FastPass

Tips For Riding Slinky Dog Dash Without Spending Hours In Line

Disney World Tips & Secrets: How to ride Slinky Dog Dash without spending hours in line / Toy Story Land - Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

Slinky Dog Dash is definitely the most popular attraction in the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park; it is currently seeing mid-day waits of 60-80 minutes, even though crowds are moderate now that the kids are back in school. Here’s the good news: we can probably help you get onto both of the new attractions without long lines but it is going to mean waking up early!

Avoiding Long Lines at Slinky Dog Dash With FastPass+

You can book FastPass+ reservation up 60-days prior to arrival when you have a reservation at an official Disney World hotel and at select "Good Neighbor" hotels when you have a vacation package that includes tickets or you purchase your tickets prior to your trip and register them on your MyDisneyExperience account. If you’re not staying at a Disney World resort, you can still book your FastPass+ reservations up to 30-days prior to arrival by purchasing your tickets prior to your trip and registering them on your MyDisneyExperience account. You can make up to three (3) FastPass+ reservations prior to arrival but Disney has a tiered system for FastPass selection that only allows you to select one of the new Toy Story Land attractions. If you plan to ride Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll definitely want to make this your FastPass+ choice because it is the more popular ride and gets the longest lines. The challenge here is that there are a limited number of FastPasses available for this attraction and you might not get one.

Stand-by lines are much, much shorter for the new Alien Swirling Saucers ride though Toy Story Mania! remains popular with the second longest waits in the area by virtue of it being a fun ride and the only ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that does not have a height restriction so that it is my second choice for a Toy Story Land FastPass if Slinky Dog is not available.

Avoiding Long Lines at Slinky Dog Dash When You Don’t Have FastPass+

Here’s what we did on our recent visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a morning that did not have an Extra Magic Hour, the park was opening at 9:00AM and where we did not have a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash. TouringPlans predicted low to moderate crowds but we would say that Disney’s Hollywood Studios felt much closer to moderate than low. We were able to get 9:45am FastPasses for Toy Story Mania:

8:10AM - We arrived at the park got through security quickly and lined up close fairly the front gates.

Tip for getting through security: Ideally, you should avoid taking any bags with you so that you can just sail through the "no bags" entrance. If that just isn't possible, do a quick scan of the available security lines to see if one appears to be moving faster or have people who don't appear to be bringing all of their earthly belongings into the park. Be sure you have all compartments of your bags open and ready.

8:35AM (25-minutes prior to the posted opening time) – We were allowed through the gates and down Hollywood Boulevard to where it intersects with Sunset Boulevard. If you don’t already have a park map and Times Guide, you can get those on the rack at the Crossroads kiosk that has Mickey Mouse on the top.

This tip will only work if your group is small and able and willing to move quickly: When you get in line, if all of the gates are not open, try to get in the leftmost line unless there is a compelling reason to avoid it because they may open additional lines as crowds are forming. Watch for that to happen and quickly move over when they do if it gets you closer to the gates. Once they let people in, start moving to the right side of the crowd.

Tip: When they let you through, you can usually move farther forward if you are on the edges of the crowd than if you are in the middle of the road. Try to be on the right side of the street, if at all possible but the left side is fine too - just go as far forward as possible.

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At 8:45AM (15-minutes prior to posted opening time) – They opened the park and began leading guests at a very brisk walk to Toy Story Land. There were also people headed to the registration for Jedi Training Academy and there were others who were headed to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. Some people headed to Toy Story Mania! which is close to the front of Toy Story Land and doesn’t have a height restriction but most people were lining up for Slinky Dog Dash.

Tip: We lost time in the bottleneck of the smaller hole through the arch. It may make sense to aim for the larger entrance unless you’re stuck behind a convoy of strollers and scooters.

9:02AM – We rode Slinky Dog Dash after waiting less than 10-minutes. We weren’t at the very front of the line but we were fairly far forward in the crowd.

Disney World Tips for Riding Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In this 10-minute video, Steve and Brian of TouringPlans.com checked out Slinky Dog Dash at park opening in Disney's Hollywood Studios and came out with a pretty good plan. So you know, this was filmed Saturday, September 15 with a crowd level of 4.

Ride Something Else if the Park Is already open when you arrive

The thing about this recommendation is that it only works if you arrive BEFORE the park opens and you are in the first wave of riders. The lines and waits for this ride get long quickly so, if you arrive after the park opens and you don’t get that first wave, early arrival advantage, you’re better off taking advantage of shorter lines at other rides early in the day and riding Slinky Dog Dash later.

The Rest of Our Morning

Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios / Walt Disney World Resort - Florida.

9:10AM – We rode Alien Swirling Saucers with no line. This is the farthest ride back in Toy Story Land so it takes a little longer to get busy. We would’ve ridden Toy Story Mania! next if we didn’t have a FastPass for it because it’s position near the front of Toy Story Land which causes the lines to get longer earlier and then ride Alien Swirling Saucers after that.

The lines were posted at over one hour for Slinky Dog Dash by now but we could’ve easily gotten onto Alien Swirling Saucers in a timely fashion for a second ride if we’d gone back into the line. Instead, we decided to get a Raspberry Lunchbox Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box and to visit restrooms before using our 9:45am Toy Story Mania! FastPasses. We also took time to watch the Green Army Men stop and train some young recruits.

Toy Story Land Tips for avoiding long lines on Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! / Disney World

By 10:00AM, we had seen and done everything Toy Story Land has to offer. The day was getting hot and the people who don’t know to arrive early were coming in droves. The lines for both Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers are outside, with only some patio style umbrellas along the route to provide shade so we were happy to be done and to head towards some indoor, air conditioned shows and attractions during the heat of the day.

Tips for avoiding long lines for Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios / Disney World.

Tips: Watch the weather; Slinky Dog shuts down for lightning - For research purposes, we went back in the afternoon and got into the line which had a 65-minute posted wait. We had gotten far enough forward to be under the covered area close to the ride when a lightning storm and heavy rain caused them to temporarily shut down the ride. Those waiting in the open were told to leave and take shelter and those of us under the covered area were given the option of leaving or staying. With no estimate of when the ride would reopen, some of the people in the covered area opted to leave but most, like us stayed. we ended up waiting 89-minutes to ride.

Slinky Dog Dash at Night / Toy Story Land / Disney’s Hollywood Studios park / Walt Disney World Resort

The park was scheduled to close at 8PM so we returned to Toy Story Land at about 7:00PM to see what it was like after dark. It is delightful! We puttered around taking pictures and headed back to Slinky Dog Dash at about 7:40pm to check out the lines at that time. The posted wait was 60-minutes but we got through and rode in about 20-minutes but you should probably keep in mind that the earlier downpour had caused some people to leave early. Slinky Dog Dash usually stays pretty busy all day long.

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities. That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.

4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us. You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer. You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

A Rough Start to A Disney Vacation - We Want Better for You

Disney Vacation Tips - Thoughts on getting off to a great start of your theme park vacation.

Disney Vacation Tips - Thoughts on getting off to a great start of your theme park vacation.

Steve and I were standing in line outside of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week when the lady with three grandchildren asked us, “Do you understand FastPass and is it worth it?”  You know how a sound can cause an avalanche? Well, that is what happened to that dear lady; her simple question loosed an avalanche of too much information on her head:

  • We explained, in too much detail, how FastPass works

  • Told her that there is no extra cost to use FastPass so it is definitely worth it!

  • Even though she didn’t really understand how to get the first three FastPasses, we explained how to add additional ones once those are done

  • We told her that shows are not usually a good use of a FastPass because of their high capacity

  • We told her to arrive well before park opening if FastPass wasn’t available for certain popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

  • Noticing the size and age differences of the kids at her side, we thought she needed to know about Rider Switch Passes

  • We asked if she had a park Times Guide and, when she didn’t, we gave her ours.

Poor lady, it was all too much and, if she did not gain a better understanding of FastPass, she at least learned the dangers of talking to enthusiastic strangers!  Steve showed her the spots on the park map where she would find Disney cast members to help her set up some FastPasses so I sincerely hope she went there and that they took care of her.

We gave her the best advice that we could but I was a little sad because, over the course of the conversation, I learned that this was a once in a lifetime trip for her extended family who find it hard to get away from the family farm for very long.  They had stood in line that morning to purchase their park tickets and I just kept thinking, “It would’ve cost a little less to buy your ticket in advance and you could’ve booked your FastPasses 30-days prior to arrival (they were staying off property), making your time in the parks so much easier.”  It is just too hard and stressful to try to figure out tickets, park maps and complex systems on the spot when the kids are clamoring to go do one of the bright and shiny things there in front of them. 

Making sure our clients get to the Disney and Universal theme parks knowing where to go, what to do and how things work is our number one priority and working with us before you arrive means you never have an experience like that classic final exam nightmare where you’ve arrived for the test but failed to study or even attend the necessary classes. If we meet you in the parks, we’ll try to help you even if you aren’t our client but we’d really love the opportunity to make sure you are well prepared and you don’t have to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

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Tips for Riding Avatar - Flight of Passage without Spending Hours in Line

Disney World Tips & Secrets - How to ride Avatar - Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom without spending hours in line, even if you don't have FastPass+

Disney World Tips & Secrets - How to ride Avatar - Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom without spending hours in line, even if you don't have FastPass+

Pandora – The World of Avatar has now been open long enough at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park for us to give you some tips for riding Avatar Flight of Passage which is currently seeing mid-day waits of up to 115-minutes, even though crowds are moderate now that the kids are back in school.  Lines are much, much shorter for Na’vi River Journey.  

Avoiding Long Lines with FastPass+

You can book FastPass+ reservation up 60-days prior to arrival when you have a reservation at an official Disney World hotel and at select "Good Neighbor" hotels when you have avacation package that includes tickets or you purchase your tickets prior to your trip and register them on your MyDisneyExperience account.   If you’re not staying at a Disney World resort, you can still book your FastPass+ reservations up to 30-days prior to arrival by purchasing your tickets prior to your trip and registering them on your MyDisneyExperience account.   You can make up to three (3) FastPass+ reservations prior to arrival but Disney has a tiered system for FastPass selection that only allows you to select one of the new Pandora/Avatar attractions.   If you plan to ride Avatar – Flight of Passage, you’ll definitely want to make this your FastPass+ choice because it is the more popular ride and gets the longest lines.   Ride Na’vi River Journey, using the stand-by line as soon as the park opens or come back about an hour prior to park closing.

Avoiding Long Lines When You Don’t Have FastPass+

We can probably help you get onto both attractions in a timely fashion but it is going to mean waking up early!   You need to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and get through security at least 45-minutes prior to park opening (60 minutes prior during heavy crowds) and work your way as far forward as possible on the left side (as you face the park) of the entrance.   When crowds are at least moderate or higher, they will let you in and start forming a line for Avatar – Flight of Passage BEFORE the park opens; they may even start letting people ride the attraction before the official opening time.  Arriving early and being closer to the front of that line is key here –arriving 30-minutes, rather than 45-minutes prior to opening, will add an extra half-hour of line time and the line quickly grow to 40-minutes long as soon as the park opens.  If you hate getting up early the way I do, you’re probably thinking, “If have to get up early to arrive 45 minutes before park open and the line will be 40 minutes long at parking opening, why don’t I just sleep later and wait the same 45 minutes?”   That’s a fair question and the answer is that, by arriving early, you will probably get to ride Avatar – Flight of Passage before the park opens and you’ll get to move on to the next attraction.  Every minute you save in the early morning equals at least 10-minutes of cumulative line time as the day goes on.  

If you'd like to hear a first-hand account of how this worked, listen to Radio Harambe, Episode 118.  You can jump ahead to about 57 minutes into the episode. At about the 58-minute point, they go into how this worked for them and the difference between arriving 30 minutes vs. 45 minutes prior to park opening.

Click Here for the Radio Harambe Podcast

Tip for getting through security: Ideally, you should avoid taking any bags with you so that you can just sail through the "no bags" entrance.   If that just isn't possible, do a quick scan of the available security lines to see if one appears to be moving faster or have people who don't appear to be bringing all of their earthly belongings into the park.  Be sure you have all compartments of your bags open and ready.   

Transportation:  If you have your own vehicle, this is an excellent time to drive to the park.  The Disney buses will start running one hour before the park opens.   If it works with your budget and you don’t have a vehicle available, I strongly recommend that you take a taxi or Uber to Disney’s Animal Kingdom so that you don’t have to worry about transportation delays.

Click here to learn about line minimizing theme park touring plans

Breakfast – Satu’li Canteen, in Pandora – World of Avatar, serves a nice selection of breakfast choices, does not require (or even allow) advance reservations, and even offers mobile ordering through the MyDisneyExperience app to help you avoid lines at the restaurant.   This option only works if you’re paying with a credit card, debit card or Disney Dining Plan but cannot be used with the cash.  You just order and pay using the app prior to riding the attractions and then, when you get to the restaurant, go back into the app and press the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button.  You’ll receive a notification through the map that tells you when you can pick up your food at area with the “Mobile Order Pick-Up” sign.

Click here for Satu’li Canteen Menu & Pricing

Click Here for more Mobile Ordering information.

Don't Miss Out On Great Experiences At Disney World!

We want to help you have the most wonderful, most memorable Disney vacation possible. We know that giving you good, up-to-date information and a few simple tools will make a huge difference in your Disney vacation. Long lines become short lines and you will have great memories of shared experiences instead of missed opportunities.  That's why we're called Build A Better Mouse Trip.

Here’s how we help you have a great vacation:

  1. Your travel agent – You have one agent from start-to-finish who knows your name and your priorities and who wants to do everything possible to help you have a wonderful experience.

  2. “Best Days” Itinerary – We’ll help you build an itinerary that includes your priorities for fireworks, parades, crowds and shows. Then we help with dining & Fastpass+ reservations.

  3. Saving Money – Of course we watch for discounts and promotion and automatically apply the best available offer to your reservation but we also help you avoid up-sells and options you won’t use.

  4. We Are Fee-Free - We book directly through Disney and we never charge a service fee so you never pay any extra to use our services when you book your trip through us. You can have all the benefits Disney offers PLUS all the services we offer. You can also purchase planning services through us if you've booked on your own or through another travel agency.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote

How To Get the FastPass+ Options That Will Save the Most Time

Are you wondering which FastPass+ reservations are best? We give an Unofficial Guide or a subscription to TouringPlans to each of our clients.  These fantastic resources are full of powerful and up-to-date information that will help you keep lines and waits to a minimum. 

Click Here to Find Out How You Can Get Free Disney World Touring Plans

If you have the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (printed guidebook), look at the touring plans found near the back of the book and select a plan that is right for your group. You'll find FastPass+ recommendations and best times so that your theme park touring plan and your FastPass+ reservations work together to give you the best way to keep lines to an absolute minimum.

Disney World Tip - How to pick the FastPass+ options that provide the biggest benefit.

If you have a TouringPlans subscription, look under the "Touring Plans" tab, select a park and you'll find the FastPass+ recommendations in the gray box near the top of the plan.

Where to find FastPass+ recommendations on a TouringPlans.com plan.

Where to find FastPass+ recommendations on a TouringPlans.com plan.

If you aren't using a Disney World theme park touring plan or itinerary, here are the attractions I recommend you try to get FastPass+ reservations for:

Magic Kingdom:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - this is the Magic Kingdom's newest attraction and is very centrally located so long lines are always an issue here.

  • Peter Pan’s Flight - Surprised? Again, the central location is an issue but this ride also has a very low rider capacity and relatively slow loading and unloading so a FastPass here can free up a lot of time you would've spent in line.

Note: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a new roller coaster (you don’t go upside down) that is Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction and that, along with the central location, means that lines are horrific.  Peter Pan's Flight suffers from low loading speed, low rider capacity and a central location so its lines also are terrible.  

How to Beat the Crowds at Magic Kingdom
The 14-minute below shows you where the “hot spots” are in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and more importantly, how to move to avoid the crowds.

 Epcot:

  • Frozen Ever After – popularity of Frozen plus the fact that this is Epcot’s newest attraction means long lines.

  • Test Track and Soarin' are always popular but Disney will only let you choose one of the rides mentioned in this section so go with Test Track or Frozen Ever After and ride Soarin' using the standby line as soon as the park opens.

How to Beat the Crowds at Epcot

The 11-minute video below helps you plan a day at Epcot that will keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.

 Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • Disney is currently only allowing guests to choose one FastPass from the new Toy Story Land.

  • Slinky Dog Dash is new and will also be very popular - this FastPass option can be hard to get, even 60-days early. Also, a lot of its line is outside which means your wait can be really hot without FastPass.

  • Toy Story Midway Mania – the fact that this is the only ride in this park that is truly appropriate for all ages causes long lines and has no height restriction.

  • Rock 'n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror are always popular choices for thrill seekers.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers is easier to get and lines aren't usually as long; I wouldn't choose this one.

 Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

 You don’t typically need FastPass+ for shows or 3D movies.

The 9 1/2 minute video below will explain the crowd patterns at Disney’s Animal Kingdom so you can avoid - or at least manage - them and have a great day.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote
The Unofficial Guide book is full of great information to help you have a better Disney World experience. Learn how you can get this book for free at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/free-touring-plans

The Unofficial Guide book is full of great information to help you have a better Disney World experience. Learn how you can get this book for free at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/free-touring-plans