Slinky Dog Dash … The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror … Star Tours … Toy Story Mania … There are so many great rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! You don’t want to be wasting time by standing in long lines to ride them, so let’s talk about which rides to FastPass at Hollywood Studios.
FastPass+ at Walt Disney World is a FREE service that allows you to save time waiting in line. Other theme parks may charge for similar line-avoiding services (including Disneyland’s MaxPass system in California), but there is no additional fee for FastPass+ at Walt Disney World in Florida. Everyone who has a Disney World park ticket has FastPass+. That means YOU!
Not all rides offer FastPass+ and Hollywood Studios FastPass+ tiers will definitely affect your plans. In this blog post, we’ll quickly review what FastPass+ is, all about Hollywood Studios FastPass+ tiers, and which rides to use FastPass+.
February 2020 Update
Beginning February 19th, FastPass+ will be available for Millenium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run.
Tier 1 attractions at Hollywood Studios will only be Millenium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run and Slinky Dog Dash.
The remainder of this blog post only applies to your Hollywood Studios visit before February 19, 2020.
Hollywood Studios Rides Without FastPass+
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned one of the newest rides in Hollywood Studios yet: Rise of the Resistance. This ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge does not offer FastPass+ so it won’t be discussed in this blog post.
Watch this video from TouringPlans.com for tips on riding Rise of the Resistance using the boarding pass system.
What Is Disney FastPass+?
I’ve written an entire blog post all about FastPass+, so I’ll just give a brief primer here to save you time and get right into the Hollywood Studios-specific tips.
In a nutshell, FastPass+ is a FREE service that allows you to make reservations for certain Disney World attractions in advance. FastPass+ reservations are made for individual attractions with one-hour redemption windows. FastPass+ is NOT an all-encompassing pass that grants you access to shorter lines park-wide. Each reservation is made for a specific attraction at a specific time.
When you arrive at an attraction within your one-hour FastPass+ redemption window, you bypass the main stand-by line and use the shorter FastPass+ redemption line. This can save you anywhere from just a few minutes to more than an hour depending on the attraction.
FastPass+ reservations can be made at 7:00 AM Eastern Time, 30 days in advance by anyone with a valid Disney World park ticket or 60 days in advance of the first night of your trip if you are staying at an on-site Disney World resort hotel.
Up to three FastPass+ reservations can be made for each day of your trip. Each day, all three FastPass+ reservations must be for the same park and the one-hour redemption windows cannot overlap.
You cannot make multiple FastPass+ reservations for the same attraction. Your three FastPass+ reservations each day must be for three different attractions.
Only a limited number of FastPass+ reservations are available for every attraction each day. FastPass+ availability for popular rides like Slinky Dog Dash will often run out well before the 30-day reservation window, so staying on site and being able to make your FastPass+ reservations 60+ days in advance is a huge perk.
Once you have redeemed your three initial FastPass+ reservations, you may continue making additional reservations for any attraction one at a time for the remainder of the day. Tiering and attraction repeat rules do not apply to these additional FastPass+ reservations. You can pick ANY available FastPass+ after your initial three.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Tiers
Hollywood Studios has tiered FastPass+ attraction groups. Your three advance FastPass+ reservations can only include one attraction from the Tier 1 group and the other two must be from Tier 2.
Hollywood Studios Tier 1 Attractions
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (opens March 4, 2020)
- Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run (38″ or taller)
- Slinky Dog Dash (38” or taller)
Hollywood Studios Tier 2 Attractions
- Alien Swirling Saucers (32” or taller)
- Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (48” or taller)
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues (40″ or taller)
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ (40” or taller)
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Since the popular rides are all in Tier 1 at Hollywood Studios, I recommend scheduling your three advance FastPass+ reservations as early in the day as possible. With so many attractions in Tier 1 and the ability to only reserve one of them in advance, using your three advance FastPasses early in the day will free you up to make those additional FastPass+ reservations for the remaining Tier 1 attractions.
Now, due to its popularity, it’s very possible that you will only find FastPass+ times available for Slinky Dog Dash in the late afternoon or evening (if there are any left at all). Depending on this ride’s importance for your family, you might want to skip FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash for the reasons previously mentioned. If one of your three advance FastPasses is not scheduled until the evening, you won’t be able to take advantage of any additional FastPass+ reservations during the day since you can only begin making the additional one-at-a-time FastPasses after you have used your three advance FastPasses. If you’re waiting to redeem that evening Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ reservation all day long, you’ll have to wait in stand-by for Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucers. This may not be an issue if Slinky Dog Dash is a priority for your family, but it’s definitely something to consider.
So, if only late-day Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ reservation times are available, consider skipping FastPass+ and riding Slinky Dog Dash either at rope drop or right before park closing for the shortest stand-by lines. You may also luck out and find them as additional FastPasses during the day after redeeming your initial three.
Choosing a Tier 1 FastPass+ Attraction at Hollywood Studios
So, which attraction should you choose for your single Tier 1 advance FastPass+ reservation? That all depends on your preferences and your family.
Toy Story Mania is the only attraction in Tier 1 without a height restriction so it may be your only choice if you have small kids. It’s an easy Fastpass+ reservation to get even 30 days out and the stand-by line typically runs at least 60 minutes long during the day, so it’s a solid FastPass+ pick.
Alien Swirling Saucers has a low height restriction of 32” so this will be another option if littles meet the height requirement. Still, I recommend choosing Toy Story Mania instead because, almost without fail, it will have a significantly longer stand-by line all day long.
Thrill seekers will want to consider either The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ (a brilliantly-themed drop ride) or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (an indoor roller coaster that is on the only ride at Disney World with inversions). Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a single rider line so you may want to opt for a Tower of Terror FastPass. Then, use the single rider line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster if your family doesn’t mind being split up or if only one or two in your family would want to ride anyway.
And that brings us to the fifth and final Tier 1 attraction at Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash. If everyone in your party meets the 38” height restriction and enjoys tame roller coasters, this ride should absolutely be your first choice in Tier 1. However, it is by far the most difficult FastPass+ reservation to get at Hollywood Studios. Don’t place your hopes and dreams on getting this FastPass when you log into My Disney Experience 60 days before your trip begins and definitely not if you’re staying off-site and make reservations 30 days out because Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ reservations WILL be gone by then.
I was unsuccessful getting Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ reservations for a February, 2020 trip. Right at 7:00 AM Eastern Time at 60 days out, Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ was already unavailable for day 3 of our trip in early February, which has relatively low crowd levels. Availability on day 7 of our trip was far better and we were easily able to snatch a morning FastPass+ reservation. However, for shorter trips when you are reserving 61, 62, or 63 days in advance, definitely have a back-up attraction in mind.
Choosing Tier 2 FastPass+ Attractions at Hollywood Studios
There is only one ride in Tier 2 at Hollywood Studios: Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. The rest of the attractions are shows, none of which really require FastPass+ to get any sort of seating benefit.
Since you must use all three advance FastPasses before making additional ones, fill the morning with Tier 2 attractions you might not even attend. Aim for scheduling FastPasses roughly at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, and 11:00 AM, leaving plenty of time to make those additional FastPass+ reservations.
FastPass+ reservations will count as “used” as long as the redemption window has passed, regardless of whether you actually tapped in to the attraction. So, make a FastPass+ reservation for 9:00 AM even if you don’t plan on enjoying that attraction … even if you don’t plan on arriving at the park that early! Once the hour-long redemption window is over, that Fastpass+ reservation will be marked as redeemed, getting you one step closer to using up all three advance reservations and being able to make the additional FastPass+ reservations (for the rest of those Tier 1 attractions!) one at a time.
So, choose Star Tours as one of your Tier 2 reservations and any show with an early available FastPass+ reservation time.
Fantasmic, the nighttime spectacular, is FastPass+ enabled. However, since the show is only at night, I don’t recommend making it one of your advance FastPass+ reservations for reasons already mentioned about using up your three advance reservations as early in the day as possible.
My Family’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Itinerary
This is my family’s FastPass+ itinerary for the first Hollywood Studios day of our February, 2020 trip:
- 9:05-10:05 AM / Toy Story Mania!
- 10:05-11:05 AM / Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
- 11:30-11:45 AM / Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Note that FastPass+ redemption windows cannot overlap, but one CAN start at the same time that the previous one ends. So, we had no trouble making back-to-back FastPass+ reservations for 9:05 AM and 10:05 AM.
Since shows like Indiana Jones have specific showtimes, the FastPass+ redemption window is not an entire hour and just covers the starting time for each show.
All three FastPass+ reservations were made in the morning. This will allow us to use up all three advance reservations as soon as possible so we can continue making additional FastPass+ reservations all afternoon without tiering restrictions.
What is your family’s Tier 1 FastPass+ pick for Hollywood Studios?