Today, April 16th, was the first day that Toy Story Mania operated with just one of its three tracks with the ride offering no FastPass+ experiences whatsoever over the course of the day. This is what we were originally expecting to happen one week ago on April 9th.
Here’s a look at wait times on Monday the 16th:
Things get off to a particularly rough start as Toy Story posts a 75-minute wait right at Park open. The wait more than doubles just 30 minutes later, hitting 155 minutes at 9:30am, which I would remind you is two hours and thirty five minutes rather than an hour and fifty five minutes. The wait then drops to less than a third of that at 12:30pm when it’s posted at 50 minutes.
That makes some amount of sense as the vast majority of people present at rope drop are heading straight to Toy Story. And with only one track operating, the ride’s hourly capacity is under 500 riders per hour. Over the course of your standard 12-hour day, that means just 6,000 people that visit the Park will have an opportunity to ride. The Studios’ average attendance so far this year is over 30,000 guests per day, so only about one in five people can experience the Park’s only ride that doesn’t carry a height requirement.
The current situation looks to be similar to Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you are able to arrive 45 to 60 minutes before Park open and move quickly over to Toy Story, then doing so is a viable way to experience a short actual wait. The 250th person to arrive should expect to wait about a half hour, while the first 50-or-so people will basically walk right on. If you’re not planning on arriving until after 8:45am or move slower, then you probably want to find something else to do for the first couple of hours of operation. There’s no reason to wait 100 or more minutes from 9:15am to 11am when you could wait half that by getting in line at 1pm. That’s particularly true when you consider that other rides will have lower waits and the shows that are operating earlier in the day will see fewer guests filling the seats.
If you can’t or don’t want to do the early morning thing, then last riding thing at night is still your best bet if you’re willing to forgo seeing Fantasmic and the Star Wars Fireworks. Those shows pull an incredible number of people away from the rides. Those getting in line around 8:55pm with a 9pm close should wait between 15 and 30 minutes. If you need to ride at some point during the day that isn’t immediately at Park open, I’d look at lunch time as the best time to get in line – probably around 12:15pm is your best bet. I’d also expect to see lower waits around 6pm with the actual wait dropping after that.
It’s less clear how Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror will fare. Tower of Terror was down from Park open through 4:30pm and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster went down for about an hour around 9:45am. It does look like those that move through Toy Story quickly first thing can expect to find a short wait at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster immediately after. I typically recommend using FastPass+ at Tower of Terror after that, though riding in standby should result in a 30ish minute actual wait for those getting in line around 9:45am. Expect closer to a 45 minute wait at 10am.
Here’s a look at how wait times looked the day before, a Sunday when both Toy Story Mania tracks were open and day-of FastPass+ were offered:
Toy Story’s wait time is 19% higher on the Monday with just one track operating. Somewhat interestingly perhaps, more standby riders actually get to ride per hour with one track operating versus two tracks with FP+. With two tracks, about 1,000 riders per hour can ride, but more than 70% of that capacity goes to FastPass+ riders, so only about 300 standby riders ride per hour given that setup. That isn’t exactly a positive, particularly for those of us that would book FP+ if it was available, “but it’s something.”
Toy Story Mania should be down to just one track without FastPass+ offered for about a month. You might remember that the original two tracks are closed while Disney reroutes the queue for Toy Story Land, when the ride’s entrance will be located on the opposite side of the show building. Since that work was delayed by about a week, it’s possible that the end date for the track closures will also be pushed back by an indeterminate amount.
If you are visiting the Studios over the next month and would like to experience Toy Story Mania, plan on arriving at least 45 minutes before Park open and move quickly to the ride. If that isn’t possible, ride last thing at night if you can. If you can do neither, plan on getting in line around 12pm or around 6pm, when actual waits should be lower. Unfortunately, downtime could come into play more often since there is just the one track running, but the website will keep an eye on that too.
The good news is that no matter how much you think Toy Story Mania’s track closures will interfere with your trip, it pales in comparison to the complete and utter nightmare that Galaxy’s Edge will be. So we can all cuddle up with that thought and try to sleep soundly. At least for now.
Good luck out there.