Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has dramatically changed over the last few years, adding a decent amount of attractions and lands. With those additions have come changes to the FastPass+ system at the park. In this post, we’ll cover the most recent changes to the FastPass tier system that will take effect on February 19, 2020 and the best way to utilize the system going forward.
For those new to FastPass+, Hollywood Studios utilizes a tier system. Just like the other WDW parks, guests can reserve three FastPasses up to 60 days in advance of their trip. In Hollywood Studios, guests can reserve one FastPass from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2. Here are the attractions in each tier:
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Toy Story Mania
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Star Tours: the Adventures Continue
- Fantasmic, Frozen Sing-Along
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- MuppetVision 3D
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
This recent change comes after an earlier switch this summer that had nearly every quality attraction (save Star Tours) in Tier 1 and all of the shows in Tier 2. Frankly, that change was a disaster and it’s nice to see Disney course correct on this one.
The other huge change here is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is now added to the FastPass system. Smuggler’s Run opened as a standby line only and has operated efficiently as such. With Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming on line March 4th and seemingly opening without FastPass, it makes sense to shift Smuggler’s Run to the FastPass system. The alternative of having three of the park’s most popular attractions not being FastPass capable would cause some blow back.
Even with Smuggler’s Run being the newer of the two attractions, we still advise to get a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass from Tier 1. Smuggler’s Run has a high capacity and can shuffle guests through quickly. While that may slow down a decent amount with the addition of FastPass, riding this later in the day (right before closing is a good time) will have the attraction with a minimal wait. It’s pretty common for that attraction to have a 30 minute standby wait later in the day and we expect FastPass+ to only bump that up a little.
As for Tier 2, I’d recommend FastPassing 2 of the Toy Story Mania, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror trio. As far as popularity goes, that order is generally how popular they are in terms of wait time on a given day. Whichever one you don’t FastPass, I would probably rope drop the third option. Fantasmic! is a decent backup option if you’d like to see the show.
Looking forward Hollywood Studios will eventually add Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway to the FastPass+ fold. I would expect Runaway Railway to happen sooner rather than later. At this point, I think it’s opening with standby only due to the park being smaller and having the full queue to put people in will give guests a place to go instead of causing more gridlock. I guess lines are gridlock but you know what I mean.
I don’t anticipate Runaway Railway to open with a virtual queue like Rise of the Resistance currently enacts. The attraction will certainly be high demand in the first few months but not to the point of Rise of the Resistance in our estimation. Instead I could see the attraction going with standby waits for the first few weeks or a couple of months before switching to the FastPass system, similar to what Smuggler’s Run did.
Rise of the Resistance is an entirely different story. I wouldn’t be surprised if that attraction went without FastPass+ for another year and could see the virtual queue lasting through the entire summer. The reason is twofold. One being the attraction continues to have breakdowns and is being adjusted on the fly. This would make any sort of FastPass or standby line non-functional.
Secondly, Rise of the Resistance is insanely popular and rightfully so. It’s the best Disney attraction in a long time and word has spread. Instead of decreased crowds a few weeks after opening, the demand for the attraction has only increased. With those two things in mind, I don’t see how Rise of the Resistance is going to do away with the virtual queue anytime soon. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than most other alternatives and will likely be active through the entirety of summer, if not longer.
Hollywood Studios has seen quite a bit of shake up to the FastPass tier system over the last few years. This most recent change helps the park and guests be able to complete all of the attractions instead of hindering them like the previous change. I’d expect more changes down the pike, but for now we’re happy with the current system. We will be updating our FastPass+ Guide to the park in the coming days.
What do you think of these FastPass+ changes to Hollywood Studios? Let us know in the comments below! 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
Really useful, thank you! I was dreading having to choose which fast passes to prioritise when all of the actual rides were Tier 1.
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Yeah, the system before these changes was a disaster. Definitely a good change!
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