Vacation Tips

FastPass+ Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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.

ToT sunset DHS

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 – Tier 1 and 2.  Tier 1 is supposedly the marquee attractions while Tier 2 are generally less popular attractions.  When reserving FastPasses ahead of time, guests can select one attraction from Tier 1 and two selections from Tier 2.  If you are at Hollywood Studios and have completed your FastPasses then you can reserve a FastPass from either group, assuming they are available.

Fozzie

With Toy Story Land coming on-line in June, the FastPass structure is changing.  The three attractions in Toy Story Land will be Tier 1 and the rest of the park’s attractions will be Tier 2.  If you prefer that written in bullet point form, here you go!

Tier 1

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Alien Swirling
  • Toy Story Mania

Tier 2

  • Fantasmic!
  • 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
  • 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.

Camp Wocka-Wocka

Tier 1 FastPass Rankings for Hollywood Studios

Tier 1 isn’t all that hard to figure out and I’ve already covered it in my Toy Story Land strategy post.  Between the three Toy Story Land attractions, I believe that Slinky Dog Dash will be the most popular for at least the first year.  After that, it’s a bit of a toss up but I expect Toy Story Mania to be the most popular in the long run.  Here’s the quick rankings!

 

Toy Story Mania EtchASketch

3. Alien Swirling Saucers – I’m not very excited about this attraction and can’t really justify using a FastPass on it.  The only way I’d use one here is if you can’t get a FastPass for the other two attractions in Tier 1.

2. Toy Story Mania – While it doesn’t have the long lines that it used to have, I expect a renewed interest in Toy Story Mania once Toy Story Land opens.

1. Slinky Dog Dash – This new family-friendly coaster will have excruciating wait times when it opens.  If you don’t get a FastPass for it then go straight to it at opening.

Tier 2 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.  Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, 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 probably get in.

Indy getting punch Dhs stunt show

Fantasmic! may be a different story as the show can be very popular on busy days.  While I don’t necessarily think it’s worth a FastPass, if you have an extra one after you completed the first 3 or 4 and Fantasmic! has some availability then go ahead an book it.  If you don’t end up getting a FastPass for it then go to the 2nd showing of Fantasmic! (if available) or show up about half an hour before the first showing.

That leaves 3 attractions which is exactly the amount of FastPasses a guest can reserve from Group B.  Star Tours, Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror are left on our list of possibilities and you should absolutely be choosing 2 of these 3 to fill out your initial 3 FastPasses.

Star Tours queue DHS

Ultimately, I think Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror are the right ones to FastPass.  Star Tours can generate long waits but the other 2 attractions are usually a little higher.

Here’s my ranking for the Tier 2 attractions:

10.  Disney Junior – Live on Stage – There isn’t much of a wait at all here, judging by usual wait times for the attraction.

9.  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.

8.  Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular – A pretty fun show and a good option for a FastPass after your initial 3 are used.

7.  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.

6.  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.

5. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage – This show is a little more popular strictly because if it’s location next to Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster.  I still don’t think it’s worth a FastPass though.

4. Fantasmic! – If there’s a show to FastPass then this is it.  Still, you can get by without it easily.

3.  Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – A very fun attraction and an easy choice for a FastPass.

2.  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.

1. Rock n’ Roller Coaster – Definitely not my favorite ride but the line can be somewhat slow moving and long.  Avoiding that is important and that puts it first on the Tier 2 list.

Echo Lake night DHS

As you’ll notice, there are six 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.  If you enjoy our content then please like our social media pages and subscribe to the blog.  You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading!

– Andrew

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