I find that FastPasses are the biggest source of frustration to first-time or infrequent park goers. Many people don’t know what they are, how to use them, or what to use them on. With this in mind, I’m going to write a guide to each U.S. park on when and where to use FastPasses.
We started this series with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you are unfamiliar with FastPass+, check out that post for a more detailed description on what it is and how to use it.
Is the FastPass+ System Different in Hollywood Studios?
The short answer here is yes. Why would I ask that question in this blog post if it wasn’t? It’d be a real waste of time to ask that question and then just say no.
At Hollywood Studios, FastPasses are divided into two different groups – Group A and Group B. Group A is supposedly the marquee attractions while Group B is slightly less thought of. When reserving FastPasses ahead of time, guests can select one attraction from Group A and two selections from Group B. If you are at Hollywood Studios and have completed your FastPasses then you can reserve a FastPass from either group, assuming they are available.
Here are the attractions in both groups:
- The Great Movie Ride
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
- Rock n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration
- Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
- MuppetVision 3D
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
One last note about Hollywood Studios before the rankings… This park is going through a big change right now and the FastPass situation may be pretty fluid, meaning some attractions may be leaving or will not have FastPass availability. I will try to keep this post updated as the park changes.
Group A FastPass+ Strategy and Rankings for Hollywood Studios
We’ll start with Group A and work through every FastPass option. As we did with Animal Kingdom, let’s start with the shows. In Group A, Fantasmic! and Beauty and the Beast are the shows available. Beauty and the Beast is a charming show that lasts about half an hour. It may not be long for the park now. The seating is outdoor but undercover so there is some shade. While there isn’t a ton of seating, there are enough shows in the day so that a guest would hardly ever be turned away do to the theater reaching capacity. To put it simply, Beauty and the Beast isn’t worth using your Group A FastPass+ on.
Fantasmic! could be a different story. There are either one or two shows a night of Fantasmic! and they are usually full. While I don’t think this is a good use of a FastPass, I think there is some rationale behind it. Also, if you FastPass+ this show there’s a good chance that the seating will be better than if you are a standby guest.
As far as the rides go, The Great Movie Ride is a waste of a Group A FastPass. While I like the ride, the wait isn’t very long and doesn’t exceed the quality of other attractions.
Rock n’ Roller Coaster is a more viable option. The wait time can be pretty long here and if you are morally opposed to single-rider lines then a FastPass isn’t a bad choice. This all depends on how you feel about Toy Story Midway Mania; if you don’t go on Toy Story then Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Fantasmic! seem like the best Group A FastPass+ options. Which one you choose depends if thrill rides or shows are more of ‘your thing’.
If you have ever been to Hollywood Studios then you know the ridiculous amount of fanfare that Toy Story Midway Mania has. While we can argue over whether this attraction is worthy of 100-minute waits (it probably isn’t), there is no arguing that this is Hollywood Studios most popular attraction. If you want to go on Toy Story Midway Mania, reserving a FastPass is the best and most efficient way to go about it.
Here’s my ranking of the Group A Fastpass+ options:
5. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage – This simply isn’t popular enough to demand a FastPass.
4. The Great Movie Ride – This is the ride version of Beauty and the Beast. While slightly popular, this attraction doesn’t have big enough wait times to warrant a FastPass.
3. Fantasmic! – Possibly worthy of a FastPass+ if shows are easily your favorite thing about Disney Parks. If not, there are better options.
2. Rock n’ Roller Coaster – A fun thrill ride that is a good option for a FastPass if you don’t want to go in the single-rider line or aren’t interested in Toy Story Midway Mania.
1. Toy Story Midway Mania – The most popular attraction in the park. If you don’t have a FastPass for it then be prepared to wait over an hour.
Group B FastPass+ Strategy and Rankings
To be perfectly honest, there are a few attractions on this Group B list that I haven’t even tried. As usual, let’s start with the shows.
Disney Junior – Live on Stage is the attraction I’ve yet to experience. Being a show for little kids, I’m guessing there isn’t much of a wait time. Disney Junior isn’t worth a FastPass.
The same goes for many of the shows on this list. Lights, Motor Action!, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (these shows must be exciting due to their excessive exclamation points), MuppetVision 3D, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and the Frozen Sing-Along all are shows with varying degrees of popularity. With that being said, if you show up 15 minutes before showtime to any of these then you will get in. At one point the Frozen Sing-Along was very popular but has waned recently and probably isn’t worth a FastPass anymore. If there was a show from Group B to FastPass, Frozen is it.
That leaves 2 attractions which is exactly the amount of FastPasses a guest can reserve from Group B. Star Tours and Tower of Terror are left on our list of possibilities and they are absolutely what you should use your FastPasses on unless there are some strange circumstances that you are dealing with.
Here’s my ranking for the Group B attractions:
8. Disney Junior – Live on Stage – There isn’t much of a wait at all here, judging by usual wait times for the attraction.
7. MuppetVision 3D – The show isn’t very popular, there are a ton of showtimes, the theater is pretty large, and the queue is really fun compared to every other queue in this park.
6. Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – A big venue + an average show = something not worthy of a FastPass.
5. Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular – The Lights, Motor, Action! equation except with a better show.
4. Voyage of the Little Mermaid – At this point with all of these shows, I’m just putting things higher on the list because they have less seating. That’s why this is 4th.
3. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration – It’s my least favorite show on this list but it’s still somewhat popular.
2. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – A very fun attraction and an easy choice for a FastPass.
1. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Possibly the best attraction at Walt Disney World. FastPass+ this and ride it at park opening, as well. Unless you hate falling at rapid speeds like I do.
As you’ll notice, there are five attractions on this list that aren’t shows. You can FastPass three of those and possibly get a FastPass for another show or attraction once you’ve completed your original three. That’s why Hollywood Studios is seen as a half-day park. Soon it will be better and will have way more attractions to offer.
What do you think of my rankings for FastPass+ in the Studios? Do you have any tips that you would add? Let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading!