Vote of the week: When to visit a brand-new ride or show?
I'm sure that plenty of Disney fans visiting Walt Disney World this week were thrilled to see the Magic Kingdom open its newest phase of the Fantasyland expansion
early this week. But would you consider an extra visit to the park just to see the new Little Mermaid ride
and the other newly opened locations in the expanded land?
For that matter, would you ever consider timing a visit to be among the first to experience a new attraction - or would you rather wait, until the bugs often found with a new attraction get worked out and the inevitable huge early waits die down a bit?
What's your take on visiting a new attraction? Let's make that our vote of the week:
Tell us your thoughts about new attractions - your favorite story about seeing a new ride, or your thoughts about the Fantasyland Expansion specifically, if you'd like. And, as always, thanks for reading and supporting Theme Park Insider!
For the most part I prefer to visit attractions early, mostly in case significant alterations are made after the first season. True, some of these changes may be for the better; however I would prefer to decide that for myself. Some examples; Feista Texas shortening the Rattler's first drop, Mission Space being tamed down multiple times, the removal of the loop on SOB, or Kings Dominion altering Intimadator 305.
Although I voted for "Later," one of the best days I've ever had at a park was the antithesis of that philosophy. In 2008, I included Hard Rock Park in my itinerary for a Southern swing. At the time of my visit, the park had been open less than two weeks. There was also a biker gathering on the days I had set aside for HRP. I set aside 2 days, as I had visions of wall-to-wall people, tens of thousands of them..two-hour lines..lots of downtime and working out the kinks. Show what an expert theme park veteran I am.
I waited until August to fly to L.A. and ride Radiator Springs Racers expecting less crowds and no malfuntion; there was a malfuntion and it was crowded. I crossed the country from coast to coast and there was no guarantee that RSR would be fixed soon or at all. I spent at least 2 hours waiting in line on the same spot. When it opened again, I had still 1 hour of queue in front of me. Once in the ride, the only thing that was not working were the tractor-cows that didn't tip. Still, it was worth all the hassles. To put everything in perspective, that same day I rode Indy and they had to evacuate the vehicles because of a malfunction; Indy has been around for 17 years! So you can wait for years and still have a long line and a ride that goes down. I wouldn't go to an E-ticket ride on the first day though.
I prefer to wait a month or two.
It really depends on several factors, the most important of which are how far I have to travel to visit the park and how major the addition is. For local parks (the seven major Southern California parks, all within a two hour drive of me), if it is an E-ticket, roller coaster, or record breaker, I'll make a trip to ride it some time during it's opening season. I will usually wait at least a month just in case there are bugs with the ride and to let the crowds die down, unless I have a pass to the park. If the new attraction is not a headliner and I don't have a pass, I usually just wait until my next visit.
It depends on how close it is and circumstances. I went to legoland florida opening day. I figured it wouldn't be too bad since it wasn't in orlando. I was right, it wasn't bad.
I remember going to the advance preview of Magic Mountain. It was almost deserted and a few rides were not open so they gave everyone a free return anytime pass.
It is best to go early before special effects are turned off or the line is reworked to handle the crowds. I went to Islands of Adventure about a month before the official park opening and everything was done expect for Toon Lagoon. Spiderman was really amazing with the ride doing its full motions and all the special effects working. Jurassic Park was funny because the Dinosaurs were not programmed right yet and some would just shake. Everest had a fake bubble snow effect when it first opened at Animal Kingdom. The Yeti was really sweet when it lounged at you. Test Track was by far the worst ride to go on early it never worked and the line was forced to leave after waiting for hours. Harry Potter was cool to over hear the ride makers talking about the tweaks that they needed to make before heading California for their next job. Some really tall guy kicked the dragon but was not hurt. My butter beer cup is double the size of the new one. It was made smaller really quick. Soft openings are the best because the attraction is has a limited crowd during preview and the workers are super excited and not burnt out or stressed from the huge crowds yet. An Orlando resident's view
I usually like to experience a new attraction on opening day or during a special preview.
Like AJ, I'm in Socal, so I'll try to ride things earlier, but it does depend on what the attraction or ride is (CarsLand yes......Little Mermaid....no)
I'm a late adopter. I go after the hype has gone down and there are plenty of things to see.
If it's a park that I have a season pass to within 3-4 hour drive, I'll make a special trip to ride as soon as I know it is open. However, if I'm shelling out money for admission or extraordinary travel expenses (plane and/or hotel), I'm going to wait until the ride has operated cleanly for a few weeks.
Only twice have I waited in a long line for a new ride. The first time was in 1984, and I waited 3 hours for the Big Bad Wolf on opening day. It would be 21 years before I found myself at a park on the opening day of a ride, and I waited four hours. Four hours for Curse of DarKastle :/
I'd wait till all the bugs where out and the crowd dies down. We are pass holders at Disneyland in California and I saw a lot of people visiting just to go on the "Cars" ride. I also saw a lot of disappointed families that didn't get to ride it before they left to go home from their visIting trip because the ride kept breaking down.
I voted later, and it really is mostly because of crowds, although I admit I did do Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion on it's opening weekend.
I can wait these days. When I was younger not-so-much. I once waited 3 plus hours for a crappy bobsled ride at Six Flags MM two weeks after opening - and to think I could have gone on Log Jammer 9 times...RIP.
As most everyone has said, it depends. At Disneyland, I've been on everything at least once, just for bragging rights. At DCA, not so much. But I went on Space Mountain during soft opening before I knew what that meant - pre internet. They had free (!) Bumper stickers on a table at the end saying something like "I conquered Space Mountain." I only took one and ended up giving it away because I didn't have a car.l
I was basically going to say what Nick Orlando said about possible early changes to the ride. And also add as an example, perhaps the most famous early ride change, the Hatbox Ghost.
I will be in Orlando from 24th November,just as it opens. I'm excited to get a look about,but won't be bothered if i don't get on the rides. I'm more bothered about getting on the new version of Test track. Cann't wait =)
Usually I like to go later and that was what I voted. This year though, we planned a vacation back in Jan. for WDW in December. We will be there Dec. 8-16th, just after the official opening of the new parts of Fantasyland and the update of Test Track. It's kind of exciting to be there for the first days. I just hope that there won't be a lot of break downs during this time.
I'm very happy that I got to get on Skyrush in it's opening season it eventually gets trimmed. Sure the restraints still hurt but the insane airtime was worth it.
^^So don't watch 'em.
That's like putting a huge bowl of crack in front of an addict and wondering if they're gonna smoke it.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.