AttractionsWalt Disney World (FL)

Walt Disney World Downtime Data

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Almost two years ago, we did a comprehensive review of Walt Disney World attraction downtime data, comparing numbers from before the pandemic to after park reopening. Back at that point, Disney was clearly losing more capacity to downtime than before the pandemic. We thought it was probably time to check back in – because it certainly seems like downtime is still a significant problem, but we need to make sure that the numbers support the anecdotes.

Explain the Math

If you look up any past date in the crowd calendar, you’ll see information about capacity lost due to downtime for each park. And if you look at any wait times graphs for any attraction for any date in the past, you can also tell when a ride is down by the lack of posted wait times for a specific time period.

One example of downtime data from March 9, 2024

In this post, we’ll dig into the data to try to answer some of my questions and give you some insights for your next vacation.

  1. We’ll look at trends of resort-wide capacity lost due to downtime to see if we can answer high-level questions like “Has downtime reverted back to its pre-pandemic levels? Or are things still worse like they were in 2022?”
  2. We’ll look at park-specific downtime trends to find out if any single park has more or less downtime, or if specific parks are trending up or down.

Overall Downtime By Month

Average daily capacity lost to unexpected downtime by month

Confetti chart time! Blue edition. We’ll break this down in further graphs, but let’s see what we can interpret first:

  • The first thing that’s very easy to see is the almost total lack of any monthly downtime average less than 3% in the past 2 years. There is a big blank space in the bottom right portion of the graph that tells us months with very little unexpected downtime may be a thing of the past.
  • The next is that attraction downtime follows a pretty apparent cycle, especially in the past couple of years. Downtime peaks during the summer months, and then dies back down in the winter and early spring.
Average daily capacity lost to unexpected downtime by month

With just a few lines to help our eyes adjust to all of the dots, it’s easier to see a few more things:

  • Before the pandemic closure, the average capacity lost to downtime was just over 3%. Some months peaked up around 5%, but that was rare. There were plenty of low months with just 2% downtime too.
  • In between the brackets is the year after the pandemic closure. I think we can all agree this was a statistically weird time in the world, and in the World. Capacities were incredibly low, attendance was typically even lower, and there was plenty of time to maintain and upkeep attractions. Or at least they weren’t running at full capacity and then breaking.
  • Since June 2021, average capacity lost to downtime has shifted up to 4% and stayed pretty steady at that level. We see more peaks above 5%, and definitely no lows near 2%. We see a very clear cycle – and behind the scenes I pulled the attraction-specific data that confirms it’s outdoor attractions with higher downtime in the summer thanks to afternoon rainstorms.

All of this confirms that downtime is still worse that in was pre-pandemic. But at this level it looks like a step shift to worse attraction availability instead of a trend toward even more problems. Let’s see if the park-specific data looks the same!

Overall Park Downtime Trends

Average daily capacity lost to unexpected downtime by month, at each park

Here we see the same graphs split up by park, and the results are really telling:

  • At Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, downtime after the pandemic is lightly higher than before the pandemic. The differences are statistically different, but not by a whole lot. In both cases, it’s like each park shut down 20 minutes early each day due to unexpected downtime before the pandemic, and the average has shifted to 26 minutes post-pandemic instead.
  • At Animal Kingdom, the difference is even smaller – small enough to not be statistically significant at all.
  • But at Hollywood Studios is where we see a really noticeable problem compared to before the pandemic. Post-pandemic downtime is double what is was before the shutdown. Double. It’s the equivalent of the whole park shutting down 15 minutes early every day before the pandemic, and half an hour early every day after reopening.
  • After the pandemic, Hollywood Studios has the highest average downtime and Animal Kingdom has the lowest average downtime.
  • Interestingly, EPCOT has the steadiest downtime (it varies the least), and Animal Kingdom has the most erratic downtime even though it’s the lowest on average.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. If it seems like attraction downtime is still really bad, you’re at least somewhat correct. Especially if you’re used to travelling in winter and are now making a summer trip.
  2. But there’s more than just cyclic downtime happening. There is definitely a remarkable shift from pre-pandemic downtime to post-pandemic downtime. The good news is that it’s not getting progressively worse. A painful one-time worsening instead.
  3. Hollywood Studios is doing the worst out of all parks, and Animal Kingdom has the fewest downtime issues.

At these levels, you will almost inevitably experience some attraction downtime during your Walt Disney World trip. If you’re using a custom touring plan, the Lines app will know about any downtime. You can re-optimize and get a new plan that accounts for attractions being down.

And if you’re using Genie+ and have a reservation for a ride that goes down, you can check the app to see where else you can redeem your Lightning Lane. Alternatively, you can go back to that same attraction any time for the rest of the day after it comes back online.

Have you experienced attraction breakdowns during your WDW trip? What’s your strategy for dealing with the downtime?

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: or instagram @raisingminniemes

4 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Downtime Data

  • Count me in with Nathan and Jennifer. RotR immediately sprung to mind in this conversation, though MMRR is also a great point.

  • It appears that Hollywood Studios huge jump is what probably increased the average when all parks where combined. HS also has several of the “newer” rides that seem to have frequent issues. If you were to filter out RotR, Falcon and Slinky would the average drop back closer to what it was historically?

    I’m just wondering if this is a case where you can argue maintenance has decreased over the years leading to more downtime, or if you can actually prove that it’s newer complex rides causing increased downtime while the classics are still chugging along.

    • This feels like a great question. I’d actually want to see Rise, Falcon, and MMRR pulled, but not Slinky. Slinky opened in June of 2018; there’s almost 2 full years of data on that feeding in before the closure. But SWGE was late Aug. 2019, with Falcon there on opening day, RotR didn’t open until December (already starting to be the off-season), and MMRR opened March 4, 2020; right before the pandemic closure. Those three rides contributed relatively little data to the pre-pandemic numbers. And they are a significant portion of the park’s lineup today.

      • I debated whether or not to mention Slinky since it did have plenty of time pre-pandemic to affect the numbers. But I also feel like it has seen a lot of downtime. Am I remembering wrong?

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