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.
If you are unfamiliar with FastPass+, check out this post for a more detailed description on what it is and how to use it. We have FastPass+ Guides to all of the Disney Parks that you can find here. Let’s get to Hollywood Studios!
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 full of the marquee attractions while Tier 2 is generally filled with 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.
Hollywood Studios FastPass system has been made-over several times since the implementation of FastPass+. As of summer 2019, the FastPass tiers have been made over to help guest flow for the opening months of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Unfortunately, it has made it much harder to score quality FastPasses at Hollywood Studios. Here’s a look at the current Hollywood Studios FastPass tiers:
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling
- Toy Story Mania
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
- 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
Tier 1 FastPass Rankings for Hollywood Studios
Tier 1 is full of Hollywood Studios best attractions. Where guests used to be able to FastPass Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster all in one day, now there’s only the chance to get one of those when you reserve FastPasses in advance. That can make fitting in all of the attractions difficult but if you arrive near park opening and take advantage of the Extra, Extra Magic Hours currently being offered then fitting in the most popular attractions won’t be a problem. Below is our ranking of Hollywood Studios Tier 1 FastPass attractions.
5. Alien Swirling Saucers – The ride (and ride system) is more fun than it really should be but that doesn’t mean this ride is on the same level as the other Tier 1 attractions. Alien Swirling Saucers is strictly a spinner ride that won’t have long waits if you go early or late. You may even be able to snag a FastPass for it after your initial three are used up, assuming everything higher on the list is taken.
4. Toy Story Mania – There’s a large jump from Alien Swirling Saucers to Toy Story Mania. Still, Toy Story Mania doesn’t quite measure up to the other thrill rides in this tier, both in terms of quality and popularity. Toy Story Mania has much lower lines later in the evening or the early part of the day. One exception is if you have have a family with smaller children.
3. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – The next two are toss ups and Tower of Terror wins out because I think it’s the superior attraction. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also has a single-rider line although it does seem to move slower than other single-riders. If you love roller coasters and are uninterested in superior theming then by all means put Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster number 2 on this list.
2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – One of the best attractions at Walt Disney World, Tower of Terror has varied wait times that are usually long. The queue is outside and while it’s nice it is also very hot. The FastPass line here skips a large portion of the line.
1. Slinky Dog Dash – This new family-friendly coaster can have excruciating wait times. If you don’t get a FastPass (which is very possibly as it’s the hardest FastPass to get in Disney World right now) then go straight to it at opening or right before park closing. It’s not the best attraction in Tier 1 but it is clearly the most popular at this point.
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 Dance Party 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. Also, why in the world does a dance party use the FastPass system? Don’t use a FastPass here.
The same goes for many of the shows on this list. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, 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.
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 and 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. Really this would be the 2nd FastPass to get in Tier 2 but then you wouldn’t be able to get a 4th at all that day.
With that in mind, we recommend getting a FastPass reservation for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. It’s our favorite stage show at Hollywood Studios. The other route for the 2nd FastPass in Tier 2 is to get one that takes little time (MuppetVision is the fastest) and then you’ll be able to get your fourth FastPass quicker.
The obvious choice in Tier 2 is Star Tours, which is a fun attraction that remains pretty popular in Hollywood Studios. While the standby wait isn’t terrible, it’s also higher than any of these other shows. Not to mention the ride is much better than the shows offered.
Here’s my ranking for the Tier 2 attractions:
8. Disney Junior Dance Party! – I can’t imagine why anyone would try to FastPass a dance party. There has to be some reason out there but I feel like I’m really missing something.
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. 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.
5. 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.
4. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage – This show is a little more popular strictly because of it’s location next to Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster. I still don’t think it’s worth a FastPass though.
3. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – This is ultimately the option we recommend for your second Tier 2 FastPass because of Fantasmic! issues. It is the best stage show at Hollywood Studios, which isn’t exactly high praise. The other (and possibly better strategy) is to get through this extra FastPass ASAP so then you can reserve another from Tier 1 once you’re done with the initial 3.
2. Fantasmic! – If there’s a show to FastPass then this is it. Still, you can get by without it easily and if you reserve this ahead of time you won’t be eligible for extra FastPasses for the entire day. Go with Indy or something fast (MuppetVision) then get Fantasmic! with your 5th or 6th FastPass of the day if it’s available.
1. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – A very fun attraction and an easy choice for a FastPass.
Hollywood Studios is getting better! When I initially wrote this post there were only six things you could actively ride in the park, with the rest being shows. Now we’re up to seven rides (Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run doesn’t currently offer FastPass) with eight and nine on the way. Still, the FastPass strategy is interesting and revolves around getting through your initial three quickly so that you can get back to Tier 1 FastPasses.
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. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Planning Guide here. 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!
Categories: FastPass Guides