Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Tiers And Strategy 2019

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In this post we discuss how to use FastPass+ successfully at Hollywood Studios in 2019, including the Hollywood Studios FastPass tiers and the best rides to Fastpass at Hollywood Studios. We also cover Toy Story Land FastPass+ strategy and discuss the implications of the August 29 Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  1. "Tap" your Mickey at the start of the line to use your last FastPass+

  2. Open the My Disney Experience app on your cell phone and "Grab" a FastPass+ for the next ride you want to ride

  3. "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, but 2018 does provide some valuable insights into what to expect from 2019.

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.

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Most Disney crowd calendars expected 2018 to stay packed at Hollywood Studios, but crowds actually leveled out by the end of summer. As of the end of 2018, the crowd are very manageable, and the park is very easy to see in a single day.

2019 at Hollywood Studios

2019 will bring two major changes to Hollywood Studios. First, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be opening. Currently we have no information or expectations about how this ride will work with FastPass+, but our best guess is it will be a Tier 1 ride and replace Alien Swirling Saucers.

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Second, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) is scheduled to open on August 29, 2019. The land will open with new attraction, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, with the second attraction expected to open later in the year.

Currently, Disney has only told us that the two new Star Wars attractions will not be part of FastPass+ in the short term. In the long-term, 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.

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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.

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Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tier 1 Attractions

The three Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 1 attractions are:

  1. Slinky Dog Dash

  2. Alien Swirling Saucers

  3. 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. Again, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will not be a part of FastPass+ when it opens.

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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, for visits prior to August 29, if you grab any Tier 1 Hollywood Studios FastPass+ in advance, you’re in good shape.

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Starting with visits on August 29, we expect you’ll strongly want to get a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+ rather than Toy Story Mania! This is because you won’t be able to head to Slinky Dog Dash at rope drop (you’ll be starting with Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s run, after all).

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:

  1. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

  2. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

  3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

  4. Voyage of the Little Mermaid

  5. Disney Junior Dance Party!

  6. Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

  7. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

  8. Muppet Vision 3D

  9. Fantasmic!

  10. 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.

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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.

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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.

Attention: Visits On or After August 29

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge—aka Star Wars Land—will be opening at Hollywood Studios on August 29, 2019 with one operational ride. A second ride is expected to open later in 2019. Everything written after this section pertains only to park visits before August 29. However, we wanted to give you quick notes on visiting on or after August 29 (we will update this post more fully around then).

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First, allow yourself three hours for rope drop. You first FastPass+ should not be earlier than three hours after the park opens. At this point, this is just our best guess as to how long you should reasonably expect it to take you to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, in the morning.

Second, you need to more highly prioritize Slinky Dog Dash. If you’re starting the day at Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll need a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash, which makes it even a higher priority than getting one for Animal Kingdom’s Avatar Flight of Passage ride. (Flight of Passage is a far superior ride, but you can visit it at rope drop at Animal Kingdom.)

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Third, plan for a full day at Hollywood Studios. Even with only one of the new Galaxy’s Edge rides operating, we think Hollywood Studios will be worthy of a full day beginning August 29.

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.

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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 hours after park open to allow you time to cover some rides at rope drop—the opening of the park. We have a post that covers rope drop strategy at Hollywood Studios. If you’re thinking you’ll just arrive and things will go smoothly—think again (and read that post).

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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+.

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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.

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In short, you'll want to try to do the following:

  1. Get a FastPass+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash at least one, preferably two hours after park open

  2. Rope drop Toy Story Mania!

  3. Head to Alien Swirling Saucers or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster if you don't have a FastPass+ for it

  4. 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.

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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.)

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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.

Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! 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.

When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets. And of course everyone wants to know whether or not they should get a dining plan—check out our Complete Guide to Disney World Dining Plans!

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.

Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon!

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.