We’ll be putting off dealing with the Frontierland crowd for a moment. This is 11:35am, so we’re still about 90 minutes away from peak crowds as we pick things up after Part 3, where we visited Big Thunder and Splash Mountain with FastPass+, along with a discussion of how to go about our business during the most crowded part of the of day. Part Two focused on FastPass+ availability and how to blend additional FP+ opportunities into your day, alongside the anytime attractions, along with stops at Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Liberty Square Riverboat. Part One got us going with what to expect from an 8am rope drop during a holiday week when your first stop is the most popular ride in the Park. We visited Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Haunted Mansion, all with virtually no waits.
Things aren’t necessarily horrific as we head towards Adventureland. I’m seeing a sickening amount of available space, ripe for the filling.
Touring Magic Kingdom during Easter week is a bit of a tradition here at easywdw.com.
You can pull up last year’s three part series with part one here, followed by part two and part three. It looks like our range of vision was much wider back then. They say eyesight is the first to go. Speaking of which, the Keenz stroller ban coming on May 1st is going to hit me particularly hard, as it’s been years since I’ve technically set foot in a Walt Disney World theme park. I’ve got things so figured out that I don’t even have to get out of the stroller to go to the bathroom. Everything changes May 1st. I don’t even remember what pavement feels like on my feet. Only the sweet, sweet cushion of my Keenz.
It’s not yet 11:45am and the FastPass+ return line for Pirates of the Caribbean is backed up to Frontierland. Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a nope from me.
When I got in the standby line at 9:20am, I waited ten minutes. With FastPass+ now, you’d have to think that the wait would be at least fifteen. I wonder what the conversation was like when they were printing these signs:
Olivia: “This is, like, so dumb we have to make these signs.”
Atticus: “Yeah, like, when are they even going to use it?”
Olivia: “Instead of putting ‘FastPass+’ let’s just, like, tell people to go home. el-oh-el”
“Atticus: el-oh-el, it’s not like they’re ever going to use it.”
The 65-minute posted wait is probably about right. We’ll see an 85-minute peak wait at 12:30pm.
FastPass+ for Jungle Cruise was backed up so far that not only is the ride entrance not visible, but you’d actually be closer to the entrances to The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Swiss Family Treehouse.
The current 75-minute wait makes my three-minute wait earlier in the morning look good.
The camel, which hadn’t been a particularly reliable spitter for some time, is out for refurbishment. In the meantime, they’ve installed me to spit on you. You don’t have to thank me. It’s my pleasure.
A 50-minute wait for The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, not so much.
I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last wait so long for a ride?
It will be interesting to see whether the live-action Aladdin movie that comes out in about a month will make the ride a little more popular. Aladdin and Jasmine greet in the Agrabah Bazaar behind the spinner, the only location where the characters meet together.
Everybody has their own tolerance for crowd levels and wait times. There are people that visit Walt Disney World when wait times are a third of what they are today, with less than half the people in the Park, who will come back complaining about crazy wait times and crowd level tens. I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LOW CROWD TIME. And you’ll have plenty of people who visited the week before Easter saying it wasn’t so bad.
But no matter your tolerance, seeing the extended queue for Swiss Family Treehouse full of tourists makes even the most seasoned, completely-numb-to-reality bloggers pause.
At least you’ll get some credit for climbing some stairs. And if you don’t have a Fitbit, Disney is probably recording every step you take anyway, so you can always stop by guest relations and ask them how much you walked today.
Heading back through Liberty Square, I feel like there must be some free plasma TVs available in the distance. I have no idea why there would be this many people around otherwise.
But alas, it’s just another “Line Starts Here” sign to add to our collection.
And a 75-minute wait. I prefer my experience, where I walked right into the stretching room early in the morning.
50 minutes for small world just after noon is one of the shortest waits in the Park. Astro Orbiter, Barnstormer, Big Thunder, Buzz, Dumbo, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin (really), Mad Tea Party (really), Ariel, Cinderella, Mickey, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates, Mine Train, Space, Splash, and Winnie the Pooh all have the same or a longer wait at this point.
That’s actually not so bad…
Last year, the sign was at least a hundred feet further back. Granted, it was a little later in the day.
THE MARCH OF THE KEEP RIGHT SIGN, A PROCESSION RARELY IF EVER SEEN BY THE HUMAN EYE. ACCOMPANIED BY THE ARROW TO LIBERTY SQUARE AND ADVENTURELAND SIGN. UNBELIEVABLE! I WAS NEARLY TRAMPLED TO DEATH TO BRING YOU THIS IMPOSSIBLE CLIP pic.twitter.com/aoReYbeow5
— josh (@easywdw) April 15, 2019
The cast members holding the signs first congregate, form a circle, and say a prayer before beginning the procession.
But there is no saving grace. Not on a day when “Keep Right” and “it’s a small world line starts here” signs are even with each other.
Eagle-eyed sleuths will be able to pick up the FP+ return sign for Peter Pan’s Flight. At least I’m hoping it’s for Peter Pan and not Mickey’s PhilharMagic. PhilharMagic was posting a 35-minute wait at this point in the day. It might be for PhilharMagic.
Tourists can’t even follow the simplest of instructions. Look at all of the available space I’ve had to circle.
When you’re closer to the tots at Friar’s Nook than the ride you’re supposed to be waiting for, it’s time to head for the tots.
We’ve managed to get back to this section of Old Fantasyland, just outside of Mine Train and Winnie the Pooh, at one of the better times during the day.
Mine Train’s posted wait dropped from 175 minutes at 12pm to 85 minutes at 12:15pm. As we learned from Walt Disney World Early 2019 Crowd and Wait Time Trends, which is worth reading if you haven’t, this sort of behavior isn’t uncommon. Very few people are going to get in a standby line that’s showing a wait that’s five minutes shy of three hours.
So the line naturally gets shorter, as it has here. Once Disney realizes that fewer people are in line, the posted wait eventually drops. After the Mine posts 85 minutes for a while, the wait is going to increase again as people realize that the wait is the shortest it’s been all day and get in line, necessitating another increase in wait times.
Here’s out wait time chart for the day one more time:
It looks like Mine Train goes from 85 minutes at 12:15pm, to 105 minutes at 12:30pm, and then back up to 150 minutes at 1pm, before hitting 180 minutes at 1:15pm. A lot of that standby wait is also going to depend on how many FastPass+ users with priority boarding return. It’s probably true that you see fewer returners around 12:15pm as people are either beginning or finishing up with lunch. You could say the same thing about standby waits elsewhere as the overall average wait across the Park drops beginning at 12:15pm, before going back up at 1pm.
The Many Adventures had also dropped from its 65-minute peak to a “mere” 50 minutes.
Only when all of the available space is filled will Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge truly open.
When you hold on to the “Line Starts Here!” sign like its your only connection to this world.
We have some work to do on the walk into Storybook Circus with Dumbo at 100 minutes and The Barnstormer at 75. I’d show you pictures of the wait times, but I don’t want anybody to have a stroke. The website can’t afford another lawsuit.
Tomorrowland Speedway is scheduled to reopen on May 18th, which is less than a month away.
We’ll see. The track looks to be shortened slightly.
Apparently we have received a shipment of cars from Tokyo Disneyland’s Grand Circuit Raceway, which closed back in January 2017. Some of the cars were previously on the tracks leading up to the refurbishment. At every other attraction, the ride vehicles drive themselves. Leave it up to the future to force you to parallel park yourself on the Speedway, which should probably be renamed to the Tomorrowland IS THIS THE SLOWPASS?
The walkway that used to connect Tomorrowland and Storybook Circus in Fantasyland remains closed, potentially forever, as Tron will be installed in between the two Lands. It would be neat to be able to walk underneath the canopy should it eventually reopen.
“Disney’s Walk Around the World Bricks,” which you may have noticed make up the walkway into Magic Kingdom in certain areas, are set to be removed in the coming months. Since the bricks won’t be available to take home, Disney is offering custom-made Commemorative Bricks to both those that paid for a brick and those that would simply like a neat souvenir. The bricks are available in the back of the Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. store, which doubles as the exit for Space Mountain. They’re also available at the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs, just inside the entrance on the left. Those that purchased an original Walk Around the World Brick can pick up a discount voucher that takes $20 off the regular $30 price. This Disney Parks Blog post has all of the details on the bricks, should you wish to purchase one. They’ll be available on ShopDisney.com as well. They’re a solid souvenir whether you previously purchased a Brick or not.
Back to the crowd situation, Space Mountain is at 125 minutes, which doesn’t seem so bad when Mad Tea Party is 50. If anything, given the length of the ride, you’re better off waiting over two hours here.
In this case, FastPass+ return is backed up due to some amount of guest error. Even when crowds are much lower, you will occasionally see this sort of thing as the confused and the lying try to scan their tickets/MagicBands at attractions for which they don’t have FP+, only to block the touchpoints until the cast member either shrugs and lets them through (likely) or sends them on their way to use the FastPass+ that they actually have (less likely), which is typically for something like PhilharMagic six or seven hours in the future.
It’s never a good thing when you can’t figure out whether you’re in line for Astro Orbiter or the PeopleMover. Or at this point, maybe Peter Pan’s Flight.
I honestly can’t tell. We might be in line for PhilharMagic.
A 30-minute wait for PeopleMover, which is what’s currently posted, is probably still the most bang for your buck at this point.
There it is.
This isn’t too bad for Buzz, which is posting a meager 60-minute wait, a full half hour shorter than the 90-minute peak that the intergalactic ride posted about 45 minutes earlier, at 11:45am.
The FastPass+ line goes round-and-round outside the entrance, the end of which isn’t visible in this picture.
You can’t see it in this one either.
Or this one, for that matter.
It is visible in this one, though I doubt anyone with an untrained eye can pick the exact location out.
There’s so many people in the Park that there’s a wait to use the FastPass+ kiosks outside Stitch’s Great Escape. All they’re going to find is Mickey PhilharMagic for five hours from now. But it won’t stop them from scanning at Space Mountain, “just in case.”
We ate lunch at Tomorrowland Terrace, which I will review separately when I think I can stomach the pictures. Suffice to say, you probably don’t want to eat there, despite the fact that the line might be closer to Plaza Restaurant than the quick service registers.
As you may recall from 75,000 words ago, I booked a fourth FastPass+ for the Mickey Meet and Greet.
Mickey and Minnie continue to meet together inside Town Square Theater, which is just inside the entrance on the right. You can meet the pair through September 30th, 2019. After that, Mickey should don his usual magician’s outfit and Minnie should head back to Storybook Circus to meet alongside Daisy at Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
Mickey and Minnie’s average wait is around 35 minutes these days, ranging from around 30 minutes on less-crowded days to 40 or more minutes on busy days. Tinker Bell’s queue is in the same building.
As mentioned in Part Two, Mickey doesn’t distribute a lot of FastPass+ per hour due to the limited capacity, but people are more likely to cancel meet and greets than most other FP+ types, making it relatively easy to secure a FP+ later in the day.
Personally, this is my second favorite place to meet Mickey in a theme park, behind Adventurers Outpost at Animal Kingdom. I’m not sure what’s more impressive – fielding a baseball team yourself or getting a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage.
At Animal Kingdom, Mickey and Minnie have met together in their adventure outfits for years.
But the Mickey meet here offers a fun atmosphere, too.
Coupled with a little bit of history.
Outside of early in the morning and late at night, wait times for Mickey and Tinker Bell are typically shortest between 2pm and 3:30pm, probably due to the fact that relatively few people are arriving at the Park and that part of Main Street doesn’t see a lot of traffic, combined with the fact that the Festival of Fantasy Parade occupies a few thousand people during that time frame.
Here’s a look at Mickey’s posted wait times so far this month:
While you’ll usually see a 20- or 25-minute posted wait first thing, actual waits will obviously be shorter if you’re among the first people to arrive. My assumption is that the capacity is lower early, which is why waits are longer. Of course, that’s also when the most people will be walking by Town Square Theater where Mickey meets, so there’s that, too. The large number of people exiting before the fireworks start may also by the reason why waits stay long past 8pm, though my assumption is that the capacity drops then too. FastPass+ is the smartest way to go as you probably don’t want to meet Mickey first thing and he’s inconvenient from most other areas in the Park.
Mickey and Minnie’s party-time outfits are a lot of fun and should you have the opportunity and the desire, it’s worth taking the time to get a picture.
Rounding things out, Disney looks to be expanding the walkways around Cinderella Castle, so you may notice that the moat is drained. You can still go for a swim though.
This is outside Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.
The same is true on the opposite side.
While it’s obviously unattractive if you seek it out, I think a lot of people pass by without noticing. You’d have to walk up to the railing and look down.
That may be a little less true over here, but most people’s eyes are probably pointed straight ahead as they cross the bridge.
The paint scheme in Tomorrowland also continues to change in front of Tron’s opening in a couple of years. We’ll take a closer look in a subsequent update.
Overall, my day went well. I was able to accomplish:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: 8am – 8:19am
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 8:20am – 8:27am
- Peter Pan’s Flight with FastPass+: 8:30am – 8:38am
- Haunted Mansion: 8:40am – 8:53am
- Jungle Cruise: 9am – 9:16am
- Pirates of the Caribbean: 9:20am – 9:43am
- Liberty Square Riverboat: 10am – 10:22am
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with FastPass+: 10:40am – 11:01am
- Splash Mountain with FastPass+: 11:05am – 11:31am
- Complaining about crowds on Twitter: 11:35am – 12:45pm
- Lunch: 1pm – 2pm
- Mickey and Minnie with FastPass+: 2:04pm – 2:14pm
Instead of complaining about crowds on Twitter, as I did for an hour as I walked around the Park in the afternoon, you’ll probably find yourself blending in anytime attractions with whatever FastPass+ experiences that you’re able to book. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to be excited to grab a FastPass+ for Mad Tea Party, so be sure to savor the moment. When I was near Splash Mountain, I could have done Tom Sawyer’s Island, Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, or Mickey’s PhilharMagic without a wait longer than it would take to get on the next raft or see the next show. As far as my touring plan before then, the only thing that I might have done differently is to ride it’s a small world when I had the chance, after Peter Pan’s Flight or Haunted Mansion. Spending about 20 minutes there would necessitate me pushing back my ride on the Riverboat, but that’s the definition of an anytime attraction. Of course, riding earlier meant fewer people there with me on boat, which makes for a more comfortable overall experience.
As is usually the case, my efficient early morning touring was the key to a solid day amid some of the heaviest crowds and longest wait times of the year. Get up early and do your thing.
We’ll see how things go at Hollywood Studios.