A common refrain among Disney fans is that it's impossible to see all of Walt Disney World in just one trip. This is completely true – with four parks, dozens of hotels, two water parks, a shopping area, golf courses, and hundreds of other things to do, there's really no way one person could experience that in just one trip.
And so, when planning a Disney trip – particularly for first-time visitors – it's always a good idea to set some things aside up front as things you simply won't have the time, budget, or interest to do.
Personally, at this stage, I think the entirety of Disney's Hollywood Studios should be one of those things. It's not worth the time, money, or energy to visit – despite having one of the best, if not the best, attractions on Walt Disney World property (the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror).
You see, Disney's Hollywood Studios is in something of a state of flux at the moment. Big changes are coming, most of which have not yet been confirmed. But, because of those changes, a large number of attractions at the park have either been removed or simply stopped being renovated. And, ultimately, when deciding what to do with your precious four or five days in Central Florida, there are a lot more ways to get a good value for your dollar and time than a visit to this park.
There are a lot of reasons why I believe Disney's Hollywood Studios should be on your “skip” list, but here are just a few:
Editor's note: These are Dakota's personal views and not necessarily those of everyone at Theme Park Tourist.
1. There are simply not enough rides
The core of most theme park experiences are, of course, the rides. Disney's theming is magical and immersive, and the food items are absolutely incredible, but most people aren't flying the family down to Florida for a cup of pineapple soft serve. They're doing it for the rides.
When Disney's Hollywood Studios was originally built, its “working film studio” theme encouraged the Imagineers to design a number of stage shows – working, live action productions to give guests a different kind of experience. And, beyond those attractions, the film studio itself was a huge draw.
In fact, when the park opened, the only real “rides” were The Great Movie Ride and the Studio Backlot Tour, because there were enough other stage shows and interesting tours to take that guests were always engaged.
In the decades since, more rides have been added and some have been taken away, and what's left now are a handful of thrill rides and little else. And, making the matters worse, the stage shows that remain are relatively dated.
Beyond that, there are simply not enough rides for families or non-thrill seekers.
Recently, Disney increased their one-day, one-park ticket price for Disney's Hollywood Studios to close to $100, but with the number of attractions in the park slowly declining over the years, that simply is too high a price to pay. While Epcot is in a similar position with only two tentpole attractions, that park at least has the World Showcase to balance out the equation. Disney's Hollywood Studios is much smaller and isn't as well designed.
Ultimately, this problem leads into the next one...
2. The lines are just too long
If a longtime Walt Disney World guest visited Disney California Adventure for the first time, there are a few things that would stick out to them. But, one of the most jarring would have to be the wait time for Toy Story Midway Mania.
The Disney California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios versions of the attraction are virtually identical except for one key difference: the version at DCA has a far shorter wait time.
Why is that? Well, it comes down to a simple law of economics: supply and demand.
DCA has several family-friendly attractions, of which Toy Story Midway Mania is only one: Soarin' Over California (the original version of Soarin'), Grizzly River Run, Radiator Springs Racers, Mickey's Fun Wheel, The Little Mermaid, and more.
At Disney's Hollywood Studios, if a family wants to ride an attraction instead of seeing a stage show, Toy Story Midway Mania is one of the only options and, thus, it ends up with waits well over 100 minutes. Guests at DCA have far more options, spreading crowds around the park more evenly and helping wait times remain low.
Essentially, Disney's Hollywood Studios' attendance hasn't dropped dramatically, but it still feels more crowded due to the lack of high-capacity family attractions. Thus, for a first-time visitor, trying to see Disney's Hollywood Studios will likely lead you to do less over more time, which also leads to a feeling of poor value.