Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides are some of the most thrilling in all of Disney World. These include the only Disney World roller coaster with inversions, a 13-story drop ride, immersive Star Wars storytelling, and Mickey’s first and only themed ride at any Disney theme park! And, yes, there are even fantastic Hollywood Studios rides for kids.
This post will tell you all you need to know about Hollywood Studios rides in order to decide which ones are right for your family without spoiling too much and giving away the entire ride. You’ll know which rides have height restrictions that may exclude your little ones, which rides might be too scary or intense, and the rides that are perfect for kids.
Note that FastPass+ is mentioned in this post although FastPass+ will be temporarily disabled when Disney World reopens.
Looking for a quick Hollywood Studios rides cheat sheet that lists these rides and all Hollywood Studios attractions on one concise, easy-to-read sheet? Download my free One Page Guide to Hollywood Studios Attractions!
[The Basics] Hollywood Studios Rides List
Alien Swirling Saucers FP+ // 32” height minimum // whip ride
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway FP+ // trackless dark ride
Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run FP+ // 38” height minimum // interactive motion simulator ride
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith FP+ // 48” height minimum // indoor roller coaster
Slinky Dog Dash FP+ // 38” height minimum // roller coaster
Star Tours FP+ // 40” height minimum // 3D motion simulator ride
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance // 40” height minimum // trackless ride
Toy Story Mania FP+ // 3D interactive shooting ride
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror FP+ // 40” height minimum // drop ride
[Beyond the Basics] Hollywood Studios Rides in Detail
Alien Swirling Saucers
Alien Swirling Saucers is a short, fun ride for the entire family with a low height restriction. This is a whip ride where you’ll sit with your family on one long bench seat in a spaceship being pulled by a Toy Story green alien. The spaceship will whip left and right as the alien is guided along a series of circular tracks.
Each spaceship seats 2-3 on a single bench seat with one long seat belt.
This ride is the same concept as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree out at Disney’s California Adventure park, but with a roof overhead and Toy Story-themed.
Alien Swirling Saucers is entirely outdoors, though the ride itself and part of the queue is covered from the elements. Since the entire ride can be seen from the walkways, you can watch it before deciding to ride.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
The newest ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios replaces The Great Movie Ride at the Chinese Theater – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
This trackless dark ride is entirely indoors and suitable for guests of all ages as one of only two rides at Hollywood Studios with no height restrictions.
Incredibly, this is the first Mickey Mouse-themed ride at any Disney theme park!
Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run
interactive motion simulator ride
What Star Wars fan doesn’t want to pilot the Millenium Falcon?
Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a simulator ride where guests are assigned one of three roles – pilot, gunner, or engineer – and are seated in a Falcon cockpit with 6 individual seats (two guests per role).
Unlike Mission: SPACE at Epcot where guests are similarly assigned roles in a motion simulator ride, the actions taken by the pilots, gunners, and engineers in Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run actually determine the outcome of the ride, so pay attention and may The Force be with you!
Pilots have the best view with front seats. They use joysticks to move the ship left and right (left pilot) and up and down (right pilot). Gunners and engineers in the remaining seats use buttons and switches to shoot enemies and make in-flight ship repairs.
Roles are assigned by cast members in the queue, but feel free to swap roles within your family if you feel that someone else is best for the job!
The fantastically detailed queue begins outside, but is mostly indoors. This is one ride where a long line isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there is so much to see in the extensive mechanic shop queue!
A single rider line is available for filling in all available space in each individual cockpit.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
One of the most thrilling rides in all of Disney World is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This roller coaster is entirely in the dark indoors and is the only ride at Disney World with inversions. You’ll turn upside down 3 times.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is a launched coaster rather than using a chain lift. It starts out fast and doesn’t let up! Instead of drops, this roller coaster is all about speed as it races through the streets of L.A. while Aerosmith music blares in the headrest.
Most of the queue is indoors as the ride itself is as well. These stretch limo-styled ride vehicles seat 2 per row.
A single rider line is available to fill empty seats and can be quicker than the stand-by line if you’re riding alone.
Slinky Dog Dash
Like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Slinky Dog Dash is also a launched coaster. However, Slinky Dog Dash is slower, tamer, and entirely outdoors. Still, this is the most thrilling ride in Toy Story Land.
The Slinky Dog ride vehicles seat two per row. The entire ride and queue is outside with minimal shade.
Even with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Slinky Dog Dash is still one of the most popular rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Lines form early and grow quickly, so plan on using FastPass+, arriving well before park opening, or getting in line right before park closing for the shortest lines.
Star Tours is one of the Star Wars experiences at Hollywood Studios that existed long before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019.
While the Star Tours ride vehicle has barely changed since debuting over 30 years ago, the ride experience is constantly evolving. This 3D motion simulator ride, now named Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, is presented in several segments which are all randomly generated. No longer are you simply a space tourist heading to Endor. On one ride, you may be flying through a crashed imperial destroyer on Jakuu and be caught in the battle on Crait. Another time, you might fly over Hoth and Naboo. With so many randomly-selected segments, Star Tours is a great ride to repeat since your subsequent journeys will likely be different than the first.
Except for an outdoor overflow queue area, this ride and queue are indoors. Each Starspeeder ride vehicle has 5 rows with 8-9 individual seats per row.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
boarding groups only, no standby line
This Star Wars story is told through a series of standing pre-shows that culminate with the actual ride. One of the pre-show scenes is located on a standing motion simulator with subtle movements.
The pre-shows ultimately lead up to the trackless ride. Each ride vehicle seats four per row in two rows. The trackless ride portion of the attraction is physically not very intense. There is a sudden drop that is far tamer than the drops on Tower of Terror. Once you realize you’re dropping, the drop ends!
Rise of the Resistance is an incredibly immersive experience with cast members acting in various roles along the way. Play along and enjoy this masterpiece of Disney attraction storytelling!
There is no standby line for Rise of the Resistance. You must secure a boarding group when the park opens. The queue extends outside, but hasn’t been needed with the boarding groups’ lower crowd levels.
Toy Story Mania
One of only two rides at Hollywood Studios without a height limit, Toy Story Mania is an excellent ride for kids! The ride vehicles travel to 5 different Toy Story-themed virtual 3D carnival midway games (until recently, the ride was named Toy Story Midway Mania) where guests shoot targets and earn points. The ride vehicles remain stationary for about a minute to play each game before moving and spinning along to the next screen for the next game. Toy Story characters virtually support and provide tips throughout the games. At the end of the ride, totals for everyone in the ride vehicle as well as top scorers of the entire day are displayed.
Toy Story Mania has a high re-rideability factor since you can try to improve your score every time!
The ride vehicles seat two side-by-side with room for a third non-playing small child in the middle. Toy Story Mania is entirely indoors, though there is some queue space outside that can fill on busy days.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This drop ride is inspired by the classic television show The Twilight Zone. Here, the ride is themed as the abandoned and cobweb-adorned Hollywood Tower Hotel. The ride vehicle is the hotel’s service elevator, behaving quite erratically!
From the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, guests proceed to a pre-show in the hotel’s library, and on to the boiler room to wait for the service elevator ride vehicle. The ride includes lifts and forward motion before settling into the main elevator shaft for the main randomized drop sequence. This drop experience will be different every time as the lifts and drops, which tops out at 39 miles per hour, are random.
Each elevator cab holds 3 rows of 7 individual seats. Most of queue is outside, finishing inside the hotel lobby.
What are your must-do rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?