We’ve updated our Lines mobile app to route you around unexpected ride breakdowns while you’re in the parks. If your Magic Kingdom touring plan calls for you to ride Space Mountain soon and Lines learns that Space Mountain is temporarily closed, upon optimization Lines will adjust your touring plan by moving Space Mountain to later in the day, after the time when Lines expects it to reopen.
This new feature keeps you one step ahead of the crowds by finding the best attractions to see now, and by knowing the best time to schedule a closed ride later in the day. It might also save you from walking across the park to find a closed ride.
The idea for this feature came from us testing our touring plan software. Three major ride breakdowns happened in the first few hours I was in the park. My work-around was to just skip those steps in the plan, but it would have been great if Lines detected the ride closures and re-did the plan for me automatically. Now Lines does that whenever I optimize my plan.
We’ve also added a new text field to Lines showing our estimate of when the ride might re-open.
Behind the Scenes
Once Lines learns that an attraction has gone offline, it has to estimate how long it’ll be until that ride re-opens. To help with this, we’ve been collecting data on temporary ride closures for the past few years.
Lines starts by using the ride’s median downtime length as an estimate of when the ride will be back up and running. For example, Lines knows that if Big Thunder Mountain closes unexpectedly in the morning, it stays closed for about an hour. And Lines also knows that when Big Thunder closes unexpectedly between noon and 6 p.m., it stays closed longer – around 90 minutes. Lines will adjust your plans accordingly based on the time at which the ride went offline.
Lines also responds appropriately when a ride re-opens earlier than expected. When that happens, Lines will mark the ride as open and start estimating wait times again (including how much longer the waits will be because of the closure). If the ride stays closed longer than average, Lines will continually update your plan with its estimated re-opening time.
If Lines thinks a ride will be closed for the rest of the day, your touring plan will display an appropriate message, along the lines of “We don’t think you’ll be able to get to this today.”
One Important Note: The “re-opening time” estimates that appear in Lines are statistically generated using our own data. This information is unofficial and not from Disney. Although we use sensible estimates, the actual outage duration may vary from what appears in Lines.
FastPass+, Universal, and Disneyland
If you’re scheduled to use FastPass+ on a ride that is closed unexpectedly, Disney should notify you through My Disney Experience and give you some options:
- Reschedule your FastPass+ for the same ride later in the day
- Choose another attraction for your FastPass+ reservation
- If it’s late in the day, get an extra FastPass+ reservation for the next day
You should update Lines with whatever option you choose, and Lines will re-do your plan accordingly when you optimize your plan.