Sometimes its not the big things about being at Disney World that make the trip great. Sometimes its the little things. Getting there early and prepared makes the day great, but its not enough. Having a good ADR at the restaurant you love timed perfectly to beat the heat on a scorching day also isn't everything. Although I could go on and on, about big deal items, people under estimate the absolute beauty of a good entry. All of the parks have their opening event. Magic Kingdom has all the face and fur characters arrive on Casey Jr. and then come out for some dancing and song. Epcot picts a family of the day after we meet and great the fab four, they then rocket off to their favorite ride with fast passes for the day. Hollywood Studios "films" the opening of the park, while Animal Kingdom has us get ready to go camping.
However, what I really love is a good park entrance. We have a stroller still. Our kid doesn't really need it, but we like having a home base (a place to keep our stuff, hold our drinks, and hang our bags). To have a good park entrance, takes planning and coordination between your entire group. You have to negotiate bathrooms, which can be tough considering when you have to arrive to be there at opening. You have to know where to enter and where you're going. There are so many things that you could worry about, and knowing your kids will make or break the entrance.
But a perfect entrance is golden. To get that perfect entrance requires a conflux of multiple factors, but boils down to knowing what your goals are for the day. So today, I will discuss the perfect entrance to Hollywood Studios.
First, never take the tram. Its a trap and a sucker bet. The tram is for tourists. This is especially true at HS. First the tram makes you break down your stroller and your gear to board. You then have to set all that stuff back up. Pointless. At HS, there is a secondary security spot located near the will call window. If you walk you cross the street shortly before the tram stop and you can use this security stop. There is seldom anyone there and you won't be at the back of the crowds trying to set up your stroller and rushing to the gates. After security hit the bathrooms. Why not, there are right there and also empty. Now as you get to the the ticket lines, you are going to be waiting for a bit, now is the time to get out the sunscreen and get everyone covered. Then make a plan. You need everyone to have their tickets, but you also want to split up. Only one of you is going to Toy Story Mania (unless you are going to try the trifecta and get both fast passes and enter the que - don't do this) to get fast passes. So as you approach the gates, have your plan ready, get everyone through the turnstyles and collect the tickets.
If you are the designated FP fetcher, you worm your way to the front of the HS holding pen (where the movie is to be filmed). You want to be all the way to the right or dead center. This is to split around the film cart and stay near the head of the pack as the cast members walk you quickly but steadily towards the FP que. You are going to need to stay to the right so you can be in the FP line. This is critical, the FP line will be crowded and people will act crazy and pushy to get in the line. Be ready to be patient. When the line forms up make a quick estimate of how long you will be and text it to the rest of your party (which should be heading towards either Tower of Terror or Rockin Roller-coaster).
They can hit the bathroom if needed, but be prepared to hurry right back so that you can actually begin your day. Your FP for Toy Story dictates when the next round fo FP's will be ready, but you should be able to walk onto either RR or ToT. By the time you are done with the first ride you can get another round of FP's and have a great start to the day. If things go well you will be holding FP's for the best rides in the park and day will still be early! Aaahhhh a good entrance, I love it!