HS planning is giving me fits

I need to choose FPP in a week and I know HS is so hard to predict. I’m looking at HS on Sat March 7 (CL 7 and 9am open) or Sun March 8 (CL 8 and 8am EMH open). My son’s favorite ride is RnRC and I was hoping to ride it standby first but TP is predicting a 68 min wait on Sat and an 86 min wait on Sun at RD. That seems crazy, especially on Sunday for EMH. What do you think–if we arrive 30-45 min before RD and go straight to RnRC could it possibly be that bad? Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be open, so surely that will draw a crowd. We haven’t waited longer than 45 min for anything in years. I hate to use my FPP for RnRC since I usually use the Tier 1 for SDD.

Planning for HS is brutal right now … and I’m not sure how it’s going get better. There are not enough interesting high capacity attractions so most guests are all trying to get on the same, small number of rides.

While more high capacity C and D ticket type rides would be ideal, the easier solution may be to replace VofLM, Indiana Jones, BatB and Muppets with more innovative and interesting shows that more guests would want to see. I know there are exceptions, but it seems so many guests skip those 4 these days after seeing them many times in the past.

That said, I doubt WDW is going to do anything about this situation anytime soon, and if they do, I suspect the “solution” will be something like very expensive paid extra FPs.

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I’m almost at the point of skipping Hollywood Studios completely for several trips or until the FP tiering situation improves.

My HS plan for our up coming June trip is to arrive about 45 minutes before official opening and hope tap styles open early and guests are allowed to move toward attractions before official opening time.

We have absolutely no interest in Star Wars Land and only Toy Story Mania, no to Slinky or Aliens. Our must do is Tower of Terror, RnRC and TSM and possibly Star Tours.

We will be a group of 4 and will possibly split up, two going directly to TSM hoping to get in before official opening. Then moving to RnRc and Tower of Terror possibly doing a FP for RnRC.

The other group is betting on the reverse, Tower of Terror & RnRC and then FPing TSM.

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I agree, HS in unplannable. As is Epcot — and it will only get worse when Ratatouille opens.

I’ve got MK and AK nailed. Know exactly what I’m doing. But the other two: who the hell knows.


This is me exactly. I chose to skip epcot entirely but right now have 2 ams at hs, but one of them is opening day of mmrr soooooo

TP is assuming you’ll be at the back of the Rd pack, not the front. If you arrive as planned, you’ll be fine for RNRC. If you want to ride MMRR, that might throw a wrench in things since nobody knows if they’ll do standby only or BG or what.

Also agree! The tier system there is absurd since pretty much everything anybody really needs/wants a FastPass for is Tier 1. And once you have that it’s like “how can I scramble around to try to lessen time on line for every other ride that everyone wants?” And then GE with NO FPs and that boarding group system that’s being used now…aahhh! It’s a Type A persons nightmare! Lol!
I’m going in May and hoping that some of the planning issues resolve and my FP day allows me to feel like I actually have a plan. I think I’d mind a little less if my kids were older and could roll with long lines and long days, but that’s not the case. For their comfort and my sanity, having a plan is super important to me!

Frankly, WDW needs to get its act in order and start running upcharge events again. HS used to have a DAH, and there was an early morning TSL. But neither of these are currently available.


I would TOTALLY pay for those! When I first booked my trip, I was planning on EMM at TSL. but alas it’s disappeared. I did book it at MK, and I love knowing we can experience stuff without the stress of trying to coordinate it all so perfectly!
We’re also hoping to book the Star Wars dessert party, but not available yet. And we booked a dessert party at MK. I’m literally willing to throw money at them if they’ll just give me the chance!! :rofl::rofl:

@Cgerres thanks. I am also thinking I’ll be ok for RnRC if we get there early for RD. I would love if they are still doing boarding groups for RotR. I’ll try for an am SDD fastpass but it will be day 4 of trip, so I may not get that unfortunately. We’ll probably end up doing at least 2 mornings at HS and maybe 3 just to RD something and do one Tier 1 FPP each time.

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Try adding a break right at open at one of the QS places or food carts near RnR. I bet it shortens your wait because it tells TP you’ll already be close to RnR at open. I don’t think you’ll have waits as long as you’re currently seeing predicted.

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A good crowd indicator that I used for the first week of September 2019 is dining availability. Check out the ADR times for table service locations at HS for the time you’re there. If there’s little availability, crowd levels could be that high with long wait times for headliners.

We’d be happy to skip HS except for those pesky 2 rides down Sunset Blvd. Historically plan multiple visits to Epcot, usually afternoon/evening visits to graze & poss drink around the World.

We have no plans to even think about the Ratatouille ride for a couple of years. GotG will be tough to ignore since we have an obsessive family member. Kinda interested in the new offering coming up in the old Wonders of Life pavilion. Guessing that won’t have long waits.

I’d go along with one tier one only in several park sections. RnRC tier 1 and Tower of Terror tier 2 in Sunset Blvd.

Slinky Dog tier one and other two at tier 2 for Toy Story Land.

RotR tier one and Millennium Falcon tier 2.

MMRR tier 1 (if it’s not doing the boarding group thing) and Star Tours remaining at tier 2.

This would still disperse guests.


I have an A+ personality and we did fine in HS on December 18th because the actual CL was way off. Be prepared and manage expectations is what I learned here. Use Lines in the park for times and go with the flow. Don’t stress!

I have written about that day in detail in a couple other places, so I’ll just summarize here.

It was supposed to be CL5 but turned out to be CL1. ROTR threw a wrench into my TP. We didn’t have to ride ROTR. We arrived at 8:45 on a day it opened at 7. For the fun of it, I opened up MDE and got a BBG. We had a SDD, ST, and Muppets FPPs. We picked up 2 TOT FPPs that day.

We got on all the rides, including both GE rides. We rode TSN 2x. RNR was nearly an hour wait! Do not do single rider! We did Olaf’s meet and greet, ate at Woody’s for breakfast, Trolley Cafe for drinks and carrot cookie, and a cart for churros and pretzel. We had bathroom breaks and crisscrossed the park more than I would have liked. And I had to deal with the phone I left on SR! But we got so much done between 8:45 am and 7:30 pm. We had to leave for an ADR.

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I agree with this. The issue is not with the tiering system how they have it. I actually like the new tiers. The issue is they don’t have enough tier 2 capacity that people are interested in. Shifting the tier 1s to tier 2 doesn’t help because it just leads back to the problems they had before changing the tiers…that was there weren’t enough tier 1 options and they would fill up immediately.

Replacing the shows or creating more tier 2 rides are really the best solutions.

With the new tiering system, after spending my Tier 2 FPs (watching BatB and going on Star Tours) by 11:30am, I was able to get nearly immediate use FPs for all Tier 1 rides except for SDD with about 5 minutes of trying - while I was on a FP line for one attraction I would score one to use as soon as I got out. I ended up going on TSM 4 times because I am not brave enough for the Sunset Blv rides, but FPs for them were available. It does require some time modifying and you can’t really plan in advance, but the new tiers actually make the park easier for MDE power users.

My theory about the Tiers is that Disney is trying to convince people to watch the shows. A lot of people in my group really loved BatB, but they wouldn’t have giving it a chance if it weren’t for the Tiers.

I am going Feb 3-8. My full day at HS is a mess. I have one SciFi ADR, SDD FP, and two early show FPP. A 9:00am Ogas and a 5:00pm Oga’s. One of those had to go. but they are so hard to get I am waiting for more info on which one to cancel.

@alicescarpa That’s a good tip and certainly a reason to try harder to use those Tier 2’s (or at least tap in for them!). We like Star Tours but usually never go to shows anymore. Sometimes we tap in for VotLM and don’t go into the theater.

As for my original post, looking at the availability tool, I’m probably not even going to get a SDD FP on Day 60+3, so I might as well get the RnRC FP. Maybe we could ride standby and then ride again with the FP.

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At 60+3 you will be able to get very early Tier 2s and RnR, being free to grab a bunch of Tier 1s during the day. Just remember to modify your FPs, each time you go on the FP selection screen options will be slightly different. It also helps if multiple people in your party are trying at the same time.