PHOTOS, VIDEO: Alien Swirling Saucers Brings an Out-of-This-World Whip Ride to Hollywood Studios

We kick off our coverage of the new Toy Story Land attractions today with Alien Swirling Saucers.


The queue is entirely outdoors, with about half of it under cover. Robot Guards from Pizza Planet guard the entrance to Alien Swirling Saucers, with FastPass breaking off to the right, and standby guests staying to the left. If you’re using FastPass, you might have 5-10 minutes in the exterior queue, whereas you could spend 30-45 minutes or more in an uncovered queue with standby.

As the story goes, Alien Swirling Saucers is actually a playset that Andy won at Pizza Planet. The highlight of the open-air section of the queue is a blaster that resembles what guests might find in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Disneyland.

Once we enter the covered portion of the queue, the look and feel of it very closely resembles Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom. A variety of switchback queue elements snake through bright colors and faux control panels.

There is one water fountain in the queue, about 20 minutes short of the time you’ll board the vehicle, if the queue is full.

Here’s a closer look at the three scene murals that hide a section of the nearby Slinky Dog Dash attraction from view.

The final stretch of queue merges the standby and FastPass lines about 5-10 minutes before you load onto the attraction.

Here’s a look at the rear of one of the ride control booths.

A reverse view of the queue. The final stretch runs between the two sides of the attraction.

Guests are split into groups of two. One group of two per numbered star. 22 guests can ride each side of the attraction at a time, leading to a full capacity of 44 guests per ride cycle.


The attraction itself is about 90 seconds long and consists of an improvement on the “teacups” concept. Riders board rocket ships lead by Alien saucer pilots. The constraint consists of a basic lap seat belt with plastic buckle.

The ride system is a clone of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree from Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. Guests are taken on a whipping ride that consists of a figure eight motion around four theming elements. Because of the figure eight motion, the ride vehicle whips side to side as the alien pilot keeps you on course. From a thrill perspective we’d place this above the Mad Tea Party, but note that it’s much less dizzying.

Here’s an aerial photo back when the attraction was under construction that we drew on to try and illustrate the figure eight motion that allows the rocket ships to travel across the themed areas.

Here’s a closer look at the ride vehicle.

Here’s our ride through video from the soft opening.

Our Thoughts

We’re really excited to have a whip ride like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Florida. The ride provides thrills that exceed that of a normal flat ride like the Mad Tea Party or Dumbo. Because of the whip action, a height restriction of 32″ is in place. As far as FastPass+ is concerned, it’s currently a tier one attraction with Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania. Just like when Pandora opened, all of the attractions in Toy Story Land were bumped to tier one attractions and all other Hollywood Studios attractions were bumped to tier two. Ideally, we recommend getting a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash and doing standby for Alien Swirling Saucers.

The attraction is fun! Eight out-of-this-world electronic versions of Toy Story songs play in the background as disco lights flash all around you. Disney will be adding two new songs for the Christmas season as well. If you can, we recommend riding at night for the full lighting effect. As a matter of fact, we think that Toy Story Land looks better at night specifically because of the lighting package.

At a 90 second ride time, it’s tough to suggest waiting more than 20-30 minutes maximum for the attraction. Out in California, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree regularly has low wait times, usually around 5-15 minutes. If the land normalizes to a 5-15 minute wait for Alien Swirling Saucers, we’d consider this a wonderful addition to a park that needs help.

Speaking of Hollywood Studios needing help, neither Alien Swirling Saucers or Slinky Dog Dash help families with children under 32″ tall. In a park that needs to have more attractions for children, it’s a bit of a head scratcher why Toy Story Land doesn’t have a ride without a height restriction.

Overall, Alien Swirling Saucers is a fun attraction with a unique ride system to Florida parks that will surely entertain guests and is worth jumping in line for if the wait is less than 30 minutes.

Mike is the owner and writer for Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

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