GUIDE: Ride Alien Swirling Saucers AND Slinky Dog Dash in Under an Hour? Toy Story Land Touring Strategy

Toy Story Land just opened on June 30th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The land has been extremely popular with both attractions, Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash, getting extended wait times of hours long in the daytime.  We stopped by the evening of July 9th to test a theory about wait times and seeing what the best possible touring strategy was.

First, let’s discuss some operational things going on at the park.. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has continuous morning Extra Magic Hours (EMH) each morning throughout the summer. Do keep in mind that some evenings have evening Extra Magic Hours and it will undo the aforementioned plans. Annual Passholders will have their chance to get in on the action this September when their exclusive access time opens. While we don’t know if the AP time will be morning or evening, we have reason to believe it’ll be in the morning. With all of this activity happening in the AM it’s best to avoid the land unless you A) have a FastPass+ or B) are included in one of these demographics.

Knowing that mornings aren’t worth the early start, we wanted to confirm that ‘closing down the park’ was the best bet for the average family. Let’s figure out the obstacles in the way of ensuring a seamless evening in Toy Story Land. First off, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular happens nightly, typically around 10PM right now. With the park closing at 10:30PM, this gives about 10-15 minutes of wiggle room after the fireworks for guests to rush to Toy Story Land.

We witnessed Alien Swirling Saucers almost clear out their line between 10:00-10:15PM, before the fireworks ended and more folks flooded the queue. As you can tell from the pictures above, it was nearly empty and the wait time was BELOW the 15 minutes posted. A good idea would be to get in line and complete Alien Swirling Saucers once or twice between the 9:30-10:15PM time frame. You’re going to want to ride multiple times, the music and lighting and everything about this attraction at night is absolutely wonderful and just plain fun.

Slinky Dog Dash was a little worrisome, but we were able to be last in line right at 10:30PM to give you an exact idea of the wait time. Granted this was on an idle Monday evening, your results may vary depending on the busier weekends. Exactly at 10:30PM the ride wait time was posted at 55 minutes. We started our stopwatches and got in line at the very back of the queue to confirm we would be some of the last riders for the evening. The plan worked and we were on the ride well below the posted standby queue.


Watching the Slink Dog Dash queue clear-up behind you is really cool.

Plus, having an empty train makes for some stellar pictures.

We recommend avoiding Toy Story Land in the daytime. Sure, it’s nice to see things in daylight, but there’s absolutely no shade or air flow in the land and it’s exceedingly hot. Enjoy your day at Studios, go back to your hotel for a pool break (or nap, we like naps. Naps are wonderful), and then come back in the late evening. While we personally didn’t ride Alien Swirling Saucers twice during the 9:30-10:15PM time frame, we witnessed multiple people who were able to. These same people then joined us in the queue at Slinky Dog Dash immediately at the end of the evening. Remember: as long as you’re in the queue before park close you are guaranteed a ride.

Let’s run-down things quick:

  1. Get your beauty rest and don’t rope-drop Toy Story Land
  2. Go in the late evening once the sun is setting
  3. Get dinner at Woody’s Lunch Box
  4. Join the queue for Alien Swirling Saucers with 30-60 minutes left of park operation
  5. LET’S DO THAT AGAIN – Re-ride Alien Swirling Saucers (you know you want to!)
  6. Join the queue for Slinky Dog Dash in the last 15 minutes of park operation
  7. Ride within 30 minutes

This plan isn’t for everyone, and we don’t recommend keeping kids awake this late into the evening, but if you’re up for the challenge (SIVAKO!) then get yourself over to Toy Story Land in the late evening. It’s worth your time.

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2 years ago

Thanks I’ll be there Friday night and it matches my plan exactly.

2 years ago

Great advice! Love riding at night, esp during fireworks, even with 4 kids under 8yo! (Yes, naps are a MUST!)

Bradley Wilbanks
Bradley Wilbanks
2 years ago

If you have the EMH is it that bad in the morning? I’ve been watching and seldom see the Slinky Dog Dash Standby over 90 minutes through out the day. Mostly around 60-65. We are only in for two days so trying to decide between MK at night or HS. Any suggestions?