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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Hollywood Studios - Getting your Bearings

Updated: Jan 31

Get the lay of the land in this virtual tour of Hollywood Studios. We'll give a quick overview of each of the areas around the park and point out some highlights to keep an eye out for.

Commissary Lane and Grand Avenue


Hollywood Boulevard

As you enter Hollywood Studios you will find yourself on Hollywood Boulevard. The whole front area of the park (including Sunset Boulevard and Echo Lake area) still captures that feel of old world Hollywood, when classic movies were made and anyone could be the next big star. The only attraction to be found in the Hollywood Boulevard area is down at the end of the street, where you will find Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the Chinese Theater.

You can also find lots of shopping options on either side of the street as you make your way down to the Chinese Theater, and a couple dining options on the right side. This includes The Trolley Car Cafe, where you will find the Starbucks location in Hollywood Studios, and The Hollywood Brown Derby, which is a signature dining location.

Echo Lake

If you veer left from Hollywood Boulevard, you will find yourself in the Echo Lake area. Here you will find lots of dining options ranging from sit down to quick service with an indoor seating area to grab and go. We heartily recommend 50’s Prime Time Cafe, but be ready to be heckled by your servers while gobbling up classic comfort foods.

The Echo Lake area is also where a couple of the big shows in Hollywood Studios are located. This includes Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show Spectacular, which is filled with lots of fun pyrotechnics and fake fight scenes, and the Frozen Sing-Along show, which is super funny as well as a joy to sing along with. This is also where the original Star Wars attraction is located: Star Tours.

Commissary Lane and Grand Avenue

Commissary Lane boasts a quick service and table service dining location, and is where you will find the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet location in Hollywood Studios. Other than that it’s mostly just a quicker way to cut from the Chinese Theater over to Grand Avenue and then on to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Stage 1 Company Store has some of the only Muppet merchandise you will find in the parks.

In addition to Muppet mayhem, the Grand Avenue has BasLine Taphouse, a brewery-eque location serving a range of beers and ciders, and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, an Italian table service location.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

After passing by many dining locations, shows, character meet and greets, and attractions, you have finally made it to the main event: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Join Rey and her resistance friends as they take on the First Order. Galaxy’s Edge is a phenomenally themed area that will transport you to a galaxy far far away. Here you will find unique food, exclusive merchandise, Star Wars characters wandering around (they typically don’t stop for photos and such), and some incredible attractions.

One of the coolest attractions to open at Walt Disney World recently is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This is a multipart ride that is as immersive as it gets, taking guests inside the belly of the beast and then on a wild ride to escape the clutches of the First Order. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run isn’t quite as out of this world cool but is still another level as guests get to actually fly the Millennium Falcon in this interactive attraction.

Toy Story Land

If you didn’t come for the Jedi mind tricks you clearly came because there is a snake in your boot (figuratively we hope). Toy Story Land is next to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and behind the Chinese Theater and is a delight. In this area you have been shrunk down to the size of one of Andy’s Toys and have been invited to play in Andy’s backyard on some of his very own creations. Toy Story Mania! Has been around for a while now but is still an excellent interactive ride where guests get to try their hand at some carnival games set up in Andy’s bedroom. Alien Swirling Saucers takes guests for a whirl with our favorite little green aliens. Finally, Slinky Dog Dash is a family friendly coaster with Slinky Dog that will take you on a twisty and turny ride above Toy Story Land.

The details in this area really are amazing, from benches made from popsicle sticks, railing from K’nex, CandyLand children measuring the height of kids for Slinky Dog Dash, and so much more. It’s both clever and immersive all at once. There are also two dining locations in Toy Story Land, a quick service and a table service

Animation Courtyard

If you veer right from the Chinese Theater you will see an archway that leads to the Animation Courtyard. If you have a little kid they will be delighted by the Disney Junior Play & Dance Show. If you want some neat backstory on Walt Disney and the creation of Disneyland and then Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Presents is a great place to stop by. Plus there are a number of character meet and greets in this area. At the Star Wars Launch Bay you can do Star Wars character meet and greets - which you can not do in Galaxy’s Edge. There are a number of Disney Junior characters that do meet and greets outside the Play & Dance show including Doc McStuffins and Vampirina, and there is sometimes a character meet and greet inside Walt Disney Presents that coincides with the newest Disney movie releases.

Sunset Boulevard

Stroll down Sunset Boulevard, past shops and quick service locations, and at the very end you will find a plethora of attractions. The two biggest thrill rides in the park are down this way: Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Roller Coaster. One will chill you with faster than gravity drops, and the other will get your head banging to Aerosmith music while you twist, turn, and flip through this intense coaster.

There are also a few different shows, the most notable being Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage and Fantasmic! The first is an abridged production of, you guessed it, Beauty and the Beast complete with the beloved musical numbers played out in grand theatrical fashion. The second is a nighttime show that is not to be missed, following Mickey into his imagination and battling the forces of evil.

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