Wait Times Escalate at Disney’s Hollywood Studios With Ride Downtimes and Increased Attendance

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Just after wait times plummeted following Labor Day Weekend, we’ve begun to see an uptick at wait times at Walt Disney World. Primarily we’ve seen an increase at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Hours of park operation have been reduced across the board, but it seems reservations for Park Passes have increased. Our field team has noticed more people in the park – though physical distancing is still be followed closely fairly consistently.

Monday, our team experienced increased wait times as Rise of the Resistance did not successfully open for the 10:00 a.m. boarding group. Let’s take a look at how long actual wait times got, compared to Disney’s posted wait times, and let’s see how this Monday compared to other previous Mondays from recent weeks.

Actual Wait Times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Monday, September 14, 2020

We’ve seen before that anytime Rise of the Resistance fails to distribute morning boarding groups, wait times are heavy across the park for a few hours until the noon boarding group is released. Such was the case on Monday. It also appears that more Disney Park Passes are available, which has increased attendance and contributed to higher wait times.

Our Lines app uses real-time data to show Expected Wait Times compared to Disney’s Posted Wait Times. It also makes recommendations as to if you should wait to ride a particular attraction, based on historical data that indicates when wait times typically reduce at specific attractions. At 11:00 a.m. our Lines app recommended waiting to ride quite a few rides until later in the day, and the Expected Wait Times were 15-20 minutes less than Disney’s Posted Wait Times.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Expected Wait Times 11:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. Wait Times – Monday, September 14, 2020

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
    • Posted Wait Time 120 / Expected 72
  • Slinky Dog Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 75 / Expected 57
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 45 / Expected  34
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected 33

As a point of interest, just two weeks ago, Sunday August 30, we looked at wait times at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on that day Rise of Resistance failed to distribute morning boarding groups. Even though that day was a Sunday, and weekends have typically been much busier, wait times were a little lower that day compared to yesterday.

At 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 30, 2020, Slinky Dog Coaster had a posted Wait Time 50 and Expected 39 minutes, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway had a Posted Wait Time of 60 minutes, and Expected 50 minutes.

Star Tours Area Around 1:00 p.m. 09/14/20

After the first few hours of the morning rush, wait times decreased a little. However, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway experienced some downtime. Still, with the decrease in wait times at many attractions our Lines app began recommending it was good to go ahead and ride most attractions.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Expected Wait Times 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. Wait Times

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
    • Posted Wait Time 90 / Expected 62
  • Slinky Dog Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 50 / Expected 47
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 40 / Expected  37
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
    • Posted Wait Time 24 / Expected 25
Toy Story Land Around 5:00 p.m. 09/14/20

With hours being reduced at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to close at 7:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 p.m. wait times did reduce, but not as dramatically as we are used to. After a busy morning, and a rainy afternoon, things slowed down around 5:00 p.m. yesterday a little, and even more so at 6:00 p.m.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Expected Wait Times 5:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. Wait Times

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
    • Posted Wait Time 85 / Expected 68
  • Slinky Dog Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 50 / Expected 38
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Posted Wait Time 55 / Expected  41
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
    • Posted Wait Time 10 / Expected 14
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Around 5:00 p.m. 09/14/20

Out of curiosity, let’s see how the past couple of Mondays have been at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can pull historical wait times from our site. In some cases yesterday’s wait times were more than double the wait times of the previous three Mondays.

Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 08-17-2020
Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 08-24-2020
Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 08-31-2020
Hollywood Studios Observed Wait Times 09-14-2020

So once again we see that, naturally, Rise of the Resistance being unavailable in the morning impacts the entire park and increases wait times. Thankfully our TouringPlans Lines App makes it possible to adjust your plans in real time, without having to use a Jedi mind trick.

When was the last time you visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Have you had to adjust your plans on-the-fly?

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

2 thoughts on “Wait Times Escalate at Disney’s Hollywood Studios With Ride Downtimes and Increased Attendance

  • September 17, 2020 at 9:18 am
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    Thanks for sharing this information! We still have a trip planned for October, and the online reports from the last week have had us VERY CONCERNED about crowds and wait times. We feel comfortable with the way things have been for the past several months, but it seems like everything has gone wonky since Labor Day. 15 minute waits have become 60 minute waits, and that makes us question if all the inconveniences are worth (or even safe!). We’re heartened by reports of safety compliance in the parks. Even the reports of disruptive guests being escorted out of the park show that Disney is serious.

    Most of the stories about crowds have been focused on HS (such as this article). Have all the other parks remained fairly consistent with pre-Labor Day crowds? Are you expecting any additional Crowd Calendar updates for the first half of October? Thanks!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2020 at 10:20 pm
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    Hi guys,

    I have been at the parks this week (Sept. 14-18) and it’s been pretty light in comparison in year’s past. However Hollywood Studios was pretty busy (9/17/20) as the vast majority of the popular rides had long lines. I did ride Rise of Resistance but not until 4:15pm and that’s with me virtually queuing up at exactly 10AM. Once in the line it took me maybe 30 minutes to actually get on the ride/show. Mickey and Minnie was 90 minutes long for most of the day. Smuggler’s Run was 45 minutes when I went on (first ride of the day at 10:15-10:30 am). Other rides were 30-45 minutes long.

    Animal Kingdom (Tues. 9/15) was light. I got to ride Flight of Passage 5 times!. Yes, you read that right 5 times! I would’ve rode it more but I had to ride the other rides too. And I rode all of them!

    Epcot (Wed. 9/16) was absolutely lovely with sparse crowds. Frozen was my long line for the day at about 40 minutes. All the other lines were essentially walk on, meaning it took only the amount of time to walk from entrance to the actual ride. It was so light that when i went to Living Seas around 5:30pm there was more staff than visitors. it was awesome.

    Magic Kingdom (Mon. 9/14) was okay. Never my favorite park as it’s more for families with younger kids. Lines were walk on to 45 minutes at worst. It was more crowded than the previos two but not as busy as Hollywood Studios.

    I hope my experience helps with your planning.

    Reply

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