As Disney's Hollywood Studios undergoes a major transformation, anticipation is building for the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands. With this excitement underway, many of Hollywood’s tinsel town treasures have been forgotten. Disney's Hollywood Studios is the top destination for some of the most exciting shows Walt Disney World has to offer. It has the perfect combination for our Frog Family: plenty of Star Wars fun for Leap and Tad, plenty of princesses for Lily and great nighttime spectaculars for us all to enjoy together.
We find Disney's Hollywood Studios shows to be the best of its many great offerings. You could truly spend a whole day just watching stories come alive here. But there are also rides to ride and characters to meet! We’re here to provide you a summary (and tips!) for each show to help you decide which Hollywood Studios shows are best to fit into the vacation schedule for your family. Note that times vary based on the day and season, so check the daily times guide or you can download our Orlando Planning App. Here's our guide to enjoying the many Disney's Hollywood Studios shows.
Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios Shows ... and a Few Tips Too!
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage is, in our opinion, one of the best shows on Disney property. It is certainly our favorite of the Hollywood Studios shows. This truly timeless show presents Broadway-style renditions of your favorite Beauty and the Beast songs and made its Disney World debut on the same day the movie made its theater-premiere in 1991! Fun fact: This show features some of the film’s original voices, such as Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere and Robby Benson as the Beast. The rest of the cast will blow you away with live singing and gorgeous, colorful costumes. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage is approximately 25 minutes long with typically five showings per day. This is a very popular show, and we do recommend trying to snag center seating about halfway back so you can really appreciate the detail without being too close. Try to arrive about 30 minutes early. Unless it’s an absolute can’t-miss for your Frog Squad, we don’t find any need for a FastPass+ here.
March of the First Order
This “show” is unique in that it can be experienced anywhere along Hollywood’s main drag. A long parade of Stormtroopers marches through tinsel town, led by Captain Phasma as they showcase their strength and obedience. Taking place almost hourly along Hollywood Boulevard, there’s no need to stake out for this show. We usually just catch this one in passing, sometimes a couple times per day! You can also find Stormtroopers wandering around the Launch Bay area all day.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Two of Arendelle’s most hilarious historians retell Frozen’s story of sisterly love. While we know the singalongs can get old for some Mama and Papa Frogs, there is plenty of great humor tying the story together for everyone to enjoy this show. This 30-minute song extravaganza ends in a grand finale of snow provided by Queen Elsa herself. This makes Lily go wild! There are usually about 10 showings per day, so no need to line up too early for this. There’s not a bad seat in the house; we recommend arriving just about 20 minutes ahead of time. This is a solid time investment at a half-hour long and includes a lot of movie footage. While we’re huge fans of the historians, we only recommend this show for Frozen-crazy frogs.
Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Go behind the scenes of the most exciting and adventurous Indiana Jones films by learning how stunts are performed with the professionals. This 30-minute “backstage” look allows you a sneak peek at the secrets behind some of the most iconic Indiana scenes … such as daggers shooting up through the ground, or a giant rock ball nearly running over our favorite hero. You’ll see real stunts come to life, from truck explosions to actors jumping three stories! A director will explain all of this, as well as the secrets behind fake fight scenes. Don’t worry about arriving too early for seating — 20 minutes should be plenty — but we do suggest getting into the audience about 25 minutes ahead of show time for a chance to be picked as an extra and join in the scenes!
Disney Junior — Live on Stage!
Hop on over to Animation Courtyard to check out the most toddler-friendly show on Disney property. With floor seating (literally, you’re sitting on the floor) this is the perfect environment for your tiny tadpoles to enjoy their favorite TV shows. Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy are planning a birthday party for Minnie, and you’re invited! Without seats to squirm out of, little ones can really enjoy this experience made just for them. Join Mickey and his Clubhouse pals in this impressive 24-minute puppet show as they learn lessons from Princess Sofia, Jake the Never Land Pirate and Doc McStuffins. Gold doubloons, snow and more fall from the sky to enchant your tadpoles. Be sure to stick around Animation Courtyard afterwards to meet all of your favorite Disney Junior friends for awesome photo-ops. These shows run frequently and rarely reach capacity, so no worries on using a FastPass+ unless your vacation is very toddler-focused.
Citizens of Hollywood
This “streetmosphere” entertainment isn’t exactly a show, but certainly a staple at Hollywood Studios. Catch actors and actresses from the Golden Era of Hollywood as they engage with guests in search of their big break. The Citizens of Hollywood make intermittent appearances on Sunset Boulevard throughout the day and are fun to check out while walking to or from Tower of Terror for peak Hollywood vibes!
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
If you have a young Jedi in your family, this show should be top priority. You must register to have your tadpole be part of this interactive show, so be sure to stop by the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost next to 50’s Prime Time Café. Registration starts at park open, so leap on over early to get your pick of show times. Tadpoles ages 4 to 12 face off against actual Star Wars villains after a brief Jedi Knight training, equipped with a loaned lightsaber and robe. This is one of Tad’s favorite memories — it’s a blast, and the perfect photo-op. (Here are some tips for enrolling your Youngling in Jedi Training.)
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
We’ve found Voyage of the Little Mermaid to be a show that guests either love or hate. Considering it’s been around since 1992, some people think it’s a classic … others find it dated. We LOVE this quick 17-minute show, and heck, we even love its nautically-themed queue. It’s certainly more for the princess lovers and those who appreciate live performances. I love the almost-vintage uniqueness of the show as it incorporates neon colors and lasers … and I hop on any chance I get to see Prince Eric and his dog, Max! Excellent puppetry and talented performers bring Ariel’s story to life. These shows take place throughout the day and generally only reach capacity during peak seasons, so skip the FastPass+ and simply arrive about 20 minutes early. (As always, adjust this timing for chaotic park crowds!)
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
This Star Wars stage show takes place in front of the Chinese Theatre at the end of Hollywood Boulevard. Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away features a montage of the most iconic Star Wars scenes with corresponding appearances by a majority of your favorite characters, both old and new. Since more recent characters are currently available for meet and greets, such as BB-8 and Kylo Ren, this show pays tribute to the classics and more unique characters like C3PO, Darth Maul and more. This show runs plenty throughout the day, and is usually something you can catch most of in passing — but it’s worth posting up for if you’re a fan! Stay until the end for the PERFECT photo of all of the characters joined together at once on stage.
The longest running nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World, Fantasmic!, combines all of the eye-catching visuals you can imagine — fireworks, lasers, water projections and plenty of characters. My favorite part of this show is that it features some fun, obscure villains as Mickey triumphs over them to gain control of his dream. The arena is huge with PLENTY of seating, but it can fill up quickly, especially during the busy seasons. Try getting there at least 30 minutes before to get in position. If possible, sit about a third of the way back, and definitely in the center, so you don’t miss any of the details. We’ve made the mistake of showing up way too last minute and being stuck in the far corner … we were so disappointed that we couldn’t see Pocahontas’s grand appearance! Consider a FastPass+ on Fantasmic! for guaranteed great seating. Warning: You’ll typically have to pick between Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular due to timing. Both are excellent and totally up to family preference – we usually alternate them between trips.
Disney Movie Magic
Projected onto the Chinese Theater, Disney Movie Magic showcases movie hits from past decades, with a focus on live-action adventures such as Marry Poppins. For those who loved the classic films featured in The Great Movie Ride, this is the show for you. Our favorite is the Pirates of the Caribbean scene, complete with the intense score we know and love. This 10-minute show is the perfect prelude to the nighttime fireworks.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
I’m personally no Star Wars buff, but I can’t help but be blown away by this fireworks show. The Chinese Theater will transport you to a galaxy far, far away with life-like projections of Tattooine, the Death Star and other iconic scenery. The legendary space battles practically come to life as the skies light up with colorful fireworks. The score, combined with the visual effects, will certainly give you chills. This show is pretty popular, and having a good view of the Theater’s projections is critical. Our favorite spot (that we can usually sneak into last minute) is next to the popcorn cart at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, centered with the Theater.
I know…that’s a LOT of shows, right? There is so much fun and entertainment awaiting you at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
What’s your can’t-miss of the Hollywood Studios shows? Share in the comments! Ready to hop to Disney's Hollywood Studios? Follow along on one of our park plans to experience more and spend less time in line. Don’t forget, you can view park hours and show times on our Disney World Crowd Calendar.