Is Soundstage 1 about to become home to a third track for Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

Oct 07, 2014 in "Toy Story Mania"

Speculation has been building that a third Toy Story Mania track will be installed in Soundstage 1 at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and this week's FastPass+ only testing seems to all but confirm the plans will soon be put into action.

Since opening in Spring 2008, Toy Story Mania has suffered from long lines, and high demand for FastPass+ allocations. The lack of family rides at the park, and the high repeat ride value of the attraction have all contributed to average wait times of at least 60 minutes, and frequently wait times in 3 figures.

Sitting vacant next door to Toy Story Mania is Soundstage 1, which since last weekend has become a designated construction site, and could soon be home to a third track for Toy Story Mania. The additional capacity is an attempt to reduce wait times and increase FastPass+ inventory for the ride.

This week's test of eliminating the standby line, leaving just FastPass+ available for riders, is a trial run to see just how the attraction can be reconfigured in the future. Once the expansion is complete, park operations will have the option to configure two tracks as FastPass+ and one track as standby, or one track as FastPass+ and two as standby. Using real-world guest testing this week should give designers enough insight to configure the new layout for optimum performance.

Toy Story Mania is not the only attraction that may be receiving an expansion. Another headliner attraction over at Epcot faces a similar problem to its Studios counterpart - a lack of family rides and high re-ridabilty leaves Soarin' with lengthy queues and limited FastPass+ availability. Space behind the pavilion allows for the installation of a third theater, and should the Toy Story Mania expansion work, expect to see Soarin' expanded, possibly alongside the rollout of a new film.

Adding capacity to existing rides is a departure from Disney's traditional approach. In the past, we have seen the addition of new attractions to increase a park's capacity and reduce wait times for popular rides. Adding capacity to an existing ride may be a more cost effective option for Disney, but would guests prefer to have shorter waits for existing attractions in place of building something new, or stay with limited capacity at existing rides and have the option of riding something completely new?

Disney has not yet made any comments or announced an expansion to Toy Story Mania. As always, plans may change and the information presented here should be treated as speculation until officially announced.

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Article Posted: Oct 07, 2014 / 10:53am EDT