Shortly after the new Frozen Ever After ride opened, we took a lengthy look at wait times, FastPass+ availability, and overall strategy in minimizing waits and hassle.
From that post:
We obviously don’t have a lot to go on with the ride opening just four days ago, but posted waits so far have been attrocious, peaking each day at 3+ hours. The question marks indicate potential downtime or when the ride is not accepting standby riders. When Frozen goes FastPass+ only, it no longer posts a standby wait.
Now that the ride has been open for more than two months, we should have a better idea about what posted wait times are going to be like moving forward. Here’s the chart:
Each blank box indicates about 15 minutes of downtime OR when Disney wasn’t admitting standby riders because of previous downtime. The good news is that downtime is much rarer now. In the last week, we only see about three total hours worth and never more than an hour at a time. During the week before that, it looks like there was a total of about five hours of downtime with most of it occurring on August 22nd. That seems to indicate that the technical problems that marred the attraction after it opened have been fixed and we just see the occasional closure due to mechanical problems or other misbehavior.
FastPass+ remain difficult to impossible to secure depending on how many days in advance that you’re trying to book. There’s actually a forum thread that keeps track of people’s experiences. For on-site guests, it’s important to keep in mind that FastPass+ is now bookable at 7am 60 days out from your check-in date rather than the 12am it had been for a couple of years. On-site guests can also book FastPass+ for the duration of their stay at the 60-day mark. So if your 7-night vacation begins on February 8th, you can begin making FastPass+ reservations 60 days from that date, which is December 10th. At 7am on December 10th, assuming you have tickets linked etc., you’ll be able to make FastPass+ reservations for the duration of your trip. If you are visiting Epcot on February 10th and February 13th, then it makes the most sense to begin making FastPass+ at Epcot for February 13th, because that’s the day that the least amount of people will have access to book. Book Frozen Ever After first for whenever it is available.
At the moment, Disney isn’t releasing FP+ with return times before 11am, probably to ease waits first thing, but perhaps also because they haven’t set in stone that the whole Pavilion will open with Future World every day. It seems logistically impossible that they would hold off opening until 11am, but this is Disney that we are talking about.
Because FastPass+ are difficult to secure, you might need to figure out when to ride standby. Just looking over wait times from the past two-ish weeks:
If you have two nights to visit Epcot and don’t mind missing IllumiNations on one of them, then the best time to get in line is far and away last thing at night. With one big caveat – the ride may not be operating at 9pm as it wasn’t on two of the last 15 nights. If that happens, you can opt to watch IllumiNations that night and figure something else out for Frozen on your next night – whether you want to risk it last thing again or brave the rope drop crowds or simply wait the 50-70 minutes you’re looking at around noon.
Four years ago, I would have stuck my nose up at the prospect of a 30+ minute wait, but with FP+ raising waits at so many attractions, one comfortable, air-conditioned wait isn’t so terrible when you consider the alternative is standing outside the entrance for 45 minutes followed by elbowing grandmas and children out of the way as you rush to Frozen first thing.
So I don’t personally recommend trying to pull Frozen off at rope drop, particularly here in the summer when it’s so hot. You’re looking at an 8am arrival where you’ll wait in front of the Park for 30 minutes. Then you’ll need to hurry to the Mexico holding area out in the sun and wait there for 30 minutes. Then you’ll need to fight your way to Norway. If you are more spry than your typical Disney lifestyle blogger and your eyeballs light up at the thought of trampling children at Wal-Mart at 3am on Black Friday then you may well have more success. But actual waits for those that get in line around 8:55pm are typically under 20 minutes as capacity shifts to standby and most people are transfixed with IllumiNations.
I haven’t really “reviewed” Frozen Ever After as it’s my opinion that you should experience attractions for yourself and form your own conclusions. I am a lot tougher on food in particular because most people visiting for six nights are going to be planning 4-6 table service meals and 4-6 quick service meals out of a couple hundred choices. And saying everything is AMAZING might be more pleasant to read at work on a Tuesday afternoon, but it’s going to be a lot less pleasant when you paying $26 per person for frozen chicken at Tony’s Town Square.
But life is an expectations game and in my opinion, Frozen Ever After is just about as good as Disney could have done with the space available. Like most people, I would have preferred a brand new, higher capacity, Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-Shanghai-esque ride. As it stands, the scenes on Ever After don’t always transition so well and there is potentially not much to the story. But the animatronics are among the best Disney has ever produced and most people enjoy seeing the characters and who doesn’t want to hear “Let It Go” one more time.
So what did we learn…
- Wait times at Frozen Ever After are down from their early peaks, but you’re still looking at an average posted wait that exceeds 75 minutes most days.
- FastPass+ is the ideal way to experience the attraction and they are difficult to come by. Ideally, stay on-site and book at 7am 60 days before you check-in for your Epcot date furthest from the start of your trip.
- Somebody at rope drop is going to ride Frozen with virtually no wait, but that’s going to require an arrival at least 45 minutes before Park open and staying ahead of the unpleasant rush to the ride’s entrance. Consider last thing at night or grin and bear what isn’t necessarily an unpleasant wait in the afternoon.
We’ll make sure that Royal Sommerhus meet and greet waits are still short next.