We continue our touring plan from Part Three, where we visited several Fantasyland attractions before stopping in at Haunted Mansion with FastPass+. This is where we’ve been:
- Space Mountain: 8:01am – 8:20am
- Tomorrowland Speedway: 8:24am – 8:50am
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: 8:53am – 9:01am
- Astro Orbiter: 9:04am – 9:22am
- The PeopleMover: 9:22am – 9:34am
- The Barnstormer: 9:43am – 9:50am
- Dumbo: 9:51am – 10:04am
- Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride: 10:06am – 10:21am
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with FastPass+: 10:30am – 10:42am
- it’s a small world: 10:50am – 11:32am
- Haunted Mansion with FP+: 11:38am – 11:59am
And this is where we’re going.
Here’s a look at Pan’s wait times in May:
At Peter Pan’s Flight, there are typically just two opportunities to experience a wait of less than 20 minutes, at least if you’re relying on the standby line. Like most top-priority rides, which include Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, and Test Track, that means either getting in line immediately after Park open or getting in line a minute or two before Park close. By 9:15am, your actual Peter Pan’s Flight wait time will be 25+ minutes most days and by 9:45am, you’re looking at 45 minutes, which is probably too long at that point in the morning. On the plus side, that’s a lot more forgiving than Flight of Passage, where the actual wait at 9:15am will be around 100 minutes, and Slinky Dog Dash, where the actual wait if you were to get in the back of the line at 9:15am would be about 75 minutes.
That’s why I rarely recommend trying to ride Peter Pan’s Flight after another attraction first thing in the morning, even if you’re using the Be Our Guest Breakfast advantage and can be one of the first people off Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the morning. If you are doing the breakfast trick, as outlined here, and Mine Train starts operating before 8:55am, then Peter Pan may be viable immediately after. Since you never know whether Mine Train will start operating closer to 8:50am than 9am, you’ll want a backup plan for Peter Pan’s Flight. FastPass+ is your best if you can’t ride absolutely first or last thing. One problem you’ll obviously run into is that you can’t ride every attraction immediately at Park open or just before Park close. That’s where careful planning and FastPass+ come in.
The 55-minute posted wait that I’m seeing just after noon is below the 67-minute average for the time period, which continues to back up our hypothesis that waits actually build slower on days with earlier openings.
The 62-minute average for the day is also higher than the overall average for the month, which backs up the second half of our hypothesis, which is afternoon wait times will eventually peak higher and stay at those levels longer as crowds eventually overwhelm the attractions. That’s true at least if attendance is higher on 8am open days, which we’ll assume is typically true since Disney has historically increased the number of operating hours on days that it expects to be more crowded. This not only gives those who arrive early a head start and the opportunity to get out of the way for those who arrive later, but also helps spread the crowds out over an entended period of time.
Even if afternoon crowds peak higher and linger longer, it hasn’t had much of an effect on me four hours into my day.
With FP+, I got in line at 12:02pm and was on-board my pirate ship seven minutes later, at 12:09pm.
I was back out front at 12:13pm for a total experience time of 11 minutes, which is probably a minute or two below average. The 60 minutes posted is probably about right, making our decision to use FastPass+ an intelligent one. If you can’t ride first or last thing, then your third best bet is to get in line about a half hour before the Festival of Fantasy Parade steps off. Of course, you can only take advantage of that lull at one attraction as well. Booking Peter Pan’s Flight FP+ in advance is smart, as availability is severely limited on the day-of, both due to its popularity and the low number of experiences distributed per hour.
For some reason, the posted wait at small world dropped to just 10 minutes.
Yet the line was significantly longer than when I got in line an hour before. The posted wait went to 30 minutes at 12:15pm, 35 minutes at 12:30pm, and 40 minutes at 12:45pm – all of which are more accurate than the ten seen here. You almost have to feel bad for the people that saw the errant wait time and got in line because of it. If you can’t trust a Disney World posted wait time, then who can you trust?
Now that I’ve used my three initial FastPass+, it’s time to make a fourth selection and then probably experience some anytime attractions in between return times. As a reminder, you can begin refreshing availability for a fourth selection immediately after you scan your tickets/MagicBands at the FP+ entrance for your third attraction. So once I scanned my custom-bedazzled Band at the entrance to Peter Pan’s Flight, I can whip out my first generation Android phone and refresh availability as I wait to board my pirate ship.
The quality of your fourth FP+ selection will come down to your propensity to click refresh as well as your party size. Smaller parties will always see more availability and the more you refresh, the more cancelled FP+ will show up as being available. FastPass+ refreshing is a blessing and a curse. It’s awesome to be able to score a FP+ for an attraction that will save you a considerable amount of time, but it may take 15 or more minutes of staring at your phone and refreshing to make that happen. The time investment is still worthwhile – I’d rather sit at Columbia Harbour House and nurse a Diet Coke for 20 minutes while mindlessly pressing phone buttons than stand in a 75-minute line for Big Thunder Mountain outside in Florida in June. But knowing that better FP+ are always out there, if you’re just willing to refresh a little bit more, can become an addiction. It wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the future, there are FP+ rehabilitation facilities. It might be called staying in a Deluxe resort at Universal. Or that could be what the “Reflections” resort that they’re building next to Fort Wilderness actually turns out to be. FastPass+ Refreshers Anonymous.
“The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History” remains one of my favorite recent additions, perhaps second to only the large installation of bathrooms at the United States Pavilion in Epcot. You can pull up the day’s showtimes here. They change based on the time of year, but it’s typically something like 12:10pm, 1:05pm, 1:35pm, 2:05pm, 4:15pm, 4:50pm, and 5:20pm, with the potential for more pop-up shows. Arrive a couple of minutes before the ~11 minute show for front row spots or hang back a bit and enjoy the festivities from across the way.
Work continues on widening the pathway that connects the Sleepy Hollow Refreshments area of Liberty Square with the Castle Couture and Princess Fairytale Hall area of Fantasyland. As far as I know, this path does not lead to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, so I’m not real sure why there’s a need to widen it. On the other hand, all paths may lead to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge come August 29th, so you probably can’t be too careful. Remember, if you’re east of the Mississippi, you’re probably already in line wherever you are right now. The line to get into Oga’s Cantina will be that long.
It may or may not be easier to see the scope of the project from this side.
Suffice to say, there is no PhotoPass photographer stationed here, though pictures with the Castle in the background would probably be fine from an artistic angle.
The construction also means that most of the seating area for Sleepy Hollow is behind walls, so you’ll find a few of the same tables set up over on the opposite side behind the Christmas Shoppe.
You could invite Mary Poppins for some tea, so long as that tea is a foot-long corn dog and Mickey waffles.
Water should flow again in the near future.
No matter how much money you make, the only way to have it is to not spend it.
You can’t put a price on looking down at people, though. “Literally” in this case from the Club 33 balcony. You can tell someone is a real Club 33 member if they refer to it only as “Club.” Used in a sentence: “We are going to ‘Club.'” At that point, you have my permission to slap them.
No jury would convict.
I’ll cover snacks separately, but this “Wish Granted Donut” is still available at Sunshine Tree Terrace, which is located across from Swiss Family Treehouse, more or less. My wish was to not try it. Despite the sign’s promise, that wish was not granted. The wait time signs aren’t right. The snack signs aren’t right. It may be time to go home.
Speaking of which, we’re a lot better off here than we were last month during Easter.
Here’s that scene. You don’t want to see people waiting here. Or doing anything else here.
Instead of having to lay all of your problems on the poor custodian that is just trying to pretend to pick up trash, away from the people, in the corner of the furthest Pecos Bill seating area away from the registers, you continue to have the opportunity to whine to the Geek Squad/Guest Experience Team standing at a variety of painted blue boxes around the Park. It’s not a coincidence that these box kiosks are portable. When they see me approaching, they actually pick their boxes up and try to run away. But I am like the Terminator. Relentless.
The wait times board is a throwback, at least. It probably won’t be too long until our phones are this big anyway. You might just grab the sign and take it with you.
It’s kind of hard to tell, but the walkway ahead of us and on the left was temporarily closed for one reason or another.
I’m not sure what they were up to, but it was around the time that the spitting camel was put back in her place. In this picture, she is absent and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin was down for almost the entire day, which is rare.
A couple of days later and the camel returned.
At least we can enjoy a clear shot of the tiki.
The Hei Hei Cone, available(?) at Aloha Isle, continues to go in and out of stock, perhaps depending on the ability of the largest media conglomerate in the world to source Raspberry Dole Whip.
The Cones, and Raspberry Dole Whip in general, are not currently available. But Hei Hei has glowed away and returned before.
It’s 12:27pm and Jungle Cruise’s 55-minute posted wait is probably about right. I continue to hold the position that Disney should tell us how many people are in line and how many boats are in the water and let us do the math ourselves. The fact that I waited here for over 30 minutes earlier this month, despite getting in line less than an hour after the Park opened, is what sparked some of this 8am versus 9am debate. We may get back over to Magic Kingdom to execute the same Frontierland touring plan on a day with an 8am open just to see how much better it will end up being. Our Tomorrowland plan went incredibly well, but it’s obviously an apples to oranges comparison with a completely different set of attractions.
Things remain relatively chill through Caribbean Plaza at 12:30pm.
Pirates sees a 40-minute wait, which is actually five minutes lower than average for the month of May. There actually isn’t a day this month where the peak wait for Pirates didn’t hit 45 minutes. I wonder how many of us remember when a 30-minute wait meant that it was probably Christmas. Oh, 2011. We didn’t even know what we had.
While the Pirate Tutorial is no longer performed on stage, Captain Jack Sparrow himself continues to meet out in front of it. Look for him from 11:10am – 11:35am, 12pm – 12:35pm, 3:10pm to 3:35pm, and 4pm to 4:35pm.
Tortuga Tavern had been closed for refurbishment, but you’ll now find it open again.
It wouldn’t be my first choice for a meal, but seating is plentiful, which means you can bring something over from elsewhere if you’d like. I’ve been known to walk my Pecos Bill order down here and you may prefer the covered seating to what’s next to Golden Oak Outpost just down the way. The Pepper Jack Pretzel is a good snack, and with short lines, it’s a good spot to pick up a drink.
It’s just after 12:30pm as we head towards lunch at Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. Big Thunder’s current wait is 50 minutes with Splash coming in at 70. Here in the summer, Splash’s daily average wait should eclipse everything other than Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Space Mountain.
Here’s another look at wait times over the course of this particular day:
Even if Splash waits end up higher for the day, they still rise relatively slowly as people are far more likely to get in line in the afternoon. With temperatures starting around 80 degrees and peaking around 95 degrees from June through September, people are more likely to get in line a little earlier, but “getting wet” isn’t going to be on most people’s minds until lunch time. At 11am, nine attractions have the same or a longer wait than Splash. Just 30 minutes later, at 11:30am, only one attraction has a longer posted wait. In standby, you’ll still want to be here by 10am at the latest over the summer and those able to ride immediately after Big Thunder in the morning will be able to walk right on just about any day of the year.
The Country Bears continue to wander Frontierland as they mingle with unsuspecting guests.
Hold on to your saddles and campfire stoves because they have a tendency to take a walk when these guys are around.
This post was originally over 4,500 words, so I’ll break it up into two parts, just like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Unlike those movies, you’ll only have to wait a day for the second part. What a life.