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Let’s talk Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tips and tricks that’ll make sure you have the best day in Hollywood Studios!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has undergone a huge transformation in the past few years. It went from a half-day park to a park that has some of the most sought after rides in all of Disney World!
Now that Hollywood Studios is an incredibly popular and busy park, you need to know the best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ secrets.
You’ll waste a lot of time standing in line if you don’t use these Fastpass+ secrets! You may not even be able to ride all the attractions you want to!
So read on to become a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ expert!
1. Know What You Don’t Need a Fastpass+ For
Just like in every Walt Disney World park, there are certain rides in Hollywood Studios you need a Fastpass+ for and some you don’t.
It is important you understand what rides don’t need a Fastpass+ for.
Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections are difficult to make, so if you know exactly what you don’t need a Hollywood studios Fastpass+ for, it will make your life easier.
Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tiers
The first step in figuring out what you do and don’t need a Fastpass+ for is understanding the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tiers.
Hollywood Studios has two Fastpass+ tiers.
You’re allowed to select one Fastpass+ for a ride in tier one and two rides in tier two.
So what rides are in each category?
Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tier One Rides
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tier Two Rides
- Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
- Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Star Tours
- Muppet 3D Vision
- Beauty and the Beast
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
Deciding What You Don’t Need a Fastpass+ For
There are certain attractions that you simply don’t need a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for.
I don’t suggest you get a Fastpass+ for the following attractions:
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Beauty and the Beast
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- Muppet 3D Vision
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that all of the attractions that you don’t need a Fastpass+ for are in tier two.
You can often walk up to these attractions and get on them within a few minutes. For the shows, you can show up 5-15 minutes before and generally get a seat.
It isn’t worth using your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections on these attractions when the rest of the attractions in Hollywood Studios always have a long line and are a much better use of a Fastpass+.
2. Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines
Hollywood Studios has the most single rider lines of any of Disney World parks. Technically, it is the same number of single rider queues as Animal Kingdom, so both parks are tied for the most single rider lines.
Fun fact: Magic Kingdom is the only park in Disney World that doesn’t have any rides that offer a single rider line?!
Single rider lines are one of the best ways to get a lot done in a short amount of time. They are often way shorter than the regular lines.
What Exactly is a Single Rider Line?
A single rider line is a queue that is used to fill vacant seats on popular rides.
Let’s say a ride vehicle seats three people, and there is a party of two in line. One person from the single rider line will be sat with that group of two, so the ride vehicle is always filled to capacity.
This helps the line move quicker and the ride operate efficiently.
You’re able to use the single rider line if you’re a party of two or more, but you will be separated when you reach the front of the line.
You will not be able to sit with your group if you use the single rider line. You will ride the attraction with a group of strangers.
Hollywood Studios Rides that Offer a Single Rider Line
- Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
How Do I Know if the Single Rider Line is Right for Me?
The single rider line is a great option, but it isn’t for everybody.
I personally love it and use it all the time, but I also have friends who hate it. It really comes down to personal preference.
You may not enjoy using the single rider line if:
- It is the first time you’re riding the attraction, you’re a bit scare, and you would feel more comfortable riding with a familiar face rather than a stranger
- You have small children in your group that you don’t want riding alone
- You want a ride photo of you with your group rather than with strangers
How Exactly is this a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tip?!
Good question! You may have read this entire section and been like thanks for the valuable information, but how exactly is this a Fastpass+ tip?
Well, if you take advantage of the single rider lines, you’re able to use your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections on attractions that don’t have single rider lines.
I’ve found the Millennium Falcom: Smugglers Run single rider line moves very quickly and is significantly shorter than the regular standby line.
If you want to ride all three rides in tier one and are comfortable using the single rider line, then you can use your tier one Fastpass+ selection for either Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Slinky Dog Dash.
Using the single rider lines strategically will help you make better Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ choices.
3. Get a Bonus Fastpass+
Every Disney guest is allowed to make three Fastpass+ selections per day.
Most people think that once they use their three pre-chosen Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections, they’re out of luck and have to use the standby line the rest of the day, but that isn’t true.
You can book a fourth bonus Fastpass+ as soon as you’ve used up your original three Fastpass+ selections!
Yup. You read that right! You can keep making additional Fastpass+ selections one at a time after you’ve used your three pre-selected Fastpass+ options.
This is a great way to see more of Hollywood Studios without spending a lot of time in line.
How to Make a Bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selection
It is incredibly easy to make your bonus Fastpass+ selection!
You can either book it directly through the My Disney Experience app or use one of the Fastpass+ kiosks around the park.
You can book a bonus Fastpass+ for any attraction. It doesn’t have to be an attraction from tier two. You can book an additional Fastpass+ for a tier one attraction (if there are any left)!
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+
As with all things Disney, there is a way to get the best bang for your buck.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your bonus Fastpass+:
Book Your Bonus Fastpass+ as Soon as You Scan Your Last Fastpass+
The best way to get the most out of your bonus Fastpass+ is to book it as soon as you’ve scanned your magic band or park ticket to use your last Hollywood Studios Fastpass+.
Book your next Fastpass+ while you’re standing in the Fastpass+ queue waiting to get on the ride!
This will allow you to maximize your time in Hollywood Studios, and you’re more likely to get a bonus Fastpass+ for the ride you want.
You’re Able to Book More than One Bonus Fastpass+
You can make as many bonus Fastpass+ selections as you want!
You can only book one bonus Fastpass+ at a time, but once you use it, you can book another one right away.
The competition to get a desirable Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ is fierce. It is difficult to get a bonus Fastpass+ for a tier one attraction or some of the more popular tier two attractions.
But keep trying as soon as you use your last Fastpass+, and you might just get lucky!
Book a Bonus Fastpass+ for an Attraction with a Nearby Return Time
One of the best ways you can get the most out of your bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ is by choosing a ride that has a return window that is close to the time you’re booking it.
If you have the choice to book a bonus Fastpass+ for a ride that has a Fastpass+ return time in an hour from when you’re booking versus a ride that has a return time that is five hours from when you’re booking, it is in your best interest to book the Fastpass+ for the ride you can get on in an hour.
This will help you get the most done in Hollywood Studios, and you can potentially book an additional bonus Fastpass+ for the ride that has a later return time once you’ve used your first bonus Fastpass+.
Be Strategic When Making Your Original Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selections
You’ll have a better chance of getting a good bonus Fastpass+ selection if your’e strategic about when you book your original three Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections.
The earlier in the day you’ve used your original Fastpass+ selections, the earlier in the day you can get a bonus Fastpass+. The earlier in the day you can get a bonus Fastpass+, the better your chances of there being a Fastpass+ available for the ride you want.
It is a win-win!
I suggest trying to book all your original Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections for before 2pm.
And even earlier than that if possible, but it can be difficult to get an early Fastpass+ return time for the attractions in tier one.
4. You Can’t Get a Fastpass+ to Meet Characters
Hollywood Studios is the only Walt Disney World park where you can’t get a Fastpass+ to meet your favourite characters.
You can get a Fastpass+ to meet Mickey and Minnie in Animal Kingdom and a Fastpass+ to meet Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy in Epcot. There are tons of characters in Magic Kingdom you can get a Fastpass+ to meet. They include Mickey, Tinker Bell, and the princesses.
But no such luck in Hollywood Studios.
If you want to meet any characters in Hollywood Studios, you have to wait in line, and the line can get really long for popular characters.
You need to be strategic about when you book your Hollywood Studio Fastpass+ selections if you want to meet characters.
To have the lowest wait time to meet characters, you’ll want to meet them either right when they start greeting guests at 10am or wait until the end of the night and try to sneak into the line when everybody else has left for the day.
5. Fantasmic! Isn’t a Great Option
Fantasmic! is one of my favourite nighttime Disney shows (although the Disneyland version is way better), but it isn’t the best use of your Fastpass+.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- It prevents you from being able to get a bonus Fastpass+
- You still have to show up fairly early to get a decent seat
- A lot of the time you can get a Fastpass+ for the second showing of Fantasmic! in the afternoon as a bonus Fastpass+
I’ve used one of my original three Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections for Fantasmic! in the past, and it wasn’t a great experience.
I got to the Fastpass+ line half an hour before the show starts (as it said to do on my Fastpass+), entered the theater, and discovered that nearly all the Fastpass+ seats were already filled.
The only seats left were in the very last section, and it was difficult to find a place for two people to sit.
The standard advice people tell you about Fantasmic! is that if you’re using the stand-by queue, to be there an hour early, so I don’t see the value of using a Fastpass+ selection for Fasntasmic! unless it is a bonus Fastpass+ I get the day of.
From my experience, you have to show up about 45 minutes early if you have a Fastpass+, so you’re not really saving that much time by getting a Fastpass+ for Fantasmic!.
There are much better ways you can use your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections. You can save a lot more time by using your Fastpass+ for a ride that normally has a queue that is an hour or longer than for Fantasmic!.
But you should still try to see Fantasmic! while you’re at Hollywood Studios. It is a lot of fun!
6. Adjust Your Fastpass+ if You’re Running Late
It is easy to lose track of time and then realize that your Fastpass+ window for your favourite attraction is nearly over!
It is an anxiety-inducing moment, but there is a sneaky way around it!
You simply go into your My Disney Experience app and alter the time of your Fastpass+. You can push it back (or even change what attraction it is for) in the app, and you don’t have to worry about losing your Fastpass+.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to push your Fastpass+ back and get a later Fastpass+ for the same ride, but it is worth a shot.
You probably won’t be able to push back your Hollywood Studios tier one Fastpass+ and expect to get another tier one Fastpass+ (there won’t be any left), but this strategy often works for the rides in tier two.
Even if you’re not able to get a Fastpass+ for the same ride, it is better to push your Fastpass+ if you’re going to miss your window.
It is better to have a Fastpass+ for something rather than for nothing!
What if I’m Only Running a Little Late?
It is super easy to be running five minutes behind- especially when there is a kid in your group!
Disney World has a very short grace period. You can normally use your Fastpass+ five minutes before the start of your return time and 10-15 minutes after your return time has ended.
This is not guaranteed, and you should not rely on this policy.
A lot of the time it is up to the discretion of the cast member to decide whether or not you’ll be able to use your Fastpass+ once your window is over.
You can explain why you’re late and hope you win over the caste member.
The very best way to solve this issue is by not being late in the first place! You work hard to book your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selection in advance, and it would be a shame not to be able to use them!
7. Book Your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ ASAP
You need to book your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections as soon as your selection window opens!
Of all the parks in Disney World, I think the Fastpass+ competition is the most fierce at Hollywood Studios. It can be extremely difficult to get the Fastpass+ selections you want, and you often have to be very flexible about what time you book your Fastpas+ for.
Basically, you need to scoop up the Fastpass+ selections you can even if they are at a less desirable time.
You can make your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections:
- 60 days in advance if your’e staying on Disney property
- 30 days in advance if you’re not staying on Disney property
Your Fastpass+ booking window opens at 7 am EST.
This is true whether you’re allowed to book your Fastpass+ 60 days or 30 days in advance.
You have to be on your computer (or in the My Disney Experience app) at exactly 7 am EST, know what you want a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for, and make your selections as quick as possible.
It is quite the rush first thing in the morning!
Your chances of getting the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you want are way better if you’re on the computer at 7 am EST making your selections 60 days in advance.
You’ll still be able to get some good Fastpass+ selections if you book 30 days out, but you may not be able to get a Fastpass+ for every ride you want and certainly not at the times you want.
Your chances of getting a good Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ significantly decreases the longer you wait to book your Fastpass+. There will be basically no tier one Fastpass+ options 29 days before your vacation, and you’ll have trouble booking a Fastpass+ for some of the more popular tier two attractions.
8. Take Advantage of Park Closing
That last section may have scared you a little bit, and you may be thinking that trying to get the very best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections is a lost cause. But is isn’t.
You’ll be able to get some great Fastpass+ selections whether you book your Fastpass+ 60 days or 30 days in advance, but not matter what you do, you’ll never be able to get a Fastpass+ for everything you want to ride.
This is where taking advantage of park closing comes in.
It is similar to my tip about taking advantage of single rider lines. It isn’t really a direct Fastpass+ tip, but it helps you make good Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ choices.
What’s so Special About Park Closing?!
Park closing is one of the best times to take advantage of short wait times.
Not many people stay until Hollywood Studios closes, and if they do, most of them are watching Fantasmic! or the fire works.
This means the ride lines are very short!
And that is great news for you!
You’re able to ride one of the most popular rides in Hollywood Studios (typically a tier one ride or Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror) with little to no wait time.
If you know that you want to stay until the park closes, you can plan to visit one of the most popular attractions at night and plan the rest of your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections around that.
I suggest trying to ride Slinky Dog Dash at the end of the evening because it is really fun to ride under the pitch black sky. The rest of the rides are indoors, so you won’t get a special experience by riding them at night.
Liar! The Wait Times Always Seem Just as Long at Park Closing
This is a sneaky tactic used by Disney to deter a lot of people from jumping in a ride line just as the park closes.
A lot of the time rides will display a long stand-by wait time right at park close, but the wait is never as long as it says.
Sometimes it is only half as long, which can still be fairly long in some cases.
I once jumped into the Slinky Dog Dash line about five minutes before Hollywood Studios closed. The wait time was displayed at 60 minutes, but, in reality, it was only about 30 minutes.
That’s a pretty substantial difference!
It may not always be the case, but I’ve never had an experience where the wait time displayed just before park closing was completely accurate.
The wait was always shorter in reality. It just depends on the day how much shorter it is.
But you can guarantee that it will be shorter than if you were waiting in line in the middle of the day.
One Final Note on Park Close
You will be allowed to ride a ride if the park is officially closed as long as you’re in the line before the park closes.
If Hollywood Studios closes at 9 pm, you can get in the Tower of Terror line at 8:59 pm and be able to ride it no matter how long the wait is!
So don’t think that just because a wait time is 30 minutes and the park closes in 15 that you won’t be able to get in line.
You can get in line, and you will be able to ride the ride!
It is a great little trick to squeeze just a little bit more out of your Disney day!
9. Show are a Time Suck
There are a number of different stage shows in Hollywood Studios that you can get a Fastpass+ for, but I don’t really recommend any of them.
The problem with them is that they are a time suck.
You have to show up to the show at least 15 minutes early, watch a 30-minute show, and then go about your day again.
I have nothing against watching the stage shows (some of them are quite fun!), but they aren’t the best use of your Fastpass+ for two reasons.
You Can Show Up at the Same Time and Use the Stand-by Line
This is the same complaint as I have with the Fantasmic! Fastpass+.
You’re not really getting an advantage by having a Fastpass+ for a stage show.
You have to show up at the same time as people in the stand-by line. The only difference is what part of the theater you’re allowed to sit in.
In some cases, you can even show up just a minute or two before the show and get a seat in the stand-by line.
The fact that you have to dedicate extra time to take advantage of your Fastpass+ doesn’t seem like a very good deal to me.
In fact, I think it is a bit of a rip off.
It Makes Planning the Rest of Your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selections More Difficult
You’re dedicating at least 50 minutes of your time to watching a stage show by the time you get there 15 minutes early, watch the show, and then get out of the theater.
This makes it quite difficult to know when to schedule your other Fastpass+ selections for.
You can easily make the mistake of getting a Fastpass+ for another attraction too close to the time of the show and then either have to run to your next Fastpass+ or miss it all together.
Not a great situation to be in.
If you do decide to get a Fastpass+ for a stage show, you shouldn’t make another Fastpass+ reservation for at least 75 minutes after the show starts.
That gives you 30 minutes to watch the show and then 45 minutes to funnel out of the theater, use the washroom, and get to your next attraction.
My Suggestion for Shows
I enjoy the shows at Hollywood Studios, and I think you should consider taking some time to watch one or two of them.
My strategy when it comes to shows is to be aware of when their show times are and then go to the one that fits best into my schedule.
Maybe I have a multi-hour gap between my Fastpass+ reservations. Maybe I’m exhausted and want to sit for an extended period of time.
There will likely be a chunk of time in your day at Hollywood Studios that needs to be filled, and there is no better way to fill it than by watching a show.
It certainly beats standing in a long queue outside in Toy Story Land or wandering through the shops for hours on end.
10. Choose What is Most Important to You
You’ve heard me give a lot of advice in this post.
You shouldn’t get a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for this ride or shows aren’t a great use of your time. But it all comes down to what is important to you!
You can read every blog about Hollywood Studios Fastpass+, take all the advice, follows everything to exact detail, and have a crappy day in the park.
All because you took the advice of someone on the internet rather than listening to your gut and doing what is the best for you and your group.
You should educate yourself on how to get the most out of your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections, but you should ultimately do what makes sense for you.
If you adore the Muppets (how could you not?!), then maybe it is worth it to get a Fastpass+ for Muppet 3D Vision on the off chance that there is a short line, and you don’t want to wait.
Or maybe you have a child in your party who adores Elsa and would be heartbroken if they didn’t get to see the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Then get a Fastpass+ for that.
It all comes down to what will make your day the most magical.
BONUS Rise of the Resistance Tip
Rise of the Resistance is the hottest ride at Disney World right now.
You can’t get a Fastpass+ for it, and it can throw your day for a complete loop!
The only way to ride Rise of the Resistance is to get a boarding group. The only way to get a boarding group is to be inside Hollywood Studios the moment it opens, log into your My Disney Experience app, and pray for a miracle.
If you’re lucky enough to get a boarding group, you will be notified on the app when your boarding group is ready to board the ride.
Once you get that notification, you only have a limited amount of time to get to Rise of the Resistance, or your right to ride the ride is lost.
You never know when your boarding group will be called, so it may unintentionally interfere with the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you made in advance.
You have to have a plan in place in case this happens. This is especially true if you’re traveling with children or people (like me) who aren’t great at going with the flow.
Decide ahead of time whether you’re willing to sacrifice riding a tier one attraction to ride Rise of the Resistance. And have a conversation with your group, so everybody knows the plan.
In a lot of cases, you’re able to work around your Fastpass+ selections and Rise of the Resistance to do both, but there are cases where that just isn’t possible.
Have a plan in place and know what is more important to you.
This will help you with any hard decision you need to make on the day you’re visiting Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood Studios is quickly becoming the park where you need a rock solid Fastpass+ strategy in order to conquer it.
Gone are the days where there were hardly any waits, and it had a more laid-back vibe.
Now it is filled with people eyeing up their favourite rides at rope drop, disappointment because you didn’t get all the Fastpass+ selections you wanted, and, frankly, not enough indoor quick service dining locations.
These Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tips will help you plan the perfect Hollywood Studios strategy for you.
You’re armed with all the knowledge you need. All that is left to do is make the best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you can and enjoy your day at Hollywood Studios.
May the Force be with you!