Disney Parks Review: Must Do Hollywood Studios Attractions with Toddlers
Our toddler tour of Walt Disney World continues! In past posts, we’ve looked at the Must Do Attractions for kiddos in both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Today, we are exploring Hollywood Studios. Personally, I feel like Hollywood Studios gets the reputation of being the ugly stepsister to the other three parks. Until lately, it hasn’t been a place where you needed to spend a full day and if you could only fit in three parks during your stay, this was always the one cut from the roster. While Hollywood Studios is not number one on my list of parks, it’s still worth visiting. Let’s get into how you can absolutely spend an entire day here with your family with our Must Do Hollywood Studios Attractions!
Must Do Hollywood Studios Animation Courtyard:
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This is a mini stage show held in a space toward the front of the park. It runs about 15 minutes in length and summarizes Disney’s classic The Little Mermaid. On stage, the characters are played by a mix of puppets and real people (Ariel, Eric). The backdrop of the show is black lit and you cannot see the puppeteers, unlike in Finding Nemo the Musical. There are some sound and laser effects, as well. Caleigh wasn’t thrilled with the section of Ursula, but she did really love seeing Ariel’s mermaid fin turn into legs! It was like “meeting” Ariel, but without the lines. Plus, she could sing along and that is always a win!
Honorable Mention: Disney Junior Dance Party!
We didn’t get to do this because it conflicted with our schedule, but a NEW attraction here is a 20 minute dance-along with Disney Junior characters. I’m not sure we would have ventured into this without an adult previewing it first simply because super loud music with so many kids seems like something that might stress Caleigh out. We also don’t watch Disney Junior (SHH! Don’t tell Disney!), so she doesn’t know many of the characters. If you have a kiddo who loves this channel and knows the characters and music, this will be a win for you! It’s something we’ll have to check out on our next family trip.
Honorable Mention: Disney Junior Character Meet & Greet
Right outside the Dance Party entrance is a larger area with multiple tents and queues. At specific times of the day, Disney Junior characters take up residence under these tents and you can meet them. We only know Sophia the First because of a book my mother-in-law bought Caleigh last Easter (thank you, Tricia!), so naturally she is who Cal wanted to meet. Also featured at the same time: Vampirina and Doc McStuffins. This meant that each of our girls (we traveled with both my sister’s and brother’s families) could be in line at the same time for different characters. This worked out FANTASTICALLY for us. Most of our character meet ups were planned, but this wasn’t and it was both efficient and well organized.
Must Do Hollywood Studios Sunset Boulevard:
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Oh boy, this has been a favorite of mine for YEARS. While it’s a personal Must Do for sure, my Belle-loving daughter also needed to see her favorite duo come to life on stage. The show takes place under a dome, the Theatre of the Stars, with stadium seating in benches. It’s a full 30 minutes and does a really strong job of capturing the film. The quality of the show is dependent on the talent of the actors. There is a Gaston that frequently messes up one of his lines, but he typically makes it work. I’ve seen him on stage twice now. He’s a great Gaston in pompousness, voice, and singing capacity, but it bothers me that he can’t remember lines that I remember and it’s definitely not my day job. Despite this one cast member, the show is excellent and is highly recommended for your family!
Must Do Hollywood Studios Pixar Place:
This is a brand spankin’ new area of Hollywood Studios and is modeled to look like Municiberg from The Incredibles. Wow, does it impress! It is incredibly well themed and includes gorgeous Instagram-worthy backdrops. We stopped here to try out a treat (Must Eats coming soon!). We sat on a bench, ate our snack, and took a much needed respite. There aren’t “attractions” here, per se, but do check it out (even just for the photo ops!).
Must Do Hollywood Studios Echo Lake:
A Frozen Sing Along Adventure:
If you go to Hollywood Studios for just this, I promise that it’ll be worth it. Marc and I went to this when I was pregnant with Cal, our “Babymoon” if you will, and we watched a four year old girl live in HER moment, belting out the words to every iconic Frozen song, WITH HAND GESTURES. She knew the choreography from the movie. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard because of a toddler. We knew we wanted to bring our future baby girl to this so she could experience her own magical Broadway debut.
During this show, there are two “historians” of Arendelle who take you through the town’s epic history and recent coronation. While they talk (and they are FUNNY, like laugh out loud for adults funny), the Frozen characters appear on stage to share in the comedy and insert their own versions of history. The songs are interjected on a screen with lyrics, like karaoke, to follow along. It all feels very magical and is especially fun for fans of the film, like our girl. We bought her a light up Elsa dress specifically for this occasion. It’s one of my favorite memories that we have in Disney World! This is DEFINITELY one you’ll want a FastPass for. We were able to secure ours even though it was way past bedtime.
Must Do Hollywood Studios Toy Story Land:
Slinky Dog Dash
Like Pixar Place, this is new. And awesome. You really do feel like you’re in Andy’s room with all of the Disney detail here. While ALL of the attractions here are worthy, this was our first time on Slinky Dog Dash. Yes, it has a cute name, but it’s an actual real rollercoaster. Not a kiddie version like Barnstormer, but a REAL one, like Space Mountain. Caleigh just cleared the height requirement, 38″, and we attempted this because of her love for other coasters. It’s only a two minute experience, so if she hated it, it wouldn’t last long.
Folks, she LOVED this. We both screamed the whole time and she asked to go on it over and over again. Of course, we couldn’t without waiting for hours on end in line and it started the rain the moment we walked off. It’s been two months since we came home and she still asks about this regularly. I’m sure it’s now a future Must Do since we all enjoyed it so much!
Honorable Mention: Alien Swirling Saucers
Because Zoey was too small for Slinky Dog, she and my sister rode the new Alien Swirling Saucers. The idea here is that you are launched into the world of a galactic playset from Pizza Planet. The Almighty Claw is featured and there is a Buzz “toy” you can pose with after the ride is over! It’s teacups-esque, so if spinning isn’t your thing, skip the saucers.
We spent a full morning and into the afternoon here at Hollywood Studios. And we came back AFTER nap for dinner & the Frozen Sing Along. There were two attractions we would have liked to squeeze in and didn’t:
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- The Muppet Show 3D
If you have older children, there are so many more attractions that open up to you here, but I wanted to be sure to point out that Hollywood Studios has so much to offer families with younger children, too. I expect that this park will only grow in popularity because of the upcoming Skyliner, predicted to open in Fall 2019. It will directly connect to Hollywood Studios, making traveling to and from the park much more convenient (and fun!). Marc and I saw the vehicles being tested and they look awesome! I can’t wait to travel through the skies.
What are your Hollywood Studios Must Do attractions? Leave it in the comments below!