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In this post we discuss how to use FastPass+ successfully at Hollywood Studios in 2018 and early 2019, including the Hollywood Studios FastPass tiers and the best rides to Fastpass at Hollywood Studios. We also cover Toy Story Land FastPass+ strategy.
We also suggest reading our Walt Disney World FastPass+ strategy for a complete understanding of the FastPass+ system. To hear more about specific rides, check out our Hollywood Studios rides guide. We’ve also applied this strategy to put together a one-day Hollywood Studios itinerary.
THE BASICS OF Hollywood Studios FASTPASS+
Again, you'll want to check out the full Walt Disney World Fastpass+ strategy post to make sure you really understand FastPass+, but we want to give those of you who are just looking for the basics a quick intro.
FastPass+ Allows You To Skip The Lines At Walt Disney World
With FastPass+, a person can book an hour window to come back to certain rides and skip the lines. Since waits for some rides can get to three or more hours (even six hours on New Year's Eve), FastPass+ is an important part of planning your day at Hollywood Studios.
You Can Book FastPass+ 30 or 60 Days In Advance
Guests at Disney hotels can book FastPass+ for their entire stay 60 days in advance of the first day of their stay. If you're not staying at a Disney hotel, you can book FastPass+ 30 days in advance. You can make bookings on the My Disney Experience app or online via the Disney website.
Advance Bookings Are Limited (And Go Fast)
When booking FastPass+ in advance, you can book three rides each day. Those three rides must be at the same park. At Hollywood Studios, you can book one Tier 1 attraction in advance and two Tier 2 attractions in advance (or three Tier 2 and no Tier 1). Tier 1 bookings often fill up 30 to 60 days in advance, though you'll see sporadic availability pop up even on the same day.
Tap / Grab / Modify Gets You The Most Out of FastPass+
Once you've used your three advance FastPass+ bookings, you can get new FastPass+ reservations throughout the day. You simply:
"Tap" your Mickey at the start of the line to use your last FastPass+
Open the My Disney Experience app on your cell phone and "Grab" a FastPass+ for the next ride you want to ride
"Modify" that FastPass+ to the best time you can find
Tap / Grab / Modify will keep you out of lines all day long.
Hollywood Studios Changes In 2018 & 2019
Before we get to the details of Hollywood Studios FastPass, we want to review 2018 and talk about changes you can expect in 2019. Feel free to skip down if you’re not interested in this.
Reviewing 2018 at Hollywood Studios
For the first half of 2018, following the closing of Great Movie Ride, there were only four true rides at Hollywood Studios – Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania!, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. Midway through the year, Toy Story Land opened, and Hollywood Studios was still only at six rides, but that included the two newest rides in Walt Disney World.
2019 at Hollywood Studios
2019 will bring two major changes to Hollywood Studios. First, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be opening. Assuming it opens before Star Wars Land, the ride will no doubt be a Tier 1 FastPass+ ride (more on the tiers below), probably replacing Alien Swirling Saucers.
Second, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) is scheduled to open in late fall 2019. The land is expected to bring two new attractions, including a highly anticipated Millennium Falcon attraction. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Hollywood Studios move to a tierless FastPass+ structure like what Magic Kingdom has. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see some other or additional major change to FastPass+, like three tiers or a heavily paid system.
Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tiers
As of the opening of Toy Story Land, there are still two Hollywood Studios FastPass tiers, but they have changed a lot from the good ol' days. Tier 1 has three attractions, and Tier 2 has ten attractions.
Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tier 1 Attractions
The new three Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 1 attractions are:
Slinky Dog Dash
Alien Swirling Saucers
Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Mania! is the only attraction that is a Tier 1 attraction prior to Toy Story Land opening that remains a Tier 1 attraction. The other three former Tier 1 attractions moved to Tier 2.
Best Hollywood Studios Rides To Fastpass (Tier 1)
The obvious Tier 1 choice for best Hollywood Studios ride to FastPass is Slinky Dog Dash, the more popular of the two new Toy Story Land rides.
Slinky Dog Dash is definitely the toughest FastPass+ to get at Hollywood Studios. It also regularly spends the entire day with waits of over an hour. That said, if you grab any Tier 1 Hollywood Studios FastPass+ in advance, you’re in good shape.
Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tier 2 Attractions
There are ten Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tier 2 attractions (three rides, seven shows) as of the opening of Toy Story Land. When making your advance reservations, you can reserve two of these (or three if you don't reserve a Tier 1 attraction). The ten attractions are:
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Disney Junior Live on Stage
Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Muppet Vision 3D
Beauty and the Beast
Best Hollywood Studios Rides To Fastpass (Tier 2)
There are only three rides you really need consider for your Tier 2 Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ reservations: Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and Star Tours.
We personally don't care for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, but it is extremely popular and has an abysmal queue you should skip at all costs. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is an obvious choice for one of your two Tier 2 attractions.
Between Tower of Terror and Star Tours, Tower of Terror is more popular, and thus we suggest that it is the best Hollywood Studios ride to FastPass+ with your last reservation.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Planning
Now that we've covered the Hollywood Studios FastPass+ tiers, we need to talk about how to plan a few other aspects of FastPass+. First, we talk about where in your overall trip planning you should try and fit Hollywood Studios. Next, we cover how to schedule your Hollywood Studios FastPass+ reservations. Finally, we talk about how to handle FastPass+ at Hollywood Studios beyond your initial set of reservations.
Hollywood Studios Is Still Only A Mid-Priority Park for Fastpass+ Planning
Remember, you can only book FastPass+ in advance at a single park each day. This means on shorter trips you're going to be walking in to some parks without FastPass+ reservations. Here's how we suggest you fit Hollywood Studios into the mix.
For visits of one or two days, do not book FastPass+ at Hollywood Studios, unless you cannot book a Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom. Over two days, you’re probably going to do one day at Magic Kingdom and a split day over Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
The half day at Hollywood Studios will be much easier without FastPass+ than the half day at Animal Kingdom, where Flight of Passage waits still occasionally hit three hours. If you can get a Flight of Passage FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom, take it over a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass.
For visits of three days or more, you should feel free to book one day at Hollywood Studios in advance. Either way, you don’t need to freak out of you don’t get a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+. Grab any Tier 1 at Hollywood Studios, and you’ll be fine.
Scheduling Part 1 - Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios
You’ll want to schedule your first FastPass+ of the day (preferably your Tier 1 ride) for about two to three hours after park open to allow you time to cover some rides at rope drop.
Since (as of this writing) all three Toy Story Land rides are Tier 1 Fastpass+ rides, rope drop will be centered around trying to get the two Toy Story rides you don't book in advance done.
If you have a FastPass+ for Alien Swirling Saucers, start with Slinky Dog Dash, then go to Toy Story Mania! If you have a FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania!, start with Slinky Dog Dash, then go to Alien Swirling Saucers. If you have a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash, start with Toy Story Mania! and then go to Alien Swirling Saucers.
If you don't have a Toy Story Land Fastpass+, start with Slinky Dog Dash, then Toy Story Mania!, then Alien Swirling Saucers. If you don't have a Toy Story Land Fastpass+, then you've got the rest of the park easily covered with your other three, so there's no need to leave Toy Story Land and plan to come back later for any of these.
Pre Rope Dropping Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
We know very little about Jedi Training, but we get that it is a big thing on many people’s lists. Best we can gather, if you want to do Jedi Training, you should sign up as early as possible. As of November 2018, signups started once the turnstiles opened before rope drop. You need the participating children with you to sign up over at Indiana Jones Outpost.
Rope Dropping Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
While we never use this approach, some people are going to want to rope drop Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. You’ll only need to consider this if you absolutely cannot find a FastPass+ for it, which should only happen on short searches during peak season.
And you should only do it if one of the following three is true:
You have a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash
You’re willing to hop on Slinky Dog Dash right before the park closes (it’s a good night time ride, but this means you might miss a show)
You don’t want to ride Slinky Dog Dash
If one of these applies, you’re fine to head straight to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. If you don’t have a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+, you’d be better off starting with Slinky Dog Dash and then heading to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster if you want to prioritize it over the other two Toy Story Land rides.
Scheduling Part 2 - Nighttime Toy Story Land Strategy
We strongly believe you should try to ride Slinky Dog Dash at night if you can. Whether you also ride it during the day is sort of a toss-up, but we definitely think you should aim to be on it around 7:15 to 7:30PM to enjoy it at night, so what’s the best way to do that?
If you grab a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ for nighttime, you won’t be able to grab a fourth FastPass+ the entire day. Until Hollywood Studios adds a seventh ride in 2019, we think it’s great to schedule a nighttime Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+.
If you arrive at rope drop, you’ll easily be done with the other two Toy Story Land rides 90 minutes into the park opening. With two more FastPass+ reservations for the remaining three rides, you’ll have no problem covering the park. If you don’t have a nighttime Slink Dog Dash FastPass+, just keep an eye on waits and try to get in line to be on it around 7:15 to 7:30PM.
How To Spend One Full Day At Hollywood Studios
Even with the addition of Toy Story Land, we don't think Hollywood Studios is more than a one-day park. If you arrive at rope drop, you can easily finish the rides in half of a day, leaving your entire afternoon for the shows or another park. We have a full post dedicated to our one-day Hollywood Studios itinerary.
In short, you'll want to try to do the following:
Get a FastPass+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash at least one, preferably two hours after park open
Rope drop Toy Story Mania!
Head to Alien Swirling Saucers or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster if you don't have a FastPass+ for it
Head to Alien Swirling Saucers or Tower of Terror
You can swap Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! in this example, if necessary. Once you use your Tier 1 reservation, you'll want to pull out your My Disney Experience app and see about moving your Tier 2 reservations up. With some tinkering, you may be able to get on your first three rides in near succession.
Tap, Grab, and Modify Fastpass+ While In Hollywood Studios
Tap, Grab, and Modify isn't entirely necessary at Hollywood Studios. If Tier 1 Fastpass+ rides are available, then obviously this is a good way to get extra rides or avoid waiting in any lines.
On a busy Saturday of frequent searching for slots, we found Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania for two people with relative ease. We only saw two slots for Slinky Dog Dash in a day of searching, though. We booked the other three rides with ease.
As for the Tier 2 attractions, well we already pointed out that there are only three of any real interest. Sure, you can tap and grab into Fantasmic!, but beyond that you don't really need to worry too much about the Tier 2 attractions. (Another way to get preferred seating on Fantasmic! and save a FastPass+ slot is to book a Fantasmic! dining package, which can be a great use of Disney dining plan table service credits.)
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Kiosks
While we always recommend using Disney's official, free My Disney Experience app to snag Fastpass+ reservations, the physical kiosks are located at:
At Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. (across from the Starbucks)
Next to Tower of Terror
Just outside the entrance to Toy Story Land
In Grand Park (by Muppet Vision 3D)
We suggest checking the Walt Disney World website to confirm kiosk locations in case they change before we update this post.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.