Toy Story Land began a new era at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. New marquee attractions like Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway followed, turning Hollywood Studios into the most exciting park at Disney World. But despite the new attractions, the crown jewel of Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog Dash, remains one of the hottest rides at Hollywood Studios and a must ride for many families.
It’s been almost two years since opening, but lines for Slinky Dog Dash still regularly clock in at an hour at low crowd times. What can you do to maximize your chances to get a Fastpass+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash or minimize your time waiting in a standby line? Here are our favorite strategies for cutting down long wait times for Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Tips for Riding Slinky Dog Dash at Disney World
Slinky Dog Dash has earned its long wait times by virtue of being an amazing attraction. We believe it’s one of the best thrill attractions to get your children’s feet wet with – it’s got a mild amount of thrills and a lot of theming. The premise is that Andy created a rollercoaster with his toys in his backyard, so it’s a rollercoaster for kids through and through.
As far as rollercoasters go, Slinky Dog Dash doesn’t feel too fast or jerky. In fact, it’s one of the smoothest rollercoaster rides at Walt Disney World. The combination of thrills, theming, and the fact that lots of kids can ride this attraction (it has a 38 inch height minimum) leads to the ride’s wild popularity and long wait times.
If you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash without the wait, definitely take the following tips into account as you plan your vacation. And trust us, you probably want to!
How to get a Fastpass+ Reservation for Slinky Dog Dash
The best way to reduce your wait time for Slinky Dog Dash is by securing a Fastpass+ reservation, either before your trip or while you’re at the park. While it can be pretty difficult, there are things you can do to maximize your chances of getting a Fastpass+ reservation. Here are some tips for getting a Fastpass+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash. Many of these tips can be applied to other tough to get Fastpass+ reservations, too!
Getting a Fastpass+ Reservation for Slinky Dog Dash Before Your Trip
After Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Slinky Dog Dash probably is one of the most difficult advanced Fastpass+ reservations to get. It’s practically impossible to get a Fastpass+ reservation at 30 days out when the Fastpass+ reservation window opens for general ticket holders.
Disney World guests staying at an on-site Disney World hotel or a Disney partner hotel have the advantage of being able to book Fastpass+ reservations 60 days before their trip. It’s much easier to get a Slinky Dog Dash Fastpass+ reservation at exactly 60 days, but it may not be at the most ideal times.
Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news! Slinky Dog Dash is a Tier 1 Fastpass+ reservation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can only choose one Fastpass+ reservation out of the three Tier 1 Fastpass+ options: Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, or the just-opened Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The latter two rides are newer, so you have a better shot of grabbing an advance Slinky Dog Dash Fastpass+ reservation.
We have some more good news for on-site guests. Many guests don’t realize that you can start booking Fastpass+ reservations 60 days in advance of the first day of your stay for your entire stay. So if you have an eight night reservation, you can start booking Fastpass+ reservations 60 days before the first night of your reservation but you can book all the way through the last night.
In other words, on-site guests can book Fastpass+ reservations for the last day of your trip even if it’s further than 60 days out. In the eight night reservation example, you can book Fastpass+ reservations 68 days before your last night. This gives on-site Disney hotel reservations a big advantage, especially because the early Fastpass+ reservations will be divided up between the three Tier 1 options.
If you plan to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios towards the latter half of your trip you increase your chances even more. Then you’ll find that there will be many more available Fastpass+ reservation times for Slinky Dog Dash. In fact, you’ll often get to pick and choose the times that will work best with your touring plan.
If you don’t snag an advance Fastpass+ reservation at first, be sure to check back on the website or app from time to time. While it’s a long shot, availability does change so you might get lucky. But even if you don’t get a Fastpass+ reservation, you still have a chance to get one while you’re in the parks!
Getting a Fastpass+ Reservation for Slinky Dog Dash on the Day You Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios
One insider tip that people don’t know about is that Disney World often releases Fastpass+ reservation inventory during the day. That means while you’re already in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there’s a chance that Slinky Dog Dash Fastpass+ availability might become free sometime during the day. This is what some call the “Fastpass drop”.
To catch one of these Fastpass drops, you need to constantly search for Fastpass+ reservations on your My Disney Experience App on your phone while you are in the park. If you want to maximize your chances to grab a Slinky Dog Dash Fastpass+ reservation, check your app early and often throughout the day.
The simplest way to check for new Fastpass+ reservations is to modify a current reservation that you already have. Then you can keep bouncing back and forth between different times and “refresh” new Fastpass+ reservation availability. The nice thing about the My Disney Experience app is you can just swipe down to refresh available Fastpass+ reservations. This is something you should constantly be doing in line, you never know what E-ticket attractions will become available. Reservations pop up all the time if you diligently check and you should realistically be able to check for a new Fastpass+ reservation once every 5-10 seconds!
A couple of notes. First, if you already have used a Tier 1 Fastpass+ reservation, you must complete all of your initial three Fastpass+ reservations before you can book Slinky Dog Dash (this means it pays to set up your three Fastpasses for earlier in the day so you can get more!). If you have a Tier 1 reservation but haven’t used it yet you can modify that one to Slinky Dog Dash if you find availability.
Secondly, the timing of these Fastpass+ drops changes all the time, so we really recommend you just check periodically throughout the day. Disney often drops new Fastpass+ reservation availability in the early afternoon and a lot of times they will release on the hour. So make sure you’re searching diligently all day. We also like to remember to check every hour on the hour. When the Fastpass drops happen the Fastpass+ reservations go fast.
Rope Drop Strategy for Slinky Dog Dash
If you’ve rope dropped Hollywood Studios in the past to ride Slinky Dog Dash or other thrill rides, forget everything you’ve ever known about rope drop. Starting with the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in December 2019, rope drop strategy for Slinky Dog Dash has changed completely. In the past, lining up an hour before official park open time would have been sufficient, but now you’re competing with thousands of people to get to the front of the rope.
What has changed is that many more people are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for rope drop because boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance become available at official park open time. If you aren’t very close to the literal rope, you often are looking at an hour wait for Slinky Dog Dash even five minutes after the park opens!
To maximize your chances of a low wait at rope drop, we recommend you get to Hollywood Studios two hours before the park’s official opening time. After you go through security and are eventually allowed to tap into the turnstiles, you want to walk straight towards the Chinese Theater and then turn right and walk as far as you can towards Toy Story Land before a cast member and rope (hopefully) or a mass of people (more likely) stop you.
When the park opens, the cast member will drop the rope and gradually escort everyone in that group to Toy Story Land. If you’re far enough up ahead they will direct you to the Slinky Dog Dash queue, if you’re out of reach of the cast members you will likely queue under the green umbrellas along the right side of the path moving up towards Slinky Dog Dash.
It’s important to note that you cannot get to Toy Story Land from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (or vice versa) when the park initially opens, so you cannot rope drop both lands. If you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash, make sure to bear right!
Utilize Rider Switch for Slinky Dog Dash
Another good way to reduce your wait time for Slinky Dog Dash is to utilize rider switch. Rider switch allows a party of adults who have children who either cannot or will not ride a thrill ride to save time in line by not requiring them to stand in line twice.
You can use rider switch on Slinky Dog Dash to save time in line as long as you have a child who cannot be left alone and will not ride. The cast members who help with rider switch are to the left side of the pathway leading up to Slinky Dog Dash, about one hundred feet from the Fastpass+ entrance.
You’ll recognize these cast members because they are holding iPads, but if you can’t find them ask the cast members working the Fastpass+ line about rider switch and they’ll direct you. The rider switch cast members will scan the MagicBands of the party who will ride second, adding the rider switch allocation. These rider switch passes are timed, so the second party can’t go in immediately.
You can have up to three people in the returning rider switch party. That means if you have an older child who’s riding Slinky Dog Dash (and of course another child who is not), you can give your riding child the opportunity to ride twice. Just make sure to tell the cast member that the child will ride twice – they will be happy to make that happen. That way the child gets to ride with Adult 1 and then ride again with Adult 2.
Rider Switch works with both Fastpass+ reservations and the standby queue. Obviously, a Fastpass+ reservation is preferable, but you still can save a lot of time for your overall party even if one person has to wait in the standby queue. Cast members won’t make the whole party wait while a single person queues so the rest of the party is free to enjoy Hollywood Studios while one person waits in the standby queue. This is a good strategy to get your kids on quickly while one parent sacrifices themselves by waiting in the queue.
Other Strategies to Reduce Your Wait Time at Slinky Dog Dash
The above strategies drastically reduce your wait time at Slinky Dog Dash, but the reality is you might not always manage to pull them off. If we’re desperate to ride, we’ll still employ some strategic touring to try to minimize our wait time at Slinky Dog Dash.
Ride Slinky Dog Dash at the End of the Night or During Fireworks
With almost every ride at any theme park, riding at the end of the night is a great way to decrease the wait time. Currently, Toy Story Land and in turn Slinky Dog Dash is one of the best areas in Disney World in terms of wait times at the end of the night, for a few reasons.
First, because of Rise of the Resistance, a lot of people get to Hollywood Studios much earlier than they normally would. That means way more people at rope drop but it also means that a lot of those people leave earlier than they would under typical circumstances. Toy Story Land also has traditionally thinned out earlier than the rest of Hollywood Studios because it caters more towards kids.
So if you queue for Slinky Dog Dash towards the end of the night, you’ll probably have the shortest wait times on any given day. You could even queue one minute before the park closes – the ride will accommodate anyone in line before the official closing time. So if Hollywood Studios closes at 10:00 PM, just make sure you get into line a few minutes beforehand and you’ll get to be one of the last guests to experience Slinky Dog Dash that night. The wait time will likely be inflated so don’t worry too much. The line should be the shortest it’s been since the morning – it just might not be as short as you hope.
If you don’t want to go that late, try to queue during Fantasmic or the Star Wars fireworks showtimes. Lots of people will gravitate towards those shows which means less people in line with you.
Slinky Dog Dash During Evening Extra Magic Hours
Rise of the Resistance has mucked up quite a bit of Disney Hollywood Studio’s standard procedure. Morning extra magic hours have been removed for the foreseeable future. Instead, all of the Hollywood Studios extra magic hours, the time when only on-site Disney hotel guests can be in the parks, now occur in the evenings.
As we mentioned above, Hollywood Studios has quite a drop in crowds as the day wears on and this has positively affected evening extra magic hours as well. Although the lines will still be substantial, they’ll be much better than earlier on during the day.
Ultimately, the reason it’s tough to minimize your wait time at Slinky Dog Dash is because it’s an amazing ride. If you haven’t tried it before, we think it’s well worth the wait. But hopefully this post gives you ideas for how not to wait in line for the ride. Let us know your successes in the comments!
About the author: Contributing writer Joe Cheung loves traveling with his wife and three children. He has been writing about using miles and points to reduce the cost of family travel on his blog asthejoeflies since his wife was pregnant with their first child. He loves traveling all around the world with a special place in his heart for travel to Asia and all things Disney. When he’s not writing, you can find Joe chatting about Disney World on the Disney planning podcast Disney Deciphered that he and Leslie co-host or chatting about miles and points on his other podcast the Saverocity Observation Deck.