Next time you and the kids want a dose of Hollywood magic, consider heading to Florida. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (351 S. Studio Dr., Lake Buena Vista; 497-939-5277; day passes, from $102 a person), a theme park within Walt Disney World® Resort, brings to life experiences that let children—and their grown-ups—immerse themselves in imaginary worlds.
The focus is on shows, interactive rides, and other offerings that allow you to go beyond merely watching the screen to become part of the story itself. Here, three don’t-miss adventures bound to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land debuted in June, tapping into parents’ nostalgia as much as kids’ current passions. The park, set in Andy’s backyard, lets visitors become the size of a toy by scaling up everything around them—huge straws become lamposts, and giant Scrabble pieces form signs. Say hi to Buzz and Woody as you ride the Slinky Dog Dash coaster, spin in Alien Swirling Saucers, or hit 3-D cartoon targets with a spring-action shooter in Toy Story Mania. You can grab an upgraded version of Andy’s brown-bag meal at Woody’s Lunch Box (lunch for two, $18*).
The Force is strong here, and there’s no shortage of things to do. You can visit Crait in hyperspace on Star Tours—The Adventures Continue, enroll your children in Jedi training, or see Darth Maul in person during the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show. After dark, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is an upbeat extravaganza that mixes fireworks, lasers, and high-def projections. Droids, Ewoks, and even the Death Star make an appearance. Plus, Chewbacca and others at the Launch Bay will meet you if you’re looking for a souvenir photo.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
The Cars cast has been a hit with kids for more than a decade, and early in 2019, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will have the beloved Lightning McQueen himself flaunting his driving skills in a new, first-of-its-kind show that puts you right in the middle of the Cars universe. You’ll learn what it takes to be a champion racer—a lesson well worth the pit stop.
- *Estimated meal prices do not include drinks, tax, or tip.
- NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
- Published: September 2018