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Five tips for saving money at Hollywood Studios

As much as we all love going to Walt Disney World, we all know deep down in the back of our minds that it's an expensive place to visit.  That doesn't mean it isn't worth going to but it's a fact of any visit to Walt Disney World that you will likely have to shell out a fair amount of money for lots of different things that would probably cost less back home.  As Disney fans, we take it as part of the package and still love each trip we get to take but there are some ways to save a few dollars here and there.  Here are some tips to make your next trip to Hollywood Studios a little cheaper.

Fill 'er up!

When you go to Hollywood Studios, especially in the summer, it can get very hot out and inevitably, you'll want to drink a lot but with soft drinks costing about $2 or so, that can get expensive quickly.  The good news if you don't want to give up on Coke and it's sister products, you can get plenty of it.  In fact, as much as you can drink when you're having a meal.  We all know that at the sit down restaurants, refills on soft drinks are included but Backlot Express now features self-serve soda machines, which means you can refill your cup as many times as you like during your meal.  So far, Backlot Express is the only restaurant to offer this in the Studios, but if you're feeling particularly parched and could go for something fizzy, have lunch or dinner at Backlot Express and you can drink as much soda as you can handle.

Cool down for free

One of the smartest inventions ever are those "squeeze breeze" fans that spray a mist of water on you and it does a lot to cool you down.  Unfortunately, they also cost a pretty penny and it seems they never make it from one trip to another.  So if your kids (or you) are looking for a way to cool down without breaking the bank, there are a few places in Hollywood Studios to get a refreshing hit of water for free.  Streets of America is a good place to start as there are a couple of water options here.  Halfway down New York Street near the Plaza Hotel facade is a fire hydrant that is often turned on to spray a continual stream of water, which is great for the kids. Further down the street is the Singing in the Rain umbrella where you can stand on the sensor and it will rain on you. Just side step the umbrella and enjoy the flow.  

In addition, you can head to the Backlot Tour entrance to find another two places to cool down for free.  There is a huge Coke bottle that sprays water and mist every few seconds and the Backlot Tour tram that has crashed through the wall near the entrance to the ride sprays mist from its radiator every minute or so.

Water, water everywhere!

This tip can apply to all the parks but it's good to know in Hollywood Studios as well.  As thirsty as some people get, the idea of water fountains doesn't particularly appeal to many for a variety of reasons.  The good news is you don't have to shell out $2 for a bottle of water or bring your own or deal with a water fountain.  You can get a cup of iced water at many locations for free!  Any counter service restaurant in Hollywood Studios that has a soda dispenser (meaning they offer cups of soda, not just bottles) can give you a free cup of iced water.  You just ask the Cast Member for a cup of iced water and they'll happily oblige and there's no charge.  You can do this all day long and get as many as you like.  It's one thing I always do on my trips in the summer so I don't have to lug around bottles of water from home and I always get very cold water anytime I want.

Some locations that I know offer the water and ice and are usually easy to get to are Starring Rolls Bakery, ABC Commissary, Tower of Terror Coffee, and Herbie's Drive In.

Are you as smart as you think you are?

Any parent would agree that if they can entertain their child, get them engaged in something and leave them feeling good about themselves, that would be a great goal and your child can feel like a Jeopardy champion every day at Hollywood Studios. Stop by Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-kind shop (located near the park entrance, adjacent to Guest Relations) and you'll see an easel with five movie trivia questions on the left side of the porch as you walk in.  Take your time and figure out the answers.  Once you (or your kid) knows the answers, flag down a Cast Member from the shop and ask to answer the questions.  Once you get all five right, you get a certificate of accomplishment and get to sign a book to let the world know that you got it right.  It's fun for kids or adults and it's totally free!

Want free stuff?

Speaking of free souvenirs, there are some to be found at Hollywood Studios and while these freebies aren't worth a whole lot in terms of money, they are neat little things to get for free and it's hard to argue with the price.

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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 14, 2010 by