Disney’s Hollywood Studios contains some of the world’s most popular theme park attractions. What are the best Hollywood Studios rides to enjoy?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened in 1989. Hollywood Studios became the third Walt Disney World theme park. If you attended back then, you may remember it being called Disney-MGM Studios. Many things have changed since this theme park’s rocky first few years. The addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Hollywood Studios altered the complexion of the theme park.  Those areas of Hollywood Studios offer some of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers some fantastic rides for a theme park day. Nonetheless, the park’s design often leads to lengthy ride queues, making it feel hectic.

Now, do not let this talk of a busy theme park discourage you. The top rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are worth fighting some crowds to enjoy. Also, if you purchase Genie+ and an individual lightning lane, you may find your day quite manageable.

This resource strives to point guests in the proper direction when deciding which Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides are a must-do and which ones you can skip if you run out of time during your theme park day. Also, this resource will provide some guidance regarding which rides to prioritize when using the Genie+ system at Walt Disney World. So, let us get started with the best Hollywood Studios rides after this short disclaimer.

Best Hollywood Studios Rides: Disclaimer

Determining the best rides for your group to enjoy at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort fails to be an exact science. Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers a higher percentage of thrill-filled rides than the other three Walt Disney World theme parks. This means some guests will experience motion sickness or fright on rides at Hollywood Studios. Also, with more thrills, more rides have height requirements. This reduces the number of rides that the entire family can enjoy.

Those factors may cause some of the “best” Hollywood Studios rides to be unacceptable for some (or all) of your group. Your group will need to evaluate that for themselves. An hour-long wait in a queue leading to one member of your group feeling sick after riding an attraction does not sound like a fun day to us. Thus, when you read the list of the best Hollywood Studios rides, please factor in potential other factors with your group. Disney’s Hollywood Studios makes for a fabulous day of theme park fun. Still, your group will need to plan accordingly.

We think that is enough with the disclaimers. Now, we move to discuss the can’t-miss rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Best Hollywood Studios Rides: Rise of the Resistance

Star War Ride Line access

Rise of the Resistance stands as one of the best theme park attractions in the world. This ride combines many different ride technologies into an elaborate narrative that takes guests within the Star Wars universe.

Rise of the Resistance is located in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This pioneering attraction takes you to a galaxy far, far away. As a member of the Resistance, you will come face to face with the First Order. The ride features the latest technology and utilizes several different ride systems.

Rise of the Resistance offers far more than just a ride. The “pre-show” experience makes this a world-class attraction by itself. Star Wars fans will see and do things they only dreamed of before.

Based on the modern innovation that Rise of the Resistance is, this ride develops a long queue, leading to lengthy wait times. Also, since this attraction suffers from reliability issues due to all the literal moving parts, it can be challenging to ride some days.

The experience of Rise of the Resistance is worth the potential hassle of the ride. If your budget allows it, you might consider purchasing an individual lightning lane to ensure you enjoy this attraction during your Disney’s Hollywood Studios day.

Best Hollywood Studios Rides: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™

Best Hollywood studios rides

Disney’s Hollywood Studios boasts a signature structure that can be seen well before you enter the theme park. The Hollywood Tower Hotel looms over Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Housed within this structure is the Tower of Terror ride.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride functions as a well-themed drop-style attraction. It takes you into the abandoned Hollywood Tower Hotel. Much of this ride draws inspiration from the classic television show “The Twilight Zone.”

During this ride, you will experience sudden drops and quick lifts as the elevator is pulled up and down through a dark elevator shaft. This attraction remains popular even after being open for about two decades. Guests will find the theme to be excellent.

We confidently express that this is a ride not to be missed. However, it can be a little too intense for young children (and even some adults) and often has a long wait time. If you have Genie+, this should be one of the first attractions you select unless you plan to rope-drop this ride first thing in the morning.

Legitimate Debate

At this point, legitimate debates can start determining the best Hollywood Studios rides. Reasonable people can disagree about additional rides that should make the best ride list. However, Rise of the Resistance and Tower of Terror must be on the list.

We have chosen to include two more of Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides in our not-to-be-missed best-ride list. We consulted many Walt Disney World visitors for full disclosure and asked them their opinions, which influenced our list significantly. However, the two remaining best rides on our list could be placed in any order, depending on your group. Still, we decided to go with a certain one next.

Best Hollywood Studios Rides: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Mickey and Minnie Run Away Railway ride

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaced The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Though we wish the former attraction existed in some form, this attraction makes an excellent addition to the ride lineup.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has become a popular must-do ride for most Disney’s Hollywood Studios visitors. This dark ride utilizes the trackless vehicles seen in several other Walt Disney World rides. Of course, Runaway Railway lacks the top-level thrills of something like the Tower of Terror.

Nevertheless, this dark ride offers excellent visual effects and a solid story. In addition, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway gives the classic characters their own Walt Disney World ride to shine on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Also, this ride can be experienced by your entire group.

Unless you have seen Mickey and Minnie in their new-ish animated format, the appearance of cherished characters may initially throw you off when experiencing this ride. However, this vibrant style works very well for this attraction in the center of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The animatronics and other elements show what Disney does well with its theme park attractions. Guests will venture in their ride vehicle through several enchanting scenes on this ride.  As guests travel through these scenes, they will become immersed in the magical world of animation. From amazing illusions to unique colors on this ride, this attraction is designed to make you feel like you’ve stepped into an actual Disney cartoon.

Also, the Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway experience varies slightly depending on which of the ride vehicles you receive. You can follow the storyline of different characters based on which of the ride vehicles you are placed in. Combined with a unique pre-show, this ride counts as one of the best at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Best Hollywood Studios Rides: Toy Story Mania!

Best Hollywood Studios rides

An attraction that precedes the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is, ironically, the best ride in Toy Story Land. With all due respect to Slinky Dog Dash (a newer ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), we rank Toy Story Mania! as better than Slinky Dog Dash for several reasons. Those are:

  1. Slinky Dog Dash draws way too long of a wait for such a short, low thrills style of roller coaster.
  2. Toy Story Mania! can be enjoyed by all ages.
  3. Toy Story Mania! remains more reliable than Slinky Dog Dash.
  4. Toy Story Mania! offers far more re-ride ability since it is an interactive shooting game.

While Slinky Dog Dash provides a pleasant coaster experience, riding is more challenging. In terms of Genie+, this attraction runs out of timeslots the quickest of any attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, since it is not as popular, Toy Story Mania offers Genie+ timeslots longer, making it easier to ride.

Toy Story Mania!

Nevertheless, we find Toy Story Mania! far more fun during our days at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Before Toy Story Land, there was Toy Story Mania! as a ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Before the reworking of that section of the theme park, guests could experience this unique ride like they were having a day of “midway mania” fun.

Toy Story Mania will bring out the competitive side in many ways. You might also discover you get in your daily arm workout with this whimsical arcade-style ride.

Guests enter a fanciful queue filled with larger-than-life toys and vibrant colors. This queue prepares guests for what lies ahead on this ride.  Guests will ride around in an exciting vehicle while shooting at targets. The excitement of this ride revolves around the attempts to hit specific targets with more skills than those riding in your ride vehicle. Guests will spin and shoot their way through a series of engaging competitions, testing their skills and reactions.

Toy Story Mania makes an excellent attraction to enjoy more than once during your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Best of the Rest

Slinky dog dash

As stated, Slinky Dog Dash makes a fine ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Our main issue relates to better coasters existing in the Orlando area with shorter wait times. Still, this makes a fun coaster that almost the entire family can enjoy. If you acquire a Genie+ lightning lane slot for Slinky Dog Dash, you should enjoy it. Also, if you find this coaster’s posted wait time low, please try it. It falls under this section mainly because of the long wait times and unreliability. Based on this, If you have early theme park entry as a Walt Disney World Resort guest, this makes a reasonable option for your first ride of the day if you are not going to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance first.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Best Hollywood Studios rides

The Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios has many unique attractions for theme park fans. The standout ride in this area is Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance. Still, another ride to consider at Hollywood Studios is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.

During this ride, guests board the Millennium Falcon of “Star Wars” fame. They become part of a crew on a mission for the Rebel Forces (mostly). If you have ever wanted to board this famous spaceship, this is your chance. Before taking their seats, guests can enjoy some iconic areas of the Millennium Falcon for photos.

Depending on your pilots, you will need to hold on very tight as the ship navigates through impressive space battles, “Star Wars” fans might see a familiar face or two during this ride. Nevertheless, the galaxy’s destiny may be in your hands as you ride this attraction.  It is up to you to complete the mission and ensure victory for the Rebel Alliance.

Guests receive an assigned position in the six-vehicle ride. Riders will enjoy a thrilling and possibly bumpy ride aboard the Millennium Falcon. We wish you luck with this ride if you experience it as an engineer with some inexperienced pilots. Due to that factor and a few more, this ride does not make our best Hollywood Studios rides.

Rock “n” Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Best Hollywood studios rides

Though this ride offers guests a backstage pass of sorts with Aerosmith, it presents several reasons your group may want to skip it. We love roller coasters and appreciate Aerosmith’s music, but this attraction has gotten old.

It has been around since 1999. As of the spring of 2024, this attraction is in the middle of a lengthy refurbishment. This refurbishment follows a lengthy refurbishment in 2023. Even though we enjoy this ride, it has gotten old. Since this Vekoma-built roller coaster runs year-round, we know it needs full re-tracking for ideal performance. That process would take over a year.

Though it is perfectly safe, the ride experience has become a bit rough. In addition, the copy of this ride at the Disney theme park resort in Paris was converted into a Marvel-themed coaster many years ago.

Indoor Coaster

This indoor roller coaster involves a pre-show where guests see the band looking much younger than today. On Rock “n” Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, guests ride in a two-to-a-row coaster vehicle with Aerosmith’s music blasting. This ride, especially for Walt Disney World, provides a powerful adrenaline rush with a launch sequence that takes you from zero to almost 60 miles an hour in about three seconds.

Guests journey into the world of rock, joining Aerosmith in this “super-stretch” limousine adventure through the streets of Los Angeles.  When guests enter the ride vehicle, they move towards the ride’s beginning. A countdown starts soon, followed by the incredible launch sequence. The ride takes guests through corkscrews, loops, and other exciting coaster elements.

Why Skip?

Based on all those glowing words, why would anyone skip this ride? The ride presents a few concerns. The main one relates to the thrill factor. Though this coaster will not reach the thrill level of coasters at Universal Orlando Resort or your nearby regional amusement park, its speed and looping elements intimidate many Walt Disney World guests. Someone in your group will likely not want to ride this.

Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster also needs some updates to the pre-show and ride system compared to the newer rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When operating, this ride develops long wait times comparable to the level of the other headliner attractions. The single-rider queue even moves slowly with this ride. For whatever reason, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a very slow-moving queue. So, we suggest skipping this Disney’s Hollywood Studios ride until you first enjoy other attractions.

Once again, we love Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. If you love roller coasters offering big thrills, this coaster fulfills that need. Still, other Orlando area theme parks outside Walt Disney World Resort, like Universal Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, provide better roller coaster thrills if that is your thing.

This ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios presents the need for speed and thrills. However, we doubt anyone would place this one at the top of their must-do list.

Ready to Plan that Walt Disney World Vacation?

The travel experts at PixieVacations can help you plan and enjoy your next Walt Disney World vacation. Their services are free to you since Disney pays them after your vacation.

In addition, we have some suggestions for the best places to eat while at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Since Epcot is just a Disney Skyliner ride away, you could hop on the Skyliner to try out some of our dining suggestions there. Thank you for reading, and we wish you a great time planning and enjoying your Disney vacation.