Wait times at Disney are the only downside to the most magical place on Earth. They can get remarkably long if you don’t plan your trip just right. Luckily, for families like yours, Disney created the FastPass+ system.
If you’re looking to go to Hollywood Studios without having to wait in line, then you might want to consider getting a FastPass+ for your family’s vacation. The live shows at Hollywood Studios garner moderately large crowds, so it’s good to have a few shows that are guaranteed to be without wait times.
If you’re new to Disney, you might be wondering what a FastPass+ includes. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how the FastPass+ system works as well as which shows and rides you should prioritize at Hollywood Studios.
- 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.
What is FastPass+?
Disney’s FastPass+ system requires a little extra planning, but makes your vacation run smoother. Also know colloquially as “FastPass,” “Fast Pass,” and “FastPass Plus,” this ticketing system allows you to skip out on lines or significantly reduce your wait time. If you’re going to Disney World on a budget, you don’t even need to worry about purchasing additional tickets.
The FastPass+ service is completely free for those who purchased regular admission tickets to the parks. All you have to do is make your selections before you go on your vacation. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can make your selections 60 days prior to your trip, but if you are staying elsewhere, you can only choose 30 days in advance. Either way, it’s a great thing to keep in mind in the weeks leading up to your vacation.
The tickets are meant to improve your experience at the park and they really do just that. You’d be amazed at how tiring waiting in line can be – especially in Florida’s heat. You start out with 3 FastPass+ bookings – which you can claim online, on the My Disney Experience app, or at a kiosk in a Disney park – and can add more throughout your day at any one of the parks.
These 3 initial tickets allow you to pick and choose the lines you want to skip, so it’s a good idea to get acquainted with Hollywood Studios and the attractions you’d like to visit while you’re there. You don’t need to worry about printing out tickets or anything, either; the system is entirely digital.
Remember, Disney made this an option because it is aware of how long the lines can get. Going to Disney without FastPass+ is possible, but it is significantly more tedious than if you get to skip out on 3 lines. Every second counts in Disney World!
What are the options?
Because FastPass+ is a free service provided by Disney, there isn’t much that isn’t included on the list of skippable lines. For Hollywood Studios, there are a total of 13 rides and shows. The list is split into two tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2. When booking your FastPass+, you are allowed to choose one ride from the Tier 1 list and two from Tier 2. If you aren’t interested in any of the choices in Tier 1, you can use all 3 of your choices for Tier 2.
Here are two lists detailing the rides included in each of the tiers along with their average wait times:
- Slinky Dog Dash – 75 minutes
- Alien Swirling Saucers – 60 minutes
- Toy Story Mania! – 50 minutes
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – 80 minutes
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – 40 minutes
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – 25 minutes
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 50 minutes
- Disney Junior Live on Stage – 20 minutes
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – 30 minutes
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – 30 minutes
- Muppet Vision – 20 minutes
- Fantasmic! – 45 minutes
- Beauty and the Beast – 30 minutes
These are all of your choices for Hollywood Studios. While this doesn’t include everything in the park, it covers anything you’d want to visit. Out of all of these, you’ll notice that there are mostly live shows available for FastPass+.
This makes sense since Hollywood Studios is focused on performance and films. From these options, you and your family should be able to find something you like. Though, some choices are more efficient than others.
Which attractions should I pick?
In the list of included attractions, a few have much larger wait times than the others. These are the rides that are the most popular in Hollywood Studios.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the big thrill ride of the park, featuring the music of Aerosmith. It’s an indoor roller coaster that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Though it’s one of the old Disney World rides, it’s still got a cult following. If you’re big on thrills, you’ll definitely want to secure a FastPass+ for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
You should be aware, though, that the height requirement is 48 inches. If your child meets the height requirement, but is still small, it may be best to skip out on this ride. The speed and seat type both effect the level of secureness in the car, and if your child is skinny for their age, or tall and thin, they might feel a bit more turbulence than other riders. However, if this isn’t an issue, then definitely use a FastPass+ for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster!
For your second Tier 2 pick, it’s really up to you and your family. The wait times for the shows don’t usually exceed an hour, so you can choose which one your family is most interested in. Although, if you want to use your second Tier 2 choice for another ride, you’re left with the Tower of Terror. This ride is the other big thrill of Hollywood Studios.
The journey through the building where the line is formed is truly wonderful. It’s one of the more atmospheric lines in any of the parks. If you’re unfamiliar with the film, you’ll definitely want to watch it before you visit the ride. Though the film came after the ride, you’ll still appreciate the atmosphere all the more if you’ve enjoyed the movie. The ride itself is unique, too. It’s only drop tower in any of the parks, sending you flying up and down over 130 feet. It’s a remarkable experience – one you’ll definitely want to miss the line for.
For your last FastPass+, you could either go with another Tier 2 attraction, or pick something from Tier 1. Even though the wait time for Slinky Dog Dash is the longest, it may not be the best choice for your last FastPass+. The previous long lines were due to the opening of Toy Story Land in June 2018, but they may trail off by the end of the year and into the future. Reviews for the ride have been positive, so the lines may continue to be on the longer side. It’s up to you if you want to risk the lines dying down once the Toy Story Land hype dies down.
A safer bet for a guaranteed long line is Toy Story Mania! It’s an experience ride that lets you shoot your way through Andy’s room. It’s a really fun ride if you and your family are the competitive sort. If you enjoy arcades or carnival games, you’ll enjoy this ride.
Getting a FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania! will save you a large chunk of your time, allowing you to plan your day as openly or strictly as you choose. If you’re curious about when you should hit up each of the rides you’ve chosen for your FastPass+, read on!
When should I book them?
Like with anything at Disney, there are better times than others to visit certain areas in the parks. One way to ensure you visit all the places you want to is arriving at the parks as early as possible. Hollywood Studios opens around 8:00 am usually, so get there about thirty minutes early to make sure you enter the park exactly as it opens. This will give you the advantage you need to really beat all the lines.
Your morning should consist of the larger rides. Make Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster your first stop if you decide not to book it for FastPass+. This will ensure your wait won’t be terribly long. If you do use a FastPass+ for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you’ll still want to book your time for earlier in the day. The line builds up quickly.
Next, you’ll want to go on Tower of Terror. If you can swing Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror in the first hour of the park’s opening, you’ll be in good shape. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster only takes about 7 minutes to finish, so go there first. Tower of Terror is only about 14 minutes, but why risk going on that first and the line being longer than you anticipated. Even with a FastPass+, there’s usually a short wait for these two rides, so do everything you can to minimize your wait time.
After that, you should probably eat a light snack. Hollywood Studios has plenty to choose from, so pick something quick and eat it on the way to your next attraction. Luckily, most of the stage shows have showtimes throughout the day, so if you want to catch one or two of them, you’ll definitely have the time. Be aware, though, that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is close to an hour, so that will take up a large chunk of your day if you don’t plan efficiently around it.
The last ride you really need to worry about is Toy Story Mania! The best time to go to Toy Story Mania! is in the first hour, but if you want to save your morning for the two big thrill rides, you can also go to Toy Story Mania! at night. The wait time for the night is around 30 minutes, while the morning is 15, but Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster don’t experience any dips in wait times throughout the day, so it’s better to save your morning for those. Of course, if you and your family aren’t into thrill rides, head over to Toy Story Mania! instead.
Hollywood Studios is full of experiences for you and your family to enjoy. Visiting this park with FastPass+ will save you a lot of time; though the thrill rides are in the minority, they can really suck up the hours in your day if you wait in the lines when they’re at their peak. Going to Disney should be about enjoying as much of the parks as you can, not waiting in line with the Florida heat surrounding you.
As with any Disney World advice, you can pick and choose which tips you’d like to follow from this article. It all depends on what you and your family prioritize at the parks. If you prefer going to shows, use your FastPass+ choices for the stage shows. If you’re all about the thrill, reserve FastPass+ for the roller coasters. Hollywood Studios is one of the more versatile parks in Disney, so take advantage of all the choices in front of you.
No matter what, you and your family will have a wonderful time exploring everything Hollywood Studios has to offer.
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