Walt Disney World (FL)

Things We’re Looking At: Monday Edition

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Couple of quick things:

1. The latest Unofficial Guide podcast is out, with Sam Gennawey and me walking through the design of Adventureland.  Get it here. 

2. A big Thank You to the Lines folks who’ve been entering actual wait times into the app this weekend.  We’ve received hundreds of these over the weekend.  They’re really helping other Lines users in the parks, and us with our modeling.

3. Along the same lines, the posted wait times at Epcot on Sunday, May 20 seemed excessively high compared to the actual waits, especially during the busier middle part of the day:

  • The Seas’ posted wait of 45 minutes at 12:15 pm was, in reality, 17 minutes.
  • The Seas’ posted wait of 45 minutes at 1:30 pm was really a 13-minute wait if you got in line.
  • Living with the Land’s posted wait of 40 minutes at 10:25 am was 14 and 18 minutes by 10:30 am.
  • Malestrom’s 35- to 45-minute posted waits throughout much of the afternoon turned out to be actual waits of around 15 minutes, according to several users.
  • Living with the Land’s posted wait of 20 minutes at 3 pm was really 6.
  • Spaceship Earth’s 20 minute posted wait at 3:20 pm turned out to be an 8-minute actual wait.

A normal range for these is something like an actual wait of 70 to 90% of the posted time, so these were off considerably.  I suspect this makes the park seem more crowded than it actually is.  The stats team is looking into this further, including what happened at the other parks.  More to come.




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Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is len@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

21 thoughts on “Things We’re Looking At: Monday Edition

  • I was at Epcot on May 20th. The posted wait time around 1:30 pm for Spaceship Earth — 20 minutes — was, in fact, the actual wait time.

    There was also at least a 10 minute wait to place an order at La Cantina about an hour before that. It was definitely much more crowded than I expected.

  • I was at Epcot on 5/14. There were steep lines to get into the park at 11 am. I went on Soaring around 11:45. The line for Living in the Land was pouring out of the entrance. The posted wait time for Soaring was 50 minutes. We went through the Fast Pass entrance. When we got to the end of the main entrance line. They stopped us – fine that’s pretty normal. We asked the group on the regular line how long they were waiting and they said only 20 minutes. They finally let us go through and the next holding areas were empty on both sides. They let us go right into the main area for the ride, but they were filling the pre-show areas very slowly. They filled up the first pre-show area and then held up the 2nd 2 groups. It was quite a wait. (I push a wheel chair and can’t do any exact timing.) They finally showed us the pre-flight clip. Then after we were seated on the ride, we waited again for take off.

    Anyway – I guess my point……. Even though they were doing something strange in Soaring, it definitely wasn’t a 50 minute wait for the regular line.

  • I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents – I was down for a conference and had half a day to kill before my flight on Sunday so decided, of course!, to hit a park. I chose Epcot due to the 1.1 prediction and was looking forward to some pretty relaxing touring.
    Well, was I surprised when we got there at 10AM (not at opening as planned due to conference exhaustion!), and waited in LINES – to park, at security, to get tickets and to get through the turnstiles took us nearly 45 minutes! When we got to Soarin’, FP return was at 2:15 which was pushing it to make our flight. I did find that the posted times were overestimated as well (they seemed to be way off at MK the night before also).
    I was disappointed at all the company BUT, as others have said, I have used Touring Plans for years and you are mostly right on the money. I thought the ‘1’ prediction was fishy from the beginning with the other parks being pretty busy but thought maybe everyone was over at DHS for SWW. Wishful thinking!
    Still, we had a great time and I love your info!!! Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Hey Len! Cousin Lorie here—just wanted to say the Line App was awesome for our visit! We were at MK 5/15, then Animal Kingdom/Epcot 5/16. My husband Dan (you two need to meet) was addicted to updating the wait times. He was also very proud when he announced the “closing” of Splash Mountain in the afternoon for some tech problem. Used personalized plans, they worked perfect. Hit every ride in MK except 4. Perfect days—thanks again!

  • I was with my family at Epcot on Saturday, and it was not at all close to a 3. Like Joe, we are Floridians with annual passes and go often enough that I can say it was busier than a normal May weekend. With that said, part of the problem I saw was Disney didnt utilize its normal crowd control. Maybe even they were caught off guard. 🙂

  • Hi there, we were at EPCOT yesterday as well and we were also laughing about it being a one day. The park was just as crowded as Sat. We got there at rope drop and went straight to Mission Space and got right one. Went to Soarin and the fastpass was all ready for 11:30. 10 minute wait at Nemo. We left and came back around 5. SPACESHIP Earth was 15 minutes and busy in the play area. Toured the left countries and every where were people. Mexico was only 10 minutes at 6:00. Hit Norway but skipped ride, 40 minute posted wait. Came back around 8,posted wait was 20 but actual was 25. Had a hard time finding a viewing spot for fireworks left of Norway. However, getting out of the park was not Bad, everyone was moving the same direction and at a good pace.

  • Is the podcast available to download if you don’t use iTunes?

  • I seem to remember reading that the folks at Disney World often use the posted wait times as a way of redirecting traffic around their parks. In other words, they exaggerate wait times for some rides to discourage people from staying in a certain part of a given park. If that’s true, couldn’t they have been exaggerating Living with the Land wait times as a means of steering people away from the Land pavilion and, hopefully, moving the needle on Soarin’?

    • The line for Living with the Land was overflowed from the queue and backed up past the stairs/escalator when we exited Soarin.

      • Thanks again, Joe. Are you still in Orlando? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what the crowds were like other days at other parks.

      • Epcot felt crowded yesterday am – more so than DHS this morning. But Epcot seemed to clear out after dinner. Of course, that’s just using the unofficial trying-to-navigate-a-double-stroller scale.

      • I am not in Orlando currently. Just took a quick weekend trip so i was there at:
        MK Friday night (low crowds but there were repeated thunderstorms)

        MK Saturday AM (I think a 7-8 is accurate)

        DHS Saturday PM(Absolutely packed, but expected as a SW Weeeknd. Another article recently posted on your site describes the full parking lot and bussing of folks from Epcot. We just went to walk around and shop. I can tell you that at 6PM there was a 90 minute posted wait for RRC)

        Sunday at Epcot from rope drop to 2PM. As discussed my experience was about as far from a 1 (or 0.9) as possible.

      • Also just to add, we live in South Florida so visit frequently (probably too frequently) so I do have a good understanding of normal crowd levels at the parks. Your site is normally pretty close to what I see so this one in particular just jumped out at me.

  • I was at EPCOT on the 20th. It was very, VERY crowded. The line for the Seas with Nemo around was outside the building and almost down to the Coral Reef restaurant! Not sure of the exact time but it was somewhere around 11 AM. We were laughing in our group about how this could be considered a “1” day and were sure it would be changed to a 6 or maybe even a 7 after the fact.

    We had a Fastpass return for Soarin at 11:45. We got out of the show at 12:35.

    I am totally shocked that you confirmed it as a “1”. I understand that you are relying on user input data, but I was there and a “1” does not even come close to reflecting reality.

    • Thanks Joe. I’m a bit confused about your comment that you’re “totally shocked” that I “confirmed” the day as a 1. I don’t see a sentence in my post in which I indicated what the actual crowd level was. Can you clarify that for me, please?

      • You’re entering the No Spin Zone!

        Looking forward to the new podcast, thanks Len. Only problem with these episodes is that I find it difficult to listen and work at the same time. There is so much information to absorb, it’s hard to focus on anything else!

      • I agree! They are perfect when you are driving or running though!

      • Sure. I am refering to the tweet that went out from the website confirming the crowd level (the tweet actualy says the actual level was a 0.9) and the subsequent update found here:


        So when I say “you” I was refering to the website and not you in person unless you were the tweeter or updater of the information.

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