The Best Fast Passes for Hollywood Studios: What Should I Pick?
Hollywood Studios has been gaining more and more popularity over the years, especially with the exciting recent opening of Toy Story Land, which opened on June 30th of this year. To those of you who are planning on visiting this park anytime soon, it is a good idea to make FastPass+ reservations.
Disney World wait times can be extremely long, but with a FastPass+, you essentially get to jump to the front of the stand-by line, providing you with more time to experience other things.
In this article, I will be introducing the aspect of the FastPass+ tiering system, along with which rides and attractions you should think about getting a FastPass+ for and why.
- Editor’s Note: Disney has begun phasing out their popular FastPass system. You can learn more about how to use the replacement for FastPass, which is Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
Approximately 30-60 days before you start your vacation, you are allowed to book FastPass+ reservations on the My Disney Experience website or app. If you are staying at any of the Disney World resorts, you can choose your FastPass+ tickets 60 days prior to coming to Disney. If you are staying off property, you can start booking these 30 days in advance.
For each day that you plan on spending at the park, you can make up to three FastPass+ reservations.
Each FastPass+ comes with a selected time frame of one hour. If you do not use your FastPass+ within the hour, it will expire, and you will be unable to use it. You can get on the ride you have a FastPass+ for five minutes before the marked time and up to 15 minutes after the marked time. Rearranging your FastPass+ reservations on the go is easy too if you think you cannot make it to an attraction or just want to change the ride. Just remember that there is only a certain allotment of passes per hour, so you could be getting a much later FastPass+ time for a new attraction.
Most people are unfamiliar with this next point, and it is definitely worth knowing. Once you have used all three of your FastPass+ reservations, you can book an additional FastPass+.
So essentially, only after you have used up the three original reservations, you can get unlimited FastPass+ selections depending on availability, just one at a time and after the previous one was used. The caveat here is that the most popular rides will likely not have remaining tickets once you have completed your three allotted passes. This is the time, therefore, to go to shows like Beauty and the Beast, meet some characters, or look around the Star Wars Launch Bay area.
You can book FastPass+ tickets online through the Disney website, through the Disney mobile app My Disney Experience, or at a FastPass+ kiosk located throughout the four parks.
When arranging the times for each FastPass+ prior to your trip, a smart decision would be to think about the rides that you most want to take in. If you plan to be there at park opening, choose a ride that is popular for your first attraction. This way, you will be able to do it without the use of a FastPass+. By the time you are out, you will likely be able to go on a second, less popular ride prior to the park filling up.
For example, you could go to Toy Story Mania first, then walk directly up the boulevard to The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. By the third ride, you will likely need to start using FastPass+ tickets, especially if you want to do one of the more popular rides.
FastPass+ Tiering System
Each attraction that offers a FastPass+ is split up into either a Tier 1 group or a Tier 2 group, based on their popularity. Tier 1 has the most popular rides that are usually very difficult to get into without a FastPass+ unless you are willing to wait for hours. Tier 2 is a compilation of all the other rides that offer FastPass+ selections, having less popularity as the attractions in Tier 1.
While booking the three FastPass+ tickets you are allotted per day, you can only reserve one ride from Tier 1, and the other two selections have to be from Tier 2. Once you have used up all three passes, you are able to choose from either Tier 1 or Tier 2 rides. Magic Kingdom is the only exception to this rule. This park does not have any tiers, so you can select any ride as long as you have a maximum of three FastPass+ reservations. Below is a list of Tier 1 and Tier 2 attractions that Hollywood Studios offers:
- Tier 1:
Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Toy Story Mania
- Tier 2:
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney Junior Live on Stage, Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Muppet Vision, Fantasmic, Beauty and the Beast
Note that Hollywood Studios changed which rides belong in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 groups. As a personal suggestion, I would not get a FastPass+ for the Alien Swirling Saucers ride. This ride does not have as long of a wait time as other rides at the park have, so if you are interested in going on this ride, wait in the stand-by line and use your FastPass+ selections on other attractions that are more popular.
If you would like to check the FastPass+ selections that are still available for the day, take a look at Touring Plan’s availability chart. Here, you can select the specific park you want to look at availability for, and you are then able to see the FastPass+ times that are left for each ride. This information is updated quite frequently. You can also look up available FastPass+ tickets on the My Disney Experience app if you have a smartphone.
Slinky Dog Dash
As stated previously in this article, Toy Story Land opened up at the end of June in 2018. Slinky Dog Dash is one of the newest Disney World attractions, attracting many people and also having a long wait time. This new roller coaster has a height restriction of 38 inches, so even toddlers who meet this height can enjoy Slinky Dog Dash.
This ride is aimed for a younger audience, as the average speed of this roller coaster is around 33 mph. There is a total of two launches which are supposed to symbolize the slinky being stretched and then released. It does not have any steep drops or loops or anything of that sort.
Rather, it has many little hills and is appropriate for younger children. Since this ride is new, I believe that it is a great FastPass+ reservation choice if you have young children. Waiting in long lines with small children could very well make them impatient and irritable, which is stress that you don’t want.
By getting a FastPass+ for this ride, you will save an hour or more of your time and will be able to go on more rides at the park. Plus, there is a large section of the stand-by line that has no shade protection, so getting a FastPass+ would be a good idea, especially if you are only at Hollywood Studios for the day.
Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Mania is an interactive 4D shooting game where players can test their aiming skills with games like ring toss, darts, and ball throwing. There is a cannon with a string attached, which is what you pull in order to “shoot” whatever you may be throwing, like darts, balls, rings, etc. This is a ride that the whole family will enjoy no matter what age they are.
At the end of the game, the scores of everyone in your buggy show up. It is fun to compete with family members at this game! Even though this ride has been around for quite some time, it still is extremely popular. Wait times for this ride can sometimes exceed two to three hours. Having said that, either doing this ride at rope drop or getting a FastPass+ will be crucial, if you want to avoid long wait times.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
This is usually one of the other rides that everyone rushes to when the park opens. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is a high-speed “stretch limo” that goes from rest to approximately 60 mph in only a few seconds. There is a loop and a corkscrew in the dark! So this ride is a must do for anyone who is a roller coaster enthusiast and thrill seeker.
During this attraction, you feel as though you are speeding down the freeway with Aerosmith, speeding past props and design layout are very detail-oriented. If you or anyone in your family has a sensitivity to loud noises/music or to loops and corkscrews, they might want to think about waiting in the gift shop. But for those of you who thrive off of adrenaline, this is a great option for a FastPass+. Typically, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has a stand-by wait time of 60 minutes or more.
It would be smart to get a FastPass+ for this ride, especially if you want to go on it more than once in one day. And trust me when I say that once you have been on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you will immediately want to go back on the ride. I’ve managed to go on this ride 5 times in a row during Fantasmic!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This ride is based off of an episode from The Twilight Zone, where several people in an elevator get electrocuted by a lightning bolt, causing the elevator to plummet down. In The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you are essentially reliving the experience where the elevator plummets down a few stories.
Within this ride, the elevator shaft continuously rises and falls, creating a fun and thrilling experience. Wait times for this ride mirror that of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, since these two attractions are located in the same area and are both considered to be the exhilarating rides that Hollywood Studios has to offer. With that being said, it is recommended to obtain a FastPass+ for this ride since it still is very popular and wait times will be reduced significantly.
This 3D motion-simulated ride is based on concepts from Star Wars, except this time you have different “missions” to complete. This ride offers several different possible combinations of scenes, ensuring that each time you ride this attraction there will be something you haven’t seen before. Blast off to different settings found in Star Wars and try to escape the Darth Vader.
Star Tours is a great attraction for all ages, as long as they meet the height requirement of 40 inches. Even if you are not a big Star Wars fan, you will still really enjoy it, since it feels as though you are really in a spaceship, hurdling all obstacles that arise during the “flight.”
Knowing that you will be able to have different experiences on this ride each time you go on it is a great reason to get a FastPass+. Wait times for this ride can become quite long, especially if any of the neighboring shows, like Muppet Vision 3D or Jedi Training, just let out. The average wait time is between 30 to 60 minutes in the stand-by line.
Since this ride seems to be at the top of many people’s favorite Disney attractions, I recommend reserving a FastPass+ so you can experience this exciting ride more than once. I have, however, noticed this ride tends to be much less busy later in the day.
There are several other attractions worth encountering at Hollywood Studios not mentioned in this article. This list is based on the rides that usually have the longest stand-by wait times and are worth getting FastPass+ tickets for.
If you still have questions about FastPass+ booking, click here to be directed to the Disney website to view frequently asked questions pertaining to the FastPass+. At Hollywood Studios, there are three conveniently located FastPass+ kiosks that you can visit at any time if you wish to speak with a Disney cast member. FastPass+ selections allow you and your family to skip waiting in long lines and enjoy even more attractions throughout the day. Plus, there is no extra charge for booking any FastPass+.
So, make the most out of your Disney vacation by taking advantage of the FastPass+ services offered!
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