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.
Years have passed since opening, but lines for Slinky Dog Dash still regularly clock in at an hour even at low crowd times. Slinky Dog Dash is also is the most coveted Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation at Walt Disney World. It is a beloved attraction that requires a good strategy if you want to secure a shorter wait time.
What can you do to maximize your chances to get a Genie+ 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.
Basics About 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 Genie+ Reservation for Slinky Dog Dash
The best way to reduce your wait time for Slinky Dog Dash is by securing a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation. But that can be easier said than done.
Slinky Dog Dash is the most difficult Genie+ reservation to get at Walt Disney World. In fact, it’s so hard to get we think Slinky Dog Dash might just move to paid individual Lightning Lane sooner rather than later. But while it’s still under the Genie+ Lightning Lane umbrella, there are ways to maximize your chances of getting a Genie+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash – it’ll just require a combination of speed, skill, and luck!
It’s important to note that Disney World guests staying at on-site Disney World hotels or Disney partner hotels do not have an advantage booking Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations. This is a big change from the old Fastpass+ days and different from the rules for purchasing paid individual Lightning Lanes for the attractions that offer it.
That means the Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation window for Slinky Dog Dash opens at 7 am for everyone who has purchased Genie+.
Purchase Genie+ Well Before 7 am
Since you’re competing against a large number of fellow Disney World guests, time is of the essence to secure that Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation. Many guests will have added Genie+ to the length of their ticket, but others you may choose to add Genie+ on some days and not on others.
If you’re in the latter category, you’ll need to purchase Genie+ on the day you plan to shoot for a Slinky Dog Dash reservation. If you’re up late, we recommend doing this at midnight (when it is first available for sale) so you have time to troubleshoot any technical difficulties. If not, try to buy Genie+ by 6:30am or so, again, to troubleshoot technical difficulties. We’d love to say we trust Disney IT, but…we cannot tell a lie.
You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you’re still trying to buy Genie+ at 7am – on many days Slinky Dog Dash will sell out in minutes so every second counts.
Book your Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation right at 7am
There are two important reasons to book your Slinky Dog Dash Lightning Lane reservation right at 7am when you are eligible to do so. The first, of course, is to ensure that you can secure a Lightning Lane reservation at all. The second reason to get in as quickly as possible is to maximize your chances of getting an early return time. You don’t want to be stuck waiting two hours after Hollywood Studios opens to make your next Genie+ reservation. Ideally you ride Slinky Dog Dash early so you can book another Lightning Lane reservation quickly.
To facilitate a “quick draw” on Slinky Dog Dash on Genie+, you’ll want to do a few things. First, get a second device and pull up time.gov – use that as a clock. It’s what Disney’s system is synched to. Then, you’ll want to navigate to the “Tip Board” on My Disney Experience and find Slinky Dog Dash. Click on Slinky Dog Dash and you’ll be brought to a screen focusing on the attraction.
You want to focus on the “LL Lightning Lane” image in the middle. It doesn’t look like a button, but it is! When you press that it will bring you back to the Tip Board with Slinky Dog Dash at the very top. (Try it out a few times before 7am. It works with any attraction).
At 6:59 am, focus onto the time at time.gov and get ready to make two quick clicks. Start on the Slinky Dog Dash attraction screen (above). At 6:59:59 exactly, press the LL button bringing you to the Tip Board. As soon as the Tip Board loads, Slinky Dog Dash will be at the top and a Genie+ Lightning Lane return time should be showing. Don’t look at the return time, just click “Book Experience” ASAP! That should bring you to the screen where you can confirm your Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation!
Another option for making sure Slinky Dog Dash appears at the top of your Tip Board is to use My Genie Day and choose Slinky Dog Dash (and only Slinky Dog Dash) as the attraction you are interested in. If you opt for that method, Slinky Dog Dash will always be at the top of your Tip Board. Pull down on your phone’s screen to refresh the Tip Board at 6:59:59. Both methods should work but we prefer the first method because it’s less reliant on Disney IT.
With a little luck and some fast fingers on either method, you may just get a return time that is early in the morning not long after Hollywood Studios opens. Remember that once you tap into the Lightning Lane of the attraction to redeem your reservation (if it is less than 2 hours after park opening), you are eligible to make another reservation with Genie+. Act fast to secure other popular attractions (Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run tends to be the second most popular ride in Hollywood Studios so we recommend selecting it if it is on your must-ride list).
Booking an afternoon Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ reservation
There may be times when you don’t want a morning return time for Slinky Dog Dash – such as when you decide to stack Hollywood Studios for the afternoon (a strategy outlined in this post). If that’s the case, you want to make sure you get a Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lighting Lane reservation in the afternoon. To make this happen, simply make sure you have a park reservation for any park besides Hollywood Studios at 7am when you make your Slinky Dog Dash reservation.
Genie+ will automatically detect that you aren’t starting at Hollywood Studios and give you a return time of 2pm or later. If you’re visiting Disney World at any time besides a holiday when park reservations fill up, you’ll even likely be able to switch your park reservation to Hollywood Studios after making your Lightning Lane reservation. You might do this if you plan to rope drop Hollywood Studios but want to ride Slinky Dog again later in the day. This tip will work for any attraction; use it to your advantage to plan your best Disney day.
What if I miss out on a Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation at 7 am?
One insider tip that people don’t know about is that Disney World often releases Genie+ reservation inventory during the day. That means while you’re already in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there’s a chance that Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ availability might become free sometime during the day. This used to happen with Fastpass+ and was called the “Fastpass drop” – now it’s the “Genie+ drop”.
To catch one of these Genie+ lightning lane reservation drops, you need to constantly update the Tip Board 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 Genie+ reservation, check your app early and often throughout the day. Use the same Lightning Lane button tip from the last section to make sure Slinky Dog Dash stays at the top of your Tip Board.
It will be mindless clicking, but you never know what can turn up. Bring an external charger and if you’re persistent it’s highly likely you’ll end up catching a Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ drop.
Outside of visitors canceling, the timing of Disney initiated Genie+ drops changes all the time, so we really recommend you just check periodically throughout the day. Disney often drops new Genie+ reservation availability in the early afternoon and a lot of times they will release on the hour. Make sure you are searching diligently all day. We also like to remember to check every hour on the hour. When the Genie+ drops happen the Genie+ reservations go fast.
Rope Drop Standby Line Strategy for Slinky Dog Dash
One of the easiest ways to ride a popular ride at a Disney park is by visiting it as soon as the park opens, known as “rope dropping” an attraction. If you’ve rope dropped Hollywood Studios in the past to ride Slinky Dog Dash or other thrill rides, however, forget everything you’ve ever known about rope drop. Starting with the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in December 2019 and further compounded by Disney’s changes to early theme park entry hours, rope drop strategy for Slinky Dog Dash has changed completely.
Rope Dropping Slinky Dog Dash as a Disney World hotel guest
The introduction of early theme park entry – 30 minutes at every park for all Disney and partner hotel guests – has really changed Slinky Dog Dash rope drop strategy. (Editor’s Note: early theme park entry has been temporarily extended to an hour long from December 19, 2021-January 3, 2022 for the busy holiday period only.) If you’re staying off-site, it’s almost pointless to try to rope drop the attraction – the wait will likely be more than an hour before you get a crack at it.
To maximize your chances of a low wait at rope drop if you’re an on-site guest, we recommend you get to Hollywood Studios at least one hour before the park’s official opening time. If you’re through security and waiting an hour before Hollywood Studios opens (which is 30 minutes before early theme park entry opens) you should be pretty far up in the line. If you want to be at the very front of the rope, get to park security an hour and a half before official park 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.
How to Rope Drop Slinky Dog Dash if you’re off-site
If you’re off-site, rope dropping Slinky Dog Dash might not be your best bet – you’ll have half an hour’s worth of on-site guests in front of you. But if you still want to rope drop Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll definitely want to get to the park an hour before park opening. You will be held in a separate waiting area while on-site guests are let through 30 minutes early for early theme park entry.
You want to be at the front of the rope in this separate waiting area and then make a beeline for Slinky Dog Dash once you’re let through. You’ll have better luck these days since a lot of guests are lining up for standby at Rise of the Resistance, but don’t expect to get to walk on to the attraction.
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 generally stand separately. You’ll recognize these cast members because they are holding iPads, but if you can’t find them ask the cast members working the Genie+ 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. If you’re waiting in the standby line, these rider switch passes are timed, so the second party can’t go in immediately.
You can have up to two 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 Genie+ reservations and the standby queue. Obviously, a Genie+ 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 10:00pm, 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 (when they return. Lots of people will gravitate towards those shows which means fewer people in line with you.
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 attraction. 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 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 working as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. You can contact him by e-mail at email@example.com.