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Toy Story Midway Mania or die touring plan

When guests know what they want, they go for it and in the 2 and a half years that Toy Story Midway Mania has been open, guests want to ride Toy Story.  A lot. And often.

There's just one problem, the crazy standby lines and FASTPASS's disappearing by noon make it nearly impossible to ride Toy Story Midway Mania many times in one day without suffering through waits that just seem to be too much to handle.  Is there a way to experience Toy Story Midway Mania multiple times per day without having to endure multi-hour waits?  Our goal this week is to figure out a touring plan that allows for the maximum rides on Toy Story Midway Mania while maximizing your time.

It's not an easy task to tackle, but let's start with the obvious and work our way from there.  First and foremost, you need to be at Hollywood Studios before the park opens in the morning so that you can be in prime position to ride when the attraction first opens.  When the park does open, make a bee line for the attraction (along with everyone else).  Your first stop should be a FASTPASS.  Grab one of those and then run immediately over to the standby line and get in line. Don't worry, there's no FASTPASS line to compete with so you ought to be able to ride fairly quickly.

Okay, time for a status check.  After riding for the first time, you won't be able to get another FASTPASS for about 2 hours, which means your next FASTPASS wont be available until 11am-ish and your FASTPASS ride wont be ready until 10am-ish.  If you played your cards right, you should be done with ride #1 and with a FASTPASS in hand at about 9:45am (10-15 minute wait for FASTPASS + 30 minutes for riding in standby line).  Now what?

First, take a look at the standby line.  The wait time is too volatile in the morning to rely on accurately (remember, it's reactive, not proactive. It only tells you what the wait was, not is).  If the end of the line is inside the building, definitely hop back on the standby line and ride again.  If it's outside the building, you're looking at a 60+ minute wait and the first FASTPASS guests will be arriving.  Generally, I've found 9:30-10am to be somewhat of a lull in the line (relatively speaking) so you should hopefully have some decent luck and be able to hop back on the ride with a comfortable wait (less than 60 minutes).

After your second ride, check the time on your FASTPASS for when you can get another FASTPASS.  By now you might be in the window of opportunity to get another, although likely the return time will be in the mid to late afternoon.  Grab a FASTPASS and it should be time for your first FASTPASS ride, so hop back on board one more time for ride number three.

After ride number three, things get dicey.  You're out of FASTPASS options (by the time you can get another FASTPASS, they will have likely run out) and you're stuck with one more FASTPASS ride for the afternoon or rides via the standby line.

Well, remember that tip about the end of the line.  If you happen to see the end of the line inside the building (ideally, you wouldn't be able to see the end of the line from outside), you've got a wait under an hour (or at least it should be) and that's about as good as it gets.  Keep in mind recently Disney has not had all the switchbacks in the inside queue because of too many complaints from guests who would get in the building thinking that they are "close" and are disappointed to see a maze in front of them.  

You should plan the rest of the day around Toy Story Midway Mania and try to walk by when you can to scout out the situation.  I like to use the Lines mobile app to remotely monitor the wait time situation.

There are two other better times to ride Toy Story Midway Mania when lines may drop a bit during the day.  The first is during Block Party Bash (3pm) when many families are busy watching the parade.  The second is during Fantasmic!.  Neither of which will guarantee minimal waits, but they should help a little.

Hopefully by utilizing the morning strategy, along with keeping tabs on things in the afternoon, you ought to be able to sneak in 4-6 rides on Toy Story Midway Mania in a day without having to endure more than an hour wait for any of those rides.

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 by