In this ULTIMATE guide to Hollywood Studios for toddlers we round up the best Hollywood Studios rides for toddlers and tell you how to meet characters at Hollywood Studios alongside all our top tips so you can make the most of your day!
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But before we get started on our Hollywood studios toddler guide, why not check out our other Disney World toddler guides to help you make the most of your Disney World vacations with toddlers.
- Toddler Friendly Magic Kingdom Rides
- Animal Kingdom Rides for toddlers
- Animal Kingdom with toddlers
- Epcot with Toddlers
Is Hollywood Studios Good for Toddlers?
Now, as any long time readers of the blog will know, I love Disney and think there is no bad age to visit. However there is an exception and that is Hollywood Studios. There are certainly better ages to visit Hollywood Studios than others. The reason for this is that there are somewhat limited attractions for toddlers at this park.
In fact out of all the Disney World parks, Hollywood Studios has the fewest rides for toddlers.
Most toddlers will only be able to go on two rides at Hollywood Studios, but if you have a tall toddler, like I do, they may also be able to ride a third ride if they are over 32 inches.
More on the toddler friendly rides at Hollywood Studios later.
However, if you aren’t just focussed on rides then you will find there are a decent amount of attractions for toddlers in this park.
For instance, there are several shows that toddlers will absolutely adore at this park. The ones that my little ones loved are:
- the Disney Junior Play and Dance Party
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and
- Beauty and the Beast Live
- Frozen Singalong
These are also good things to do on a rainy day at Hollywood Studios or a very hot day as these are all indoor activities that are air conditioned.
How long do you need at Hollywood Studios with Preschoolers?
So knowing this how long do you need at Hollywood Studios with toddlers? Personally I would say that Hollywood Studios is a one and done park at Disney World. However if you are really pushed for time in your Disney World vacation with toddlers then you could do most things for toddlers at Hollywood Studios in half a day.
Do you need Genie+ at Hollywood Studios with Toddlers
For those that don’t know, Genie+ or Genie Plus as some say, is the new system that has replaced the old Disney World Fastpass System.
This is not a free service and with surge pricing it can top 30USD a day per person on exceptionally busy days in the park. This can obviously greatly affect your Disney World budget.
Whether you have it or not however will affect how much you can get done in a day, especially the must do attractions and big thrill rides. However do you need it at Hollywood Studios with toddlers.
In my opinion if you are just visiting Hollywood Studios with toddlers and aren’t planning on doing thrill rides such at Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster then it probably is not worth the spend.
Best Hollywood Studios Rides for Toddlers
There are only two rides at Hollywood Studios that do not have a height restrictions. They are:
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train
- Toy Story Midway Mania
On top of this if you have a tall toddler, as I do, they may be able to ride one additional ride which has a 32 inch height restriction – Alien Swirling Saucers.
After this the rides with the next lowest height restriction are Smugglers Run and Slinky Dog Dash which have a high height restriction of 38 inches which most toddlers are unlikely to reach.
It is also worth mentioning that not all toddlers will enjoy these rides so we have provided a brief overview of the rides and give you warnings of what toddlers might find scary.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train is one of the newer rides at Hollywood Studios Orlando and as such can get quite a long queue.
This is a dark trackless ride that takes you on a colorful ride through several Disney shorts that feature many of the classic Disney characters in their traditional form.
While it is a fun story with lots of things for little ones to look at some toddlers of a nervous disposition may find this ride overstimulating.
Also it is worth noting that this ride has an immersive queue which some toddlers could find scary. Before loading you enter a theatre to watch a Mickey short called Perfect Picnic. Goofy is driving a train in this short and crashes which actually causes the screen to break which is what you walk through to board the ride.
My toddler thought this was very funny however others may be a bit overwhelmed so it is worth thinking about before you queuing for this ride.
Toy Story Mania
The other ride at Hollywood Studios without a height restriction is Toy Story Mania. This is one of the 3d rides at Disney World.
In this ride you board a car with four seats, 2 x 2 back to back, where riders will play a series of Carnival rides against the other riders. You score by using a pull string shooter to toss, shoot and throw digital objects at the on screen targets.
I have taken my toddler on this ride at California Adventure and at Hollywood Studios and have to say that he has never managed to keep the 3d glasses on so never really knows what is going on. For this reason I have to say that toddler enjoyment is limited however my little one does like pulling on the shooter string.
Alien Swirling Saucer
Out of all the toddler friendly rides at Hollywood Studios this was my toddlers favorite. This is a traditional spinner ride, that does not go airborne at any point, somewhat similar to the spinning tea cups ride at Magic Kingdom and Mater’s Jamboree Junkyard at Disneyland.
I actually prefer it to the teacups as I don’t get as motion sick on this ride.
If your toddler is above 32 inches then this has to be a must do for toddlers at Hollywood Studios.
Best Things to do at Hollywood Studios with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Now that you know what the rides at Hollywood Studios for toddlers are, we will turn our attention to the other toddler friendly attractions in the park.
Although Meet and Greets are most commonly associated with Magic Kingdom there are actually lots of characters to meet at Hollywood Studios, and many are those that toddlers will be familiar with if they are fans of Disney Junior.
Characters my toddler enjoyed meeting and knew at this park were:
- Buzz Lightyear
- Chip and Dale
- Doc McStuffins
- Donald Duck and Daisy Duck
- Fancy Nancy
- Goofy and Max (Powerline)
- James P. Sullivan aka Sulley
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Woody and Jessie
On top of that there are also lots of Star Wars characters to meet in this park. However just a word of warning my toddler is obviously not familiar with Star Wars and found both Darth Vader and Chewbacca terrifying.
Note these character meet and greets are a fabulous photo opportunity. If you are sharing these to Instagram check out our favorite Instagram Captions for Hollywood Studios.
Also as there are limited rides at Hollywood Studios for toddlers, so if you have a whole day in this park you should have time to enjoy some character dining.
There is only one character dining restaurant at Hollywood Studios and that is Hollywood and Vine. Depending on the time of day you dine will depend on what characters you meet.
For breakfast Hollywood and Vine is Disney Juniors themed where you can usually meet Jake from Never Land Pirates, Princess Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and Goody.
While for Lunch and dinner Minnie hosts a seasonal buffet with classic characters. As we were there at Halloween, the characters were in spooky costumes but at other times of year they will wear their Hollywood glamour outfits.
If you are looking for a park to do character dining with toddlers in this could be the one, due to the limited rides for toddlers in this park and the option of dining with classic Disney characters or Disney Junior Characters.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
My toddler is obsessed with Cars so we knew we had to find Cars Attractions at Disney world.
The Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a 10 minute show where you meet Lightning and he shows off his racing simulator with help of his friends – Mater and Cruz in particular.
I will be honest that we were a bit disappointed with the Cars offerings at Disney World compared to the Cars land At Disneyland in California as this show was the only Cars attraction in any of the Disney World parks.
Having said that my toddler adored the show and watched it twice while we parents used rider swap on a nearby thrill attraction.
Disney Junior Play And Dance Party
This is a ten minute show that fans of Disney Junior will adore. It is great because firstly this is one of Hollywood Studios Indoor attraction so a great place to find air conditioning on a hot day or escape the rain in you are visiting during the rainy season.
In this show you will see lots of Disney Junior characters and your little one will have chance to dance along to the music.
For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration is a 30 minute singalong show that will include most of the big musical numbers from the first Frozen film.
My daughter as a toddler loved this show however by son, who isn’t a Frozen fan got a little bored by this show.
If your toddler is a Frozen fan though this is an absolute must do.
Beauty And The Beast – Live On Stage
Another must for Princess fans at Hollywood Studios. This is another 3o minute show that condenses the film into 30 minutes.
There are usually around 5 performances a day and these are very popular so it is worthwhile checking your app before arriving and selecting the time show you want to attend and arriving early to join the queue to avoid disappointment.
Now my toddler is not usually a fan of 3D rides and shows as he never keeps the glasses on long enough to get full enjoyment. However I would say that Muppet Vision 3D is an exception.
This is full of fun and muppet humor that the whole family will love.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is not specifically designed for toddlers however if you have a whole day in the park it is definitely something they can go to.
However if your toddler is of a nervous disposition you may want to avoid this as there are lots of loud noises and explosions in the show.
Mickey Shorts Theater
This is basically a theater that shows traditional Disney shorts featuring Mickey Mouse.
It is a good place to escape the heat at Hollywood Studios or hang out with your toddler while other members of your party do rider swap.
Hollywood Studios Toddler itinerary
So now you know the best things to do with toddlers at Hollywood Studios what is the best itinerary for toddlers at Hollywood Studios.
When we visited Hollywood Studios with our toddler this was the itinerary we followed:
Note: It is worth mentioning that when we visited Hollywood Studios we had access to Early Magic Hours as we were staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside hotel and had genie+ for the adults in our group.
- Head first to Mickey and Minnie’s Runway Railway – this is the ride that has one of the longest queues at Hollywood Studios so it is worth doing this early or grabbing a genie+ reservation for later in the day.
- Head to Toy Story Land to ride Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania
- Watch the Beauty and Beast Live Show
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
- Hollywood and Vine Character Dining
- Disney Junior’s Dance Party
- Frozen Singalong
- Meet Olaf
For a 2 week Orlando itinerary featuring Hollywood studios check out this post.
FAQs About visiting Hollywood Studios with Toddlers
Can you visit Hollywood Studios with a Baby
As I mentioned above Hollywood Studios has the fewest rides with no height restriction out of any Disney World Park. Therefore there are only 2 rides you can go on with a baby.
For this reason it is probably the least baby friendly of all the parks due to the lack of baby friendly rides and limited attractions designed for this age. For more information about visiting Disney World with a baby check out this post.