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Hollywood Studios with Toddlers: Magic Kingdom is Better

Toy Story sign

The park features headliner attractions with height requirements and a whole bunch of Star Wars. Should you bother visiting Hollywood Studios with toddlers?

Is it Worth Visiting Hollywood Studios with Toddlers?: Things to Consider

1. How Long Does it Take?

2. Your Kid Might Get in for Free

3. What Do You Need to Bring?

4. How Big of a Pain is it to Get There?

5. There Are No Play Areas

6. What Can They Ride?

7. You Can Use Rider Switch to Save Time in Line

8. What Shows Are Offered?

9. Do You Need to Purchase Genie+?

10. There Are Nighttime Shows

11. You Can Meet Characters

12. Where Should You Eat?

13. There is a Baby Care Center

14. You Can Rent a Stroller

attractions at hollywood studios disney rise of the resistance

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Hollywood Studios with Toddlers

1. How Long Do You Need?

Hollywood Studios lacks people eating filler rides and show. There isn’t much fluff. Most of the attractions are popular, which means most of the lines are long. Fortunately for you, the average toddler is too short for most of them.

If you arrive early, and by early, I mean before opening, you can knock it out before your afternoon nap. If your toddler is on the tall side and can get on more rides, plan for an entire day.

Pro tip: If you stay at a Disney World hotel, take advantage of early park entry.

Bonus pro tip: You need a theme park reservation to visit. Be sure to make one.

Extra bonus pro tip: Consult a crowd calendar to pick a less crowded day to visit.

attractions at hollywood studios florida star wars land

2. Your Kid Might Be Free

Disney World costs a small fortune. Unless you’re two or under. Then you don’t have to pay at all. Your toddler may not get much out of the park, but I bet he or she will get at least zero dollars worth of value. The question, however, is whether the rest of the family will be happy with the experience with this short person holding you back.

Pro tip: There are ways to save at Disney. Don’t pay full price. Check out Undercover Tourist for discounted tickets and consider purchasing some discounted gift cards before your trip to cover your food cost.

attractions at hollywood studios orlando rock 'n roller coaster

3. Day Bag Packing

You don’t want to overpack, but it won’t be a big deal if you bring a bunch of stuff because you will have a rolling suitcase stroller. Don’t forget:

A. A poncho

B. A hat or sunglasses

C. Nausea medication (for you, not the toddler)

D. Headache medication

E. A refillable water bottle

F. Sunscreen

G. A portable phone charger

H. Diapers, wipes, and any other baby stuff you need in a typical day

I. Snacks (outside food is allowed)

J. Noise-canceling headphones

what to do at hollywood studios with toddlers toy story mania

4. Transportation and Parking for Hollywood Studios

Guests at Disney’s on-property resorts can take resort transportation to the park for free. Depending upon your resort, you may access the park by bus, boat, or Skyliner. If ease of transportation is important to you, stay at a resort that has access to the Skyliner.

If you’re stuck with a bus, they start running about 45 minutes before the park opens. Get to the stop at least an hour before the park opens if you want to be near the front of the line.

If you drive to the park, the parking fee is $25 per day for standard parking and between $45 and $50 per day for preferred parking depending upon the day.

Pro tip: If you park hop because you can’t fill a day at Hollywood Studios, you don’t have to pay for parking twice on the same day.

Bonus pro tip: Guests of on-property resorts (who likely paid for parking at their hotels) do not have to pay to park at the theme parks.

disney hollywood studios images star wars land

5. There Are No Play Areas

Hollywood Studios doesn’t have any playgrounds on which young kids can climb. The closest thing there is, and it isn’t close at all, is Star Wars Launch Bay. The park gets a huge thumbs down in this department for toddlers.

Star Wars Launch Bay is a walkthrough attraction that houses paraphernalia from the movies. This area also has a theater that features a snoozefest documentary about the story’s development.

Pro tip: Save Star Wars Launch Bay for the afternoon. It has air conditioning and no lines.

Location: Animation Courtyard

Will toddlers like it?: Eh

disney hollywood studios park theater

6. Rides for Toddlers at Hollywood Studios

What can toddlers do at Hollywood Studios? They can ride a few things, but you won’t fill a day. If rides are important to you and you have limited time, go to Magic Kingdom.

Pro tip: Check out the Hollywood Studios map before you go to familiarize yourself with where things are located.

Bonus pro tip: You should make a plan before your trip to maximize your time and minimize waiting.  Touringplans.com creates free personalized plans that can be modified throughout the day based on wait times.

Toddler Attractions at Hollywood Studios

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

This ride is a toddler must-do. It is a relatively mild ride, during which you are in a Mickey Mouse cartoon. You enter said cartoon as you walk through a broken wall after the ride’s preshow.

Pro tip: Go here first. The line, which is mostly located in the sun, will get super long in the afternoon.

Bonus pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+ (a paid product that allows you to enter a shorter line).

Height requirement: None

Location: Hollywood Boulevard

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Alien Swirling Saucers

Alien Swirling Saucers is a small ride in cars shaped like aliens. Think shiny Scrambler. It looks a whole lot like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in California Adventure because it is the same ride with different cars.

Pro tip: If this section is important to you, head here first.

Bonus pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+.

Extra bonus pro tip: You should visit this area even if you don’t ride anything. It is heavily themed with lots of bright colors.

Height requirement: 32″

Location: Toy Story Land

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Toy Story Mania!

Toy Story Mania! is a ride/game where you shoot at objects on screens. The cars can turn kind of violently, but other than that, this is perfect for toddlers. Just be sure to hold on to your kids between screens.

Pro tip: If this is a priority for you, consider heading here first.

Bonus pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+.

Height requirement: None

Location: Toy Story Land

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Disney Hollywood Studios Rides for Toddlers Who Are Vertically Gifted

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Vomit City Star Tours is a motion simulator that has seen better days. Some tall toddlers will make the cut, but most will not.

Height requirement: 40″

Location: Echo Lake

Will toddlers like it?: It might be scary, but the adventurous kids will be fine.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Smugglers Run is a motion simulator that allows its occupants to navigate the Millennium Falcon. It can be crashed, and definitely will if your toddler is pushing the buttons.

Pro tip: Even if you don’t ride, taking a walk through Galaxy’s Edge, the heavily themed Star Wars section, is worthwhile.

Bonus pro tip: If this is a high priority, consider heading here first.

Extra bonus pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+.

Height requirement: 38″

Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Will toddlers like it?: Probably. There are buttons to push.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance is a ride with multiple mechanisms through some Star Wars stuff. Darth Vader threatens your safety. For this one, your toddler will need to be brave.

This ride is unquestionably the most popular in all of Disney World. That means lines, lines, lines. I would say to run here first, but let’s be honest, your toddler isn’t fast enough to beat the rush.

Pro tip: You can pay extra to skip the line on this ride only with an Individual Lightning Lane. If you want to purchase it, don’t wait. It sells out very quickly.

Height requirement: 40″

Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Will toddlers like it?: Questionable at best

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror is one of the most iconic Hollywood Studios rides. You go up an elevator, then bounce up and down. It is dark and scary. I would proceed with serious caution with toddlers.

Pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+.

Height requirement: 40″

Location: Sunset Boulevard

Will toddlers like it?: Almost definitely not.

Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash is a roller coaster that is fast enough to please adults. It may or may not be too much for a toddler. There are no loops, but it moves quickly.

Pro tip: The sun beats down on this queue. Two-hour waits are not unusual. Visit early if it is important to you.

Bonus pro tip: This ride accepts Genie+. Make this your first pick if it is important to you. You may not be able to get a time until later in the day, but you won’t get it at all if you wait.

Height requirement: 38″

Location: Toy Story Land

Will toddlers like it?: Only if they aren’t afraid of a large roller coaster.

Tower of Terror

7. Utilize Rider Switch

Toddlers ruin adult fun on the regular. It’s just a fact. Fortunately, Disney World has a Rider Switch program that allows multiple adults to ride things that their short companion cannot.

You wait in line one time with your entire party. One adult stays with the child while the other rides, then the adults switch without having to wait in line a second time.

Pro tip: If you have an older child, he or she can ride with both adults.

Rock 'n roller coaster

8. Shows

Is Hollywood Studios good for toddlers? When it comes to shows, it’s not half bad.

Hollywood Studios Walt Disney Presents

Walt Disney Presents is a gallery about Walt Disney followed by a movie about Walt Disney.

Pro tip: Save this for the afternoon for air conditioning.

Location: Animation Courtyard

Will toddlers like it?: It seems unlikely

Hollywood Studios Vacation Fun

Vacation Fun is a Mickey Mouse cartoon in an air-conditioned theater. You can often see the same cartoons at home.

Pro tip: Save this one for the afternoon.

Location: Echo Lake

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Muppet Vision 3D

Muppet Vision 3D is a cute, old, movie that plays all day. Your kids will not need to be familiar with the characters to enjoy it.

Pro tip: Visit in the afternoon.

Location: Grand Avenue

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

This is an indoor, air-conditioned show starring an animatronic Lightning McQueen from Cars.

Pro tip: Save this for the afternoon.

Location: Sunset Boulevard

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Hollywood Studios Beauty and the Beast

This live stage production of Beauty and the Beast seems outdated compared to the show offered on the Disney Dream. The teacups are the same size as the humans. If you want to see it, check the show times.

Pro tip: This show accepts Genie+.

Location: Sunset Boulevard

Will toddlers like it?: Yes, but they may not last the entire show.

Disney Junior Play & Dance

Disney Junior Dance Party caters to young kids. There are characters and jazz hands. Everyone sits on the floor. Kids with multiple adult teeth will be bored, but toddlers will soak it up.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to check the show times.

Bonus pro tip: This shows takes Genie+.

Location: Animation Courtyard

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The Frozen Sing-Along is in a large theater. It has a show on a screen with some live actors on the stage. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

Pro tip: This doesn’t play all day. Be sure to check the show times.

Bonus pro tip: This show accepts Genie+.

Location: Echo Lake

Will toddlers like it?: Yes

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

There is an Indiana Jones show with a big rolling boulder. That is the extent of the positive things I have to say on this topic. Don’t forget to check show times if it interests you.

Pro tip: This show accepts Genie+.

Location: Echo Lake

Will toddlers like it?: Probably not.

Muppet Vision

9. Do You Need to Purchase Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes?

You can pay extra at Disney to get in shorter lines with Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. Do you need to do that with toddlers?

What is Genie+?

Genie+ allows you to reserve spots to skip the line on certain Hollywood Studios attractions throughout the day. Everyone who purchases it, whether in an on-property hotel or off, can start making reservations at 7:00 a.m. on the day of their visit.

You cannot reserve a specific time. You get what Disney says you get. If your first selection is later in the day (as it likely will be with Slinky Dog Dash), you may end up holding more than one pass at once after you book your second one.

Guests can make a new reservation every two hours OR when their prior selection has been used or expired. In other words, you can book one less than every two hours if you have no selection pending.

Prices for Genie+ vary by the day.

Note: You can only book each attraction once per day.

Note: Official rules state you can be five minutes early or fifteen minutes late for your reservation. If you arrive outside of your return window, they do not have to honor your pass.

What is an Individual Lightning Lane?

Lightning Lane only applies to Rise of the Resistance at this park. You pay a flat fee to skip the line once for that ride only. The rate varies depending on demand.

Guests of on-property resorts can start booking a reservation at 7:00 a.m. Off-property guests must wait until the park opens.

Are These Extras Worth it with Toddlers?

Are Lightning Lane and Genie+ worth it with toddlers? If they’re not tall, definitely not. You will be able to get on the handful of things they can ride without issue.

If you want to ride all of the rides on the list for tall toddlers, the upcharges are worth it. Little kids don’t like lines. They especially don’t like two-hour lines. You already spent a lot of money. Throw a little more at this trip to maximize your experience and maintain your sanity.

Toy Story Mania

10. There Are Nighttime Shows

Hollywood Studios has nighttime shows. Of course, if your toddler can’t roll late at night, this isn’t going to work for you.


Fantasmic is a long-running show starring Mickey Mouse from Fantasia. It features several popular movie characters and has a lot for toddlers to enjoy.

It also starts late at night. Think 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Remember that after you watch this show, you will need to wait for the crowds to disperse, walk to the front of the park, and begin the long trek back to your hotel on Disney transportation. This will be rough with toddlers.

Pro tip: This show is loud and has fireworks. Bring noise-canceling headphones if this will bother your child.

Bonus pro tip: There are dining packages available that get you into a reserved seating area. Multiple restaurants offer them, and you can bank on them being expensive. Check availability at the time of your visit.


Hollywood Studios features a nighttime show that changes from time to time. All shows have fireworks and are dripping with intellectual property. Check the show times at the time of your visit and plan to stake out a spot early.

Hollywood Studios entrance

11. You Can Meet Characters

You can meet characters throughout the day in various locations. Options include characters from Star Wars, Frozen, Monsters, Inc. Toy Story, and the usual Mickey Mouse crew.  Check the schedule at the time of your visit.

Star Wars Land

12. Where Should You Eat?

Disney World Food isn’t cheap. It also takes flipping forever. If you have a kid with a short attention span, a table service experience might be hard. Don’t wait until your kid is hangry to head to the restaurant.

Pro tip: Disney posts its menus on the website. Check them out before your trip.

Bonus pro tip: Mobile order is your friend. Use it for quick-service restaurants, and don’t wait until you’re ready to eat to do it. It is not uncommon to be offered a pickup time that is hours from the time you order.

Extra bonus pro tip: Most table service restaurants require reservations. Make them as soon as your booking window opens.

Extra bonus pro tip: Disney is great with allergies. Most restaurants have special menus that you can see online.

Restaurants to Consider

50s Primetime Cafe

50s Primetime Cafe is an old-school diner with some sass. Frankly, the show falls flat, as does the food, and I seriously enjoy sarcasm. Toddlers will enjoy the theming and screens.

Location: Echo Lake

Oga’s Cantina

Oga’s Cantina is a bar with a couple of snacks. People go here for the themed cocktails and Star Wars atmosphere. Toddlers will go for the animatronics. Reservations are coveted.

Location: Galaxy’s Edge

Sci-Fi Diner

Sci-Fi Diner is themed like a drive-in movie theater. You eat your meals in cars while clips of old movies play around you. The food is slightly above average, but the atmosphere is unique.

Note: My nine-year-old was creeped out by the movies enough to declare he did not want to return. They may be scary for toddlers.

Location: Commissary Lane

Woody’s Lunch Box

Woody’s Lunch Box is a Toy Story-themed quick service. It lacks indoor seating. Be sure to mobile order early before the crowds descend and the sun is at its hottest.

Location: Toy Story Land

Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Roundup Rodeo is a Toy Story-themed barbecue restaurant that charges a flat fee for family-style food. It is not cheap, but kids two and under eat for free.

Location: Toy Story Land.

Hollywood & Vine

Hollywood & Vine is a buffet that serves American food for a small fortune. It has a bad reputation for quality. People continue to go because characters roam the restaurant. You can see Disney Junior characters at breakfast and the Mickey Mouse crew the rest of the day.

Location: Echo Lake

Sci Fi Diner

13. There is a Baby Care Center

There is a baby care center near the entrance to the park (across from Oscar’s Super Service store). It includes rocking chairs for nursing, changing tables, high chairs, a microwave, a sink, and a store that sells baby items.

Walt Disney Presents

14. You Can Rent a Stroller

Disney World offers stroller rentals with both single-day and length-of-stay options. Pick yours up at Oscar’s Super Service.

Pro tip: You can almost definitely find cheaper prices with an independent company that will deliver to your hotel. Do a little research if you don’t want to bring yours from home.

Indiana Jones Show

Final Thoughts – Hollywood Studios with Toddlers

Is Hollywood Studios worth it with a toddler? Generally, no. The park isn’t my favorite with little kids. That would be Magic Kingdom with a bullet. However, it might be worth a trip for you. If you like Toy Story and can live with the fact that you won’t be able to do much, try Hollywood Studios with toddlers.

hollywood studios with toddlers pin

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