Slinky Dog Dash review

Slinky Dog Dash review
Slinky Dog Dash” by
elisfkc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

From the moment you enter Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will feel like you have stepped into Andy’s backyard in the Pixar movie.  To the Cast Members you are an “Honorary Toy” and with the theming and Disney’s impeccable attention to detail, you will feel like one!  

There are three main attractions in Toy Story land: Toy Story Mania!, Alien Swirling Saucers, and my favorite, Slinky Dog Dash.  Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly, themed roller coaster located in the heart of Toy Story Land.  It features one of Toy Story’s most recognizable characters and is the most fun I have ever had on a rollercoaster.  

In my opinion, it is one of the best Disney World rides.  It made me feel like a kid again and I couldn’t help but giggle throughout the entire experience.  I have a reputation in my family for being very quiet and stoic on rollercoasters, but this one was just so much fun I couldn’t contain myself!  The ride is smooth with twists and turns and ups and downs to delight the whole family.  With a minimum height requirement of 38 inches, even some of the youngest “honorary toys” can enjoy this ride.  

What’s the Story?

Toy Story Land is designed to look like you have stepped into Andy’s backyard where his toys are strewn about.  Slinky Dog Dash is one of those toys.  The story behind this attraction is that Andy wanted to modify his Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Play Kit to make it more interesting.  

Using his imagination and a little ingenuity, he decided to add his toy “Slinky” as the coaster vehicle.  The front of the coaster has an oversized head of Slinky, while Honorary Toys sit within the Slinky Dog coils.   Interesting side note, the train used to also have a tail on the last car that was made out of a spring so that the dog’s tail would wag as the coaster went around corners.  The tail, however, was removed as it was deemed unsafe.  

How About That Wait?

The brilliant theming of this ride begins at the entrance to the queue which features larger than life art supplies, game pieces and even sketches of Andy’s coaster modification plans.  The entrance is flanked by Tinker Toys, brightly colored alphabet building blocks and an assortment of oversized toys.  

A green Candyland game piece acts as the height measuring stick and even the FastPass+ kiosk is made to look like a giant crayon box.  The queue is not completely enclosed or air conditioned, but there are strategically placed umbrellas to offer some relief from the Florida sun and heat.  

However, because this is one of the new rides at Walt Disney World, debuting in 2018, it is quite popular.  The wait time can still be upwards of two hours at times, and the line can extend past the shaded areas, making it very hot.  Because of its popularity, I would recommend trying to get a FastPass+.  

Slinky Dog Dash” by
elisfkc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Guests staying on Disney property or in select Good Neighbor hotels can book FastPasses 60 days prior to check-in.  Those staying off property can reserve FastPasses 30 days prior.

A Cast Member once told us that if you are in the line before the park’s closing, they will not ask you to leave, but will allow you to ride even after the park is closed.  Guests visiting with children can take advantage of “rider switch” on this ride as well.  This system allows one parent to wait with a child while the other rides and then swap places without having to wait in line again.  

Alternatively, each parent can take turns riding with the child without having to wait in line again. To use this service, guests must check in with a welcoming Cast Member at the start of the ride.  Here they will receive an entitlement.  Entitlements are like FastPasses and will be validated by a Cast Member upon boarding.  Only three guests are allowed per rider switch entitlement.

Hidden Mickeys and More

Unfortunately, there are no interactive elements in this queue, which was disappointing.  So many of Walt Disney World’s new rides have them and even older rides’ queues have been refurbished to include them (like Peter Pan’s Flight in Magic Kingdom – which is so amazing!), so it was surprising to see this one did not.  However, Disney Imagineers have skillfully hidden “Easter eggs” throughout the ride queue.   

“Easter Eggs” are hidden jokes or messages embedded into something. In Walt Disney World, these are like hidden Mickeys, except they are objects relating to the theme of the ride.  For example, take a look at the backside of the wait time sign at the entrance to the attraction.  There you will see the following words: “Buster 234 Elm St.”  

This is an homage to Toy Story 2.  Buster is Andy’s dog and 234 Elm St is their address in the second film.  The sign is supposed to look like Buster’s dog tag.  There is a traditional Hidden Mickey somewhere in the mural on the wall behind the loading station, but I have yet to find it!  The Disney Parks Play app  includes a game designed specifically for queues in Toy Story land.  During the game, guests will interact with another recognizable Toy Story character, Stinky Pete, in an attempt to put together the Toy Story Mania Playset.  

The app also includes trivia, music and a game titled “Andy’s Board Game Blast” that is themed after Slinky Dog Dash and can be played throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Yes, the line and the wait can be very long, but try to make the best of it.  This is a great opportunity to connect with your family, whether you are playing on the app, searching for Hidden Mickeys or Easter Eggs, or even just hanging out with one another.  

The Cars

There are five cars on each train and passengers sit two to a seat for a total of four passengers per car.  The only exception is the last car, which only seats two.  Passengers sit side by side, with individual, height adjustable lap bars.  For those with “carry on” items, there are two storage pockets in front of the seats.  

Slinky Dog Dash” by
elisfkc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The seats accommodate guests requiring a wheelchair or scooter with a simple transfer. The side of the car folds down, giving the guest a place to sit prior to sliding into the seat.  As with all attractions, Cast Members are on hand to assist guests in the transfer.

The Best Part

Slinky Dog Dash has just enough zip to thrill serious roller coaster riders, but is tame enough for those who don’t particularly like high-speed, stomach dropping experiences.  Just after the ride begins, the train starts to pick up speed.  It only takes seconds before you are launched to the top of the ride’s highest point.  From there you make a sharp turn to the left as you make your way down the other side.  

After a couple of small dips, sharp left -hand turns, and then a right, you will pass under a bridge that is constructed out of Legos and Tinker Toys where you will come to a temporary stop.  Excitement builds when you realize the train is backing up and Slinky tells you to “Hang on, here we go!”  The sound effects speed up, and the spinning flags on either side of the track begin to spin faster, preparing you for what is coming.  

Suddenly you are catapulted through a tunnel of lights with the word ‘’Go!” leading the way into the second launch at about 40 miles per hour.  After another hill and a sharp left, you will really feel like you are riding aboard a Slinky Dog.  There are five bumps, in quick succession, that make the coaster feel as if it is bouncing. Cue the giggling!  I haven’t seen anyone bouncing over those bumps not smiling.  They are quick and exhilarating!  

One more sharp left and then a right and you will find yourself at the unloading station.   But there is one last surprise!  Wheezy the Penguin, with his Mr. Mike microphone, serenades guests with “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from atop his makeshift letter block stage.   

Slinky Dog Dash” by
elisfkc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Because the coaster is entirely outside, riders get an aerial view of other Toy Story attractions and even a quick peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge from the first hill.  If you are riding at night, you’ll be treated with illuminated jumbo Christmas lights and you will see that the Slinky Dog Dash track glows! 

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled throughout the ride so you don’t miss Jesse balancing on building block and Rex on Jenga block as they try to hang those Christmas lights.  This ride offers an on-ride photo, taken just after the second launch.  There are no preview screens to view the photos because they are automatically connected to your PhotoPass and will appear in your My Disney Experience app as long as you are wearing a Magic Band while on the ride.  

Photos will also be available for purchase at a Disney Photopass Sales Center.  If you have purchased the Memory Maker, the photo will be available for download at no extra charge.  If not, you may still purchase the photo.

We rode Slinky Dog Dash as the sun was setting after a wonderful day at Hollywood Studios and I can’t think of a better way to have culminated the day!  My husband shared his ride with a gentleman he had never met and they whooped it up together like they were old friends.  

They even high-fived at the end and this guy remarked about how “awesome” it was and that Disney “did a really good job with that one!” It really does bring out the kid in you!  I love this ride and would rate it 5 stars if it weren’t for the queue.  This ride is still quite popular, and the lines tend to be very long.  It is completely outside, exposing guests to the Florida sun and heat as well as inclement weather.  With no interactive elements, guests might easily become bored and the youngest guests, antsy.  For these reasons, I would rate this ride a 4 out of 5 stars.  It is definitely a must-do, so be sure to get a FastPass!

Slinky Dog Dash:  Six Basics

  1. Location:  Hollywood Studios
  2. Height Restriction: 38 inches or taller
  3. FastPass+: available
  4. Wheelchair accessible: yes, with transfer
  5. Family friendly:  fast, but not scary
  6. Queue: Entertaining, but prepare to wait 

Top Six Reasons to Love Slinky Dog Dash

  1. The theming
  2. The smoothness of the ride
  3. The bumps that make you feel like you are bouncing
  4. Wheezy’s serenade
  5. The sound effects
  6. That it is family friendly – my five-year-old and my 13-year-old both loved it!

Slinky Dog Dash vs Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a themed roller coaster in Fantasyland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  Like Slinky Dog Dash, it is based on a Disney film, features incredible attention to detail in the theming and is family friendly, with a minimum height requirement of 38 inches.  Riders will delight in seeing the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs come to life as they twist and turn through a mine filled with precious gems.

Like Slinky Dog Dash, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still very popular and the wait times can be long.  The queue for this attraction, however, is more interactive and entertaining.  It winds back and forth like Slinky Dog Dash, and often extends past the shaded areas, but there are themed interactive features that help pass the time.  Guests can complete tasks such as jewel sorting, jewel washing and barrel spinning to make animations appear.

The train and cars of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train do not look nearly as interesting as those on Slinky Dog Dash.  They are made to look like the handmade wooden mine train carts the Dwarfs used in the movie, but they are rather basic.  However, what they lack in physical appearance, they make up for in innovation.  

In the movie, the cars of the mine train are able to be tipped in order to unload the jewels.  Disney Imagineers designed the ride’s cars to swing independently from side to side as you move along the track for a more authentic experience. The cars toward the back of the train tend to swing more.  So, if you are looking for more of a thrill, try sitting towards the back. 

Like Slinky Dog Dash, these cars seat two guests side by side.  Each car holds a total of four guests.  There is a small pouch for riders’ belongings and individual lap belts.  The shape and design of these seats feels smaller than those on Slinky Dog Dash and there seems to be less leg room.  This attraction is also wheelchair and scooter accessible, but guests must transfer.

The ride is similar to Slinky Dog Dash, in that the hills, dips and turns are exciting, but not scary. This ride does not feel as smooth as Slinky Dog Dash, but I suppose that is more realistic as it is a mine train, after all.  Both rides are just about three minutes in length, but while Slinky Dog Dash revs up mid ride, this one slows down.

It begins outside, but half-way through, riders enter the Dwarfs’ mine.  Here they are treated to the classic song “Heigh-Ho,” sung by animatronic dwarves.  At the exit of the mine, you see silhouettes of the dwarfs marching off to work.  This was created by using clips from the original film.  

Once through the mine, the train speeds up again and leaves the mine, headed for the ride’s largest drip.  Following are a couple of twists and turns that will really get the cars swinging.  This reminds me of the bumps of Slinky Dog Dash that really give you the feeling you are riding on a slinky.   

The ride will slow down once more as it approaches the end to reveal a party scene at the Dwarfs’ cottage.  You can see Snow White and the Dwarfs dancing inside, while the Wicked Queen disguised as the old lady, lurks around the corner. 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, like Slinky Dog Dash, is a newer ride.  It opened in 2014 and is still very popular.  You should expect long lines, similar to those at Slinky Dog Dash.  If I had to choose between these two attractions and could only ride one of them, I would choose Slinky Dog Dash, no contest!  I think Slinky Dog Dash is more fun and exciting and I really enjoy the theming.  I like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train; it just didn’t elicit the same excitement that Slinky Dog Dash did.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: The Basics

  1. Location:  Magic Kingdom
  2. Height Restrictions: 38 inches or taller
  3. FastPass+: available
  4. Wheelchair accessible: yes, with transfer
  5. Family Friendly: yes
  6. Queue: Hands on and entertaining

Slinky Dog Dash vs Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a themed roller coaster in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom.  The ride is set in an abandoned mine that had been in operation during the American Gold Rush of the 1850’s.  It was operated by Barnabas T. Bullion, owner of Big Thunder Mining Company and legend has it, it is haunted.  

There are more differences than similarities between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Slinky Dog Dash.  For starters, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’s height restriction is 40 inches or taller and this ride is more of a “thrill ride” than Slinky Dog Dash.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an iconic attraction at Walt Disney World, and is a must-do!

Big Thunder Mountain opened in 1979 so it is significantly older than Slinky Dog Dash.  While it is still a popular ride, and one I would recommend you not miss, the wait times tend to be shorter than Slinky Dog Dash.  Disney recently renovated the queue and did an amazing job incorporating interactive features.  

The queue feels more like a tour through the mining operations, rather than just a line for a roller coaster.  You will see the office of the Forman, and the explosives magazine room.  Guests can even participate in some of the tasks miners would have had. Unlike Slinky Dog Dash, this ride queue is entirely indoors and is much more entertaining.

The train and cars for this attraction resemble a train with seating for approximately 30 guests per train, in 15 rows.  The seats are bench seats and unlike Slinky Dog Dash, riders have to share the lap bars.  Cast members will typically seat two people per car, but two adults and a small child could fit together.  

The seats for this ride are not as comfortable as the seats on Slinky Dog Dash and because of the considerable amount of jarring throughout the ride, it is inevitable that you will end up touching the person you are sitting with.  Like Slinky Dog Dash, this ride is wheelchair and scooter accessible, but riders must transfer.

This ride is much more thrilling than Slinky Dog Dash, but also must less smooth. Riders are weaved through scenes that depict what it was like to live in a mining town. There are several tight turns, some small drops and a few close calls which might make it scary for younger riders.  While this is a themed ride, and there are some memorable scenes, there are no recognizable Disney characters, like in Slinky Dog Dash.    That being said, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has become an iconic attraction at Walt Disney World. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: The Basics

  1. Location: Magic Kingdom
  2. Height Restrictions: 38 inches or taller
  3. FastPass+ available: yes
  4. Wheelchair accessible: yes, with transfer
  5. Family Friendly: yes
  6. Queue: Hands on and entertaining 

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