Hollywood Studios Report: Skip or Strategize
It’s time for another visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! In this Walt Disney World photo report, we’ll look at late October crowds, lengthy lines & posted wait times, and our attempt at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance’s boarding pass drop. We’ll also offer commentary on whether you should skip DHS entirely or just strategize, be patient, and manage expectations.
Let’s begin with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which has been an ‘evolving’ problem point since debuting last December. It started as a pure first-come, first-served system and slowly morphed into a hybrid first-come, first-served and lottery system. Short of closing the attraction down for several months (ahem) to iron out its problems, this was the approach we viewed as most equitable back in the winter.
When Walt Disney World reopened, the story was more or less the same as pre-closure for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue. In the last month or so, it’s worsened. Thanks to increased attendance and slashed attraction capacity, the “boarding pass dash” has become a de facto lottery, and not one with a high success rate. It’s leaving a lot of guests disappointed and frustrated they bought tickets for DHS. It has left us wondering, is Disney’s Hollywood Studios even worth the hassle?!
Right now, you must be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 10 am in order to even have a shot at obtaining a spot in the virtual queue. Strategy helps give you a fighting shot, but luck determines whether you’ll ultimately score a boarding group. There is zero room for error: if My Disney Experience stutters, arbitrarily forces you to sign-in, you’re in an area of the park with weak cell service or Wifi, or you need help from the Guest Experience Team, forget about riding at all.
To compound matters, if you lose this lottery at 10 am, your alternatives are not great. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Slinky Dog Dash, and Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run are instantly posting 60-90 minute wait times, and physically distanced lines are massive everywhere else in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There is no park-hopping, so you’re stuck at DHS, hoping against all odds for better luck at 2 pm.
It was against this backdrop that we headed to DHS this week to once again test an afternoon arrival strategy to see if maybe that was the most viable approach…
This approach is not really new for us. Our last Disney’s Hollywood Studios Crowd Report: Morning Highs & Evening Lows suggested arriving for rope drop and the first attempt at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance before taking an extended midday break.
That was also a few weeks ago, after crowds had increased at Disney’s Hollywood Studios–but before they had reached their latest highs. Despite that, it’s the approach we still recommend; you just should temper your expectations in terms of wait times and congestion.
For this visit, we opted to skip the morning entirely and instead arrive a bit later. Our aim was to see what we could accomplish after crowds peaked and (hopefully) score Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding passes in the 2 pm drop.
Although a lot of these scenes don’t look particularly crowded, this visit was noticeably busier than our last one to DHS, which was noticeably busier than the one before that. Basically, each time we do Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park is worse than the time before.
Lots of space in the main courtyard, but this photo is deceptive.
The posted wait time for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was 105 minutes, and it was “only” that low because the queue had been closed to new guests earlier.
Here’s a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios wait times at 11:30 am.
This is about par for the course right now. However, this is also a snapshot in time–if you’re visiting in November or December, peak times times could be worse. Or, Walt Disney World cut see the error of its ways, reduce capacity to improve the guest experience, and things could be better. (Hahahahaha.)
It’s not just rides, either. In the early afternoon, lines are long pretty much everywhere.
Above is the line for BaseLine Tap House. It was the same story around several restaurants, including the recently-reopened ABC Commissary. The menu is supposedly better, but I’ll believe that when I taste it.
We also observed a lot higher “feels like” crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
In the past, we’ve commented that DHS can appear deceptively uncrowded because most guests are standing in long lines for the headliner attractions at any given time. On this day, the walkways were noticeably busier.
Here’s a look at the line for Slinky Dog Dash, which extends almost to the entrance to Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
The posted wait time was 80 minutes when this photo was taken; Slinky Dog Dash has had longer waits and actually extended into the Voyage of the Little Mermaid queue. (The custodial Cast Member is actually standing on one of the markers–you can sort of see it in the photo above.)
With physical queues this long, it’s less likely that posted wait times are significantly inflated as compared to actual wait times.
This may not be an 80 minute wait given the spacing and that it’s constantly moving, but it’s probably still a 60 minute wait. In short, if you’re visiting in the next couple of months, don’t expect the dramatically inflated wait times that we and others were reporting over the summer and early fall.
Toy Story Mania is probably still an exception to that since its capacity is pretty high.
This was a 40 minute posted wait; we’ve found that if the end of the line is within Toy Story Land, the actual wait is likely 30 minutes or less.
Continuing in Toy Story Land, we have our next queue…but it’s not for Alien Swirling Saucers, which had a 25 minute posted wait (and was likely less than that in actuality).
It’s for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run.
This is the queue for Smugglers Run within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. On the plus side, you can watch a Stormtrooper performance while waiting in line!
Last week we reported that More Virtual Queues are Rumored for Walt Disney World. This is why Smugglers Run is one of the likely candidates. If the line gets much longer than this, it’s routed backstage.
There are lines for literally everything in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Even those little $7 bottles of Coke that TSA thought posed a grave threat to national security. (Ah, simpler times!)
Back when the land debuted to low crowds, there was criticism that the sprawling layout was not necessary. Who would’ve guessed that the Imagineers that designed Batuu did not overestimate crowds, and instead were actually visionaries who foresaw all of this coming?!
As we’ve reiterated repeatedly, the lines at Disney’s Hollywood Studios drop off significantly in the last two hours of the day.
The problem is lasting until that point. After waiting in long outdoor lines for pretty much everything and perhaps failing to secure a spot in the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue, you might be losing your patience and ready to call it a day by 3 pm. (Hence the lines getting shorter later in the day…)
Leading up to the 2 pm boarding pass drop, there are a lot of guests just sitting around, waiting for that.
This is understandable–the stakes are high for many, and it’s either this or waiting in a 35 minute line for MuppetVision 3D. As much as I love that national treasure, I also would not wait 35 minutes for it.
We were once again unsuccessful with the 2 pm Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue lottery. Not a huge surprise, as the chances are incredibly slim with that second drawing of the day.
We’ve recommended that readers start out by booking Disney Park Pass reservations for two days–ideally Saturday and Sunday if your trip encompasses a weekend–at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (That is, if Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a must-do. Otherwise, only one day is necessary.)
We’re reaching the point where skipping Disney’s Hollywood Studios entirely might be the better advice. I’m not sure what the average guest’s chances of success are in joining the virtual queue, but I’m guessing it’s at or under 25%. Hence the “skip or strategize” subtitle. It’s still possible to have a good day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (especially if you don’t care about Rise of the Resistance), but you need realistic expectations, solid strategy, and patience.
I cannot believe I’m suggesting that some guests consider skipping Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is home to Walt Disney World’s newest and best attractions, and the park’s massive overhaul is finally finished. Back at the end of February, it seemed doing DHS could not possibly get worse. Then reopening operations came along, said “hold my beer,” and managed to make things much, much worse.
Some of this is no fault of Disney’s–reduced capacity attractions, restaurants, and retail make things tough. There are also plenty of unforced errors, like not resuming outdoor stage shows or not trying to fix Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance when it was shut down for 4 months. Walt Disney World leadership is undoubtedly aware that the guest experience is suffering at DHS and that some stopgap fixes exist, but has instead just shrugged and said, “deal with it.”
Ultimately, I’m not sure what the longterm solution is with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The first, near-term step is definitely increasing the attraction’s hourly throughput. The ride-through portion currently accommodates one party per vehicle, which could mean a single rider or a family of 8. Disney has already begun testing and installing plexiglass barriers between the front and back row, which should help immensely. That move alone could increase capacity by 50%.
Beyond that, Walt Disney World should consider other solutions. Those could include allowing guests with Park Pass reservations to attempt joining the virtual queue without tapping into Disney’s Hollywood Studios, testing an actual random-drawing lottery that guests can enter throughout the day (a la Tokyo Disney Resort), or a way for on-site guests to attempt pre-booking the virtual queue and allowing them to switch parks if they’re unsuccessful. We’re not saying definitively that any of these approaches would work better, but when the status quo is a train wreck, alternatives are at least worth testing.
With Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance being unreliable for the foreseeable future and a standby line not being viable due to its frequent breakdowns, it behooves Disney to continue tweaking things. The current approach is not working, and is resulting in a ton of unsatisfied guests. It’s one thing when these are Annual Passholders (like us!) who can visit weekly and play the odds. It’s another entirely when it’s families taking infrequent trips who don’t have that luxury and potentially don’t even understand the stakes. While there are no guarantees with anything in life or even in vacation planning, Walt Disney World needs to come up with an approach that gives guests more options and alternatives–or at least be more transparent about the colossal shortcomings and odds of the current Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance lottery.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Have you visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the last month or so? What was your experience? When did you arrive? How long did you stay? Thoughts on lines and crowds? Success or failure with the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Do you plan on arriving at rope drop, or will you utilize a late arrival strategy? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
We went for our second family trip to Disney in September. The single most frustrating thing in my life was the loss in the lottery on Rise of The Resistance. We waisted four, mind you FOUR days, of our vacation on trying to get a ride. Dragging family and kids into a park where they weren’t thrilled to be and we lose the lottery on 8 separate occasions was enough for my family to say- we are not going again. (or at least for me, said planner, to get over the disappointment)
Advice to newbies: Rise of the Resistance is a Lottery chance ride. DO NOT PLAN your trip around it, DO NOT expect to ride it, DO NOT go back to DIsney just for said ride. DO that and you will be ok.
Tom, did you just hear the news? Disney has just released a statement saying that you can now access the virtual queue “boarding group“, for rise of the resistance, starting at 7 AM., Regardless of where you are on Disney property. With a valid park Reservation for that day. Meaning you no longer have to wait for the 10 AM lottery and be inside Hollywood studios.
The 2 PM virtual queue, will still be location locked. Guest will need to be in the park to join the boarding group.
Hope this helps 🙂 can’t wait to read your post about it.
We were there last week and we went to Hollywood Studios twice and were able to ride every ride both trips including ROTR. We got group 12 and 26. The park opens by 915 and if you are early enough you can ride Runaway train and try for your boarding pass while waiting for Slunky. Our posted wait time for slinky was 80 minutes and took 30 and we were in line all the way back to Ariel. Runaway train said 90 minutes and we waited about 40. The only ride we waited almost the entire que time was tower of terror which was about 60 minutes. We had 2 really great days at Hollywood Studios. Magic kingdom on the other hand was not fun and those lines were awful. I’m glad we only did that park once
That’s amazing! Two great days it sounds like you had there.
Was in Hollywood Studios today, October 29th, and at 10:00 am exactly I was able to get on Group 34 and had a great time at Star Wars:Rise of the Resistance. I can happen!!!
we are going over Christmas week with the whole family!! we have reserved one day for HS and want to just walk around the Star Wars land area (we are disneyland people and have ridden both rides there already but wanted to see the new land at world) – will we be allowed in to wander?? or do you have to wait forever to do that too?? thanks 🙂
Thanks for another awesomely informative post, Tom. I read several of the comments (not all…there’s a bunch) but didn’t see it asked or addressed, so hoping you might chime in. Would your advice change if you were talking to someone with DAS? This is a first trip for us, and possibly once in a lifetime, so we are desperately trying to have the best trip we can at the moment, despite Covid. I’ve called disability services, and they informed me that most rides would be able to accommodate our party upon request, like in the olden days, so I’m guessing that greatly reduces the headache of long lines. But I’m also not sure there’s enough in this park to justify an entire day without the lines, especially considering that ROTR is not a given. In addition, the disability we’re accommodating is autism, and it could derail things completely (i.e. cause meltdowns) if we don’t get a spot, but we have a hard-core fan older sibling who might die inside if we don’t at least attempt it. I know there’s probably not a right answer, but I’m still extremely interested in what you would suggest.
I have DAS as well and was told that I couldn’t use it for Rise of the Resistance because the Boarding Pass system essentially bypasses the line and gives you a time to come back, the same way that DAS does. So even with DAS, you have to play the app lottery to try to score a return time, and if you don’t manage to get one, your DAS won’t help you. (Unless you find a very helpful Cast Member). HOWEVER, I have used DAS successfully for Millenium Falcon, Slinky Dog, and Toy Story Mania with no issues. Mind you, I haven’t been back to the parks since Jan/Feb, so your mileage may vary. If your Star Wars fan would be happy enough with only Millenium Falcon, then it’d probably worth going. If it’s Rise of the Resistance or bust, then it sounds like it might be worth skipping.
We are going to HS on Thurs.nov 12. We are staying at Riviera resort. I have a couple questions about Best ways to arrive early to Hollywood studios. Hoping for some feedback from you guys.
1.) I want to get there 1- 1 1/2hrs Before HS opens. What time does the Skyliner start moving from Riviera? Is the Skyliner a good option for an early arrival?
2.) We have our own car on this vacation, can we drive to swan or dolphin and park in that parking lot all day? Then we would just walk over.
3.) We could drive to HS. Any word on if driving your own vehicle makes for a good early arrival? Or do you get held up at the parking lot Due to a lot of traffic?
If nothing changes, you are looking at all disney transports (bus, skyliner) not really dropping people off until about 1hr before opening. If you want to get their earlier you will need to either get transport to the Swan hotel and walk or get an uber to another close hotel along with a quick service order confirmation on your phone for that hotel (or they won’t let the car in) and walk. Either way, to get there 1.5hrs early you have to walk up.
Thanks Mike! I appreciate the feedback. Do you know if I can park my Own vehicle at the Swan resort parking lot?
If you park at the Swan and Dolphin, there is a daily charge to park. It’s probably more than to park at DHS. There is no free parking there, even for guests of the Swan and Dolphin.
Deb C- is it possible to park at swan resort and pay? I would totally do that. I know it’s free to park at Hollywood studios I’ve just heard stories of the traffic line being backed up and people not getting in early. If you have any info on that please share 🙂 thanks
I bet you could part at the Swan or Boardwalk and walk. That’s a little closer than walking from Riviera. When we stayed at Swan in September, we took Uber to hotel and they didn’t have the gate closed, no guard to ask what we were there for. Car was unmarked, no signs or lights for Uber.
I would not depend on Skyliner for early arrival. They are running a dumb schedule and not starting it early enough. Plus, at the transfer station, they have everyone form a single line for DHS and Epcot instead of separate ones. That line can be ridiculous, especially for rope drop.
That’s what I thought about the skyliner. It’s a nice transportation, but, has flaws in design for getting to parks 1 hour early, accommodating ALL guests from skyliner resorts trying for early park arrival. We would like to get to HS early enough to ride slinky, & try for for 10 am rotr lottery.idk about using lyft.i would be fine if lyft driver put windows down,but a tad skeptic with the virus. We may ride Lyft, but, I would feel much more comfortable driving our own Vehicle. Is it still reasonable to drive own vehicle and park at Hollywood studios for early arrival? Or do you recommend parking at the Swan? If they charge us for parking at the Swan, where do I pay at? Those are are our 3 options.1) Drive park @HS,2) drive/park @ Swan. 3) skyliner. 4) Lyft it:/
I am going to Disney World in December and I am skipping HS altogether. There is not much to do there except stand in long lines. I love Baseline Taphouse but it’s not worth standing in long lines for a beer anymore. With no shows you just stand around in lines.
I am praying they will go back to park hopping soon. It can be figured out safely and positive for all guests. If I can figure out how to do it so can Disney. Not that hard.
When you leave a park you scan your band with a CM showing you left. Now you make a new reservation at another park if there is a park reservation available. Really not that difficult.
“When you leave a park you scan your band with a CM showing you left.”
No need for that even. Skynet knows you left the park. They should do like I’ve said multiple times and add a capacity condition section to the app, so you can tell if it’s likely you’ll be admitted to another park. They can easily keep real-time numbers of guests in each park (hint, they already have this info), so there is zero excuse to not allow park hopping under the condition that a park isn’t maxed out.
Ok so ideally what you’re saying could work but not for families with littles. We will have to take a mid day break for my littles to nap. If hs were to admit more guests for example when we left we might not be able to get back in for our adrs. That would be a problem since we assume it’s an all day reservation to the park we chose.
I think the primary reason for not allowing park hopping is not capacity concerns, but potential contact tracing issues. Some of the labor unions out here at DL had that written in as part of their agreement to return (back when they thought they could). But who the heck knows?
April, that’s an interesting thought, but contact tracing is a joke, especially in this setting with 20,000 people in a park. Unless Disney has some nefarious backdoor communication protocols built into the MDE app that continuously pings every cell with it installed, even when you have permissions denied, it won’t be effective or even possible. And it wouldn’t work for those without fancy phones or those without the app installed.
It’s more likely though they would use the MB data to track all guests throughout parks, which actually is possible to some extent. But we’re talking massive data processing (which could explain why MDE is so glitchy for the last 3 years) and again, wouldn’t cover those without the bands.
Even if either or both of those methods were employed, that’s still not a valid reason to not allow park hopping.
Just went to Hollywood Studios today, Oct. 27.
Got to the park about 8:30. Was in the park by 9 and had done Rock n Roller and Twilight Zone before 10.
Waited for Rise time and got Group 12, no problem.
Went to Star Tours (10 mins.), then Muppet Vision (15 or one rotation of the show), then Rise was time was up. That line was about 25-30 minutes.
Had finished all of that by 12:30. Checked the line for Runaway–too long. Went back to Twilight Zone, 35 minutes. Then went back to Runaway, which was 60 (because of a time-stop to sanitize.)
Had a late lunch at 50’s diner, then back to Twilight Zone and Runaway and finally finished off with Slinky Dog.
We were there the whole day, yes. But had NO problems with seeing everything we wanted to see and Runaway was the longest line of the day.
Just an interesting observation – they seem to be getting ready to increase capacity for Rise. They have plexiglass on the pods and the preshow room to fit more parties, and the whole experience was much more crowded today than it was on Friday (the plexiglass went up between then and today).
Was at DHS Monday Oct 26 solo. Got inside by 930 am, rode SDD. Off ride at 952. Found a spot at SWGE. No go on 10am boarding group. Did MFSR, TSMM, ate lunch at ABC Commissary then ToT. Waited it out for 2pm. Got 84 backup boarding group. So I stayed did TSMM, MMRR at 90 minutes, MFSR constantly checking Rise’s progress. Fretting as it broke down in 5 o clock hour. Boarding group got called at 645. Line was out of Tunnel by entrance to Muppets. Didn’t get off ride until 820. After spending the whole day at HS, swapped my Park pass on Wednesday for Epcot. You shouldn’t have to monitor your phone’s clock to the seconds to grab a bg which are gone in seconds. A random lottery would be better at this point.
We flew from Michigan with our family of 5 and are Star Wars fans. We did not score a Rise of the Resistance pass. It was really discouraging because in preparation for our trip we even bought a new phone with hopes that new technology would score us a ride. I didn’t realize what a lottery system it has become. Our family as well as the family we were traveling with were losers in regards to scoring Rise and we talked to a lot of people in the park that day that had the same experience. It is more than unfortunate for travelers like ourselves that spend the money to come and have to compete with everyone there to try and get on. We still tried to make the best of the day but long lines were also extremely cumbersome for our youngest kiddos. Basically with no fast passes, rise being near impossible to score, reduced hours, and masks, I don’t see our family returning to Hollywood Studios let alone any of the other parks any time soon. It’s gonna be a while for us and we are major fans that have traveled there 3 times since March of 2019. I really hope things change and it is hard for me to really think it’s fair to offer this ride based on a lottery system.
We were there in late September and didn’t get ROTR. Family near us was on their “trip of a lifetime” to WDW and didn’t get it. Then you have “regulars” that are getting it all the time. Disney needs to figure something out.
Funny thing about the RoR lottery – it clearly isn’t a lottery. It isn’t random selection of individuals…people have figured out ways to game the system not perfect but clearly effective. If your state lottery left open those “advantages” it would be shut down as fraudulent. When folks talk about being successful the last xx times they have visited – that isn’t chance. So what you have is a group of folks who have gone on the ride many times (APs and those who “studied”) and another group (infrequent visitors) who have a much much lower chance of “winning”. It is one thing to run a lottery…it is quite another to run a lottery that is “rigged”.
You’re not wrong–I just don’t know what else to call it. Perhaps “biased lottery” is best/most succinct?
In our case, we do know all the advantages and are the type of guest who should have the biggest advantage, yet we’ve still lost half the time this month. That’s why I estimated the odds for the average guest at closer to 25%.
I understand everyone’s frustrations at the long lines. However, having been earlier this month and stood in some of the lines, the waits were not as the lines indicated. You must understand that much of this is because of the spacing requirements. What looked like a line that would be 2 hrs long was, in reality, about 45-50 minutes. If you’ve ever been in Oct. in recent years, this is about average, if not a little better than average. I get the impression that many people are seeing these lines and refusing to endure them, not realizing they are deceptive. I understand that no one wants long lines, but that’s WDW. You know, if you go, you will be waiting in lines. I am grateful they are using spacing during the pandemic. As a nurse who works in the hospital setting, I felt safe while there because of it. Please don’t let lines that wrap around longer than normal deceive you. They really aren’t that long. We had a wonderful time while at WDW and got to ride everything we wanted MULTIPLE times during our visit. It was well worth our time, effort, and cost. We did miss the dining plan and park hopping, but they will return. This is just for a season…. just a strange time in life for all of us. Let’s just make the best of it.
Having just been there I can tell you the situation has changed since you were there. A cast member stands at the end of the line indicating the wait times – we were not judging it by the length of the line. I can verify that the wait times are accurate and in some cases the wait time was longer than indicated. I’m also a nurse and my husband is a physician (both hospital-based). There were a few times we felt unsafe but not many. The issue is not the waits, it’s the lack of FP, the frequent breakdowns of rides (after long waits in line), the lack of shows (which has NOTHING to do with safety), selling admission tickets at the window although the park reservation system indicated the park was at capacity, the lack of places to eat, the pared down menus despite a resort (Riviera) that was filled to capacity, and wearing masks in the extreme heat and humidity (much different than wearing them in a hospital with a/c).
We went to HS this past Saturday, 10/24. We switched our MK and HS days per your advice, and rode 17 attractions at MK on Thursday (some more than once). We were prepared to be frustrated in HS, by not getting everything we wanted. We were lucky and that was not the case, but I did feel claustrophobic and annoyed by the crowd levels. I kept reminding myself we were in masks and outside when it felt crowded. I hit a wall mid afternoon and had to work hard to get past it and keep going. In the morning, We walked from Boardwalk and got in line around 8:20. They opened the screenings at 9:08 and we went straight to Micky/Minnie for a near walk on. Then to Slinky Dog for about 20 min wait. Hoped to send the kids back on slinky while we worked the queue for Rise, but wait was already 60 min. Set up near TSM and used three apple devices to try to get a boarding group. One on WIFI, two on Verizon. We opened the boarding group around 9:55 and refreshed regularly as 10:00 approached. Scored group 27. We then did TSM with reasonable wait, RNRC with about an hour. Skipped TofT since most of us were not interested. Slowed the pace after that. Ate some snacks. Waited too long for Muppets b/c we just missed a show. Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s edge were much too crowded until about 5:00, then they emptied out. In the afternoon, we rode star tours, Rise with our reservation, built droids, rode millennium falcon twice (2nd time right at park close), TSM a second time. It was a successful day and I loved the theming of galaxy’s edge but was definitely disappointed by the crowds and waits. I would not recommend HS at all to a Disney newbie right now.
Oops we we went back at quarter to 9..not 8
When I suggested that when the parks were closed, ROTR should have been a top priority for Disney to work on around the clock to increase its reliability, I was told by some that it would be impossible under the CDC guidelines. Phooey! Disney missed a huge opportunity to work on this attraction while there were no visitors and here everybody sits with little chance of actually riding the attraction after paying a high ticket price to try.
“When I suggested that when the parks were closed, ROTR should have been a top priority for Disney to work on around the clock to increase its reliability, I was told by some that it would be impossible under the CDC guidelines.”
To be clear, this was not true–it was simply how some fans justified/excused Disney for pausing construction. (I’m personally not surprised Disney pumped the brakes, but I don’t excuse it.)
All around Florida, construction never stopped on a wide array of projects.
We are going to DHS in November arriving by car. Even if our car is one of the 1st in line to enter to park, what are our chances of getting thru main entrance by 10:00? What time do the parking gates open?
We woke up early and drove to the parking lot and were told the parking lot didn’t open till 9. when we went back about quarter to 8 there were already about 10 rows of 30 cars so we should have kept circling around until they opened and been closer in line…saying that it really doesn’t matter as long as your in the park before 10:00 a.m. and your fingers are ready to keep clicking on the boarding group page.. it might work.. we did not get in the 10:00 a.m lottery. so we did a bunch of rides tried to waste some time ate some lunch and we tried to get in at 2:00 p.m…. we got Backup boarding group 77 and we weren’t on the ride queue until 530 or 545.
Hollywood studios IMO you should probably just wait.. it’s not worth it… lines are too long
Could someone elaborate on why Hollywood studios would be better on a weekend? I will be there in the parks December 17-20 (Thursday through Sunday). I have Epcot on Saturday and Hollywood studios on Thursday. Should I swap them? Rise of the resistance is not a must for us.
Not sure why HS would be better on a weekend, but Epcot is definitely better midweek. Crowds have been very high at Epcot on the weekends, with locals choosing to spend their time there. So I would definitely recommend Epcot on Thursday and rolling the dice with HS on Saturday–especially if ROR is not a priority.
Tom has talked about this point in many of his Hollywood studios blogs and you might have missed.
All parks are crowed on weekends and are less crowed on weekdays with the exception of Hollywood studios which is crowed no mater the day. So, plan on going to Hollywood studios on the weekend and not use the weekend for the other park so you can go to them during the weekday when they are less crowed
sorry my spelling is bad – crowded
Hate this doesn’t have spell check
We were at DHS on Saturday and had a great experience. We rode the Railway, which is fantastic along with Slinky and RotR. We left the Riviera station a little after 9 and entered the park before 10. We didn’t make the queue at 10 but did score a group at the 2:00 opening. Rode RotR around 5:30 and called it a day.
Magic Kingdom on Friday was a total disaster. Rode Peter Pan, Seven Dwarfs, Thunder Mountain and PotC. Sounds like a solid day but standing in those lines ate up 90 percent of our park hours. I get the whole things are different theme right now but Disney should really step back and figure out something with fast pass. When the lines for Haunted Mansion and Thunder Mountain are almost touching each other it’s a little much.