Planning a Disney trip can feel overwhelming at times, but regardless of whether you have a strict itinerary or not, you will still have fun – just make sure expectations are reasonable. As we all know, toddlers and preschoolers can be unpredictable. Use my Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers as a guide.
However, remember that when you throw jetlag, heat and queues into the mix, things can get ‘interesting!’
To make your trips to the parks as simple and as stress-free as possible, I’ve put together the ultimate itineraries for toddlers and preschoolers who are visiting Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot.
In this article, we’re discussing Hollywood Studios and all it has to offer for families with little kids in tow.
Before we get into the Hollywood Studios itinerary, however, I just want to say that the park has limited rides for children under 40 inches. But, there are numerous wonderful shows and spectaculars to make up for it, which in some ways is better as you won’t be spending your day waiting in long queues.
How Disney Genie + can help with your Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Disney Genie + is Disney’s new take on their original FastPass feature. The service is an additional charge on top of your standard ticket, but the benefits that come with it sure make up for it.
With Disney Genie +, you can book onto some of the park’s most popular rides, which then allows you to avoid substantial wait times and skip the line using the Lightning Lane. In my opinion, this feature isn’t necessary for Hollywood Studios with toddlers unless the adults of the group wish to get their adrenaline pumping.
With that being said though, there is also a feature called Individual Lightning Lanes that lets Disney visitors pay additional on top of ticket prices ( and/or Genie+) for up to two-line skips a day on the park’s busiest attractions. This option may be more cost-effective if you only want to ride the Tower of Terror and RISE of the Resistance- which obviously toddlers will be unable to do.
What I will suggest is downloading the Disney Genie app on your phone as it gives you access to interactive park maps, shows you updated wait times for rides, and allows you to preorder food to kiosks all around the parks. This will help your Hollywood Studios itinerary for toddlers and preschoolers to run smoothly.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s get into the perfect itinerary for families with toddlers and preschoolers who are visiting Hollywood Studios.
Arrive at the Park at 8:30
Hollywood Studios opens to the public at 8:30, and if you want to make the most of your day, then I highly suggest getting to the park when it opens.
My family have found it best to head straight to the toilets once arriving at the park as there are some directly to the left as you walk through the entrance.
Rent a Stroller
If you didn’t manage to bring your own stroller to Florida, then you can hire one at the entrance to Hollywood Studios. I swear by strollers and will continue to hire or take one to the parks for many years to come.
Single strollers are around $15 for the day, and doubles are $31 for the day. Trust me. You’ll be thanking yourself an hour into your day when your toddler’s legs hurt or when they need a nap.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Breakfast
Now that you’re in the park, it’s more than likely time to have some breakfast if you didn’t eat at your Disney hotel or accommodation. Now, to be honest, there aren’t many breakfast options in Hollywood Studios. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
The Trolley Car Cafe
The Trolley Car Cafe is Hollywood Studios’ dedicated Starbucks that, of course, provides guests with all their usual Starbucks concoctions. But along with coffees, pink drinks, and teas, the Trolley Car Cafe also has a selection of sandwiches and pastries, which actually tend to be a great breakfast option for little kids.
Hollywood and Vine – Character Dining
For a breakfast to remember, I highly recommend making a reservation for the Hollywood and Vine character dining.
Hollywood and Vine is situated to the left as you come out from Hollywood Boulevard. It sits opposite Echo Lake and serves up standard American breakfast items of waffles, sausages, pancakes, and bagels.
And although the food is great and a safe bet for even the fussiest eaters, the real perk of this dining option is the fact that your little ones will meet all their favourite Disney Junior stars.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Timed Shows
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration In Echo Lake at 9:30 AM
Now that breakfast is complete, it’s time to head to the opposite side of Echo Lake to enjoy the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
The show begins at 9:30 and is on throughout the day. Your Frozen loving little ones can dance and sing their hearts out to their favourite Frozen songs.
In total, this brilliant, not to be missed show lasts for an hour, but you get to sit in air-conditioning which makes up for the fact you’ll more than likely have “Let It Go” in your head for the remainder of the day. It really should not be missed!
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! In Echo Lake at 10:45 AM
Now, I said Hollywood Studios has numerous shows and spectaculars, and boy did I mean it. Once the Frozen show is over, it’s time to head back over to the other side of Echo Lake to watch the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at 10:45 AM.
The Indiana Jones show has been a family favourite of ours for as long as I can remember, and your little ones will love all the stunts and explosions that happen on set. Again, this show lasts for an hour, but it’s a must-do whenever visiting the park.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Meet and Greets
Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight in Commissary Lane
If your little ones aren’t terrified of characters, then Commissary Lane has a couple of meet and greets, with the first being Olaf. You can find Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight and have your photo taken with him in a beach style setting.
Meet Disney Stars at Red Carpet Dreams in Commissary Lane
The second character meet and greet is at Red Carpet Dreams where you can actually meet both Mickey and Minnie! Minnie is wearing a beautiful red carpet gown, and Mickey is sporting his iconic Fantasia red cape and blue wizard’s hat.
Head to Commissary Lane for An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie
After saying hello to Olaf, Mickey, and Minnie, you can head on over to the Mickey Shorts Theater to watch An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie. The show is one of a kind and worth a watch with never before seen animated clips.
You’re probably well overdue for a toilet break by now, and I just wanted to point out the only set of toilets throughout Echo Lake and Commissary Lane in case you need them at any time throughout your morning.
The toilets can be found just behind the stage where you watched the Frozen show in Commissary Lane. If you’re on the other side of Echo Lake, however, you’re better off going back down Hollywood Boulevard to the toilets near the stroller rental.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Lunch
Before you head over to your next show at 1PM down Sunset Boulevard, it’s about time that you get some lunch. I’ve found that the best place to head for lunch is to the makeshift food court opposite the Beauty and the Beast theatre.
The food court has a few quick service options, including Fairfax Fare, which predominantly serves up hotdogs, Catalina Eddies, which has a selection of pizzas, and Rosie’s All-American Cafe, which has burgers, salads, and chicken nuggets.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage in Sunset Boulevard at 1 PM
Now that you’re full from lunch, it’s time to walk across the street to the Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage show. The show lasts for 30 minutes and tells the well-known heartwarming tale of Belle and the Beast.
Head Back for a Nap
A nap is probably long overdue by this point, and as you’ve reached the hottest point of the day, it’s probably wise to head back to the hotel for a cool down and a rest.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Boulevard
Once your kids have had their mid-day nap, and the sun has gone down ever so slightly, make your way back to the park and head straight to the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride.
Children of all heights and ages can get on the Runaway Railway, and don’t worry, there aren’t any drops, just some unexpected twists. I like the one at the very end- electrifying!
Average Wait Time: 50 minutes
Toy Story Mania! in Toy Story Land
One of my kids’ favourite parts of the park is Toy Story Land, and if you have Toy Story fans, they’re sure to love it too. This area of the park makes you feel like you’re in Andy’s backyard, and there are a few rides throughout that your little ones will enjoy.
The first is Toy Story Mania! which is a 4D shooting game suitable for kids of all ages. There are five games in total to play throughout the ride, and you can even make it a competition to see who scores the most!
Average Wait Time: 45 minutes
The closest toilets to Toy Story Mania! are just before the giant Buzz Lightyear statue.
Alien Swirling Saucer in Toy Story Land
Next up is the Alien Swirling Saucer, which is only suitable for children 32 inches and over. During the ride, you sit in your own flying saucer and whirl around to futuristic tunes.
Average Wait Time: 15 minutes
Check Out the Gift Shops in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
The next land is Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and even though there aren’t any rides or attractions suitable for young children, it is still worth going and taking a look.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has numerous gift shops and snack stops as well as incredible Star Wars theming that makes for a great photo opportunity.
Watch Muppet Vision 3D in Grand Avenue
After you’ve made your way through Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, you find yourself in Grand Avenue, which is home to the iconic Muppet Vision 3D show. This show is another family favourite as you can watch Kermit, Miss Piggy and the entire Muppet clan in 3D.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Dinner
Although Hollywood Studios doesn’t have many breakfast options, they do have a few restaurants that are suitable for little ones come dinner time.
ABC Commissary and Backlot Express are two quick service options that serve up classic American favourites like sandwiches, burgers and tacos. These restaurants are great if you’re in a rush or if your little ones need food without a wait time.
50’s Prime Time Cafe
If you’re looking for a more interesting dinner, there are three restaurants that you should consider. The first is the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Echo Lake. This restaurant will take you back to the 50’s in a diner themed restaurant that serves up food an American mom would have cooked.
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
The second restaurant is the Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Grand Avenue. As you’ve probably already guessed Mama Melrose’s menu consists of Italian classics with an extra special dessert. At Mama Melrose’s, kids can order a spaghetti and meatball cupcake which actually looks scarily realistic.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
The final, and quite possibly the coolest restaurant for dinner is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Commissary Lane. This restaurant is themed like a 50’s drive in movie theater, and the best bit? You eat your dinner in a car with clips playing on the screen in front of you.
Hollywood Studios Itinerary for Toddlers and Preschoolers: After Dinner
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy in Sunset Boulevard
If you have any Cars fans in the family then I highly recommend finishing off your day with a trip over to Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy in Sunset Boulevard. Here you can see Lightning McQueen as he demonstrates to you all of the tricks he’s learned over the years.
Fireworks at Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Sadly at the time of this writing, there are no firework displays at Hollywood Studios. The park has announced that Fantasmic! will be returning in 2022, but a set in stone date hasn’t yet been announced.
There will also be a firework display over in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, but again, the start day of this isn’t yet known.
Head on Home
And that’s a wrap on your day in Hollywood Studios! After the day you’ve had, I’m certain your little ones are more than ready for bed, so head back to your hotel and get some much needed sleep before the magic continues tomorrow.