Attractions are the lifeblood of theme parks. We’ve took it upon ourselves to rank the attractions at each theme park, to check out all of the parks click here. In today’s post we’ll rank the attractions at the ever-changing Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood Studios has added Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, along with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway over the last few years. That has added five attractions to DHS. While this doesn’t solve the park’s capacity problem or give guests enough to do for a full day there, it does add a few very good attractions to the park’s lineup.
Here’s a few rules for our list of attractions:
- No Meet & Greets. These are impossible to rank as each experience is unique. Also, I don’t particularly like them.
- No Live Shows. Nighttime shows are almost always better than rides, in my eyes. Also, big stage shows are impressive and don’t fit the profile of a typical ride. I will include 3D movies though. Basically you have to physically ride something or it has to be a show without live acting. Most playgrounds won’t be included unless they’re substantial pieces of the park.
- These are all my opinion. Lou Mongello constantly says that “every attraction is someones favorite.” While that is corny and seems a little silly, I think the sentiment is mostly true. I can’t account for other people’s memories in these rankings and will try (probably unsuccessfully) to take some of the nostalgia out of my views of these attractions. You’ll likely disagree with these rankings. Please let me know what you disagree with in the comments.
I’ve written plenty about Hollywood Studios being a park in disarray so there’s no need to rehash that here. The quality of the attractions isn’t disappointing, in fact there isn’t one really bad attraction, there just simply needs to be about twice as many. Let’s get to the rankings!
13. Alien Swirling Saucers – Of all these attraction ranking posts, most have some pretty bad attractions in last place. Alien Swirling Saucers is not bad, it is just bland. The rest of the attractions on this list have a little more substance and are slightly more interesting than this one. Alien Swirling Saucers is for kids and does the job in that field, being a better than average flat ride. The queue is a little dry but has some fun props. While I wouldn’t wait here for more than half an hour, it’s an attraction that’s worth doing.
12. Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie – I don’t typically like animated shorts taking up much real estate in theme parks. This is no different but… If Disney is going to go that route then this works pretty well. This animated short is original and fits in with Runaway Railway that’s next door.
11. Walt Disney Presents – This is a quality attraction in the Animation Courtyard that pays tribute to Walt Disney. The walk through leading up to a short film is my favorite part of the attraction. In a way, this is a mini Walt Disney museum that showcases artifacts from the company’s history. The short film is pretty good as well and a bit of tear-jerker. I don’t think the attraction is amazing but probably a bit underrated. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stay open very often as they do previews in this theater fairly often.
10. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy – Along the lines of Walt Disney Presents and MuppetVision, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a movie based attraction that guests sit through. The high point is definitely the Lightning McQueen animatronic that really looks quite good. As for the rest of the show, it is fine and will probably be good fun for kids especially those interested in Cars.
9. Muppet*Vision 3D – While slightly outdated, this is still a quality attraction. The pre-show is one of the funniest things in all of Walt Disney World. The actual movie is good, as well. The Muppet humor works well and it’s always fun to see Sweetums roaming around the theater. While I do think the film as a whole is in need of a refresh, this is somewhat of a special tribute to Jim Henson because this is the last thing he worked on.
8. Toy Story Mania – This is a really fun attraction but is it a really good attraction? I’m not sure. The concept of being toy size in the queue works pretty well and then the games are a blast. Sure, this is not much more than a glorified Wii game but you can interact with others in your party more than any other attraction at Disney Parks.
7. Slinky Dog Dash – Disney World’s newest coaster is surprisingly fun and is easily the best themed aspect of Toy Story Land. Depending on your age and who you are traveling with, this attraction will likely move up or down the list. The small height limit makes this far more family friendly than most attractions at this park and that’s a big reason this ranks so highly. Relative to Disney World’s other family coasters, Slinky Dog Dash is way more fun and a longer ride. It does add a little bit of a thrill to ride at night. While it might not be worth the wait times currently, Slinky Dog Dash is just plain fun.
6. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – When viewed in isolation, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is really weird. A roller coaster featuring Aerosmith, a band that’s past its prime. Apologies to any Aerosmith fans out there… Still, with the theme of Hollywood there, the attraction’s story works pretty well. Getting to a concert via roller coaster while somewhat joking about LA traffic is funny, campy and a pretty good idea. This is a pretty fun and intense roller coaster but I do think that it’s a little too short and that keep this attraction away from greatness.
5. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues – The last three were all pretty interchangeable, in my opinion, and I’d say the same for this one and the next two. I never loved Star Tours but once they added different scenes, I enjoy it more. The queue here is also pretty impressive with the AT-AT Walker and the Endor vibes. Overall, I find Star Tours (especially after the updates) to be a really good ride but not a great one.
4. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – Galaxy’s Edge is home to two excellent experiences and that includes Smugglers Run. From the queue all the way to the exit, guests take a tour through the iconic Millennium Falcon. The actual ride is good but not perfect, a sort of Star Tours on steroids. The interactive element is fun but nothing outweighs the feeling of being on one of the most famous vehicles in film history.
3. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Hollywood Studios latest attraction is the park’s lone dark ride and resides in the iconic Chinese Theater. Based on the famous Mickey Mouse shorts, Runaway Railway is a good amount of fun and is a much needed kids ride in the park. Does the attraction have a few faults? Of course, it is far from perfect. But those faults don’t detract from this being an excellent addition to Hollywood Studios. That said, there’s a large jump from here to the top two attractions.
2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Even with some good attractions at Hollywood Studios, the Tower of Terror makes the top two easily. A great story, a beautiful fit thematically, an inventive track system that stands the test of time and a thrill to boot. Tower of Terror is one of the best attractions in all of Walt Disney World and just narrowly misses being the park’s best attraction.
1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Tower of Terror is an excellent attraction that remains one of WDW’s best but it has been displaced by the resort’s newest attraction. Rise of the Resistance is a modern theme park marvel, showcasing advanced ride technology while mixing jaw dropping physical sets with incredible screens. Not only is it the best attraction in Hollywood Studios, it’s one of the best in the world.
Hollywood Studios doesn’t have a bad attraction. Unfortunately, there’s only thirteen to judge with several of those being short films or mini shows. Still, the park has a good foundation of attractions to build on and those attractions bode well for the future.
How would your Hollywood Studios attraction rankings differ? Let us know, along with any other questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disney World? Check out our Planning Guide here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!