As I entered Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the first time my expectations for Slinky Dog Dash were pretty low. I expected a low and slow kiddie coaster. What I found was a fun ride with thrills that stack up to some of Disney World’s best-loved roller coasters. The Slinky Dog Dash coaster offers some unique elements you can’t find with a height limit this low and yet, it’s approachable enough that even a slightly adventurous child will have a great time.
As part of the Media Event for Slinky Dog Dash, I was able to record an on-ride POV video, so you can get a good idea of what the ride experience is like:
Upon initial encounter, Slinky Dog Dash looks just slightly more themed than Disney’s two kiddie coasters Gadgets Go Coaster or Goofy’s Barnstormer, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a serious roller coaster with plenty of thrills. While Seven Dwarfs Mine Train may have a more unique ride system with its swinging cars, Slinky Dog Dash has a unique layout that includes not one, but two LIM launches, and some sneaky track direction changes that will have you screaming in fun.
The track really comes alive at night when the element of lighting comes into play. Imagineers have designed at least a half-dozen different scenarios with lighting around the track that add to the experience. This especially enhances the second launch section.
When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens a ride on Slinky Dog Dash just before dusk will provide a glorious view of the planet Batuu lit up by the setting sun. Even today’s vista of construction workers and unfinished faux rock is impressive.
Slinky Dog Dash has a ride height minimum of 38 inches, the same as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (SDMT). The thrills, however, are different. SDMT has two hills with steeper drops and the swinging motion of the trains makes for some unique fun. Slinky Dog Dash is more about the thrill of the unexpected. The quick acceleration of the launches provide some fun lateral g-forces while twists and bunny hills offer something you don’t find in other Disney World roller coasters.
The other thing I like about Slinky Dog Dash is the ample room of the cars. While they do require the ability to transfer from a assistive device, the cars have plenty of leg room and you aren’t bumping up against your seat companion either. You do get a different ride experience if you sit in the back versus in the front, so ride it a few times and find your own favorite seat.
Like SDMT, Slinky Dog Dash has an extensive queue with a lot of fun detail to explore. While SDMT’s games are built into the queue, Slinky Dog Dash takes advantage of the new Play Disney Parks App. SDMT does have the advantage in that some of the queue is indoors with some air conditioning.
After about 15 rides over a couple of days, I’m prepared to rank Slinky Dog Dash behind Big Thunder Mountain and just above Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in terms of roller coaster thrills. SDMT wins if you add themeing and storytelling into the mix. It’s close either way.
Final verdict, thanks to a mid-ride pause before the second launch, Slinky Dog Dash feels longer than it actually is. Definitely try to secure a Fastpass if you can. How long you wait in standby is up to you, but you will be rewarded with a very fun ride.