Best Rides at Hollywood Studios: Ranking the Top Rides at Disney World

by | Apr 15, 2024 | Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World News, WDW Blog

Find out our ranking of the best rides at Hollywood Studios, from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to Toy Story Mania.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the favorite Disney World park for many. All your favorite movie themes in one place? It can be hard to beat! For Star Wars fans in 2019, Hollywood Studios got a whole lot better when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was added to the park.

Hollywood Studios is the perfect place if you want to feel like you’re part of the Disney and Pixar movies we all know and love. The main strip of Hollywood Studios will have you feeling like you are cruising along Sunset Boulevard in California and from there, you get to enter the action via some of the most immersive rides at Walt Disney World. Hollywood Studios is home to some of the most thrilling and immersive rides that Disney World has to offer, making it hard to pick a favorite. But, that’s exactly what we’re going to do in our ranking of the best Hollywood Studios rides.

What are the Best Rides at Hollywood Studios?

We are ranking “best” as those rides that you just have to experience. We also haven’t included shows and entertainment, though you’ll be able to find plenty of that at the park! Try to hit up most of these to feel like you really got a full day (and ticket!) worth of fun at Hollywood Studios:

  1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  2. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  5. Slinky Dog Dash
  6. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  7. Toy Story Mania
  8. Star Tours — The Adventure Continues
  9. Alien Swirling Saucers

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance will leave your jaw on the floor and have you questioning if you really left Earth. The ride has multiple parts and takes you through several ride systems, and it’s one of the longest attractions we have seen at Disney lasting around 18 minutes.

The ride puts you right in the middle of a showdown between the Resistance and the First Order. You start at a Resistance base, then when it becomes unsafe the Resistance tries to transport you to another location, but it’s too late. Before you know it, you’re being hunted by Kylo Ren and the First Order.

The elements of the ride include animatronics, motion simulation, walk-through elements, projections, screens, location changes, and a free-moving vehicle. There are other elements of the ride that are a complete mystery to me, and I’m honestly not quite sure how they pull it off. Either way, this ride will leave you with an experience that you will not soon forget. If you’ve ever wanted to be a prisoner of the First Order, this ride will certainly fulfill that fantasy!

How to Ride Rise of the Resistance: As you’ve likely guessed, wait times for this can get very high. If you want to skip the wait, you can purchase an Individual Lightning Lane (which is not included in your Disney Genie+ purchase).

2. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Runaway Railway Chinese Theatre

You’ll find Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway inside the Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by Rich Ramos

  • Height requirement: None
  • Located on: Hollywood Boulevard
  • Opening date: March 4, 2020
  • Ride duration: 7 minutes
  • Available to book a Lightning Lane

Expect the unexpected on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which in my opinion is one of the best rides at Hollywood Studios. This ride takes place in a free-moving vehicle that whisks you around and takes you along for a ride with Mickey and Minnie as they embark on a picnic date.

The ride includes simulations, special effects, and sound to reel you into the experience. The exterior of the ride is a replica of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (yep, the same one that housed fan-favorite The Great Movie Ride until 2017). The ride is at the opposite end of the main street to the entrance and is a magnificent sight that welcomes guests into the park.

The ride opened in March 2020 and has enhanced the park vastly since it was welcomed to Hollywood Studios. This is a ride that all ages can enjoy. This immersive experience will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.

How to Ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: As one of the few little-kid-friendly attractions available in the park, wait times for this Mickey and Minnie ride can get high. If it’s a must do for your group, head for it first thing in the morning, or choose a Lightning Lane with Disney Genie+.

3. The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror secrets

Photo by Cliff Wang

  • Height requirement: 40 inches or taller
  • Located on: Sunset Boulevard
  • Opening date: July 22, 1994
  • Ride duration: 3 minutes, 10 seconds

Tower of Terror is one of Hollywood Studios’ best-known attractions; you can’t think of the park without thinking of this ride. It opened in 1994 and has been popular with visitors ever since. The theme of the ride is The Twilight Zone show, and the line queue takes you through a dusty hotel lobby and through the boiler room in the basement. Everything is a little weird and unusual, and even the hotel employees seem slightly off…

The ride begins in a room in which Rod Sterling comes on a television screen just like in the intro of The Twilight Zone. He tells guests the story about how one Halloween night, some patrons were riding the hotel elevator when it got struck by lighting. No one ever saw them again, and after the hotel closed down.

Following this story, you’ll get a chance to ride this same exact elevator! This ride is a dark ride and a drop tower in one. It includes simulation, sound, and high-speed up-and-down drops. Dare to see what lies beyond in The Twilight Zone and hope that you make it back alive!

How to Ride Tower of Terror: The wait time for the Tower of Terror tends to get longer as the day goes on, so if you’re up for an early morning thrill, this may be a good ride to head to the first thing. Otherwise, you can choose to use a Lightning Lane with Disney Genie+.

4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster on ride

Photo by Cliff Wang

  • Height requirement: 48 inches
  • Located on: Sunset Boulevard
  • Opening date: July 29, 1999
  • Ride duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Did you ever think you would get the chance to meet Aerosmith, let alone tag along in a limo to their biggest concert of the year? Now is your chance! Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an indoor thrill ride including loud music and neon lights, loops, high speeds, and steep drops.

Step into the ride and join Aerosmith in their Hollywood music studio during one of their recording sessions. When their manager tells them that they are late to a show, they have to bounce, and you’re going with them!

Speed through Hollywood en route to the concert, spotting all the landmarks while listening to Aerosmith. Each ride vehicle plays a different Aerosmith top hit. The ride includes three inversions, two loops, and one corkscrew to satisfy your thirst for thrills.

How to Ride Rock ‘n ‘ Roller Coaster: This thrilling coaster can get a lengthy wait time (even at 25 years old!). With that in mind, you have the option to go for a shorter wait when choosing the single rider queue or selecting a Lightning Lane for the ride with Disney Genie+.

5. Slinky Dog Dash

slinky dog dash toy story land disney's hollywood studios

Photo by Laurie Sapp

  • Height requirement: 38 inches
  • Located in: Toy Story Land
  • Opening date: July 30, 2018
  • Ride duration: 2 minutes

Trek into Andy’s oversized toy-filled backyard and feel just like one of his toys. Toy Story Land will make you feel ready for playtime with its extremely detailed theming. Slinky Dog Dash is a mild thrill ride and is great fun for all ages alike.

How to Ride Slinky Dog Dash: This family-friendly coaster is one of the most popular rides in the park, so if you want to avoid the high wait times of the typical standby line, we recommend trying to rope drop the attraction or use it as one of your first Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selections..

6. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

The exterior of Smuggler's Run at Galaxy's Edge

Photo by Brian Shih

  • Height requirement: 38 inches
  • Located in: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • Opening date: May 31, 2019
  • Ride duration: 4 minutes, 30 seconds

Step inside the most famous ship in the galaxy and get the chance to travel in the Millennium Falcon! For the attraction the iconic Star Wars ship is Inside the attraction; Hondo Ohnaka will task you with stealing cargo from the First Order TIE fighters. Before stepping into the cockpit of the Falcon, you’ll be given one of three jobs: a pilot, gunner, or engineer (with two riders for each).

Depending on your job, you’ll have certain tasks you’ll need to complete onboard. The interactive ride can change based on how well you do — for example, the quicker your work, the more you will have to do on your journey. Your “success” on the mission will determine your score at the end.

How to Ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run: There are a few different options for riding this thrilling attraction. The typical standby line can get longer wait times (though typically not as long as Rise of the Resistance). Additionally, if you’re okay with your group getting split up, the single rider is a quicker option to ride. Or, you can use a Lightning Lane selection with Disney Genie+.

7. Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by Brett Svenson

[ box]

  • Height requirement: None
  • Located in: Toy Story Land
  • Opening date: May 31, 2008
  • Ride duration: 8 minutes

[/box]

Grab your 4D glasses and join in on the fun! Toy Story Mania will leave you in a whirlwind with spinning momentum and the chance to play against other players in these five fast-paced shooting games. The highest score wins!

Toy Story Mania Themes:

  • Hamm & Eggs
    Fire hardboiled eggs at targets in the barnyard.
  • Rex & Trixie’s Dino Darts
    Launch darts and pop balloons in front of a prehistoric volcano.
  • Green Army Men Shoot Camp
    Aim your baseballs at dinner plates at the firing range.
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers
    Toss rings and catch some aliens.
  • Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery
    Shoot suction-cup-tipped darts at targets inspired by the “Woody’s Roundup” TV show.
How to Ride Toy Story Mania: Wait times for Toy Story Mania can get long, so you may want to wait to ride this until later in the day, or use it as an early morning option. Additionally, you can select a Lightning Lane through Disney Genie+..

7. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

star tours

Photo by Brett Svenson

  • Height requirement: 40 inches
  • Located in: Echo Lake area
  • Opening date: December 15, 1989
  • Ride duration: 7 minutes

The original Star Wars attraction is located outside of Galaxy’s Edge, in the Echo Lake area of the park. The first ride based on a galaxy far, far away opened in 1989, and was originally simply called “Star Tours.” When it opened, the premise of the ride was that you were a galactic traveler heading to the Forest Moon of Endor via the Star Tours travel agency. Onboard the motion simulator attraction, not all went according to plan.

The ride then went through a story change and reopened in 2011 at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. While the motion simulator ride vehicle remains the same, the story does not. While you are still a space tourist, now your destination will change each time you ride. The attraction now features locations and characters from all nine films in the Skywalker saga of Star Wars. along with The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, and Andor.

How to Ride Star Tours – The Adventure Continues: Star Tours has a standby line and typically has shorter wait times compared to some of the bigger attractions at the park. You can also use the Lightning Lane via Genie+.

8. Alien Swirling Saucers

Alien Swirling Saucers

Photo by Brett Svenson

  • Height requirement: 32 inches
  • Located in: Toy Story Land
  • Opening date: June 30, 2018
  • Ride duration: 2 minutes

In Toy Story Land, Andy won an Aliens playset and now you get to ride it! This gentle whip ride is a similar system to Mater’s Junkyad Jamboree in Disneyland, making it great for all ages. You’ll step inside a vehicle with a little green alien as you whip around the Claw. The ride features eight different songs, with one per ride, so each of your rides will be a little different.

How to Ride Alien Swirling Saucers: Alien Swirling Saucers usually has one of the more manageable lines in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with more moderate waiit times near 30 minutes. You can also use the Lightning Lane via Genie+.

Can’t-Miss Show Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Of course, we need to mention a few of our favorite shows to experience while you’re at the park! For a park based on the movies, it would be wrong not to include some of the best entertainment and performances you can find:

  • Indiana Jones Stunt Show Spectacular
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Fantasmic!

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, and Frozen Sing-along Celebration are also a few favorites, but if you are crunched for time, prioritize our must-do list.

What will you do first on your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Hopefully, this guide will help you find the best rides at Hollywood Studios and guide your Disney Genie+ selections.

Posts by Lex Mancini

epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu
Lex Mancini is a proud Florida native and a Graduate from The University of South Florida. She has been going to Disney since a child ... it reminds her of home.
epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu

Authored by
Lex Mancini

Lex Mancini is a proud Florida native and a Graduate from The University of South Florida. She has been going to Disney since a child ... it reminds her of home.
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop