We’ve been interested in keeping tabs on how and when Walt Disney World increases and decreases the capacities of its various attractions since the theme parks reopened in July. The majority of our touring strategy relies on identifying which rides build waits fastest. We visit them first whenever we’re able to arrive early enough to take advantage of those shorter waits. Then, we pinpoint the next set of rides where waits will begin to rise, and ideally arrive at those attractions just before appreciable waits materialize at each. That way, we’ve minimized waits as much as possible without starting the day at Alien Swirling Saucers.
Attraction waits are largely dependent on capacity, or how many people can ride per hour. If Disney increases capacity at some attractions, and not others, then our priorities and how we move about our day will likely change, as waits drop at the attractions with the new, heftier capacities, and either stay the same or rise at attractions where capacity remains unwavering. “Popularity” also enters the equation, as people inevitably rush to the newest attractions, those that they’ve seen or heard have high waits, or (most commonly) where most other people are heading first.
Disney has made a number of moves over the last six weeks, and particularly during the last three, to increase capacity at certain attractions. Propensity to travel to Walt Disney World will (ideally?) increase heading into the new year, and Disney will want to be ready to meet that demand as best they can. Or, they can at least rationalize selling more tickets and open up more Park Pass spots with additional seats now available on the likes of Slinky Dog Dash, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
This post will primarily focus on what’s going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as it remains the trickiest Park to tour with the short hours, limited number of attractions, and the whole Rise of the Resistance boarding group thing. Since there will be more words and charts than either of us would like in this post already, we’ll take a closer look at the other Parks as we go about fresh touring days there, but I’ll bring up a couple examples at the end to show how much of an impact simply filling every row on a boat ride can have on wait times.
One of the best examples of Disney increasing capacity via vehicle modification is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Disney installed plastic barriers and started loading every row in each train back on November 17th, 2020. By filling every row, instead of about half on each train, you’ve effectively doubled the number of people who can ride per hour.
Not all of our charts will be this long, but we can clearly see how much shorter wait times became starting on November 17th:
All photos by Alex Westcott
Since it’s apparently still there, we’ll take a walk around Epcot/EPCOT to see what is or isn’t going on.
It’s artsy because it’s tilted.
You can pull up the previous update here.
Hopefully we will get caught up and stay caught up on the news and waits this time around, unlike the last eight times around. The website is sort of like that delinquent father on every Hallmark Christmas movie. We don’t necessarily mean to screw everything up, we just follow the script they hand us.
The only Imagineer that Disney both publicly acknowledges and didn’t force out during the recent purge has posted a few photos of how water works.
We continue from Yukon.
The World ShowPlace, in between the Canada and United Kingdom Pavilions, is host to three individual “booths,” in addition to entertainment, a store, and the new home of the Gingerbread Capital City that used to be hidden back in the corner of the lobby area inside The American Adventure. We’ll take a look at the food options first and then see what else is going on in there.
You may need to move quickly through here should three gentlemen come out to The Mill Stage to play the oven.
- Flight of Passage: 7:35am – 8:02am
- Na’vi River Journey: 8:05am – 8:24am
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: 8:39am – 9:08am
- Kali River Rapids: 9:16am – 9:36am
- Expedition Everest: 9:39am – 9:54am
That’s five, sometimes lengthy attractions, completed in under two official Park hours. Our waits have averaged just a couple of minutes for the most part, even after moving purposefully slowly to Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safaris as we enjoyed the decorations in the morning glow.
Everest hit triple-digit waits over the previous weekend, in large part due to excessive downtime. After it reoepend late in the day and people hurried over to ride, you can bet these markers leading to the attraction’s entrance will quickly fill.