EPCOT VS Hollywood Studios, the Battle Continue

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Since EPCOT and Hollywood Studios now house 2 of Disney World’s most popular rides, it should be more commonly accepted that each park has its own unique attractions and benefits. After all, a recent survey revealed that each park has one of parkgoers’ favorite rides, with Mission Space and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster ranked as number one in 19 states. Still, the EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios battle continues to rage.

The answer for most people will come down to personal preferences, so here are some insights to help you decide.

EPCOT Vs Hollywood Studios, Putting it Simply

When it comes to EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, it is like comparing apples to oranges: both are equally delicious, but very different.

EPCOT is based on world cultures and world exploration, while Hollywood Studios is based on Hollywood and the movies we love.

What is EPCOT?

EPCOT came from a concept by Walt Disney for an experimental prototype community of tomorrow, a perfect utopian city. While Walt’s dream for an actual city never came to fruition, Imagineers used his concept of improvement, and the future, to create the original EPCOT.

Today, EPCOT focuses less on the future, but more on the current world around us. Different park sections include World Nature, World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Showcase.

EPCOT Vs Hollywood Studios, entrance to EPCOT
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EPCOT is the ideal park to enjoy delectable and diverse food and drink choices, while exploring different cultures, and the world we live in.

EPCOT is not typically known for its thrill rides, with the exception of Test Track and Mission Space, but with the addition of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT is a new contender when it comes to EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios for “best thrill rides.”

What Is Hollywood Studios?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is themed to movies, tv shows, theater, and Hollywood. Upon entry to the park, you enter the golden age of Hollywood. When you head farther back into the park, you enter the movies of Star Wars and Toy Story.

Hollywood Studios is known for having the best Disney thrill rides. Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster takes guests through loops and corkscrews, and Tower of Terror is a 13 story drop through an abandoned old Hollywood Hotel.

Interior of Hollywood Studios, EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios
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Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run allows guests to pilot their own Millennium Falcon on a thrilling mission, and Rise of the Resistance is part thrill ride, part show as you join the resistance and become captured by the First Order.

Now that we know what each park is about, let’s continue on our journey to determine which is better when it comes to the EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios debate.

EPCOT VS Hollywood Studios: Which Has Better Rides?

Disney Hollywood Studios Rides

Built to celebrate the golden age of film, you wouldn’t expect Hollywood Studios to be home to some of Disney’s biggest thrills, and yet rides like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Star Wars Rise of the Resistance are just that–thrilling.

Hollywood Studios is also home to some of Disney’s most immersive experiences. To determine who wins in the battle of EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, we need to discuss thrill rides.

Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster

Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster is a thrilling experience with the band Aerosmith. After meeting the band you are put on a super stretch, super fast, limo to get across town quickly to make it to the concert in time.

The limo ride takes a few exhilarating turns over loops, and twisting through corkscrews.

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror begins when you enter an abandoned hotel from the golden age of Hollywood. After a fatal lightning strike on the elevator shaft, the hotel was left abandoned and in disrepair.

In the library, guests will be greeted by a familiar face as they learn about, and enter, the Twilight Zone.

EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios rides, Tower of Terror is a contender for best ride
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In the basement, guests board a service maintenance elevator, before taking their own exciting journey up and down the haunted elevator shafts.

Tower of Terror has multiple randomized drop sequences, making each ride a bit different, therefore keeping you on your toes.

Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance is one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World. It has to give Hollywood Studios an extra point in the battle of EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, due to its uniqueness and immersion.

In ROR, you’ll join the Resistance and be transported to a safe location in the Star Wars universe. Soon, your transport ship is captured by the First Order and you are forced to board their ship and enter interrogation.

Then, just in the nick of time, the Resistance returns to help you escape. Up until this point, the ride has been immersive, fascinating, and suspenseful, but not all that thrilling, but that is all about the change.

Once guests make their way to the escape vehicles, the real thrills begin. The droids directing the craft have a bit of trouble finding the escape pods, the First Order notices, and a chase and gun fight ensues.

For a complete explanation of the ride and its thrills, click here.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is an interactive simulator type ride. While the ride is a simulation, the thrills feel real. Inside, guests can control the flight, guns, and other aspects of the Millennium Falcon as you complete a mission to steal some loot.

The simulator responds in real time to the pilots, gunners, and engineers, making each ride different. We have even crashed a couple times, which always elicits the stomach in your throat feeling.  

Kid Beloved Rides

Hollywood Studios is not just thrill rides, in fact, there are many kid favorite rides found in this park. When it comes to EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, EPCOT does have Frozen Ever After, but Hollywood Studios has many more.

Hollywood Studios boats Toy Story Land, an entire area devoted to Toy Story and kid friendly rides. Slinky Dog Dash is a fun, kid friendly coaster.

Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios
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Alien Swirling Saucers is perfect for kids of all ages and (almost all) sizes. This swirling experience takes guests on a spin with the aliens from Toy Story.

Lastly, Toy Story Mania is a fun interactive shooter style game for all ages.

EPCOT Rides and Attractions

As we said before when it comes to comparing EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. EPCOT is split in two, by the World Showcase, and what used to be called Future World.

Future World has now been split further, and renamed to World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature.

World Showcase

It is important to note, the World Showcase section of the park is not known for thrill rides, but rather thrilling cultures. A couple rides can be found in this section, such a boat ride in Mexico, Frozen Ever After in Norway, as well as many shows and films.

The World Showcase is known for beautiful architecture, diverse souvenirs, tasty dining, an assortment of drinks, and the opportunity for cultural education.

Additionally, the World Showcase of EPCOT is home to many beloved festivals throughout the year. Each brings new limited edition food and drink options, as well as entertainment and souvenirs.

If thrills are more your thing, you will want to stay in the World Discovery area of EPCOT. Here, you will find the three main thrill rides of the park.

Mission Space

Mission Space is rather self explanatory. It is a mission to space and mars. This simulator type ride can provide a gentle ride on the green side, for those with motion sickness ailments.

But, on the orange side, the ride does not hold back. On the orange side, the ride spins like a centrifuge to simulate the effect of G forces similar to what one might feel while launching into space.

Test Track

Test Track is a beloved EPCOT ride, and was the first thrill ride inside of EPCOT. Test Track allows you to design your own simulated car, and test its abilities inside of a real test track, with you as the test dummies.

Seat Belt Test on Test Track in EPCOT
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Test Track takes guests through hairpin turns, hills and curves, and even a speed test at the end.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Cosmic Rewind is the newest thrill ride inside of EPCOT, and the newest ride to open in Walt Disney World. (Although Tron inside Magic Kingdom will soon take that title.)

Cosmic has been coined the “2022 version of Space Mountain,” a title we also deem fitting. The ride begins with guests beginning the journey to be transported to Xandar to explore all their planet has to offer.

Shortly after the transport, the Xandarian ship you have been transported to is taken over. Without spoiling the fun, and surprises this ride has to offer, you’ll soon find yourself travelling through space… and time, forwards, backwards, and sideways.

This ride is not something that can be explained with words, it needs to be experienced first hand.

Hollywood Studios Restaurants

If we were strictly comparing EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios restaurants, EPCOT would surely win. But, that can be said when comparing EPCOT to food at any of the other Disney parks.

Hollywood Studios often has lackluster and repetitive food options, with a few exceptions. The park has been making an effort to add in more diverse dining options, like Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo inside Galaxy’s Edge, or the rotating menu at the ABC Commissary.

Inside of Docking Bay Seven
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The crown jewel of Hollywood Studios dining is the Hollywood Brown Derby. This high end restaurant serves stunning contemporary American cuisine and drink offerings, with a price tag to match.

The Hollywood Brown Derby is known to be one of the best restaurants inside all of Walt Disney World.

For a complete list of our favorite Hollywood Studios dining offerings, click here.

EPCOT Restaurants

As mentioned above, in EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, EPCOT wins in the restaurant category. EPCOT does have a few traditional restaurants in the World Celebration area.

But, the restaurants in the World Showcase are the real stars. Each World Showcase country has at least one quick service option, and one table service option, but many have more than one.

Many guests will tell you the best places to eat inside the World Showcase are inside of the Italy and France Pavilions. (Think delicious pasta and crepes, and the best wine selections in the parks.)

One fan favorite restaurant not found in the World Showcase is Space 220. At Space 220, guests dine 220 miles above Earth.

Space 220 Restaurant
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Upon entering the restaurant, you will board a futuristic elevator and witness the park get smaller and smaller as you climb higher and higher, until you can see almost all of Earth.

The food is out of this world, (pun intended.) This restaurant has quickly become one of our favorites inside all of Walt Disney World. The food is world class, and the atmosphere is downright fascinating.

We could discuss EPCOT restaurants for hours, and in fact we have, and all of that information can be found here.

EPCOT VS Hollywood Studios: Which is Best for Kids

If you are traveling with younger kids to Disney World, you may be wondering which park is better for kids. In the EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios battle, they both have some pros and cons for young children.

EPCOT for Kids

EPCOT features many rides for young kids, such as The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Frozen Ever After, Remi’s Ratatouille Adventure and the boat ride in Mexico.

The Seas inside of EPCOT
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Unfortunately, many young kids could also find EPCOT a bit boring. Shopping, dining, and exploring the World Showcase can be a drag for kids, and many of the EPCOT thrill rides have a high height requirement.

EPCOT does have shows and some educational rides, but many of them could be a bit dull for small children who are hoping to see Disney characters.

This all being said, EPCOT has more rides and attractions with no height requirements when you look at EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Studios for Kids

Hollywood Studios has an entire land for kids. Toy Story land is designed to be appealing to young children. The entire décor is made of giant toys!

Toy Story Land features two rides for young children: Toy Story Mania and Aliens Swirling Saucers. Additionally, Slinky Dog Dash is a mild coaster with a height requirement of only 38”.

Outside of Toy Story Land is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a trackless ride which transports guests into the cartoon with Mickey and friends. This ride has no height requirement.

Hollywood Studios also has many shows for kids featuring Disney characters, as well as parades, cavalcades, and character meet and greets.

Cavalcade inside of Hollywood Studios
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The one drawback for kids in Hollywood Studios is the thrill rides. Many of the Hollywood Studios rides have height restrictions that bar small children from riding. To ride Rise of the Resistance, Tower of Terror, or Star Tours, guests must be at least 40”. And to ride Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, guests must be at least 48”.

For a complete list of ride height requirements for Disney World, click here.

EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios Summary

When it comes to EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, the answer to which is best is still not an easy one. EPCOT has great thrill rides, but so does Hollywood Studios, but HS does have a few more.

For restaurants, EPCOT has more venues, a better variety, and better quality, but Hollywood Studios has the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Both parks are great for kids, with a few drawbacks. Kids can ride more things at EPCOT, but can have more immersion and character experiences in Hollywood Studios.

In the end, the battle of EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios is subjective. Arm yourself with these facts, and experience each park for yourself before you decide.

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Kathleen Hesketh and Ali Patton, mother daughter travel bloggers

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother daughter travel bloggers sharing our knowledge and experience from multiple years of Disney travel with other Disney lovers and first-time visitors, hoping to simplify your vacation experience and help you enjoy all of the magic of a visit to Disney World. As Disney vacation planners, we can now book vacations through Mickey World travel, at no additional charge, and help you realize all of the magic of a trip to Disney.

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Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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