It boasts some of the Biggest Thrills that Walt Disney World has to offer, but we’re going to tell you why it might be Disney’s best park for your little ones! Here’s our 10 Best Things to Do for kids at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
I know we’re all kids at heart, especially while at Disney, but for the purpose of this post, we’re going with the Disney definition of kids, ages 3-9. So anything with a height restriction is not going to be on this list.
1. Disney Junior
Our kids love Disney Junior, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the only park in Walt Disney World that features characters from Disney Jr. shows.
Play N Dine at Hollywood and Vine
We wrote a detailed review of the Play N Dine character breakfast here. It’s become one of our favorite character meals on property because of the great character interaction you get, and it has only gotten better with the addition of the very popular Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First. We have an ADR for this on our upcoming trip and can’t wait!
Disney Junior Live on Stage
This stage show is on our “Must Do” list and is usually the first thing we do after breakfast! It can be a little uncomfortable for the adults to sit on the floor, but the kids are invited to stand up and dance throughout as puppets from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates entertain! Keep an eye out for bubbles and gold doubloons!
Disney Junior Dance Party
This is something we have not yet had the opportunity to do, as it is only available on nights when Disney’s Hollywood Studios has evening Extra Magic Hours. But if your kids can make it to those late hours, they can dance with some of their favorite characters and music in the Animation Courtyard!
2. Character Meet n’ Greets
It may take some time for your little one to warm up to larger than life characters, especially on a first visit. But once your child gets over their hesitance, you may find you have trouble pulling them away from their favorites.
Here are some of the characters you can only meet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake, Handy Manny
- Frozone & Mr. Incredible
- Green Army Men
- Lightning McQueen & Mater
- Mike Wazowski & Sulley
- Phineas & Ferb
- Wreck-it Ralph & Vanellope
On top of these, you also get Sorcerer Mickey, Woody and Buzz inside Andy’s room, and classic Disney characters like Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Chip & Dale.
DHS is also home to “Characterpalooza”, which is an unofficial character meet experience that takes place on the Streets of America. It’s a great opportunity to meet some random characters!
3. Toy Story Midway Mania
This is the most popular attraction for the whole family in the park (if you couldn’t tell from the long lines). Even if your kids are too small to do it on their own, they can have a blast helping mom and dad try to score high on the carnival-style 3D games.
It’s one of those attractions you just want to do over and over again, but with the wait times, you’re lucky to ride on it once.
4. Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
“Honey I Shrunk the Kids” is one of my all-time favorite live-action Disney movies. I can watch it over and over, and although I don’t think my children have even seen the movie, they can still enjoy being the size of insects and playing in this playground.
Just be warned, you’ll have a hard time getting them to leave, and even though it’s not a “splash area”, there is a leaky hose that can get your kids plenty wet if they play with it!
5. Jedi Training Academy
Once only available during Star Wars Weekends, the Jedi Training Academy is now open all year round, training a whole new generation in the ways of the force! Space is very limited and fills up quickly each morning. So be sure to get there early to sign up your young padawans for their chance to battle the sinister Darth Vader!
The Jedi Training Academy is open to children ages 4-12. Their training takes place for all to see, with a special section reserved for parents. PhotoPass photographers are on hand to capture these magical moments, and each child is presented with a certificate upon completion of their training.
Children must be present at registration so that Cast Members can ask them a few questions to be sure they can follow directions as part of this show.
6. MuppetVision 3D
Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Until the new movies came out, our kids only knew the muppets from Walt Disney World, but they still enjoyed what I consider to be the best of all the 3D movies that Disney offers.
There’s just something I love when I see not just my kids, but all the kids in the theater reaching up and trying to touch the 3D objects. The wacky effects and sight gags will have your laughing the whole time. There’s even some classic Muppet humor for the adults too!
7. Pizza Planet Arcade
This makes the list despite the fact that I think Disney dropped the ball and missed an opportunity to make something really really great. The arcade is pretty small and there’s not as much Toy Story as there could have been, and you’re definitely not going to confuse the pizza with Via Napoli.
Still… maybe because we find that this park doesn’t have as many food options as the other parks, Pizza Planet has become our go-to lunch/dinner option. Yes, you’ve got to spend money on the games, but think of it this way… If they were “free”, there would be some kids who never let anyone else get a turn.
We finish out our list with some shows, including the retelling of the stories of two of Disney’s most beloved princesses!
8. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
What I love about this version of the Little Mermaid is how it combines the live Ariel with the very colorful puppet sea creatures, the animated background, and the little “4D” touches that make you feel more a part of the story.
It’s long enough to offer a good escape from the Florida heat and humidity, but short enough for the kids to sit through it.
9. Beauty and the Beast
With all the great music and characters of the film, this broadway-style stage show is a delight to watch. The theater is outdoors, so there’s no air conditioning, only a canopy to provide shade. But once the show starts you’ll forget all about the heat and be swept up in the magic of Beauty and the Beast! It’s something for the whole family to enjoy!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! is a must-see. The wait can be tough to endure, since you have to arrive early to get good seats. But if you can handle the wait (bring snacks, light-up toys to keep kids occupied), you’re rewarded with a great show combining live-action with pyrotechnics and water-projections! The grand finale is awesome!!
The use of fire is prominent at one point in the show, and you can literally feel the heat of it in the audience, so keep that in mind when choosing your seat. In addition to that the show does feature several Disney villains and has a potential scare factor.
So there you have it, our 10 Best Things for Kids at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!!