A trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is always exciting; from the movie-themed rides to the behind-the-scenes look into show business, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. However, there’s one thing that nobody looks forward to when they visit a Disney park: lines.
That’s why it’s essential that you take advantage of the FastPass system, a unique way to minimize the time you spend waiting in lines and maximize the time you spend on attractions.
I’ve put together a helpful guide that details what the Fast Pass system is, how it works, and how you can use it to your advantage. By following these steps, you can make the absolute most out of your trip to Hollywood Studios!
How many FastPasses a day at Hollywood studios?
Through the Hollywood Studios Fast Passes system, you can reserve your place in line on certain rides at a specific time. Instead of waiting in the long, regular line for an unknown amount of time, you can just book your place and enjoy a shorter wait period. There will be a separate, much shorter, Fast Pass line for all of the Fast Pass holders.
With the price of your regular ticket, you enjoy three free Fast Passes! That’s three opportunities to save time on long waits, all for no additional cost. It’s the ideal time-saver for people who aren’t interested in paying premium prices for private tours.
You can book these three passes up to 60 days in advance if you are staying at a Disney resort and 30 days in advance otherwise; after that, you can continue to book Fast Passes, but just one at a time.
Disney does have some limitations when it comes to how you can use the Fast Pass. There are different tiers for the pass, based on the popularity of different rides, and you’ll need to select your attractions based on these tiers.
What are the tiers for FastPass?
When you’re booking your rides using Hollywood Studios Fast Passes, there are some important rules you’ll have to follow. These can be confusing to someone new to Fast Passes, so reviewing how the passes work can be helpful when it comes to planning your rides.
There are two “tiers” for the Fast Pass. Each one covers different rides and attractions. These are:
- Tier 1: most popular rides
- Tier 2: fast pass options not in Tier 1
The attractions in Tier 1 are more in demand than those in Tier 2, so they’ll be harder to book time slots for. For this reason, Disney Hollywood Studios allows you to book only one ride from Tier 1. Your other two Fast Passes will have to be used for rides in Tier 2.
This is really the central restriction you’ll face when using your Fast Passes. You have free range when it comes to actually select your rides. In other words, while you can only pick one Tier 1 ride, you can choose amongst any that are available. The same applies to the Tier 2 rides.
Since there are quite a few options to choose from, it can be overwhelming. It’s important to make the right decision to make sure that you get the most out of your experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
It’s also important to note that not everything is included in the Fast Pass. That’s why I specified that the Tier 2 options include “fast pass” options that are not in Tier 1, as opposed to everything that is not in Tier 1. This guide will outline the exact options you’ll have at your disposal, making it easier to plan your Fast Pass strategy.
What can’t I use my Hollywood Studios FastPasses for?
Some Hollywood Studios rides and shows do not provide an option to use the Fast Pass. These include the following:
- Lightning McQueen Racing Academy
- Meet Mike and Sulley
- Meet the Incredibles at Pixar Place
- Star Wars Launch Bay Theater
- Star Wars: A Galatic Spectacular
- Wonderful World of Animation
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
If you’re interested in any of these attractions, you need to be prepared for the potential of dealing with long lines. For this reason, you might want to try and hit these rides earlier in the morning, when the park tends to be less crowded.
Knowing the best way to use your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass can also help you decide when you should fit these rides into your schedule.
Best Use of Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Times
It’s important to pick the rides or shows you want to use your Fast Passes on wisely. You can’t book all of your rides at once; you’ll have to wait until you’ve checked into your first one before you can book a second one.
Since you’re only allowed to pick one ride from Tier 1, you should try to book that one as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more crowded these rides will be, which reduces your chances of getting a time slot! Aim to get the first time slot possible for your Tier 1 choice.
Your other Fast Pass choices can be later in the day, ideally between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm–you don’t want to wait too long, otherwise these might get booked too.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your FastPass line. For example, don’t attend a show very close to your reserved Fast Pass time. If you arrive too late, you don’t get a second chance; you’ll have wasted one of your limited Fast Pass opportunities.
Another good way to use your Hollywood Studios Fast Passes is being aware of which rides offer other means to quicken the wait time. For example, some rides provide a single rider line which is usually considerably shorter than the regular lines, so it might not be the best idea to utilize your Fast Pass for rides that include these lines.
Don’t forget to use the tap and grab technique to try and maximize your chances of getting on the ride of your choice. Once you’ve checked into your first ride, you should get on your Fast Pass app as soon as possible and reserve your second ride.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 1 Best Choices
The Tier 1 options include the busiest, most popular rides, so you’re probably going to want to take a look at these ones first.
At Hollywood Studios, you have three ride choices in Tier 1. These are:
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers
- Runaway Railway
To help you decide which one to use your FastPass on, I’ve divided these up based on whether or not they’re worth using your Fast Pass for. Here are the best Tier 1 choices.
Slinky Dog Dash
If you’re debating what attraction to use your one Tier 1 Hollywood Studio Fast Pass on, you can’t go wrong with the Slinky Dog Dash! Because it’s one of the newer rides at Hollywood Studios, it tends to attract long lines. Not to mention, its family-friendly appeal means you’ll get bigger groups waiting in line too.
This ride takes you through Andy’s (a character from the hit movie Toy Story) yard, letting you enjoy the perspective of one of his toys. It offers the fun feel of a roller coaster, with high climbs and quick drops, without being too fast or intense. In other words, it’s perfect for families and roller coaster lovers alike.
Another reason you might want to use your Fast Pass on this ride is that the line is fully outdoors—if it’s super hot out you definitely want to minimize your time on the line and stay cool for as long as you can!
Keep in mind, this ride has a height restriction of 38 inches or about 3 feet, so if anyone in your party is below this limit you might want to use your pass for another ride.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
If you can’t get your hands on a Fas tPass for the Slinky Dog Dash, then the Runaway Railway is the way to go. This is another relatively new, family-friendly attraction, which makes it appealing to big crowds.
While this isn’t the most intense ride, the cool technology, familiar characters, and fun sounds guarantee that it will be a great time! This attraction also has no height restrictions, making it accessible to all park visitors.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 1 Worst Choices
While all of the rides at Hollywood Studios offer a fun time, there are some attractions that you probably shouldn’t use up your limited Hollywood Studios Fast Pass options on. Here are the worst Tier 1 choices.
Star Wars Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Even if you are the biggest Star Wars fan in the world, I would not recommend using your Fast Pass on this attraction, since it is a motion simulator as opposed to an actual ride. While these are fun, it just doesn’t justify using your Fast Pass. The only time I would use the pass on this ride is if the other Tier 1 options are completely booked.
If you are interested in this attraction and don’t want to endure those long lines, there is an option that doesn’t require using your Fast Pass. This ride offers a single-rider line, which is a shortcut to speeding up your wait-time without wasting your pass.
You can also make sure to ride this as soon as the park opens.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 1 Conclusion
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these options; after all, they’re in Tier 1 for a reason! While I recommend using your one Tier 1 Fast Pass for either the Slinky Dog Dash or Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, your choice ultimately depends on your preferences.
If you plan to ride all three of these, then you might want to just use your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass on whichever has the longest line. If you’re only going to ride one, then ask yourself what you want. Do you prefer a fast-paced roller coaster, or something more easygoing and family-friendly?
Don’t forget to use the tap and grab technique once you book your Tier 1 ride, and secure your spot in some Tier 2 attractions!
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 2 BestChoices
Tier 2 has more options than Tier 1. While these rides and shows typically aren’t as in demand as the ones in Tier 1, they’re still very enjoyable and tend to attract some pretty long lines during the busy seasons. The attractions you can book in Tier 2 include:
- Toy Story Mania
- Tower of Terror
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast
- Star Tours
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Like with Tier 1, there are some attractions I would recommend using your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass for over others.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
If you’re a roller-coaster fan, then the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is an absolute must at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You’ll enjoy super speeds, great heights, cool music, and a dark atmosphere. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and only those over 48 inches, or 4 feet, can ride.
Now, keep in mind that the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster does have a single rider line, which might make you think that it’s not worth using your Fast Pass for. However, because the ride uses two-across seats instead of three-across ones, the single rider line does tend to move a little slower than it does at other rides, making it less of an advantage than it normally would be.
Toy Story Midway Mania
If you’re not one for roller-coasters, or you have small children in your party, then Toy Story Midway Mania might be the choice for you. The fun movie theme and cool interactive element mean that this attraction almost always has long lines, which is probably something you want to skip!
There’s no height restriction, so the whole family can hop aboard. You’ll have tons of fun shooting the moving targets, which will pop out thanks to the 4D glasses you get when you enter.
Since this ride tends to get busy, you’re probably better off using your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass later in the day than being first in line without one. If you’re not going to be using it on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, then this is the next best choice.
Tower of Terror
If you’re a horror fan or just love a good free fall, then you can’t go wrong with the classic Tower of Terror. This is the second tallest ride at Disney, so it is definitely not for someone afraid of heights. Keep in mind that this ride has a 40-inch height requirement.
The Tower of Terror is one of the most famous rides at Disney. People love the spooky atmosphere, the Twilight Zone theme, and, of course, the 200-foot elevator drop! Thus, you can’t go wrong with using your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass here.
Alien Swirling Saucers
If you’re traveling with kids or just aren’t a fan of fast roller coasters and big drops, then you might want to use your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass on the Alien Swirling Saucers ride, found in Toy Story world.
You’ll get to check out some aliens while going for a fun spin, and you don’t have to worry about crazy heights and speeds! Riders need to be 32-inches or taller, so this is another one that’s ideal for families with younger children.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 2 Worst Choices
There are tons of fun attractions at Disney Hollywood Studios, but some of them simply aren’t worth using your Fast Pass on if you can avoid it. Here are some attractions I wouldn’t recommend using your pass for unless everything else is full.
Star Wars–The Adventures Continue!
Like the Smuggler’s Run ride, this Tier 2 attraction is more of a simulation than an actual ride. Again, it’s hard to justify using a Hollywood Studios Fast Pass on a simulation.
If you’re a massive Star Wars, then you’ll probably appreciate the chance to explore the galaxy and meet some of your favorite franchise characters. But if you’re not, you probably want to try and save that precious Fast Pass for something else.
For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-Along!
This attraction is a show rather than a ride. You’ll get to watch Anna and Elsa perform a sing-along of your favorite tunes from Frozen. There are large screens that pump out the lyrics, so you’ll be able to follow along.
This might be worth using your Hollywood Studios fast pass for if you or your kids are huge Frozen fans, but if not, you might want to use that pass for another attraction. If you are going to use it for this one, be aware that the show is 30 minutes long and will run every half-hour (so 10:00, 10:30, and so on). You need to give yourself enough time to get there before the show starts.
This is another Hollywood Studios fast pass option that’s a show rather than a ride. The show doesn’t occur frequently; you can only catch it at night and on certain nights. You’ll get a glimpse into Mickey Mouse’s mind, enjoying scenes of his dreams and nightmares. You can also bop along with some of your favorite Disney songs.
The reason I wouldn’t recommend using your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass on this one is that you can still gain entry even if you don’t have a Fast Pass. However, with the pass, you’ll be guaranteed seating in a good area and you don’t have to worry about regular wait times. If you’re a big Fantasia fan, it might be worth using your pass on. Make sure to arrive ahead of time and dress warmly, because the show is outdoors!
Guaranteed, reserved seating to Fantasmic can also be reached with a Fantasmic Dining Package.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This show is a big hit for Little Mermaid fans. It’s just 17 minutes long and takes place indoors, taking you through a sea journey along with Ariel and her fishy friends.
You probably won’t need to use your Hollywood Studios Fast pass for this one; because the show is relatively short, it runs quite frequently. That means there are plenty of opportunities to catch it without relying on your Fast Pass.
Muppet Vision 3D
This attraction is one of the most famous ones Hollywood Studios has to offer. It’s just fifteen minutes and features a 3D live-action movie that stars all of your favorite Muppets.
Like the Little Mermaid attraction, this one runs pretty frequently, so you probably won’t have trouble securing a spot without a fast pass. The theater is also large and can take in several guests at once–it houses over 500 people!
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
If you’re an Indiana Jones fan, you’ll probably enjoy this show. You’ll get to see live stunt performances, cool effects, and learn some behind-the-scenes facts about this fun franchise. You even have the opportunity to volunteer to be part of the show!
This show is geared more toward an older audience, but kids can enjoy it as well. It has limited timings, so it might be worth securing your spot with your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass if you can spare it. However, I definitely suggest trying to use your fast pass on other attractions first. Since it’s a show, the Stunt Spectacular has set timings that make it easier to get a seat without having to wait too long.
Disney Junior Dance Party
This show lets you get down and party with some of your favorite characters, including Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins. People of all ages will enjoy grooving in the cool, air-conditioned theater, listening to fun songs, and showing off their moves. It’s 25 minutes long, so take that into consideration when planning your schedule.
While it’s fun for everyone, this attraction is definitely geared toward the kids. If you’re not traveling with children you probably won’t want to use your Fast Pass on this one.
Beauty and the Beast
If you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, then of course this live-action rendition of the classic movie is a must-see. This 25-minute, outdoor show is fun for the entire family. You’ll get to see beautiful costumes, laugh along with your favorite characters, and listen to some great music. What’s not to like?
While I do recommend seeing this show, especially if you or someone in your group is a Beauty and the Beast fan, I don’t recommend using your Hollywood Studios Fast Pass on this because it’s generally not too difficult to get seats.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tier 2 Conclusion
With all of the Tier 2 choices at your disposal, it can be hard to decide what to use your limited Hollywood Studios Fast Pass choices on. Ultimately, you’re probably better off trying to use the passes for a ride instead of a show.
Since the shows can typically house bigger crowds, and since they run at certain times, they’re usually easier to get a spot in. The only reason you might have some trouble catching a show is if you’re with a large group. In this case, it might make sense to use your Fast Passes for a show so you can all get guaranteed seats together for the same viewing. Otherwise, try and secure some spots on a ride!
Best Same Day Hollywood Studios FastPasses:
When it comes to booking rides and attractions in advance, we’ve established that you only get three options. However, what about same-day fast-passes?
After using up the three Hollywood Studios Fast Passes you’ve reserved, you can get more through the My Disney Experience App or from a FastPass kiosk. These passes have to be used the same day but are not restricted to one park.
Since you have to use the passes you’ve booked in advance first, the same-day fast passes should be used for attractions that are fun at night, or later in the day. These include:
- Tower of Terror
- Fantasmic Show
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
You also can’t go wrong with using the same-day pass on another Tier 1 ride. Since these ones tend to be the most crowded, you’ll save more time by using your Fast Passes on them.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Kiosks
The advancements of technology mean more and more people are relying on apps to use their Hollywood Studios Fast Passes. However, the park has still left some kiosks where you can obtain your Fast Pass. You can find kiosks at the following locations:
- Hollywood Boulevard (by Hollywood and Sunset)
- Sunset Boulevard (between Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster)
- Pixar Place (by Toy Story Mania)
What should I FastPass at Hollywood studios?
When deciding what to FastPass, there are a few factors you need to take into account:
- Wait times
- Ride preferences
- Your group
Ultimately, the attractions you use your fast passes for depends on your personal preferences.
It’s usually recommendable to use your fast passes on rides that tend to have long wait times, but of course, you have to have an actual interest in that particular ride. And if you’re traveling with small children, then there are some attractions you can cross off the list immediately, such as intense roller-coasters or rides with certain height limits.
It doesn’t hurt to get some advice when planning your FastPass schedule. Based on the popularity of the rides and general wait times, I would recommend following this general schedule for the advance Fast Passes:
- Morning/ 9am: Any Tier 1 rides
- Afternoon/ after 12pm: Any shows
- Mid-morning/11 am: Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Shows and Tier 2 rides are less in demand than the Tier 1 attractions, so they should be given less priority.
For roller coasters and free-fall fans, you might have better luck if you go for a mid-morning time slot. However, these are a few of those rare rides that tend to be more fun at night, so it’s also not a bad idea to try and get time slots later through the same-day Fast Pass system.
How do you get more fast passes at Hollywood studios?
At this point, it’s pretty clear that the fast pass system is a must-use if you’re visiting Hollywood Studios at Disney. You’re probably wondering if there’s a way you can get even more fast passes and maximize the benefits they have to offer. Fortunately, the answer is yes!
Of course, you can get more Hollywood Studios fast passes by using up the passes you booked in advance and then taking advantage of the same-day pass system. However, if you want even more Fast Passes, there are paid options.
If you stay at the Disney Deluxe Resort as a Club Level guest, you can get double the amount of FastPasses for just $50 per person. That’s six chances to book your favorite rides ahead of time!
You can also skip lines by joining a private or VIP tour. This isn’t exactly like booking a FastPass, but these tours do allow you to use the premium FastPass lines. Tours include:
- Private VIP Tour
- Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour
- Ultimate Night of Adventures VIP Tour
- Ultimate Day of Thrills Tour
A trip to Hollywood Studios is fun, but if you want to decrease the amount of time you’re spending on rides and increase the time spent enjoying yourself with rides and attractions, then you need to know how to use the Hollywood Studios Fast Pass system to your advantage.
By following this guide, you can make sure that you and your group are having the best possible time on your Disney vacation!