The Top 5 Things You Can’t Miss When Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Last week we looked at the top five "must-do" items for Epcot and today we're taking a Friendship Boat ride over to Disney's Hollywood Studios to talk about what can't be missed at the park that is celebrating a special anniversary this year.

5 Things You Can't Miss At Disney's Hollywood Studios5 Things You Can't Miss At Disney's Hollywood Studios

First on our list of "can't-miss" items is the ultimate snack food at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I'm talking about the Carrot Cake Cookie. Even if you aren't a fan of carrot cake it's a safe bet that you're going to love this fan favorite.

The cookies are not crunchy but are more cake-like and sandwiched between them is a gooey and decadent layer of cream cheese icing. The cookies are the perfect snack when you need a mid-day pick me up and they also make a great breakfast!

You can find the Carrot Cake Cookie at The Writer's Stop (along with a lot of other yummy treats!). Our friends at the Disney Food Blog are big fans of the cookie too! Check out their review of The Writer's Stop!

Carrot Cake Cookie from The Writer's StopCarrot Cake Cookie from The Writer's Stop

Of course no visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios is complete without a ride (or three) on Toy Story Midway Mania.

This fan-favorite gives guests the chance to try their skills at five different carnival-style games presented in 3D. After you finish each game, the carnival tram spins you around and takes you to the next game. Part of the fun of the attraction is challenging your friends and family to beat your score!

One of the highlights of the attraction has to be the queue. As guests enter Toy Story Midway Mania, they'll find themselves in the middle of Andy's room, "shrunk" to "toy size."

Guests are considered the honorary toys in this attraction and the story is that the Toy Story Midway Games Set is Andy's newest toy that all the other toys want to play with. Andy isn't around and the toys have set up the game and they're asking you to join in the fun.

In Andy's room queue you're surrounded by classic toys including Candyland, Viewmaster discs, drawings, and a Scrabble board (look up!).

Toy Story Midway ManiaToy Story Midway Mania

Another must-do attraction is Star Tours: The Adventure Continues. The ride went through a renovation a few years ago and reopened in 2011 with new adventures and many technological updates. The ride features more than 50 story combinations for fans to experience, so you just never know where the adventure will take you.

Just like with Toy Story Midway Mania, the queue for Star Tours is part of the fun. Guests walk through the forest moon of Endor and past a towering AT-AT before entering the Star Tours spaceport. Once inside R2-D2 and C-3PO are working on a Starspeeder.

After grabbing 3D glasses, guests will blast off in a Starspeeder 1000, coming face to face with some favorite Star Wars characters including Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and more. Exciting adventures await on Hoth, Naboo, Tatooine, or some other far, far away destination.

Star Tours: The Adventure ContinuesStar Tours: The Adventure Continues

As any Star Wars fan knows, in addition to the can't-miss experience of Star Tours, you also can't miss Star Wars Weekends. This year, Star Wars Weekends is scheduled for May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1, and June 6-8.

During Star Wars Weekends guests have the chance to experience the largest collection of official Star Wars characters, conversation with Star Wars celebrities, a motorcade that travels through the park, and much more.

Since we are visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios and it's all about the movies, you can't skip The Great Movie Ride. This attraction takes guests into the movies and the interaction between the cast members and guests is what makes this ride unique.

Once guests board the ride vehicle, they are transported into the world of movies with a scene from Busby Berkley's Footlight Parade. Next, the ride vehicle travels past scenes from Singing in the Rain and Mary Poppins, and then you enter the seedy underworld from Public Enemy.

Once the ride vehicles enter Gangster Alley or the Wild West scene (depending on which version of the ride you're part of), a gangster or a cowboy/cowgirl will take over the ride vehicle, but the cast member returns later in the ride.

Even if you've been on The Great Movie Ride over and over, if you're a movie fan it just never gets old. Sure it might need an update in some areas, but it's still a must-do attraction on our list!

The Great Movie RideThe Great Movie Ride

And of course, no day at Disney's Hollywood Studios is complete without Fantasmic!

This show brings guests into the imagination of Mickey Mouse in the role of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. It features laser lights, pyrotechnics, live actors, glow-with-the-show ear hats and one million gallons of dancing water. Of course we can't forget the animation scenes projected onto the walls of water and all the Disney music we all love.

Guests will have a chance to see Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and more. And we bet you'll be singing along with everyone else! Of course, the villains have to play a role and they try their best to turn Mickey's dream into a nightmare.

But in true Disney fashion, Mickey saves the day, and of course it's spectacular!


It should be noted that Fantasmic is performed on select nights, so be sure to check the Times Guide for scheduled show times. And if you'd like to dine before the show, three restaurants at DHS offer the Fantasmic Dining Package. You can dine at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, The Hollywood Brown Derby, or Hollywood and Vine. Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have all the details!

What is on your must-do list when you visit Disney's Hollywood Studios? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Nina Thompson wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 14:34:

Nina Thompson's picture

A must do is the Walt Disney gallery/museum!

mandy kinder wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 14:58:

mandy kinder's picture

Toy story is brill always get fast pass first great movie ride beauty and the beast show pirates of the carribean and carousel of progress I love x

Kristen Wagner wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 16:02:

Kristen Wagner's picture

Love Disney , it has been over 12 years since my last vist can't wait to come bAck. ..

crazycatperson wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 16:41:

crazycatperson's picture

Star Tours is not a can't miss for me - I have to skip that ride due to those pesky motion sickness issues.

I totally agree about Toy Story Midway Mania and Fantasmic. They are absolute musts for us.

We also always visit the Great Movie Ride, but I wouldn't feel awful if it was down for maintenance and I had to skip it, so I wouldn't call it a can't miss.

Carrot cake cookie? Nope, that's not making my list. I'm not a huge fan of sweets, so no dessert item is going to make my can't miss list anywhere - not the cupcakes people rave about, not even Dole Whips.

Hubby would be appalled that Twilight Zone Tower of Terror isn't on the list.

dheaton wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 17:03:

dheaton's picture

Interesting. While it's sort of predictable, I would put Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster on this list. I totally agree about Star Tours, which is totally revitalized for me since the upgrade. I haven't had that cookie, though I will try to check it out the next time that I go.

I love The Great Movie Ride, but I'd go with the Muppets and One Man's Dream over the ride. I love audio-animatronics heavy rides from the '80s and '90s, but I really wish they'd do something to upgrade it.

Jenny Wilkins wrote on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 20:22:

Jenny Wilkins's picture

I would say Mint Everest is the best!!!

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