The highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening means there are lots of changes coming to Hollywood Studios, including changes to the current FastPass+ tiers.
And, after a few rumors (and a couple rumbles), we now know how those tiers will look.
Here's what you need to know...
What do you mean by "tier"?
In 3 of the parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), FastPasses are divided into 2 separate pools, commonly referred to as "tiers."
Tier 1 attractions are the most popular rides in the park, while Tier 2 attractions are the less popular ones.
When booking your standard FastPass+ reservations, you can have a total of 3 FastPasses at a time. Of those 3, only 1 of your initial 3 can be from the Tier 1 category.
Current FastPass+ tiers at Hollywood Studios makes it relatively easy to ride a majority of the top rides with minimal waits.
However, on August 29 that is going to change.
NEW Hollywood Studios FastPass+ options & priorities beginning August 29, 2019
Note: even though the new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will open on August 29, it will NOT initially offer FastPass+. The same is true for Rise of the Resistance when it opens.
|Tier||Top priority||Second priority (possible bonus FP+ options)|
(you can choose 1 item from this level)
|Slinky Dog Dash|
Alien Swirling Saucers
|Toy Story Mania|
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (Single Rider line available)
Tower of Terror
(you can choose 2 from this level)
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
|Voyage of the Little Mermaid|
Disney Junior Dance Party!
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
As you can see from the chart above, the majority of the rides will now be in the "Tier 1" category, while the majority of the shows (plus Star Tours) will be in Tier 2.
This means you'll have some difficult decisions to make when it comes time to planning your day in the park.
How to tour with the new FastPass tiers
If you are traveling before August 29, the current Hollywood Studios touring plans will still work the same way they always have.
If, however, you are traveling August 29 and beyond you'll need to have a new approach that is going to depend heavily on which Tier 1 FastPass+ you have.
We understand (and totally sympathize!) that people are anxious to know what the best method to tour will be, and while we don't know everything yet, we do have some ideas.
We are currently working on updating our Hollywood Studios touring plans to reflect both the opening of Galaxy's Edge as well as the new tiers.
As soon as those are finished you'll find them in the link above, but, keep in mind we won't be able to make definitive suggestions until after the new Star Wars land opens up.
Hollywood Studios in the immediate weeks after the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
To help those that are traveling in the early days and weeks after the new land opens, we do have a list of some tips, thoughts, and suggestions we can pass along now so that you can be prepared when your FastPass+ window opens up in the next few weeks.
This list may change as we learn more, but as of right now these are the things that we think will be important.
- The (likely true) rumor is that Disney does not plan to utilize the same reservation system for Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios as they did out at Disneyland. That means if you want to see the area (and ride Smuggler's Run) you'll need to plan on getting to the park early.
- If you are staying onsite and traveling during the time when there are Extra, Extra Magic Hours, use them. That will be the best way to ensure you get to see and ride the maximum number of attractions in the park. Yes, those opening times are early, but they will be worth it.
- If you can't make it for Extra, Extra Magic Hours (because you are either staying off-property or just can't arrive to the parks that early), you will have to make some tough choices on which attractions you will focus on as you won't be able to "do it all".
- If you are staying Club Level at a Walt Disney World Resort, don't forget that you can purchase 3 additional FastPasses/person/day (minimum purchase of 3 days required). You can't use them on Smuggler's Run but when paired with your 3 standard FastPasses you could potentially have FastPasses for all but one Tier 1 attraction (a huge time saver!).
- The wait times for the attractions will be the shortest first thing in the morning and right before closing, so if you can't be there when the park opens, your Plan B can be to jump into line for one of your must-ride attractions shortly before the park closes. (Note: oftentimes the wait times listed by Disney are inflated/longer than they actually are so don't let that scare you away.)
- Your best bets for FastPasses when the new tiers go into place will be the attractions that see the lines grow the longest the fastest (more on that below).
Hollywood Studios after November 2
If Extra, Extra Magic Hours aren't extended (and as of right now we have no word that they will be), touring will take a bit of a different look starting November 3.
By that point, Galaxy's Edge will have been open for 2 months which will give us a much better look into how this newly themed (and highly anticipated) area plays into the overall touring of Hollywood Studios.
Look for our first batch of plans for that time period soon.
Choosing the best Tier 1
Now that we know the FastPass+ tiers will be changing (and fairly dramatically, at that) it becomes more important than ever to select the best ones for your traveling party.
Here's our thoughts on your 5 tier 1 options:
This is our #1 recommendation and the one we will aim to snag for opening day (and the days beyond).
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (48" height requirement, Single Rider Line available)
This attraction tends to have waits that are similar to Slinky Dog Dash; however, it also has a Single Rider Line. Only get this as your Tier 1 if you can't get Slinky Dog Dash AND if your party can't utilize the Single Rider Line.
Toy Story Mania (no height requirement)
This was once the hottest ticket in Hollywood Studios and it remains popular to this day. The capacity here has been expanded but it can still see lengthy lines form. This is a decent option for Tier 1 if you need a ride with no height restrictions, can't get Slinky Dog Dash, or you plan to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster using the Single Rider line.
Alien Swirling Saucers (32" height requirement)
This attraction is popular; however, the lines here don't build as quickly as they do for the other Tier 1 attractions nor do they tend to be as long. If you plan to ride Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, or Toy Story Mania, use your Tier 1 option there, instead, and plan to ride this one as close to park opening as possible.
Tower of Terror (40" height requirement)
This attraction has been under a partial refurbishment lately which has been creating longer-than-average lines. However, if that is completed by August 29 the lines here typically hover around the same wait as what you'd find at Toy Story Mania making it a less desirable option for your Tier 1 FastPass.
What about Tier 2?
Tier 2 attractions are a bit easier to select.
Star Tours (40" height requirement)
The one attraction on the list (Star Tours) makes good sense and we recommend you choose that if you do plan to ride it. This is the top priority for your Tier 2 FastPass options.
All the rest (no height requirements)
The rest of your options are all shows of one sort or another.
Of the ones on the list, the Frozen Ever After Sing-Along is probably the most popular so if you are interested in seeing that we recommend you snag that as your 3rd initial FastPass.
You likely wont need a FastPass for the remaining options (Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Muppet*Vision 3D, Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Disney Junior Dance Party!, and Fantasmic!) but if one or both of the two Tier 2 recommendations don't interest you and you plan on seeing one of the remaining choices, it won't hurt to grab it.
These are also good options for "bonus" FastPasses (which you can select only after you have used your initial 3 FastPass choices).
Historical wait times
To show you how the attractions stack up against each other on a "regular" day, we have some historical wait times from mid-October 2018 (a typically moderately busy time of the year).
Keep in mind these things when looking at the data, though:
- We have never seen Hollywood Studios open at 6 am for weeks at a time. There is simply no way to know with total certainty what that means.
- These wait times do not show us what waits will look like when people add a visit into Galaxy's Edge to their day. These are just a snapshot of 1 week's worth of data to help you with planning.
What these numbers can show us, however, is how wait times at the attractions tend to stack up against each other, and it gives us a good indication as to which attractions have the longest lines throughout the day. They provide a good visual reference to which of the current attractions at Hollywood Studios tend to be the most popular.
Remember: you should not use these numbers to make conclusions or inferences on anything other than what attractions tend to be the most popular.