out there to help control crowds at the popular venues; the same popular venues that you should be going to in the first place before waits get unmanageable. Those who stop to experience these "distractions" will ultimately have less time to see the more popular attractions.

This article isn't to say the activities listed below should be avoided all together. That would be incorrect. Instead, we encourage guests to get the big attractions out of the way first and save these minor attractions for when crowds are at their worst and/or at the end of the day.

  1. Character Meet-n-greets
    Right at the park opening you'll find characters waving and jumping at the Sorcerer's Hat, encouraging park guests to come see them rather than hang a right at Sunset Blvd or blow past them to ride Toy Story Midway Mania. By going straight and meeting with these characters, guests waste that precious first hour the Studios are open when waits at Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Roller Coaster have close to no wait.

    By the same token, characters appear throughout the day around the Sorcerer's Hat as well as on Streets of America and the Magic of Disney Animation to lure guests away from other attractions.

  2. Endless Attractions
    Endless attractions are those which are self-guided in nature, most notably Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground and Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. With both you can enter and leave the attraction as you wish and stay for as little or as late as you like. The problem is much greater at Honey, I Shrunk the Audience where the attraction is geared towards younger children who never want to leave on their own.
  3. Eating meals with everyone else
    Everyone has to eat but not everyone has to eat with eleverone else. By eating your meals a little before or a little after the typiical period when most people eat, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend eating your food because the waits for food and/or service will be far less. Generally it's best to eat earlier than later the average rush time.

Now that we know what pitfalls there are, here are some ways to have your cake and eat it too

  • They will repeat - many of the activites you see such as character meet-n-greets and Streetmosphere will return many times throughout the day and if your goal is to see everything there is at Hollywood Studios in one day, it's best to leave the character and Streetmosphere encounters to later in the day.
  • If you kids really want to spend some time at an endless attraction like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids or if you're a Walt Disney nut and want to read everything, save these for times of the day when everything else is really busy (such as mid-day) or for when you've done everything you wanted to do in the first place.
  • Get a good plan - Before you ever set foot on Hollywood Studios, have a touring plan written out. It might be a list of attractions you want to do, or a commando style guide with detailed steps. Eitherway, a plan will allow you to make sure you've done everything you wanted to experience without the remorseful feeling later of knowing you forgot or couldn't experience something.
  • Time to eat - If you're looking for a good time to eat to avoid crowds, for lunch try anytime before 11:30am and for late lunch/early dinner try between 2-4pm. For a late dinner, try after 7pm.

This article is again, geared towards those who come to Hollywood Studios for one day during their trip. Those who can dedicate more than one day can enjoy the luxury of taking their time and doing what suits them at the time. But for those who are on a limited schedule, avoiding attractions that can be put off until later in the day can ensure you get to see and do everything else you wanted to experience in the first place.

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About this column

A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 by