Tower of Terror - Disney World

If you're superstitious, 13 can be a spooky, scary number. But if you're at Magic Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios, 13 can be a green light to go on one of Disney World's best rides with no wait. At both Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror, if there's a posted wait time of exactly 13 minutes, it's code that there's almost no wait at all. When there's a 13 minute wait posted, it usually means you can walk straight through the line and into the pre-show room almost immediately, so a 13 minute wait may actually mean a 5 minute wait or shorter. This is a fun way that Disney adds theming even to the wait times, and it's a nod to Disney World pros that they should put a dead stop to their current plans and go on these spooktacular rides.

Rise of the Resistance Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Ever since Disney World debuted a virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance, they have tweaked the process for securing a boarding pass. We've shared a lot of tricks to reliably securing a spot in the virtual queue, and familiarity with the system is only getting more important as Remy's Ratatouille Adventure is debuting at Epcot with the same virtual queue system. Disney just added a new way to save a ton of time while trying to join a virtual queue at Disney World. While this might seem minor, this could be the difference between getting a spot on the ride or missing out entirely, as the virtual queue can fill up within seconds on busy days.

Within the MyDisneyExperience app, you can now confirm your party up to 1 hour before the virtual queue opens up. You can do this by going to the menu in the app (bottom right button with three lines), tapping "Virtual Queues," clicking "Join Virtual Queue," then clicking "Confirm Your Party." You can select all of the guests linked to your account that you will be securing a boarding group for. This will make it easier to join the virtual queue with the correct group selected, and you can avoid having to waste precious seconds by deselecting a guest who isn't eligible. If you've linked your Disney World account to a lot of different family members and friends like I have, this will make a big difference.

It should be noted that while the ability to confirm your party opens up 1 hour before the virtual queue opens (so starting at 6 am for the 7 am queues at Disney World), you don't have to get up at 6 am to confirm you party. You have all the way up until the virtual queue opens up to confirm your party, so you can wait until 5 minutes before to confirm.



Two Disney World guests posing with Grogu

PhotoPass is a great way to get pictures with your favorite characters or in front of Disney World and Disneyland's iconic features. But did you know that there's a way to get even more magic out of your Disney pictures? When getting your picture taken from a PhotoPass photographer, always ask if they can do a Magic Shot. This is a special picture where Disney will add in a fun element. You might suddenly have balloons in your hand, or Tinkerbell might show up on your shoulder. These special shots are location specific: You can pose with Grogu in Galaxy's Edge, or you can see a Banshee flying over your picture at Pandora. Sometimes the PhotoPass photographer will offer up a magic shot pose on their own, but the best way to get the most magic shots is to always ask your photographer if they are doing any special or magic shots. They are almost always happy to oblige (unless there's a technical reason), and you will end up with some very unique vacation photos. This tip works at Disney World as well as Disneyland.

Slinky Dog Dash - Toy Story Land - Disney's Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World

Here's a rope drop strategy for DHS: Get to Disney's Hollywood Studios 30-45 minutes before the park opens. Before the park opens, decide which attraction you want to go to first. Most likely, you'll want to go toward the right of the park, either toward Toy Story Land or Sunset Boulevard. If you want to do the Toy Story Rides, keep walking past the Animation Courtyard to Toy Story Land and get on Slinky Dog Dash first, as that will have the longest lines all day, and hit up Toy Story Midway Mania after that. If you are seeking thrills, veer right just as the park opens up to go down Sunset Boulevard to ride Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster with little to no wait. Save Star Tours for later, as that ride has the most manageable lines of these five rides. Once Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is open, that will join your list of priorities for first thing to do once the park opens.

Hollywood Studios

With a few in-demand attractions like Toy Story Midway Mania and Tower of Terror, FastPass+ strategy at Hollywood Studios is key to going on all the best rides and avoiding lines. Use our Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Tips and Guide to make the most out of your day at DHS.

Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy

Are you visiting Disney World with a Star Wars fan between the ages of 4 and 12? Then Jedi Training Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a must do on your next trip. This show lets young Padawans dress in a Jedi robe, wield a lightsaber, and face off against villains like Darth Vader. Sign-ups open up right when the park opens, so be sure to check out our step-by-step guide on how to sign up for Jedi Training Academy to find out how to make sure your young Jedi can be part of the show.

Get your score up on Toy Story Midway Mania:  On each screen you can open up special scoring areas if you hit certain items:

Hamm's screen - shoot the horse in the barn and then hit the mice. Get them all and lots of mice appear. Alternatively, just keep shooting the fox and the hens in the corner, then hit the pigs right above it and the cat that appears behind the pigs (it eventually is worth 2000).

Volcano screen - hit the lava (1x, then 2x, then 3x). Then hit the meteors in both corners (3x). Hit the red balloon in the center of the meteors that comes down to score big.

Army screen - hit the two plates that fly up from the valleys on either side of the center. A tank will appear and throw plates worth 5000 each - and 4 plates worth 2000 each appear on both sides.

Alien screen - hit the 7 aliens before they pop back up (in the center of the screen). Then shoot into the mouth of the big alien that appears - initially worth 100 each, but eventually worth 2000 each.

Old West screen - open up all the targets and then close them all. Then all the targets open up with 2000 points each.

Moving to the mine car: shoot the two 500's and a 2000 appears.

Mine cars - don't forget to get the bats above the cars (1000 then 5000). Also, hit every car and the last ones are worth 5000.

My personal best is a little over 300,000 doing the above. I see people who score over 500,000, but I am not that good. Read more about my strategy for a high Toy Story score here.

Toy Story Midway Mania - Hollywood Studios FastPass

Want to go on the most popular rides like Toy Story Midway Mania or Test Track more than once in the day without waiting hours in line? Try to get a Fastpass+ reservation around an hour after park opening, and make all your Fastpass+ reservations for early in the day. Enter the park when it opens and go immediately to the popular attraction and wait in the standby line. The line will be the shortest right at opening, and depending on the season, you might even be able to ride it twice before your Fastpass+ reservation is ready. Then, once your third Fastpass+ reservation is done, use the Disney World app and see if you can get an additional Fastpass+ for the attraction you desire.

Star Tours - Echo Lake - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Want to be the rebel spy in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue? Don't put your 3D glasses on until the ride actually starts. This will increase your chance of being picked!

Kermit Balloon - Muppet Vision 3D - Hollywood Studios Attraction

When going to see Muppet Vision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios, work your way down to the lower waiting area. You still get a good view of the pre-show and when you enter the theater, you are sitting closer to the screen and you get to enjoy more of the special effects. But when the doors open to enter the theater, let few people go in front of you. The first people in have to move all the way across and this will leave you a seat in the middle. If it isn't crowded, usually they'll just let you sit in the middle.

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano - Hollywood Studios Restaurant

When I visited Disney World last year, I purchased the Fantasmic Dining Package. I went to eat at Mama Melrose and it was great... but when we got out to go to the show, it started to rain and the show was cancelled! I was disappointed because we had spent so much on the dining package. The next day, I went back to the restaurant and talked to the manager, and they gave us more tickets to go see the show in the reserved seating area. So if you are rained out, you can go back you can get more tickets. I'm sure I could have also gotten this resolved at Guest Relations.

Tower of Terror - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Do not miss riding Tower of Terror! I am afraid of heights, but this ride is so amazing. You MUST do it. The falls feel different than those on a roller coaster -- it just feels amazing, like floating. I guarantee that you will enjoy it. If you're brave, Tower of Terror can be a delightful ride!

50s Prime Time Cafe - Disney's Hollywood Studios Restaurant

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, the 50's Prime Time Cafe -- made of small retro kitchen settings with TVs showing our fave sitcoms of the day -- was awesome! Fabulous service by our "cousins," lots of Mom's rules to follow, camaraderie among each kitchen's guests, and really, really good food. Try the chicken pot pie and S'mores dessert! Priority reservations highly recommended.

The personalized name tags a Guide2WDW reader submitted are at the 5&10 at Disney's Hollywood Studios ($5 and so much fun to wear!). They don't have every name pre-imprinted, of course, but you can get the tags specially made. There are blanks behind the embroidery/engraving counter.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - Disney World Attraction

If you sit in the back on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, it is a lot more intense than if you sit towards the front.

In the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, don't sit too close to the stage as you will be able to see some of the puppeteers, which takes away from the show, especially for young children. Sit in the middle of the auditorium to preserve the magic of the illusion.

Backlot Tour - Hollywood Studios Attraction

Get a copy of the Disney's Hollywood Studios map. Turn the map upside-down, and you will notice a Hidden Mickey.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - Disney World Attraction

When you ride the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, if you want to try to sit in the front car, get in line on the right side. (There will be two lines). You can also ask the cast member if you can sit in the front row. You may have to wait a little bit longer, but they will accommodate you!

C3PO - Star Tours - Hollywood Studios Attraction

At Star Tours, the further back in the spacecraft you are, the rougher the ride. However, the ride has been made much smoother overall in the newest version, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, thanks to the 3D visuals.

Last year my 13 year old daughter and I bought personalized "Guest of Honor" pins at one of the Disney's Hollywood Studios stores on Hollywood Boulevard that sells customized hats, mugs, etc. We wore them every day of our visit this year and the reaction was AMAZING! Yes, Cast Members are already friendly and personable, but if you want extra attention and interaction, wear one of these pins! Our server at our Chef Mickey's Character Breakfast called us by name from the start and wanted to know why my husband didn't have a name tag. (They don't sell "Dale" name tags - or "Chip" either - go figure.) Several characters including Ariel and Mickey Mouse signed my daughter's autograph book "To Christine," and that's pretty cool given that Mickey doesn't talk! Everywhere we went - rides, shows, food stops - we got "Hello, Brenda and Christine" and extra attention. Wearing these pins made it clear that we were truly in the "we're ready for fun at Walt Disney World" mode. Whatever the reason, these pins were the best $3 investments we could have made for making a great visit even better.

On Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios, when you enter the first staging room (the library), immediately go to the far corner (furthest away from the door you enter the room in). After the TV presentation, the wall opens up there to the rest of the ride. At that point, choose the left line - it's quicker.

Fantasmic- Mickey Mouse - Disney World

Use the Fantasmic Dining Package to save time and grab great seats! It takes a long time to get into Fantasmic, but if you eat at one of the restaurants with the Fantasmic Dining Package at Hollywood Studios (Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, and Hollywood & Vine), they offer Priority Seating for the show so you don't have to wait in the line to see the show (which was worth it if you don't have to wait for 2 hours beforehand).

Avatar Flight of Passage on Pandora Ð The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Early bird gets the worm at Disney World. If you want to get the most out of your day at the parks, get there about 30-40 minutes before the park opens because you'll be able to ride all of your favorite rides before the crowds come. You'll have very short waits for popular rides like Toy Story Midway Mania, Space Mountain, Soarin, Frozen Ever After, or Expedition Everest. Avatar: Flight of Passage will still have a relatively substantial wait if you get there before park opening because of the demand (sometimes as much as 45 minutes to an hour as soon as the park opens), but this will still be significantly shorter than the standby wait later in the day (which can stretch over 2 hours easily).

Hall of Presidents Exterior

A good way to cool off without going back to your hotel room: Head to the Hall of Presidents - 23 minutes of air conditioned relaxation. Other long, air conditioned attractions: The American Adventure at Epcot, the Frozen Sing Along at Hollywood Studios, and Finding Nemo: The Musical at Animal Kingdom.

At the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, the shops stay open one hour after the last attraction has closed- so you can save your last minute shopping to the very last minute and not miss any late night rides!

Fantasmic- Mickey Mouse - Disney World

Guide2WDW reader Karen shares how spending $2 at a dollar store brightened up Fantasmic for herself and others: "Last year, my adult daughter bought a couple of packages of the neon necklaces and bracelets at a local dollar store before going to Disney World. We were at Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, where Disney sells neon necklaces for a large amount of money (much more than the dollar store). With a lot children around us looking disappointed because their parents thought the neon necklaces and bracelets were far too expensive, my daughter got hers out and handed them out around us. You should have seen the look in the children's eyes when she gave them out! They were thrilled to be a part of the neon light show after they turned out the lights at Fantasmic. She'll be doing it again when we go in October. It was worth the $2 she spent."

Halfway up Hollywood Boulevard, the main entrance street, at Disney's Hollywood Studios on the right is a board containing up to date ride wait time information.