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If you’re looking to visit Walt Disney World for the first time or for a limited time, you may have some questions about the differences between the theme parks. After all, each has distinct vibes, restaurants and things to do. While Magic Kingdom is quite well known (home to Cinderella's castle and some of Disney's most iconic rides), other parks like Epcot and Hollywood Studios may be less familiar.
If you’re not sure where you want to spend your time, we’ve compared Epcot to Hollywood Studios, including their unique attractions and what kind of food they serve, to help you make your decision.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios vs. Epcot
The main difference between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot is the theming. Both are Disney theme parks, but each park has its own focus.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios does a deep dive into the brand’s intellectual property, featuring many iconic characters and entire lands dedicated to various Disney films. This means that lands like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land will feature characters familiar to movie buffs and Disney lovers alike.
Epcot, meanwhile, houses the World Showcase, comprising 11 pavilions that focus on different countries around the world. Although you won’t spot as many Disney movie references at Epcot, the park has several rides featuring recognizable characters, and the park plans to add more themed rides in the future.
» Learn more: How to budget for a family trip to Walt Disney World
What’s in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
Disney's Hollywood Studios is perhaps best known for its Star Wars-themed land and Broadway-style shows. Here’s what you can find while visiting Hollywood Studios:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios rides
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a variety of attractions for all ages, which makes it a good option for families. Slinky Dog Dash, for example, is a children’s roller coaster that still manages to be a thrilling experience for adults.
Hollywood Studios is also home to a number of big-ticket rides, including a drop tower and high-speed roller coaster. Here are some of Hollywood Studios' best rides:
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios shows
As the name suggests, Disney’s Hollywood Studios focuses a lot on Disney’s movies and TV shows. This is why you’ll find a ton of live entertainment options within the park, including:
Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Wonderful World of Animation.
Disney's Hollywood Studios food
Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t well-known for its dining, but it does have some fun options available to visitors. Among these is the 50's Prime Time Cafe, where favorites such as meatloaf are presented with a side helping of quirky servers.
Another favorite is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, which mimics a drive-in movie theater — complete with cars in which to dine.
» Learn more: Is the Disney Park Hopper worth it?
What does Epcot have?
Now that you’re familiar with Hollywood Studios’ main attractions, here’s what to expect if you visit Epcot.
Epcot has been undergoing some major development in recent years. Nowadays, you’ll get to experience several different major-ticket attractions within Epcot, while in the past it was home to only one or two. These are some of the most sought-after rides in the park:
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Soarin’ Around the World.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Frozen Ever After.
The World Showcase
The World Showcase is a unique feature among Disney theme parks. Highlighting the food, drinks and culture of nearly a dozen different countries, the World Showcase is an excellent place to explore. There are a total of 11 pavilions representing the following countries:
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There are a handful of great rides available at Epcot these days, but food and drink is where Epcot really excels. Nestled among the World Showcase pavilions is a large variety of restaurants, including those that feature food from France, Italy, Morocco, Germany and more.
Along those same lines, Epcot is home to multiple festivals that run throughout the year, all of which provide limited-time food and drink options to visitors. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to enjoy:
International Food and Wine Festival.
International Flower and Garden Festival.
International Festival of the Arts.
International Festival of the Holidays.
» Learn more: The best Disney credit card might surprise you
Deciding to visit Epcot vs. Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World in Orlando is made up of four theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While all four have their own specialties, Epcot excels at food and festivals while Hollywood Studios is better for live shows and Disney theming.
Both parks are worth a visit, but if you're short on time, prioritize the park that has more of the attractions you'd like to see. If you're a foodie or you're not into Disney movies, Epcot might be a better fit for you. If you are a die-hard Star Wars fan or you prefer more thrill rides, Disney's Hollywood Studios might be more enjoyable. If your vacation spans multiple days, we'd recommend exploring the magic of both.
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