More than a cute experience, the Slinky Dog Dash is a full coaster experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
As part of a special pre-opening press party, I was able to experience Toy Story Land without the lines and crowds, enjoy the food & take photos and videos of ALL the things. This review is one of three, sharing my experience in detail.
SLINKY DOG DASH!
As soon as you fully enter Toy Story Land, you have a glimpse of Slinky Dog Dash & as you walk through the land, you'll be able to see the entire attraction, from beginning to end, even if you don't ride it. This makes Slinky Dog Dash a key attraction in the "work your kids up to thrill rides" plan.
When our boys were small, they'd been through some trauma and any attractions in the dark were a bit of a struggle. The first *Big* ride either one managed to experience was Goofy's Barnstormer. The beginning, end and middle all could be seen. They didn't have to worry there were any tricks lurking around. That was our only success, for quite some time. Years, in fact.
But, if we were still working to help them enjoy other attractions, this would have been our next stop! It's definitely a step up from the Barnstomer. You can Feel the Thrill! But there are no tricks, no darkness, no crazy loud noises. It couldn't feel friendlier, while still bringing the FUN. I'll walk you through it.
You'll walk past the majority of the attraction before arriving at the entrance. Hopefully you're going to walk quickly, but it's also possible you'll wait and watch other park-goers experience Slinky Dog Dash before you approach the entrance.
Having walked through the queue both ways, I do not think it's worth the extra time of standing in line to see the visuals before boarding the ride. If you can get a fastpass, do it!
If you're doing Alien's Swirling Saucers before Slinky Dog Dash, you'll want to decide if you want to peek through to the back end of Slinky Dog Dash while you're in queue, where you can actually see the musical ending to the attraction before you ride.
While you do wait in line, you have some tremendous opportunities to take photos. One thing we all noticed is how the vibrant colors of Toy Story Land really added to the attractiveness of everyone in the photos. We were a sweaty, worn-out mess for much of our touring time, but put us in fornt of these backdrops & remind us we're toys and somehow, the pictures turned out great!
This queue is all outside with some shade and fans, but no real escape from the heat. In the summer months, it's best to do this entire land early in the day or after the sun sets. I actually recommend you visit twice to experience both, if you can. The experience is vividly different when the lights come on.
While there are no inversions, the curves and turnes and particularly the UP and DOWN of Slinky Dog Dash all add up to enough thrills to keep everyone happy. I heard laughing during the entire ride, each time I had the privilege of enjoying it. Even though I could clearly see the entire attraction from the outside & had even done the virtual reality version of this very coaster a month prior, I was still surprised at how long it felt and how much thrill factor there was.
As Slinky Dog Dash ends, you get the pleasure of a little song crooned by Wheezy. Our entire car sang along! If you don't know "You've Got A Friend in Me" you can just read the words on the music book behind our little penguin friend.
So, is it worth it? The lines, heat and lack of shade? How much should the average person brave to experience Slinky Dog Dash?
I've read many theories about this land, over the last week. People wondered why there wasn't more shade, benches and any air conditioning. Since this land pours directly into Star Wars, coming out next year, was it a calculated diversion?
I don't think we'll ever know all the reasons why Disney does what they do. Sometimes it becomes apparent, as crowd flow works better than dreamed possible. Other times, we stay confused. But I'm not concerned about the overall picture. My concern is the individual families we book to enjoy the magic of Disney. Here is my advice to you, dear clients & team.
1. Make Toy Story Land your priority at the beginning of the day, IF You can bring yourself to get up early. Before the crowds, you'll have time to enjoy every aspect and play to the point of experiencing hidden treasures and photo ops. But, if you can't get in early and awake, then.....
2. Make Slinky Dog Dash fastpasses for the evening. Spend the rest of your day experiencing everything DHS has to offer before you enter in the evening. Maybe grab a snack from Woody's Lunch Box and sit on a Babybel cheese bench, too. Carve out a couple of hours to fully immerse.
And of course, all bets are off when the expansion of DHS is opened up the end of next year. I'm sure I'll be back with more relevant advice at that time. What I can tell you that won't change -
DO NOT MISS SLINKY DOG DASH! It's more entertaining from the inside than it looks from the outside PLUS it's a great way to help younger kids (and adults!) build their bravery and experience the fun of a simple coaster made clever with the help of Disney Imagineers.