For your amusement, we return to wait times on December 31st, 2015. This is a followup to the much wordier post from a few days ago titled, “Disney World December 28 2015 Wait Times – The Definition of a “Crowd Level 10 Day.” That post closed with, “We reach our climax on December 31st at Epcot and Magic Kingdom in particular. Hollywood Studios won’t be far behind, though the Osborne Lights and fireworks will help mitigate wait ties. Animal Kingdom should remain manageable for the most part.” Let’s see if we reached a crowd level of 632,908.6 or if New Years really is “The New Tuesday in October.”
As expected, your day at Animal Kingdom would go swimmingly with an early arrival and/or a late stay. It’s three hours until DINOSAUR hits a wait longer than ten minutes. Everest does peak relatively early, but you’ve got a full hour of insignificant waits in the morning and three hours of basically no waits in the evening. There are not a lot of people that can say they disembarked the ride after 10pm…yet. Kali is nominal for the most part even with higher-than-average temps. Adventurers Outpost’s average wait is a paltry 15 minutes. Safaris is never over 50 and averages 23. You could try lying and tell your kids that the wait of “10” at Primeval Whirl is in hours rather than minutes. Basically, this is an excellent day even with Magic Kingdom hitting a Phase closure a few miles away before 9:30am.
From the December 28th post, “We’re still waiting for Epcot’s busiest day of the year on December 31st.” That is this day, which should be immediately evident from all of the triple digit wait times that start with the number “2.” Still, thanks to FastPass+, some of the waits aren’t much longer than other days of the year. You have undoubtedly seen me harping about the effects of maximum FastPass+ distribution and how few people it takes in line to dramatically push up standby waits. A 40+ minute wait at Journey into Imagination with Figment would be reserved to less than ten days over the course of the entire year back in 2012 or 2013. A 60-minute wait there would be a downright preposterous thought. But with the vast majority of capacity going to FP+ use, 30+ minute waits are commonplace.
Actually, we can be a lot more precise about it. Do you know how many days Journey into Imagination with Figment saw a 30-or-more minute wait in 2012? 17. Do you know how many days Journey into Imagination with Figment saw a 30-or-more minute wait in 2015? 187. That’s a 1000% increase. Do you know how much attendance is up in those four years? Less than 4%. But keep telling yourself FastPass+ doesn’t affect wait times.
Otherwise, Soarin’ typically sees 200+ minute waits on about three dates a year. In 2015, those dates were March 30th, December 21st, and December 31st. Looking over average wait times between 9am and 9pm every day in 2015, Soarin’s average on December 31st of 193 minutes is also the longest of the year by 52 minutes. The average in October? 64 minutes. September? 44 minutes. Actually, I guess we could go month by month here with Soarin’s average wait:
- January: 60 minutes.
- February: 64 minutes.
- March: 77 minutes.
- April: 71 minutes.
- May: 63 minutes.
- June: 69 minutes.
- July: 69 minutes.
- August: 60 minutes.
- September: 44 minutes.
- October: 64 minutes.
- November: 72 minutes.
- December: 86 minutes.
This doesn’t tell you the whole story from day to day, of course, but it’s a pretty good look at how each month measures up. September is, of course, wildly lower than any other month, no matter what your neighbor tries to tell you after one too many glasses of prosecco.
Anyway, you’re looking at a 59-minute average wait at Spaceship Earth with a 95-minute wait most of the day from 11am-7pm. Good luck with that. 65 minutes at The Seas used to be outrageous, but the ride usually hits 30 minutes these days. A 2.5 hour average wait at Test Track would be enough to send me packing.
Luckily the wait to exit the parking lot at the end of the night isn’t posted anywhere.
Nothing says “happy new year” like a cumulative 10-hour wait for five rides, I always say. But look on the bright side, the posted wait for Toy Story Mania is only 65 minutes immediately after official open and doesn’t even hit anything over 185 minutes all day. That’s barely even three hours. And in reality, the average waits were longer on December 28th for every attraction other than Toy Story, and that’s only because the ride was down for an hour or so on the 31st. I told you the 28th was busy.
I’ll take, “That’s A Lot of Big Numbers for $100,” Alex. It would be interesting to find out how long the person that waited the most minutes waited in line. In case that sentence makes any sense. Like did the same person wait 70 minutes for Astro Orbiter, 95 minutes for Buzz Lightyear, 235 minutes for Space Mountain, and 80 minutes for Tomorrowland Speedway? Did they feel like 40 minutes for Stitch’s Great Escape was a reprieve or did they opt for a 50-minute wait at Monsters Inc. instead? Either way, that’s a combined 9.5 hour wait for the six attractions in Tomorrowland that post wait times. I’m not sure the Windows calculator goes up high enough to add up the cumulative wait time for Fantasyland rides, but it looks to be 21.75 hours. I think I’d rather watch the Alabama/Michigan State game again instead and I really don’t say that lightly.
There’s a short break from above average crowds here over the next couple of days in front of Marathon Weekend. Crowds are again low for the few days leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, which is looking to be busier than most of the summer. Then it’s relatively low crowds again until the weekend of the 29th-31st, which is looking to be surprisingly busy. I’ve got Saturday the 30th as a “7 out of 10,” which is the same level as June.
As always, you can easily beat these wait times with an early arrival and/or late stay along with an efficient touring plan. I probably wouldn’t be in the standby line for most attractions at 2pm on New Year’s Eve, though.