Fans Say Disney’s “Half-Day” Park Needs More Rides, Are They Right?

in Walt Disney World

rock'n'roller coaster entry disney's hollywood studios

Credit: Disney

Hundreds of fans discussed why or why bot you should visit the infamous “half-day” Park at the Walt Disney World Resort.

disney's hollywood studios empty street
Credit: Disney

Related: Walt Disney Imagineering Pushes Forward on 2024 Move to Florida From California

The Walt Disney World Resort has grown to become a massive and sprawling collection of world-class entertainment, dining, and thrilling experiences. Within the 25,000 acres, four theme parks can be found as well as two water parks and dozens of hotels, not to mention a giant shopping center known as Disney Springs.

To cut to the chase, Disney Guests have a lot of options when it comes to spending their time at the Orlando, Florida Resort. Because of the near-endless selection of activities and places to go, there tend to be things some Guests prefer and some Guests wish to not experience. This is exemplified best in what Parks are your favorite to visit and in a post shared online, hundreds of fans discussed why, or why not Disney’s Hollywood Studios is worth visiting.

Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Quickly Adjusts New Attraction After Complaints

The Park opened in 1989 and was the third place to visit at the Walt Disney World Resort, followed only by Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998. While times have certainly changed for Hollywood Studios, initially, the focus of the Park was movies and film production.

While the Park still retains a lot of these aspects, the Park was completely different when it opened. The Park originally featured a real film set where multiple productions were filmed and worked on like. Three Disney animated films were almost entirely produced there including Mulan (1998), Lilo and Stitch (2002), and Brother Bear (2003).

Many even compared Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Universal Studios Orlando as both had real sets and filming locations as well as a backlot tour. Unfortunately, these elements of the Park slowly disappeared over its lifetime and as of today, the Park has strayed quite far away from its original theme.

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Related: Disney Reveals Guest Spending Is Up 40% at Parks

Ever since its opening day, however, Disney fans have never known what or how to feel when it came to Hollywood Studios. Compared to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is tiny and up until a few years ago, didn’t offer much to Guests in the form of attractions, but more on that later. To put it bluntly, Hollywood Studios was given the dreaded “half-day park” label for many, many years and fans still refer to it as that to this very day.

mickey mouse hollywood studios
Credit: Disney

A recent discussion online joked about the state of the Park and this “half-day park” terminology. In the comment section, many Guests chimed in with their own thoughts and opinions on the Park. One user said, “It also doesn’t help that Hollywood feels like an asphalt jungle of pain :'(. Between waiting I enjoy myself tremendously just getting a drink/dole whip and people-watching in Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom because I feel like I get a more relaxing shade there! I don’t feel as comfortable in HS”.

Another user had some harsh words for the Resort in general, “I used to love Disney World and would look forward to going every few years but this past visit was the most horrible Disney vacation I’ve ever had. I personally won’t go back for a very long time if ever. The last visit essentially wiped out any nostalgia I had for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The new Genie system is an outright money grab and super convoluted”.

Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

One user expressed their disappointment with Hollywood Studios, saying, “The other HUGE need is a playground. My kids showed up to toy story land and expected to play with toys as they did at Dino land. But nothing. Just hot, sunny crowds”. Another claimed that Hollywood Studios is the reason they got the Park-hopper tickets in the first place. Another user said the park is in desperate need of more rides and updated shows.

As mentioned earlier, the Park is slowly but steadily gaining more activities and attractions. In the last 5 years, the Park received two massive expansions in the form of Toy Story Land as well as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Toy Story Land includes Toy Story Midway Mania as well as Aliens Swirling Saucers. These two attractions will definitely not satif=sfy the most intense, thrill-seeking Guests but will surely be a hit with the entire family.

Guests can get immersed in “Andy’s backyard” where they will feel like a toy, surrounded by some incredible props and older toys that you may remember from your childhood.

Galaxy's Edge Millennium Falcon at night
Credit: Disney

Possibly the biggest addition to the entirety of the Disney Parks also can be found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an incredibly-immersive and sprawling land. An ambitious continuation of the Star Wars storyline, the land places Guests right in the middle of the fictional planet of Batuu. This incredibly-detailed and immersive land features some creative cuisine, beautiful landscaping, and iconic characters like Rey, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren.

The land also includes perhaps Disney Imagineering’s greatest creation yet in the form of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Here Guests are placed right in the middle of an intense Star Wars journey where they are on the run from both the First Order and Ren himself.

More on Rise of the Resistance

An Attraction on a Scale That Is Impressive, Most Impressive

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World Resort… or anywhere else in the galaxy!

Accept a Mission from the Resistance

The Resistance needs your help! Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission.

With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of the Resistance, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When your transport is captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers—and even Kylo Ren!—you’re going to need all the help you can get. Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters—including Rey and BB-8—is at the ready to give you a fighting chance to escape… and a chance for the Resistance to rise.

Prepare for a thrilling, first-of-its-kind adventure!

rise of the resistance stormtrooper room
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

Hollywood Studios also has two of the most thrilling attractions in all of Walt Disney World, those being Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Both attractions were added to the Park years after it opened but it’s hard to think of Hollywood Studios without also thinking of these two iconic rides.

The Tower of Terror takes Guests on a journey “beyond the 5th” dimension, dropping them from scary heights over and over in a terrifyingly-randomized order, meaning no two rides are ever the same.

More on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Next Stop: The 5th Dimension

Step uneasily inside the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel and find a dusty lobby frozen in time. Even the subdued hotel staff seems strangely out of another era. 

Suddenly a television set springs to life and Rod Serling welcomes you on a journey into the Twilight Zone. He reveals that on a gloomy Halloween night in 1939, some hotel patrons were riding the elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again. The hotel closed down and has stood empty ever since. 

Going Up? 

Enter the rickety, elevator-style lift, strap yourself in and prepare to discover what lies beyond the darkest corner of your imagination. 

Shriek in terror as you’re suddenly propelled up and down the abandoned shaft—unexpectedly dropping and rising—as you hear the sound of cables snapping and metal clanging overhead. 

Will you make it back to the real world… or will you become a permanent resident of the Twilight Zone?

tower of terror getting struck by lightning
Credit: Disney

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is one of Disney’s fastest rides and currently the only ride that goes upside down in any of the four Parks. Expedition Everest definitely gives it a run for its money, but it’s hard to beta that initial launch straight into darkness. And oh yeah, not to mention the entire ride is accompanied by music from Aerosmith.

In the past, Guests have theorized that this attraction may receive a retheme or complete overhaul, as is happening with Disneyland Paris’ version. But as of now, Disney has not revealed any plans to alter the ride.

More on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster:

Live Life in the Fast Lane

Inside their Hollywood music studio, legendary rock band Aerosmith is wrapping up a recording session. When their manager tells them they’re late for a concert across town, the band invites you to ride along.

Hop into their gleaming limousine and speed off into the night as Aerosmith’s hard-rock harmonies fill the air. Buckle up before zooming through the city on this roller-coaster style attraction.

Rock This Way
Speed through iconic Hollywood landmarks. Maneuver past traffic jams and swoop into 3 thrilling inversions—2 rollover loops and one corkscrew—as the wind races across your face.

Will you make it to the year’s biggest concert in time?

State-of-the-Art Sound

Your super-stretch limo is decked out with a 125-speaker, 24-subwoofer, 32,000-watt audio system.

rock n roller coaster
Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering

High-speed thrills arent the only thing Disney’s Hollywood Studio has to offer, with attractions like Star Tours and Muppet Vision 3D offering a more tame but entertaining experience to Guests. You can also find a wild variety of food and snacks while at the Park, both in terms of quick-service and sit-down restaurants.

One of the most popular restaurants is the Hollywood Brown Derby, offering Guests an authentic, mid-century Hollywood dining experience. Or, if you’re running to the last showing for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, grab a bite at the Backlot Express where you can find all your theme Park favorites.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
Credit: Disney

While Hollywood Studios may be small compared to the other three at the Walt Disney World Resort, the Park still packs a punch when it comes to thrills and excitement. Despite all it has to offer, we’re afraid the reputation the Park has received over the last few years may stick around for quite some time, even with all it has to offer.

Over time, however, the Park has gained some amazing rides and attractions and we couldn’t be more excited for the future. While the Park may have maintained this “half-day” status for years, as of now, the Park is truly starting to shine. Hopefully, this convinced you at least a little about why Hollywood Studios is worth visiting.

Do you enjoy Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

While you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith on Sunset Boulevard. By the Chinese Theater, Guests prepare to ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. In Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog Dash always boasts a long line with others shooting their shot on Midway Mania or spinning their brains out on Alien Swirling Saucers. Of course, you have to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run! 

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