There are many things that make Disney’s Hollywood Studios a lot of fun, but there are definitely some that stand out. Here is a list of 10 things you do not want to miss during your next visit!
1. Star Wars Galaxies Edge
I don't know about you, but I am a HUGE Star Wars fan! And Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is one of the BEST places to be in order to enjoy an all-around Star Wars theme. Galaxy's Edge takes place on Rey’s home planet, Batu. As soon as you enter the planet you are overtaken by a realistic environment, Star Wars themed food and shopping, and even Clones! Yes, that’s right, Clones!
You can also have a fabulous drink at Olga’s Cantina, but you'll need to make a reservation 6 months in advance (if you're staying on property and 3 months in advance if you're staying off property.) Reservations go quickly for an awesome spot like Olgas!
On Galaxy’s Edge, you can also make reservations to build your own lightsaber! How exciting does that sound? Fan or not, you have to check out Galaxy’s Edge!
2. Hollywood Studios Firework Show
This show is spectacular and one that you won't want to miss! The show's theme is “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” and it surely is spectacular! Arrive at least an hour early to grab a spot in front of Romans Chinese Theater. During the show you will see and hear scenes from all the Star Wars movies put together in one fabulous montage. Accompanied by fireworks, the projection show is beautifully orchestrated. Do not forget to look for the final surprise lightsaber at the conclusion of the show! How the Disney team was able to pull that off let alone come up with the idea is beyond me! (For showtime, check your My Disney Experience app.)
3. Breakfast with Disney Junior Characters
Hollywood & Vine has been a long time favorite for decades. A staple of Hollywood, Disney Hollywood Studios has their own location in the park for guests to enjoy! Many people know that this restaurant is available for lunch and dinner reservations. What is not so well known, however, is that you can bring your little ones here for breakfast so they can see their favorite Disney Junior characters! A similar setup to Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom, the Hollywood & Vine breakfast allows young children to have a delicious breakfast while meeting characters like Handy Many, Sofia the First, Jake from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” and Doc McStuffins! So, make your reservations 6 months in advance if you are staying on property and 3 months in advance if staying off property so you can be a part of the fun!
4. Toy Story Land
Are you a fan of Toy Story trilogies and all the adventures Woody, Buzz, and the gang experience? If so, then shrink down to their size and step into their world as you enter Toy Story Land! Walk through Andy’s backyard and experience rides such as Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and of course, Toy Story Mania! Toy Story Mania is so much fun that my family tries to ride it at least once every visit. You can also run into the Green Army Men walking around Andy’s yard and you can find tons of Toy Story themed merchandise! So, get up early and head over to a Land of child imagination and fun.
5. Frozen Sing Along Celebration
Join the cast of Frozen and sing along to your favorite Frozen songs in the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration.” During this exciting show, guests are able to step into the shoes of Arendelle's historians to relieve some of Anna and Elsa’s fun adventures! A 30-minute show, children and people of all ages are able to enjoy the performance while smiling and laughing their way through. As an added way of having fun, do not forget to have your little ones dress up as Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, or Olaf to feel even more immersed in the show!
6. Star Wars Rise of the Resistance
Yeah I know, I already talked about Galaxy’s Edge, but this ride deserves a spot of its own on this list. Why? Because this ride is simply amazing! In my opinion, no other ride makes you feel more immersed in a movie than Rise of the Resistance. The ride itself is 16-18 minutes long; the longest ride in all the Disney Parks! The ride also includes sections you can walk through and feel like you are on a resistance and imperial ships. The ride is trackless and brings you throughout different environments. There is even an elevator drop!
Honestly, I don't think any other ride is as thrilling. The biggest thing to remember about this ride is that you cannot simply go wait in line to get on. You have to sign up for a boarding pass once you enter Hollywood Studios. The passes go very quickly so arrive at the park an hour in advance in order to be one of the first inside.
Once the park officially opens, the boarding passes will be available to sign up for through your My Disney Experience app. Remember that everyone in your party has to be scanned into the park so that you all can be added to the same boarding group.
7. Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of one of your favorite action-packed Indiana Jones movies? Now you no longer have to wonder. Join the cast and crew of Indiana Jones Stunt Show to learn all about how stunts are pulled off and what it takes to make them look realistic.
For the second part of the show, watch a live action stunt show being performed by talented stuntmen and actors! My mom absolutely loves the show, and we watch it every time we are in Hollywood Studios. My little brother always thinks it's so cool to see all the flips and tricks the performers share with the audience. There is even a chance you will be selected to join the performance as an audience volunteer! So, get some popcorn and then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
8. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
This new ride at Hollywood Studios, a first of its kind, is perfect for people of all ages. Join Mickey and Minnie as they take the train to head to a picnic and see what crazy fun happens along the way! With Goofy as the train driver, what could possibly go wrong? This cartoon filled ride is filled with fun and happiness. Become part of the animation and take in as much as you can. You most likely have to go on the ride more than once to take it all in. It's just that full of imagination!
9. Secret Character Meets
Not only are there announced characters for you to visit, there are also secret character meets. This is when characters that are not as mainstream come to side areas of the park to sign autograph books and take pictures with you!
Oftentimes, the actors and actresses who play these characters are in training and each meet and greet lasts for about 15-20 minutes. So, if you see them, quickly go say hello! You may not see these characters again on your visit.
10. Hollywood Blvd.
On Hollywood Blvd. you can find tons of stores to explore and get all the Disney products you can think of! You can find costumes, Kate Spade bags, Pandora jewelry, Disney Tee shirts, and cute little knick-knacks! If you are looking for fun gifts for your loved ones or souvenirs for yourself, then right when you enter the park or right before you leave, you have access to tons of options. This Hollywood- designed road and shops are also cute places to take pictures with your friends and family!
Now that you know 10 things that make Disney’s Hollywood Studios great and 10 things you definitely should not miss, it is time to get started on planning your vacation. I promise you will have the time of your life!
Aloha! Today I'm sharing about one of my favorite destinations for families - Hawaii. Why is it at the top of my list? I love that the Hawaiian Islands have something for everyone: the foodie, the history buff, the golfer, the beach family, the romantic, the adventurer, the shopaholic, the nightlife seeker - Hawaii has it all! Oftentimes, you and your family hope for slightly different experiences on your vacation, so today I'd like to dive into a few of these categories to highlight how the whole fam can have the trip of a lifetime!
For The Family Seeking Adventure:
Waimea Canyon, located on the Western side of Kauai, is not to be missed while you’re visiting Hawaii. This majestic stretch of beautiful canyons spanning 10 miles long and 3,000 feet deep in some places will take your breath away. Hiking the area is one of the best ways to take it all in. Trails are well-maintained and range from easy to difficult. Some will even take you to the top of Waipoo Falls for out-of-this-world views.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still soak views from the end of Highway 550, at Pu‘u O Kila Lookout which offers stunning panoramic views of Kalalau Valley. It will take your breath away!
The incredibly unique scenery of the famous Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon are unparalleled, and combined with the quiet, low-key feel, make for a rather breathtaking backdrop while adventuring with your family.
While there are several excellent hiking trails on Kauai, only 10% of the island is accessible by car - so how else can you see it? Take a helicopter ride (you can't miss this), tour the Napali Coast by boat, kayak the only navigable river in Hawaii, and tour under the sea via snorkel or scuba diving.
For The History Buff Family:
Oahu is a match made in heaven for the history buff family. There's quite the pick of activities on Oahu. A visit to Pearl Harbor is surely on the list, but other historical outlets include Iolani Palace, the former official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, for a glimpse into this era of Hawaiian history, and the Polynesian Cultural Center to experience the history of the Polynesian islands, as well as one of Oahu's most well-known luau's.
For The Beach Loving Family:
My clients love Hawaii for lots of reasons, but the 750 miles of shoreline with beautiful beaches, ocean views, and unreal sunsets, is definitely close to the top of the list. No matter what Island you’re on or what time of year it is, Hawaii’s beaches are breathtaking.
Some draw crowds no matter the time of day, others offer semi-secluded and relatively remote perfect little slices of sand waiting for those who want quiet and relaxation above all else. Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hanalei Bay on Kauai, and Punaluʻu, on the Big Island are just three beaches you won’t want to miss while you’re there.
The Golfing Family:
The Golfer and The Foodie: The Island of Hawaii is known for having some of the most renowned golf courses, dubbed the "Golf Capital of Hawaii", and it won't be hard to see why. The majestic scenery isn't the only reason - courses on the Island of Hawaii have been designed by some of the best, including Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
For The Foodie Family:
An up and coming destination for The Foodie, the Island of Hawaii is home to Kona Coffee (and the Plantation, which is open to tour) and the annual Kona Coffee Festival. In addition to the Island's restaurants, other unique experiences on this island include visiting various local farms, the weekly Hilo Farmers Market (ranked as the #1 in US Farmers Markets by the Huffington Post).
So tell me - where in Hawaii will you be going next?
Anyone who goes to Disney World knows that there's going to come a time when the Fast Passes run out or become unavailable and that you'll have to stand in a long line out in the hot sun just to get on a popular ride. It happens. We all know it.
But here's the thing, navigating your way through Disney is all about choices, like which rides you want to ride, which shows you want to see, which restaurants you want to eat, and which snacks you want to dive into. So I wanted to help you out by giving you my top 5 Must-Do rides that the entire family will enjoy.
1) Kilimanjaro Safaris - Who doesn't enjoy seeing their favorite animals in their natural habitat? This 22-minute safaris ride, which has no height restrictions, is located in Animal Kingdom. In an open-air vehicle, you take a simulation ride through the savanna of East Africa with an informative tour guide. Your kids will love it, and so will YOU!
Tip: If you can't get a Fast Pass for this, try arriving at rope drop and heading straight for this ride as soon as you enter the park. It is best to see the animals in the morning because it is not as hot and the animals will be more active at this time.
2. Slinky Dog Dash - What do you get when you mix a toy Dachshund with a slinky toy (remember those from the 40s?) You get one of the best family coaster rides at Hollywood Studios. You get on thinking it's a kiddie ride, but after getting whipped around, you end up having just as much fun (if not more) than your kids. It's fast and there's hills, turns, and dips but it's not very scary. After all it's located in Toy Story land!
3. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - By far the most highly sought after Fast Pass at Magic Kingdom and for good reason! This steel roller coaster, located in Fantasyland, will have you waiting in line for hours if you don't snag a Fast Pass. It is a great first timer roller coaster ride because the height requirement is 3'2" and it only goes 34 miles an hour. It is not too scary for most young children, however, I must say this ride is much more exciting at night.
Tip: If you cannot get a Fast Pass for this coaster, show up for rope drop and high tail it to be among the first to get in line. The other option is to get in line a minute or two before the park closes. Even if you get in line right when the park closes, they'll still let you get in line for the ride.
4. Rise of the Resistance - This is one of Hollywood Studios newest additions and the most immersive, creative rides ever designed. It's located inside of the 14-acre, Star Wars themed area called Galaxy's Edge. Rise of the Resistance isn't exactly for smaller children, as there is a height requirement of 40," however, older children and teenagers who are die-hard Star Wars fan, would really enjoy experiencing this ride, where you're put in the middle of an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Tip: Arrive at least 60-90 minutes before Hollywood Studios opens in order to get a boarding pass, which will give you a time for entry.
5. Pandora - The World of Avatar - This ride, located in Animal Kingdom, is a MUST do, no matter how many hours you have to wait in line! (Hopefully you can get a Fast Pass for it, but if not, check out my tips below). It is a breathtaking 4.5-minute virtual 3D ride that has you flying on the back of a banshee on the fictional moon, Pandora. So so cool! This ride is family friendly, as long as you are 44" tall.
Tip #1: If you cannot get a Fast Pass for this attraction, I suggest arriving at Animal Kingdom at rope drop and make this the very first ride you go for. The other option is to let this be the last ride of the day and get in line right before the park closes. As long as you get in line before the close time,they will take you. The line will still be long, but not as long.
Tip #2: If you have a wait time of about 2 hours, do like we did and watch Pandora on Netflix to get you hyped up for the ride!
If you would like to know about some of other memorable rides or other favorites at Disney World just reply to this email and I would love to give you more tips! I LOVE Disney and could talk about it ALL day!
Have you downloaded my FREE PDF on 21 Crazy Easy Ways To Save For Your Next Disney Trip yet? Go ahead and grab it here.
Whether you’re into adventure, exploring cities, or open to totally new experiences, there is something for everyone—including YOU. I can help you create a honeymoon experience that is truly your own around ANYTHING you want!
But first, here are 3 top honeymoon ideas for a non-beach honeymoon escape:
1. For an Urban Escape, some great honeymoon options include Las Vegas, New York City, London, Paris, or Italy. You can do as much as you want, or as little. There are numerous options for nightly entertainment or enjoy a quiet relaxing evening. During the day enjoy sight-seeing, shopping, historical landmarks, fine art, and more. Dining options are endless.
2. For a Wilderness Escape, Alaska is a wonderful honeymoon option. See all that Alaska has to offer by cruise and/or land tour. If only cruising Alaska, be sure to book an excursion or two to explore all that Alaska has to offer. Or combine the two for a Cruisetour and enjoy seeing glaciers, Denali National Park, Anchorage and other Alaska landmarks in one extended honeymoon trip.
3. For Wine Lovers, consider a trip to Argentina, California, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, or Virginia. Sample some of the finest wines that these areas have to offer and enjoy the beautiful countryside. Take a wine class, enjoy farm to table dining, learn to make wine, enjoy winery tours, follow the wine trail/routes, or visit a wine museum. And hey, you might even have the opportunity to attend a wine festival.
This is just a small sampling of some non-beach honeymoon ideas. I don’t want you to miss out on the best non-beach escapes simply because you didn’t know where to look! And if you’d like to avoid missing out on MORE non-beach honeymoon ideas and activities, I’d love to help you!
Excited for you!
Kimberly is the owner of Travel Kimestry. Her areas of expertise include The Bahamas, The Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe and ALL THINGS DISNEY. She’s passionate about working with families who enjoy traveling the world. She looks forward to working with YOU soon!