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Challenges planning your day at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Planning your day at Disney's Hollywood Studios is something everyone goes through, from novice to expert.  When your goal is to "see it all" or just spend your day in the park, there are challenges to making it work.  I asked the Studios Central twitter followers what is the most difficult aspect of planning a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios to see what obstacles people run into.

Trying to balance the rides and shows is I feel the biggest challenge to planning a day at the Studios and it is something I hear from a lot.  My best advice is to split your visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios over two days.  It is not 1999 anymore and there is a lot of good attractions in the park and if your goal is to make your life easier and involve less running around to get it all in, well, spreading your visit to more than one day is the best solution.

If you do not have enough time on your vacation to see the park in two days, then the next best solution is arriving to the park well before park opening and utilizing a good touring plan. Focus on the shows that have the least amount of shows per day and work up from there, with rides thrown in where appropriate.  Shameless plug to my friends at Touring Plans for best strategies.

This is a good question and it largely depends on how fast you eat and how many people are in your party.  Generally speaking, an average meal at Walt Disney World for my family will take 45 to 60 minutes.  If my group is larger, then it will take longer.  There are other "x-factors" such as slow service, backed up waits and other problems that are hard to anticipate.  

If it were me, I would book my ADR no earlier than 2 hours prior to the Fantasmic! time I want to see.  If you can give another 30-60 minutes of pad time, then you will be in a better spot.  Of course, if you are going during a really busy time of the year (Christmas, Easter or July 4 weeks) then add another hour to all of that for good measure.

How difficult a problem it is to ride Toy Story Midway Mania depends on how many times you want to ride.  One time in a day is fairly straight forward, with the best time being right at park opening.  I am betting most of the people that tweeted back this problem want to ride more than once so my advice is to read an article I posted a few years ago about how to ride multiple times in a day.  The advice still holds up (minus the part about the parade).

Oh and if you want the absolute best way to ride Toy Story Midway Mania a lot of times with a short wait?  Come to the Tower of Terror 10-miler and purchase a ticket for the party only.  The first two hours will have the shortest waits you've ever seen.  If you do not ride more than 5 times in a few hours then you are not trying very hard.

Guy is a friend of mine and simply "trolling" (internet geek speak for trying to pick a fight for the sake of picking a fight) but I wanted to use this as an opportunity to explain why the Studios has a lot to offer.  Obviously there are rides and shows to see and do, and most people who give me this argument overlook many of them.  They tell me the stage shows are not of interest but there's a reason shows like Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast have been showing for almost 20 years now....they're good.

Then there's my favorite overlooked form of entertainment in the Studios, the Citizens of Hollywood.  These are really talented people and you can easily spend a day just seeing their shows.  Do yourself a favor and see their shows throughout the day.  The shows are not just the same thing over and over again (like the chair stacking guy in a certain overrated theme park with a large lagoon).

Oh and while we are trolling, Epcot only has about 3 actual attractions anyone wants to do every trip, so come back to me when there's actual rides we can get excited about.

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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, April 17, 2013 by