Has Disney’s Hollywood Studios Lost it’s Magic?

Let me start with saying – Disney’s Hollywood Studios has never been a “must” on our trips. Since it’s inception as MGM, it’s always been a pretty park, but has never had much drawing me to visit.

We decided to stop in with hopes of riding Toy Story Midway Mania and our son appreciating Playhouse Disney, a stage production for the younger ones who watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, The Little Einsteins, and, showing the show’s age, Winnie the Pooh and Friends. Though Winnie the Pooh is no longer aired on television, my son loves watching Mickey Mouse and Handy Manny, if for nothing more than their theme songs and other tunes played during each episode.

We arrived for their “Rope Drop” show, which has seemingly improved since June. Now, there is actually a show of sorts. They had a director and actress set up as though we were in the 1930’s filming a movie. Actually, they had these characters all throughout the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, ‘filming’ scenes and calling out directions to innocent bystanders.

But, other than these actors and producers, we noticed that some of the Disney spirit was seemingly missing. The cast members didn’t appear as cheerful at DHS as those working in the other parks (or resorts). I personally enjoy interacting with the cast members – asking questions, talking about their jobs, etc… but, at DHS, this interaction didn’t happen much.

The “actors” on the Great Movie Ride did their job with a little flair, but nothing over the top. At Playhouse Disney, my husband was practically scolded by a cast member when he had put our son on his shoulders. I understand that maybe they’re not working their dream job, but neither are the cast members at Small World, yet they’re always smiling!

Has the magic been lost? Was it ever really there? Maybe it went out when the functioning studio left. I’m not sure, but I can tell you that we won’t be heading back on our next trip.

Jenn resides with her husband, 1 year old son, and 2 bratty dogs in a suburb of Washington, D.C. She also hosts her own blog, the Disney Babies Blog, where she shares her experiences, tips, and ramblings about traveling the parks with a baby. In her non-Disney life, Jenn is often found running, practicing yoga, or playing the clarinet in the military

Thank you for visiting Chip and Co. Be sure to sign up for our Daily Newsletter where we deliver the best in Disney News & Planning Tips to your inbox! You can find us all over the internet at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and even our Tee Public Store!



With family in Florida, Jenn started traveling to WDW as a baby and hasn't stopped.She visits annually or more if possible with her husband and two sons. Jenn can be found at http://www.Disneybabiesblog.com and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/disneybabiesblog
Has Disney’s Hollywood Studios Lost it’s Magic? was last modified: July 21st, 2013 by Jenn

  • Usachick4

    I have to disagree. We have found that we can spend an entire day there and enjoy it (unless its super crowded and crazy). We usually arrive at Rope Drop, and then head back to TSM to ride standby (which is like 5-10min while everyone is getting fast passes). After that we take our time touring around the park. We love going into Animation Studio and meeting the Characters, and then going back in there around 5pm and seeing the extra ones they brought out then. We have received extra magic from CMs there (ex our youngest was asleep in the stroller and our oldest was sitting down at a chair in the shade being quiet just people watching, and a CM walked up and gave our son a cardstock checkers set for being so well behaved while his brother slept. It wasnt much, but it was something.) We have been given extra time with Mickey because we were the only ones in line to see him (and got some cute pics). People pass by a lot of things because they have done them b4, or because they dont want to sit (they want to go go go) and they miss a lot. Re-experience some stuff, dont just walk on by it. Take time and be a “first time” tourist again and see if some of that magic comes back to you.

  • http://disneymom-disney2010.blogspot.com/ Disneymom2jhe

    I completely agree! Other than the streetmosphere characters, Toy Story Mania, and Playhouse Disney, this park holds little attention from us. Yes, my husband loves ToT and RnRC, but other than that we never have a strong desire to go there. We do make sure we spend at least a half a day there, but otherwise, we spend time in the three other parks. Oh! I almost forgot, but we do LOVE Fantasmic and try to hit that once per trip. But even that, now being only a couple nights a week, is hard for us to get to. I probably should have mentioned I also have three small children, so there isn’t a lot of draw for them. Maybe in a few years, but for now, if we spend a half day at DHS, that’s a lot.

  • Elizabeth

    Dont underestimate DHS or what will always be MGM to us! My 8 YO son loves this park and we spend at least part of two or three days there every visit. There is always something new to see or do, the last visit he made me ride RRC 4 times in a row including a front row ride. For him, he would skip AK and spend the extra time at HS. We do manage all the parks but this one is his favorite. My teenage daughters also enjoy it. Although Fantasmic is a bit of a hassle now that it is fewer shows in a week, it is a must see and I think one of the best productions in WDW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511880565 Jessica Pagan

    I agree that it needs some magic! My husband and I go for ToT and RRC. We’ve watched the car show a couple times and enjoyed the acts in the street, but other than that we don’t spend a lot of time there.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RQ7BKGBIYKBFAHLKBF3YE4F75Y DeeAnn

    This is so ironic. My husband & I were discussing yesterday that DHS needs to be “re-imagined”. We like the atmosphere, but there’s just not enough to keep us there for more than a couple of hours each trip. The bottleneck created by TSM makes it worse.


    I could not agree more. We go for the rides and leave. We are there for at the most half a day sometimes less. It did loose something when the working studio left. And then they changed the back lot ride, about the same time. They really need to do something with DHS or it will be like a black and white movie of the past that none of our kids will watch. JMHO. ºoº