The crown jewel of Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog Dash was the attraction all Disney fans were anxiously awaiting, when it opened in June 2018. Alongside our fellow Toy Story enthusiasts, we were very much looking forward to riding this new coaster, but we were trying to keep our expectations in check. This probably wasn’t going to be another Flight of Passage, and likely not even a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Flight of Passage has spectacle, innovative technology and it feels like you’re actually flying! And Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has the cutest AudioAnimatronic dwarves (and that swinging mine cart motion is pretty neat too). Slinky Dog Dash looked like there wouldn’t be anything overly new or innovative about the coaster. That being said, it still seemed to be a fun, family-friendly rollercoaster in a park that was seriously lacking in that area.
Despite some of our hesitations, we were excited to ride this new attraction – because, let’s face it, we would be excited for anything new at Disney World. Fast forward a couple months after the opening of Toy Story Land, and we found ourselves riding Slinky Dog for the first time, and (drumroll, please) …we loved it! It surpassed our expectations and delivered a way more fun and whimsical ride than we expected. We should have known Disney wouldn’t disappoint.
Slinky Dog Dash was an instant hit with crowds and it is currently one of the most elusive and sought after FastPasses to score. This is largely due to the fact that it’s a recent addition to Walt Disney World and crowds love everything that’s new. Flight of Passage over in Animal Kingdom still continues to have the longest standby wait times (by far), but Slinky Dog Dash can get up there too, usually fluctuating between 60-90 minutes during the busiest times on an average day.
The queue line is one place we think Disney could have done a little better with this attraction. We waited in the standby line for about an hour and were surprised with the complete lack of anything interactive in the queue. Instead, there are a few large installations that give a nod to classic toys, but they’re entirely visual. Plus, you don’t really see them until you’re closer to the home stretch of the line. The rest of the queue just has a few fans and K’nex-style railings.
In more recent years we’ve seen Disney refurbish attractions and improve the queues, adding more story and interactive spots throughout the line to keep guests intrigued and engaged in the attraction from the get-go – think Big Thunder Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight.
I suppose you could argue that being in Andy’s backyard, if we’re to believe that Andy built this rollercoaster, he probably wouldn’t have put anything in the queue. But, I still think there’s room for improvement here. Even just some more cool things to look at would be nice. Something similar to the Toy Story Mania queue, where the visuals are evenly dispersed along the queue.
We could see Disney changing this a few years down the road when there are more attractions bringing guests to Hollywood Studios and closing or re-routing guests wouldn’t be such a problem. Or perhaps Disney expects the standby line wait times to drop dramatically when Star Wars Land opens, making distraction and entertainment unnecessary here. Or they expect people to use the Disney Play app here. Our concern is battery life and the Disney Play app uses a lot of that, so we didn’t opt for the app during our wait. Point of the story here, don’t expect to be entertained during your wait for Slinky, you’ll have to make your own fun to pass the time!
The Ride Vehicle
Dumbo may have some competition here for cutest ride vehicle! (I still think Dumbo would win, but Slinky is a close second!) How amazing is it that you can step inside a giant slinky dog toy and race along the track? I mean, his tail even wags a little when the coaster goes around any bend in the track!
And don’t forget to smile on this one as there is an on-ride photo, though we managed to ride twice and never got our PhotoPass Photo from this ride (we should have gone searching for them).
The ride concludes with a surprise appearance of a singing AudioAnimatronic. Wheezy the Penguin, adds a little showmanship to the end of the attraction. Mr. Mike provides the microphone and Wheezy takes the stage right at the end of the track. The placement is perfect because your vehicle moves slowly enough here for you to grab a photo. You’re waiting for the previous train to unload, so you’ll likely have time to get a good look at this adorable toy. You can’t see them from the queue at all, so it’s a nice addition to the overall ride.
Slinky Dog Dash is not an entirely new attraction to the world of Disney Parks. Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin (Slinky Dog Spin) is in Disneyland Hong Kong, Disneyland Paris and Shanghai. The first ride vehicles look similar to the Slinky Dog Dash train, however the ride itself differs drastically. Slinky Dog Spin is a low-thrill ride geared toward very young children. It’s a caterpillar-style ride where Slinky Dog travels in a circle. The track has mild dips and moves at a slower pace. The idea behind the ride is that Slinky is chasing his own tail.
Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios is an actual legitimate roller coaster and is considered a thrill ride that appeals to both children and adults.
One other thing worth mentioning is a fact that Slinky Dog Dash is actually more enjoyable at night. Why you ask? Well, the track lights up in different colours, which change each time Slinky goes by. While the view into other areas of the park may be limited in the evening, you definitely get an in-depth view of the entirety of Toy Story Land. With the land lit up, the ride gives you the full effect of the large, colouful Christmas lights scattered throughout. Each element along the ride seems more vibrant and exciting at night! However, it may mean cutting it close to the nighttime shows at Hollywood Studios. Just make sure you plan your ride-time carefully (or hope for one of those elusive FastPasses)
Disney STAR Rating – Slinky Dog Dash:
Story: Andy has built a track using his Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Play Kit in his backyard for Slinky Dog to race through. He’s made a few of his own adjustments to the track too!
Thrill Factor: Medium: Family friendly rollercoaster with smooth motion, some speed, small hills and some moderate height. On top of that, Slinky Dog Dash is the only Disney Coaster with a double launch along the track!
Ages: This attraction will appeal to young and old, but the height requirement is 39”
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars – Though it may get an extra half-star riding at night!