Labor Day Weekend Kicks Off With Slight Increase in Wait Times

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It’s hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is here. The flow of time and dates just seems off this year, doesn’t it? But the first major holiday weekend since Orlando’s theme parks reopened is here.

Our Crowd Calendar showed all four Disney parks at a level one this Thursday and Friday, as they’ve been practically all of the time since reopening due to fewer people traveling, fewer hotels open, and Disney’s park reservation system. However, today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday) show an increase to level two at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s see how wait times looked during the days leading up to Labor Day weekend and how our new Lines 2.0 app showed expected wait times compared to Disney’s posted wait times. (Also, can we all just bask at how beautiful our redesigned Lines app is?)

Crowd Level in Lines App – Friday 09-04
Crowd Level in Lines App – Thursday 09-03

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Afternoon Wait Times

September 3, 2020 and September 4, 2020

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios open the latest of the four Walt Disney World theme parks. We typically see wait times peak between 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Although there are patterns we typically see each day with wait times sometimes things change like an attraction goes down unexpectedly. Our Lines app uses real time data to make adjustments so you can optimize your plan and save as much as time as possible. We use in-park data to produce Expected Wait Times that are typically more accurate than Disney’s Posted Wait Times.

Frozen Ever After Lines App Expected Wait Times Comparison 1:00 p.m. vs 3:00 p.m.
Test Track Expected Wait Time 1:00 p.m.
Soarin’ Expected Wait Time in Lines App 2:00 p.m.
Gran Fiesta Tour Expected Wait Time in Lines App 3:00 p.m.
  • Frozen Ever After – 1:00 p.m. vs. 3:00 p.m.
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected 20
    • Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected 34
  • Test Track
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected 22
  • Soarin’
    • Posted Wait Time 10 / Expected 6
  • Gran Fiesta Tour
    • Posted Wait Time 20 / Expected 12

Let’s take a look at yesterday afternoon’s wait times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Tower of Terror Down Time
Star Tours Lines App Expected Wait Times Comparison 1:00 p.m. vs 3:00 p.m.
Alien Swirling Saucers Expected Wait Time in Lines App 1:30 p.m.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Expected Wait Time in Lines App 1:30 p.m.
Slinky Dog Dash Expected Wait Time in Lines App 3:00 p.m.
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway 1pm vs. 3pm
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected 38
    • Posted Wait Time 70 / Expected 45 / Actual Reported Wait Time about 35 minutes
  • Slinky Dog Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected 28
  • Rock N’ Roller Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected  12
  • Star Tours 1pm vs 3pm 
    • Posted Wait Time 25 / Expected 15
    • Posted Wait Time 5 / Expected 12

You can see there was a 25 minute difference in our Lines app Expected Wait Time and Disney’s Posted Wait Time around 3:00 p.m. for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Runway Railway does experience occasional down times during the day, and it did yesterday afternoon. It is possible Disney inflated the posted wait time in case the attraction went down again.

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Evening Wait Times

September 3, 2020 and September 4, 2020

We’ve seen time and again since the parks reopened that the last 90 minutes or so of park operating hours have the lowest wait times of the day. Without a nighttime spectacular to anchor guests and without park hopping, the last hour or so leads to most guests clearing out. Frozen Ever After is often an exception to this with wait times before at their lowest first thing in the morning and climbing throughout the day.

Test Track Down Time Comparison 6:00 p.m. vs 8:00 p.m.
Frozen Ever After Expected Wait Time in Lines App 6:00 p.m.
Soarin’ Expected Wait Time in Lines App 6:00 p.m.
  • Frozen Ever After 6:00 p.m.
    • Posted Wait Time 30/ Expected 26
  • Test Track
    • Offline around 6:00 pm
    • 8:00 p.m. Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected 30
  • Soarin’
    • Posted Wait Time 10 / Expected 8

Let’s take a look at yesterday evening’s wait times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Millennium Falcon Entrance
Millennium Expected Wait Time in Lines App 6:00 p.m.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Expected Wait Time in Lines App 6:00 p.m.
Runaway Railway Wait Time 09-04-20
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway 
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected 38 / Actual Wait Time Reported 25 – 30 minutes
  • Slinky Dog Coaster
    • Down time from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. due to severe weather
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected 30
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 15 / Expected  11
  • Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run
    • Posted Wait Time 30 / Expected 21

On the above graph the green dots represent actual wait times reported in our Lines app by users, known as Liners. Actual wait times for Runaway Railway average around 30 minutes in the early evening.

Slinky Dog Dash Entrance

We all know this year is dramatically different than any other time in Walt Disney World’s history. But, since we have the data (we’re nerdy and scientific that way), let’s take a look at the wait times for this equivalent day last year (the Friday of Labor Day weekend) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times Friday of Labor Day Weekend 2019

Clearly things are dramatically different this year compared to last year. Still, it’s fun to look back. Let’s compare last Friday to yesterday to see how much of an impact Labor Day Weekend had on wait times. Overall the observed wait times are not dramatically different between last Friday and yesterday, though that is what we expected with Crowd Levels being at 1 on both days.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 08-28-20
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 09-04-20

We’re sure to see an increase in wait times this weekend. Stay tuned to our social media channels and blog as we continue to cover the parks. You can probably tell from our screenshots that our Lines app has been completely refreshed and is rolling out to iOS and Android devices this month. Let us know what you think of the new app and what you think about these kinds of blog post.

 

Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

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