EPCOT’s attractions’ posted wait times have been overinflated for a couple of days now, and you have to wonder if it’s Disney’s way of telling guests to go somewhere other than a ride, without saying “Please go somewhere that’s not a ride.” More on that below. And in related news, we got 131 actual wait times today from some fabulous Lines app users – thanks to all of you! We counted 486 of 500 (97%) guests at EPCOT today wearing masks completely in line with Disney’s policies. Let’s do the numbers!
Magic Kingdom Wait Times
More than a few Magic Kingdom headliners had strong wait times today. Space Mountain had an average wait time today of 49 minutes. Its 7-day average is 44 minutes, so today ranks #1 for this week. Its 30-day average is 44 minutes, so today ranks #9 for the past month. And Splash Mountain had an average wait time today of 57 minutes. Its 7-day average is 44 minutes, so today ranks #1 for this week. Its 30-day average is 51 minutes, so today ranks #10 for the past month. We received 5 actual wait times today, and the actual wait averaged 67% of the posted wait time.
Animal Kingdom Wait Times
Kilimanjaro Safaris had an average wait time today of 16 minutes. Its 7-day average is 31 minutes, so today ranks #6 for this week. Its 30-day average is 25 minutes, so today ranks #24 for the past month. Its 365-day average is 44 minutes, so today ranks #178 for the past year. We received 6 actual wait times today, and the actual wait averaged 47% of the posted wait time.
Hollywood Studios Wait Times
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run had an average wait time today of 67 minutes. Its 7-day average is 55 minutes, so today ranks #1 for this week. Its 30-day average is 53 minutes, so today ranks #1 for the past month. I’m a little suspicious of this average, because Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania had actual wait times that averaged less than 60% of the posted wait.
Rise of the Resistance had a rough afternoon. There’s normally a break of around 30 minutes at 3 p.m., presumably for maintenance or cleaning. Today that break lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, until around 4:30 p.m. Rise was running smoothly before that, so hopefully things will be back to normal for the rest of the day.
EPCOT Wait Times
On to EPCOT. EPCOT’s posted wait times seem to be significantly overstating how long you’ll actually wait in line at some rides. We’d normally expect to see actual wait times run about 80% of the posted wait – so if Soarin’s posted wait time is 60 minutes, you’d actually wait in line around 48. What we’re seeing lately, however, is that actual waits are around half of the posted wait. A set of recent examples is below.
The problem with inaccurate posted wait times is that they prevent guests from making their own decisions about how to best use their time in the parks. When guests don’t get in a line because it’s too long, they’re said to balk. Every person has their own balking time for each ride – for example, I’ll wait an hour for Splash Mountain, but I’ll only wait 10 minutes for Mad Tea Party, before I decide to go somewhere else.
In EPCOT, for example, there are plenty of people who’d get in line for Test Track if they knew the actual wait time was going to be 30 minutes or less. But when they see posted wait times of 70 minutes, as they did yesterday, some of them will decide to go somewhere else. They made a different decision than they would have, because they didn’t have accurate information.
Here’s yesterday’s times from Test Track – the black dots are posted wait times, and the green dots are actual wait times. From noon to 12:30 p.m., Test Track’s posted wait time was 70 minutes, while the actual waits in line we got were 23, 29, and 32 minutes. Later in the day, posted wait times of between 45 and 50 minutes yielded actual wait times of 25 and 27 minutes.
Here are two example from Frozen Ever After from Sunday – a posted wait time of 90 minutes around 1:30 p.m. resulted in an actual wait of 55 minutes; and a posted wait time of 95 minutes at 7 p.m. resulted in an actual wait of 56 minutes.
And here are fourteen examples from Soarin’ on Friday, December 11. Soarin’s posted wait time was 65 minutes between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., while actual wait times we collected were 23, 29, 34, and 35 minutes. Posted wait times of 50 minutes were really 25 minute actual waits just before 2 p.m., and posted waits of 35 minutes were 16 minutes later in the afternoon.