Going Solo at Disney: Hollywood Studios Edition

by | Jun 5, 2020 | Hollywood Studios, WDW Blog

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Disney is a great place to spend time exploring with friends and family, so many people are wary of going solo at Disney World.

But I am here to tell you all about my solo at Disney experience! It was a wonderful day, and Disney is just as magical if you’re flying solo. 

Hopefully, my trip will inspire you to plan your own solo at Disney World trip! Here’s how my day went.

Solo at Disney: Galaxy’s Edge

I woke up at 6:15 AM to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) early enough to explore the newest addition, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

I watched the sunrise while riding in a gondola all to myself on Disney’s Skyliner, I soared over to DHS, through security, and made my way down Hollywood Boulevard.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a lot bigger than I was anticipating! It even has its own map.

Seeing the Millennium Falcon was definitely the highlight of this land. The details are remarkable! 

Although the park hadn’t been open an hour, the standby line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was 45 minutes. However, thanks to a single rider line, I was able to ride three times in less than 30 minutes.

For this attraction, you’re in the cockpit with five other guests: two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers. I enjoyed being an engineer bestmore buttons to press! 

This is a simulator ride (no 3D glasses), but the biggest difference between this simulator and othersthe buttons you do/don’t press actually affect your ride experience.

So if the pilots are piloting poorly, you may crash. If the gunner isn’t pressing the button to shoot enemy ships, they won’t go down. It’s neat to know you really are a part of the attraction.

Toy Story Land

After exploring the rest of Galaxy’s Edge, I ordered a cup of blue milk and journeyed into Toy Story Land.

solo at Disney toy story

Toy Story Land early in the morning was light on crowds! Photo Courtesy of Michelle Z

Thanks to low crowds, the standby line for Slinky Dog Dash was only 15 minutes.

While waiting in line, I chatted with a family about old-school Disney; we even ended up on the same train together. Feeling the wind brush my face as the coaster goes up, down, and around, I couldn’t help but grin and laugh while slinky-ing through the air.

slinky dog dash

Feel the wind in your hair? Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Next, I went straight across to Toy Story Mania. The wait for this wasn’t long either. There are two riders to a car (just one for me), and your goal is to have a higher score than your partner. 

You wear 3D glasses, ride through a series of Toy Story scenes, and shoot computerized darts at targets. My score was around 110,000I overheard guests talking that had close to 190,000! This was a really neat and fun ride!

In less than two hours, I was able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge AND Toy Story Land!

Something Spooky on the Tower of Terror

I ventured to the front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to see the celebrity signatures and handprints.

chinese theater

The Chinese Theater, previously home to The Great Movie Ride! Photo by Michelle Z

When DHS was built, Disney wanted it to be authentic to classic Hollywood, so they had celebrities create handprint-in-concrete squares.

Fun fact: this is the ONLY place you will find Audrey Hepburn’s handprints!

Cutting back towards the front of DHS, I strolled down Sunset Boulevard, hearing the famous Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (ToT) call my name.

I’ve never been big on drop rides, but ToT has become one of my all-time favorite attractions at WDW. By the end of the day, I had ridden three times (without FastPasses)! 

Each ride is a different experience; no elevator drop sequence is the same—sometimes you drop three, four, or five times.

tower of terror

The Tower of Terror had a real surprise in store for me this trip… Photo by Cliff Wang

Every time the ride would start, I’d grin from ear-to-ear and apologize to whoever was sitting next to me, “I’m sorry if I annoy you, please ignore me. I tend to psych myself up on this ride!”

Something spooky happened during my last ride: on our second to last drop, several guests saw a ghost! Now I know what you’re thinking—aren’t ghosts in the ride? Yes, but, none of us had ever seen this figure before. 

When we dropped the last time, the ghost was gone. “What was that? Have you seen that before? Was that real?” It was the topic of conversation as we left the ride.

I even tried to research this phenomenon to no avail. We may never know the truth…

At Disney, We’re All Family!

Then, after riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster three times in a row (thanks again to a single rider line) I bought a delicious churro and made my way back towards the Chinese Theatre.

I overheard a Cast Member exclaiming, “COME JOIN US FOR A FAMILY PICTURE! ANYONE AND EVERYONE, GET IN THE PICTURE!” Jogging over, I sat next to another Cast Member and said to her, “I have no clue if this is a regular thing, but it’s pretty cool.” 

Family Pic solo at Disney

Family picture at Hollywood Studios! Photo Courtesy of Michelle Z

Apparently, the Cast Member that was asking everyone to join the picture has done this several times.

When someone asks him to take their family picture, he agrees and encourages anyone walking by to joinbecause at Disney World, we’re all family. His largest family photo? Over 500 guests and Cast Members!

Going Solo Can Have Its Perks

Shortly after, I saw another CM painting Mickey Mouse on the concrete with a broom and water bucket. “That looks great!” I said.

“Thank you…(looking around)…are you here by yourself?” he asked.

I shared about my solo trip. He responded, “Which direction are you heading?”

“Into Toy Story Land, I have a FastPass for Slinky Dog.”

Alien Swirling Saucers

Alien Swirling Saucers is such a fun ride! Photo by Brett Svenson

“Oh, that’s a good one! Have you done Alien Swirling Saucers yet?”

“Can’t say that I have.”

“Well, let’s walk that way and see what we can do for you,” he said as he motioned for me to follow.

When we walked up, there was only a five-minute wait; the Cast Member apologized he couldn’t get me a “better” FastPass.

I told him it was the thought and gesture that counted more.

I saw him later in the evening, “Hey new buddy! Still enjoying your trip?” he said as he gave me a fist bump. Disney Cast Members are the coolest! 

The End of A Perfect Solo Trip

At the end of the night, there was a fireworks and projections show called Wonderful World of Animation that displayed scenes across the Chinese Theatre from every film Disney Animation has produced!

Feeling like I was seven years old again, I watched my childhood memories flash before my eyes (literally, with fireworks and projections).

Deciding to call it a night after the show, I lazily walked onto the Skyliner, feeling the breeze blowing and watching the scenery beneath me; reflecting about the adventurous day I just experienced.

What a perfect way to wrap up a day spent in DHS!

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Written by Michelle Z

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Michelle Z has been Disney obsessed since childhood, which led her to become a Disney & Universal travel agent with CP Destinations. She is also a creative writer and certified yoga instructor. Michelle’s next adventure is an ultimate solo trip to Disneyland. IG: @itsawonderfuldisney
Michelle Z

Written by Michelle Z

Michelle Z has been Disney obsessed since childhood, which led her to become a Disney & Universal travel agent with CP Destinations. She is also a creative writer and certified yoga instructor. Michelle’s next adventure is an ultimate solo trip to Disneyland. IG: @itsawonderfuldisney