Disney Removes Wait Times for Rides: What You Need to Know

Disney eliminating wait times from attractions

Waiting in line at Disney World is inevitable. However, depending on the time of year, the wait times may not be that bad. But, during summer for example, the wait times are at their peak. Most wait times are 45 minutes or more during peak time, with top rides reaching 120 minutes or more. Seeing long wait times can be a deterrent, which is why Disney is eliminating wait times for attractions. 

Disney eliminating wait times due to long wait times being a deterrnt
Long Disney wait times causing Disney to eliminate wait times from rides. Photo via disneytouristblog.com

Imagine you’re in Tomorrowland and you just got off of Space Mountain. What ride are you going to go on next? You check the My Disney Experience app and see the wait time for Splash Mountain is only 25 minutes. Wow! You run over to Splash Mountain (which the retheme is now canceled) and ride it and have the time of your life on the best ride at Disney World. That is a great feeling.

Soon you will not be able to do that with Disney eliminating wait times for attractions. Disney has decided they will no longer post the wait times to their rides. This means on the My Disney Experience App as well as on the signs at the entrances to the rides. Guests will not know the wait times to an attraction at any point when they get in line.

Let’s relive the scenario from above. You get off of Space Mountain. You pull up My Disney Experience and there is no information on any wait times. This comes as a disappointment. Anyways, you decide to go to Frontierland. After evaluating the lines, you get in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad because it looks shorter than Splash Mountain. You wait in line for 75 minutes at Big Thunder. However, it turns out Splash Mountain would have only been 25 minutes.

Disney eliminating wait times from attractions
Disney eliminating wait times from attractions.

This is clearly a nightmare scenario to not know the wait times. For some guests, it really doesn’t matter what the wait times are for the rides. Maybe they are Disney World Annual Passholders that visit every week. Alternatively, this is their only trip to Disney World and they have very specific attractions to ride. But for those who want to optimize their day at Disney World, this is terrible.

Why is Disney eliminating wait times for attractions?

According to a guest survey, the biggest deterrent from getting in a line at Disney World is a long wait time. In fact, Disney knows the exact minute for each ride that the average guest isn’t willing to get in line for. For example, the average guest will not get in The Living With The Land line if the wait is over 23 minutes. However, we just learned Living With The Land will become a lazy river ride, so that may change that example specifically.

Living With The Land Lazy River
We expect Living With The Land Lazy River to draw long lines

Disney has decided that eliminating wait time signs and wait times in the My Disney Experience app will increase the number of people who get in the line. They believe that more guests will get in line when they don’t know the wait time. Under this big change, guests will need to judge the wait time of an attraction by the line length. 

The assumption Disney is making is that people will underestimate the wait time based on line length. This will likely happen, which comes as no surprise. Disney is an expert in queuing and can make a line look much shorter than it is. Would you guess the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train line is 120 minutes or 60 minutes based on how long it looks? You’ll probably underestimate.

Now guests need to estimate the wait times
Now guests need to estimate the wait times. Is Mine Train 30 minutes or 120? Photo via disneytouristblog.com

This is clearly upsetting to those who optimize their day at Disney World based on the wait times. Using the My Disney Experience App to look at wait times and optimize your next move is something many people do and is a privilege that will soon be gone. However, we expect this to have a big backlash with the diehard Disney World fans. This makes it possible Disney reverses their decision.

This big change begs the question, will Disney still transition to paid lines? Read our story on their new pay-per-ride model here. We would guess they still move to a pay-per-ride model as it is a great way to increase revenue.

Disney eliminating wait times, will they go through with the pay per ride model?
Disney eliminating wait times, will they go through with the pay per ride model?

We don’t yet know when Disney will officially remove wait times for their rides. However, we expect it to happen in the next few days. Removing the posted wait times from Disney rides seems to do more bad than good in our opinion. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts below!

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