In this Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Strategy Guide, we’ll be taking a look at all of the FastPass+ options, weighing the benefits for selecting each attraction, and then giving you our own strategy for which FastPass+ selections to make.
If you are brand new to FastPass+ Reservations, please check out our FastPass+ 101 Guide – Everything you need to know about FastPass+.
Hollywood Studios is a Tiered attraction park, which means there are two tiers of attractions for making FastPass+ Reservations. Guests can select one FastPass+ from the Tier 1 attractions and two FastPass+ from the Tier 2 attractions.
As of March 4, 2020, FastPass+ selections at Hollywood Studios will shift around the attractions in each tier. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has been added to the FastPass+ selections, while Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance continues to operate without FastPasses. While we suspect Rise of the Resistance will eventually be added to the FastPass+ selections, we expect it will not be until the crowds are no longer overwhelming for the attraction. Most recently, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has also been added to Tier 1 attractions.
Before we get started, we should add our 10¢ about the changes to the FastPass+ selections at Hollywood Studios. With Rise of the Resistance quickly becoming the most popular attraction in the park, Disney will likely continue to operate the attraction without FastPasses for the foreseeable future. The virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance has been fairly successful, even with a few hiccups along the way.
Obviously, in Hollywood Studios, guests are drawn to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, while still popular, has a relatively reasonable stand-by wait time throughout the day thanks to the work of Disney Imagineering. The capacity of the ride is high, so it accommodates a lot of guests each hour. This makes it a good time for Disney to add the attraction to the FastPass tiers.
The addition of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has given guests a FastPass+ option for families with small children. There is no height requirement on this attraction, so it’s meant for Mickey & Minnie fans of all ages. To be honest, we were a little surprised that Disney is making FastPasses available for the ride on opening day (March 4th), but we can only imagine it would have been difficult to operate two virtual queues in the same park.
The tiered system is used so that all guests aren’t trying to use their FastPass+ selections for the same rides. If you can only pick one of the popular attractions from Tier 1 to use a FastPass for, it spreads the rest of the selections across the “less” popular attractions. That being said, there are lots of attractions in Tier 2 that still consistently draw crowds. With the new distribution of attractions across the tiers, your FastPass+ selections now look like this:
Tier 1 Attractions
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey and Minnie are on drive in their roadster, followed closely behind by Engineer Goofy’s train. Join them aboard a runaway railway as a series of twists and turns blend the line between 2D and 3D animation around you.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
38” Height Requirement
Jump into the cockpit of the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy. Hondo Ohnaka has hired you as pilots, gunners and engineers for the Millennium Falcon. Take your smuggling seriously as your performance will determine the success of the mission!
Slinky Dog Dash
38” Height Requirement
Climb aboard Slinky Dog on this gentle, family-friendly coaster as you surge past giant toys, all with a great view of Toy Story Land and a glimpse at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Our Tier 1 FastPass+ Strategy
With three very different attractions to choose from, you’re really choosing between which series you prefer. Are you a Toy Story kind of person, or is it all about Star Wars? Maybe you have been waiting forever for Disney’s first attraction to feature Mickey and Minnie? Apart from that, both the Millennium Falcon and Slinky Dog attractions have similar thrill levels, but both offer immersive experiences in their respective stories. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be fun for any guest, regardless of age.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ for Thrill Seekers
Of the two thrill-ride attractions, I think the thrill seeking edge goes to the Millennium Falcon…at least as far as the story is concerned. The motion is relatively tame (so as to not upset any stomachs). Slinky Dog Dash is still a coaster, so if you prefer the wind in your hair, this is the one to pick. Both FastPasses will be highly sought after, but up until now, Slinky Dog Dash was always the first FastPass to disappear.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ for Families
Again, this one is tricky, because it all comes down to your family preferences. If your kids are obsessed with Toy Story, then Slinky Dog Dash is the obvious choice. Any budding Padawans are going to prefer to pilot the Millennium Falcon. That being said, of the two, Smugglers Run has a better queue to walk through. The height restriction may become a factor for anyone with smaller children. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway promises to be a totally immersive and brand new experience, unlike any other Disney attraction (Disney is really setting the bar with each new ride it adds). If your kids don’t have a Toy Story or Star Wars preference, why not try out the latest attraction to open in Hollywood Studios?
Tier 2 Attractions
Alien Swirling Saucers
32” Height Requirement
A family-friendly spinning attraction (but nothing too forceful or nauseating) with the Toy Story Aliens
Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage
A Broadway-style musical re-telling of the classic Disney tale. This abridged, 25-minute performance features some of the most iconic songs from the movie. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority seating at a specific performance.
Disney Junior Dance Party
DJ DeeJay spins tunes from the shows you love. Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, Timon and special guest Mickey join guests for this high energy party. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority access to a specific party time.
One of the two Nighttime Spectaculars at Hollywood Studios. Jump inside Mickey’s dreams as he imagines himself as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Featuring over 50 live performers, including some of your favourite characters, this 30-minute performance is a great way to cap off your night in the park. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority seating, but you should still arrive early in your return time window to ensure the best view.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
The Royal Historians of Arendelle take guests through the retelling of their kingdom lore. Full of all the fan-favourite songs, characters and some magical moments, this is an excellent way to relax, during this 30-minute performance. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority seating at a specific performance.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Not only does this show feature some of the iconic scenes from Indiana Jones, but it also includes a behind the scenes look at how many of the stunts are performed. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority seating at a specific performance.
A whimsical tour of the Muppet labs, followed by comedic performances and an endearing storyline which are all classic Muppet tropes. This was Jim Henson’s last performance as Kermit the Frog as he directed this wonderful movie.
Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
48” Height Requirement
Probably the most intense coaster on Disney property. This coaster is complete with a powered launch, 3 inversions and an incredible Aerosmith soundtrack specifically timed for this attraction.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
40” Height Requirement
A 3D simulator space flight with a different adventure every time. Whether it’s the oceans of Naboo, the Death Star or any of the other number of locales, you’re sure to come across an iconic Star Wars character or two along the way. This ride is not recommended for those who are easily prone to motion sickness.
Toy Story Mania
A 4D carnival-style shootin’ game with themed rounds that feature different Toy Story Characters. This ride uses a spring-action shooter to launch digital projectiles (including baseballs, darts and rings) to hit moving targets and score big points.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
40” Height Requirement
Based on the classic Twilight Zone, you step aboard a service elevator in the legendary Hollywood Tower Hotel. Once inside, you’re in for a ride full of surprises…as well as plenty of ups and downs. If sudden, fast drops are scary for you, don’t ride this ride.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
An abridged retelling of the Little Mermaid Story, featuring live performers, puppets and some beautiful special effects. Musical numbers include “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” in this 17-minute fantasy performance. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority seating at a specific performance.
Our Tier 2 FastPass+ Strategy
Tier 2 offers a lot to choose from. This makes it easier to tailor your selections to the interests of your group. There are a number of shows in Tier 2, but to be honest, most shows don’t really require a FastPass+. FastPasses for shows just really give you priority seating, but each show runs several times per day, so there is always space available. The one attraction that you should never use a FastPass+ reservation for is Muppet*Vision 3D. That show runs roughly every 15 minutes and has a large capacity, so do yourself a favour and just wait stand-by.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ for Thrill Seekers
There are a number of great options here for anyone who is looking for a more intense attraction at Hollywood Studios. Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster is an easy pick, to be followed up by Tower of Terror. These two attractions are definite highlights in the park and should be on anyone’s must-do list. If FastPasses are unavailable, Star Tours would be an okay backup, though the stand-by wait time tends to dip throughout the day. While not thrilling in terms of motion, Toy Story Mania can be thrilling if you are competitive. That would be another good backup for thrill seekers, but generally you would hope to get Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ for Families with Young Children
Toy Story Mania would be a must-do for young children (and children of all ages…let’s be honest). If you can get a FastPass+ reservation for it, you’re 50% there. The second FastPass+ selection offers more options. For really young kids, who don’t meet height requirements, you can certainly use a FastPass for a show. For the First Time in Forever or Voyage of the Little Mermaid would be the best uses of a FastPass in terms of shows. For families with children who are 32″ tall, Alien Swirling Saucers can be a good choice for a more “thrilling” experience without any fear.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ for Everyone
There are quite a number of FastPass+ reservations available for Fantasmic! If you’re okay with potentially showing up early and staying in the stand-by line, we typically recommend looking for a Fantasmic! FastPass+ reservation after you have used your first 3 FastPass+ selections. This would be your fourth (or fifth or sixth if you’re lucky) FastPass+ selection. For the first FastPass+ selection, you can’t really go wrong with either attraction in Tier 1. Selfishly, based on past wait-times, you may want to aim for Slinky Dog Dash, but gladly accept Smugglers Run if the former has no FastPass availability. Tier 2 selections really depend on your age group as to which attraction is best. Any of the following would be great:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Toy Story Mania
- Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster
- Tower of Terror
The Bottom Line!
Here’s what we would choose for these three categories:
Thrill Seekers: Pick Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.
Families with young children: Pick Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers or Star Tours (aim for an additional FP+ for Fantasmic!)
Everyone Else: Pick Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror or Toy Story Mania!
If you’d like to check out any of our other FastPass+ Strategy Guides, you can find them here:
Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategy Guide
Epcot FastPass+ Strategy Guide
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Strategy Guide
Or check out everything you need to know about FastPass+ with our FastPass+ 101 Guide.
Ready to book your Hollywood Studios FastPass+ reservations? You can make your selections here.
What are your FastPass+ Strategies at Hollywood Studios? How will the new Tiers affect your choices? Let us know in the comments below!