Slinky Dog Dash accomplishes the impossible.
Disney’s new era of family-friendly roller coasters is upon us.
The pinnacle attraction at the brand new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is meant to be for kids and parents alike. Similar to Magic Kingdom fan favorite Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Slinky Dog Dash has plenty of banked turns, dips and hills to keep things interesting. The ride is something coaster lovers will get a kick out of, but the emphasis on kid-friendliness makes it miraculously good for all ages.
Slinky Dog Dash attempts to please everyone — and actually somehow does.
Intended to feel like Toy Story’s Andy placed his stretchy pup atop a DIY coaster kit, the newly debuted attraction rides as smoothly as a toy on its steep lifts, swooping drops and soaring heights.
Still, there is enough cutesiness to keep kids excited, not scared. Slinky noises can be heard at the ride’s beginning, riders in the back row will hear the boing-ing of Slinky Dog’s metallic tail throughout, and its second launch, bookended by cartoonish spinning race car flames, offers respite between the journey’s two halves.
Fast banked turns and camelback humps keep the minute-and-a-half ride thrilling but cocooned in enough familiarity that even little ones will feel ready to board. Characters from the Toy Story franchise like Rex, Mr. Spell, and Jessie appear alongside the track, but it’s Wheezy’s final appearance at the end — singing “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” — that drives it all home. Slinky Dog may be wickedly fast, but there’s absolutely nothing to fear.
Fans of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will find that this iteration of a family coaster feels quicker, but Disney won’t go on record saying either way, only that they’ve “pushed the limits” of the genre, designing the ride to feel more dynamic than it may actually be. (Case in point: The height requirement is also 38 inches, less than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Soarin’ Around The World, and even Test Track.)
The colorful entirety of Slinky Dog Dash reinforces that it’s not a demanding coaster that requires courage, but simply a handful of Andy’s toys intermingling. The queue is marked with a mess of activities and art supplies — a FastPass+ scanner is even fashioned from an oversized Crayola crayon — surrounding kids with familiar sights of notebook doodles, sticker books and a big bottles of Elmer’s Glue.
The ride's plummets, too, are playful: Slinky takes riders to the top of two peaks but the swooping drops aren’t quite free-falls, allowing for an exciting ride without that queasy stomach-in-throat feeling. It's fast enough to leave adults satisfied and sweet enough for little ones to smile on.
Unlike waiting in line for hours to ride on the blink-and-its-over Peter Pan’s Journey, parents will likely find themselves wanting to race back in line to ride again as much their little ones do. Other Toy Story Lands in Shanghai, Paris and Hong Kong split the difference, offering a tame Slinky Dog experience alongside the vertical-reaching curved tracks of RC Racer and Rex’s Racer, akin to a traditional “pirate ship” ride, but Disney World instead developed a ride that thrill seeking young Pixar fans can ride with their coaster-averse parent, or vice-versa.