By Kimber Preece, Travel Specialist
This trip was never what we planned. Over and over again, we had to move the dates. When we moved it for the last time we were too late to get the coveted Slinky Dog Dash Fastpass. My sister and I stalked the availability for Slinky Dog Dash for weeks. We were even willing to change our day at Hollywood Studios to any day with a Slinky Dog Fastpass to make it work. We were desperate!
Then my sister asked what I thought about doing Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land. At the time, prices were $79/adult and $69/child plus tax and regular theme park admission was required. I was curious, but was not thrilled about anteing up to an expensive breakfast event just to ride one ride once or possibly twice. Boy, was I wrong.
Let me just say that I will tell you if a ticketed event is not a good fit for your family. But, I think most guests will appreciate the extra time in this new land that this breakfasts event supplies. And, yes, I said plural breakfasts. Read on to find out why.
The event last from 7:00am or 7:30am depending on what you reserved until 10am, though park guests will enter the land at 9am when Hollywood Studios opens. This essentially brings the riding part of the event to a close. It is just the breakfast part that continues until 10am. We started by showing up at Hollywood Studio’s main entrance at what we thought was extra early, 6:45am for a 7:00am entrance. But, there was no crowd ahead of us and it was apparent that guests had already arrived before us. We received wristbands and enjoyed a peaceful walk down Hollywood Boulevard.
Whether you have the 7am or the 7:30 am entrance time, you do not get to enter Toy Story Land until 7:30am, so breakfast was our first stop. Breakfast was a combination of quick service ordering ques for hot food and a continental breakfast bar that included yogurt, pastries, cereals, and juices. From our experience you can order as much as you like and make multiple trips to either.
After eating somewhat quickly, we used the bathrooms and applied sunscreen before heading over to Toy Story Land. We thought we were a few minutes shy of the 7:30am mark, but it seemed they let guests in early again. So, if you do this event, just remember not to wait around and fill up time if you are early.
The attractions that are available to ride during this event are Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania!, and Alien Swirling Saucers. There are also opportunities to get your picture taken with Woody, Buzz, and Jessie.
My party consisted of three adults and four children, ages 2.5, 8, 9, and 12. At first, we split up, because we weren’t sure the 2.5-year-old was big enough to handle the curves and stops of Slinky Dog Dash though he met the height requirement. But, after a few test-runs by Mom and Auntie, we decided he could ride. He is tall and solid, so take that into account if you are trying to decide whether your kiddo should ride. And, just as we got the little guy riding Slinky Dog, the 8-year-old decided to tap out and do other things, so more splitting up. But, my point is, even with all the splitting up, each of the adults got to ride Slinky Dog Dash at least 3 times. Some of the kiddos got to ride it 7 times. We all rode Alien Swirling Saucers a few times each. And, we rode Toy Story Mania! together once knowing we had a Fastpass for it later in the day. Note: my party was not interested in meeting characters, and I have heard that they can take some time. So your experience my vary based on what you want to accomplish. All in all, we thought it was a blast and that we accomplished a lot of Slinky Dog Dash riding!
The quoted wait times for Slinky Dog Dash varied from 5-25 minutes during our event, but I think those quotes were higher than what we experienced. The longest wait times were at the beginning of the event and they tapered pretty quickly. Thankfully we noticed the time just before 9am and sent the 9 and 12-year-olds through the line one more time before the mass of park goers entered the que. This is was the wait time for Slinky Dog Dash just after 9am.
Once we regrouped we headed back to the Backlot Express where we had second breakfast. This was nice, because some of our party were up too early to be ready to fill up the first go around. The rest of us just took advantage of another opportunity to fill up. It was similar to dessert parties where the food is available the entire event.
We had an amazing morning! The food was yummy. And, the event did not feel crowded, so you really got to ride as much as you wanted. I heartily recommend it to people who are interested in having extra time in a new land.