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How to beat the crowds to the top 3 Hollywood Studios attractions

Every park in the Walt Disney World Resort has its fair share of popular attractions and at Disney's Hollywood Studios, there's no shortage of extremely popular attractions.  While most attractions will experience some wait, there are a select few that can really get busy and experieincing them on your next trip can be a challenege.  The good news is even on the busiest days of the year, there's still hope that you can see any of these attractions.

The key to any of these attractions is going to be timing and we've listed how to tackle the top three attractions in Disneys Hollywood Studios that we think are the most difficult to see these days.  With our advice, you should be able experience all of them without a problem, so let's jump right in.

Toy Story Midway Mania

The mother of all long wait times is Toy Story Midway Mania where standby wait times regularly exceed 100 minutes. Even though there's FASTPASS, there's little help there given they regularly run out before noon.

The key to tackling Toy Story Midway Mania is getting there early.  The first hour that Hollywood Studios is open is the perfect time to ride as standby wait times are manageable and you could get two rides in before 10am hits if you play your cards right.  Arrive at Hollywood Studios well before the park opens so you can be in front and among the first guests to be let in when the Studios open.  Then walk over to Toy Story Midway Mania and ride!

Jedi Training Academy

This may come as a shock to some, but Jedi Training Academy has quietly become one of the hardest attractions to participate in.  If your kid(s) have their eyes on becoming a Jedi, you're going to need a good plan to be able to get them into a show. It's become easier and more difficult at the same time to voluneer for Jedi Training Academy ever since they changed the sign up method to be first-come, first-served.   Cast Members start taking sign ups at park opening and it's not unusual for all of the days shows to be booked up before 11am.

If you want your kids to experience Jedi Training Academy, you'll need to sign them up early in the morning.  If you can swing by before 10:30am, you should be able to get them signed up for one of the shows during the day.  Just make sure you sign up early so there's no tears of disspointment later in the day.


Ever since Disney cut back the schedule of shows to just a few per week, Fantasmic! has become one of the most difficult shows to see in Walt Disney World.  It regularly fills up the theater well before the show begins and many find the entire process annoyingly difficult.  With bigger crowds swarming Hollywood Studios on nights when Fantasmic! is showing, it's become more and more difficult to see this wonderful nighttime spectacular.

The best tip to see Fantasmic! is to always see the second show of the night.  Despite the Fantasmic! schedule being cut back to just a few nights on any given week, there's almost always two shows per night and seeing the second show is still the best way to get in.  You'll need to get in line about 45 minutes ahead of time and the line may seem mammoth, but that's because they aren't letting guests into the ampitheater yet.  Once they let you in about 30 minutes before the show, you'll be able to sit down and the wait will be easier.

How about all three on the same day?

If you want to experience all of these attractions in the same day, the good news is you can absolutely do that.  First, you'll need to arrive at Hollywood Studios bright and early.  I'd say you need to be at the gate 30 minutes before the park opens (usually that is 8:30am).   Next, once the park opens head over to Toy Story Midway Mania first and ride or get a FASTPASS.  

After you're done at Toy Story, make a bee line for Star Tours and get your child signed up for Jedi Training Academy.  If you're going just for a FASTPASS at Toy Story Midway Mania and you have two adults in your group, you could send one adult to Toy Story to get FASTPASS's, while the other takes the kid(s) to Jedi Training Academy to be signed up once the Studios opens.

Lastly, get in line 45 minutes before the second showing of Fantasmic! and that should be enough time to get into the show.  

There's no reason why you can't do all three of these mega-popular attractions, but you're going to need to have the discipline to get them done in the right order at the right time of the day.

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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, February 09, 2011 by