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"

Posted: Tuesday October 7, 2014 10:53am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

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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DaveeeeedJul 12, 2016

It was 30 at some point yesterday, can't remember when though either morning or evening, but crowds are higher today so all the rides have longer waits.

RSoxNo1Jul 12, 2016

The lowest I've seen it is 60 minutes. It is regularly at 120. Admittedly, I expected it to be regularly at 150-180. It's entirely possible capacity was increased to the 1200-1400 range which certainly helps. I think if they could load two boats at once they'd have a better shot of 30 second dispatches, but it appears the additional show scene was more important.

DaveeeeedJul 12, 2016

I have been keeping close tabs on wait times for all parks, and Frozen consistently stays around Test Track & Soarin'. Obviously the more capacity the better, but it is not as bad as most people think, because then it should be above both of them consistently. Also wait times and crowds are significantly higher today than they've been for the past two weeks.

RSoxNo1Jul 12, 2016

Considering that less than a month after they expanded the capacity at two of their previous operational headaches they decided to open one that was worse than both of them... the jury's still out on whether or not they know what they're doing.

DaveeeeedJul 12, 2016

Currently 35 minutes for Soarin' while Test Track is 55. Toy Story Mania! Is at 40. Big improvement even if crowds are lower.

GoofyernmostJul 11, 2016

Wait, you aren't actually implying that once in a while Disney does know what they are doing and do it right are you? Cause that will upset a lot of people. ;)

Cesar R MJul 11, 2016

I wonder how it will fare with the next row of closures while star wars land and toy story land starts to go vertical.

HauntedMansionFLAJul 11, 2016

Thank you. It looks like the third track and theatre for TSMM and Soarin are doing what they need to be doing.

BrianLoJul 11, 2016

Yes, 'EZDubz' posted recently that average wait times are down to 34 minutes (from the traditional 2+ hours).

HauntedMansionFLAJul 11, 2016

Any updates that this expansion has helped with wait times or is it the same (long waits)?

MagicHappens1971Jun 11, 2016

I remember someone mentioned the dropping of Midway from the name, and I think that its pretty much confirmed, because it's gone off the app and in the D23 TSL announcement last August, they brought up the third track and say we are adding a third track to Toy Story Mania and showed a picture in the background of the ride that says Toy Story Mania!.

Cesar R MJun 01, 2016

Except during the "hoisting". When you get lifting, the speed the top ones get lifted is bigger than the ones on the bottom. Aka you get really high if you're on the first line for Soarin'

SlowjackJun 01, 2016

That's good to know. In any case, I am determined to try again next I am there and it is open.

GoofyernmostMay 31, 2016

If it would help, there is no difference in the feeling on the first row or the last. The screen is curved and you are roughly the same distance away from it no matter what level you are on. You do not have the dangling legs to deal with though.