Waiting times on Rides in Orlando or any theme park

Edited: July 19, 2017, 6:20 AM

Just wondering how long people think is an acceptable amount of time to spend in a queue for an attraction. Just to clarify I don't mean when an attraction is newly opened and I am not just talking about Disney here but the major players in the market.
While a hundred dollars or so might seem like a fair price for what is available in the park the reality is quite different as you spend most of the time on a queue not on the attractions themselves.
I know from recent experience for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party I got to do 8 rides for the whole evening and this was supposed to be one of the less busy nights. This in my view does not represent value for money.
On other days in the parks again not only Disney, some queues were 100 minutes and most at least were 45 minutes. What does anyone else think about this ?
You might say its not all about the rides there's the food but you pay for that separately or the shopping again these are separate costs.
The atmosphere may be great but surely at least for me I want to do rides and shows most of the time.
My own view is 30 minutes should be the maximum unless it's a brand new attraction.
Maybe a solution to some of the problems would be to open more than one ride but still only one queue. I mean like they have done with Toy Story Mania in the studios park or Dumbo in the Magic Kingdom.
Parks seem to be getting busier but still new rides open which only have one ride which leads to waits which I think are too long.

Replies (9)

July 19, 2017, 5:02 AM

30 minutes for me as well!

July 19, 2017, 8:15 PM

For an attraction that is considered one of the best in the industry, I would gladly wait 3+ hours if I hadn't ridden it before. In general, however, I would say 90 minutes for a headliner and 45 minutes for a second tier attraction is acceptable at a major theme park, provided the ride is operating at (or near) the design capacity. While I agree that in an ideal world nothing would be more than a 30 minute wait, that just isn't possible with today's crowds as most ride systems simply cannot handle 2000+ guests per hour.

July 20, 2017, 2:04 AM

I think you are missing my point.
There has been plenty of times when rides are not operating at capacity when an extra train should be on the track. Midway Mania as mentioned in the above post has recently go and extra track but still only one queue which I think is the way to go on future attractions.
Look at Starwars land how busy is that going to be? It obvious before it even opens capacity will be a huge issue. While all the surrounding land can be the same size but what about an extra track but still one queue to reduce wait times.

Edited: July 20, 2017, 8:25 AM

Supply and demand Del69. Star Wars will have a capacity issue as you clearly note. However, at Disneyland, there's not much they can do about it because of size constraints. They can't add redundant to the redundant ride systems because there simply isn't enough room. Part of the reason a second TSMM track was needed was because there aren't enough attractions in DHS to support the daily crowds. Lines swelled to over 90 minutes because people had to do something in the park, and waiting 90+ minutes for TSMM was what that "something" ended up being. Disneyland has dozens of other rides for guests to do that might not be able to experience SW on their first visit.

I think Disney recognizes that crowding will be an issue at Galaxy's Edge, but even if the new attractions could accommodate 3,000 guests per hour, it would not satisfy initial crowds at both DL and DHS. I have no doubt that Disney will implement some type of system through FP/FP+/MaxPass to control access to the new lands to help manage crowds. It was thought that they would have to do the same at PtWOA, but crowding has been kept predominantly in check. Over-designing an attraction to handle the initial rush of guests eager to try rides out in the first few days is not a wise use of resources. Obviously TSMM is a rare exception (Soarin' at EPCOT is another) where Disney recognized that their initial estimate of interest in an attraction far underestimated actual demand, but in most cases Disney gets its attraction capacity pretty close to where it needs to be once the break-in and initial rush period passes.

July 20, 2017, 8:02 AM

The most I'm willing to queue for rides would probably be an hour for a big e-ticket ride and then half an hour for other rides. But to be fair it depends on how good the ride is.

July 20, 2017, 10:37 AM

Hi Russell as I said in my original post I am not talking about when an attraction is new. I find queues in general are too long. Even when star wars eventually calms down queues will still remain at a hour or so even on quite days. I have been midweek in November and still very long waits for rides no matter what time of the day you go. Again not just one or two of the attractions but most of them displaying long wait times.

July 20, 2017, 11:07 AM

So what do you want them to do? They've already put huge restrictions on APs and steadily increased daily admission prices with little effect on attendance. It used to be that you could go in the fall and spring outside of traditional Federal Holidays and Spring Break and see very short lines. However, since the Great Recession (@2008), there's no such thing as a "slow" day at the Disney parks. I think Disney is adding new stuff as fast as they can while keeping the parks operational, though some would rightly contend that DHS as a complete rip-off right now. It's a sign of success, and while guests would probably love to enter a park devoid of lines, lengthy waits for popular attractions means that the parks will continue to grow and thrive.

July 21, 2017, 2:27 AM

I think a solution would be doubling the rides but still one queue. As you mention there is no quite time to go to some of the parks so therefore there is a need.
My view is that ride capacity needs to be increased on any new attraction in the planning stage. The benchmark being used as to how many riders an attraction can take in an hour needs to be increased and I know this varies depending on the type of attraction being built.
While this may not be possible with all attractions there is certainly a number of attractions were this could be done.

Edited: July 21, 2017, 6:38 AM

My point Del69 is that it's not just ride capacity, but also park capacity. For every guest standing in a line, there's another actually riding or experiencing an attraction, and another one wandering the park. It's not as simple as doubling the capacity of an attraction, you would need to increase the overall size of the parks. At some point you reach critical mass, and you cannot stuff anymore people into a finite space. So, even if you could reduce lines to a 20-30 minute wait with added ride capacity, you still have thousands more people roaming the park shoulder to shoulder.

They are trying to increase attraction capacities. FoP has a pretty solid capacity (reportedly close to 2,000 gph), and the new Star Wars attractions are rumored to be aiming to accommodate nearly 4,000 gph. There's only so much you can do to increase capacity without creating a mess at the boarding area (see 7DMT), requiring dozens of cast members just to direct guests where to board. There's also something to be said about standing in line for an attraction. Certainly, waiting over an hour for something borders on insanity, but the anticipation, backstory, intricate details of a ride cannot be created over a 20 minute period.

Have you ever gone through Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Escape From Gringott's through the single ride lines? You completely miss out on the backstory of the attractions, making the ride less appealing. I made the mistake of riding Escape from Gringott's my very first time through the single rider queue, and while I know quite a bit about Harry Potter (not a superfan though), I didn't quite understand what was going on. After riding through the primary queue, I finally got that needed backstory (along with the cool elevator ride). Not all attractions need to have a HUGE highly themed queue, but there's something to be said about setting the scene to make the attraction far more than sitting in a seat and being tossed around for a few minutes.

I think in a perfect world, Disney (and many other theme park operators) would like to see people wait 45-60 minutes for every single attraction in their parks (FP+ is another tool Disney uses to achieve this). This allows them to spread crowds out across the entire park, thin the herds on the pathways, and create an even experience for all guests. However, as we all know, not all attractions are created equal and some are worth waiting in line longer than other (there are also different strokes for different folks), so the perfect world scenario doesn't always work and you end up with 2 hour lines for popular low capacity attractions (like DHS's TSMM before the 3rd track or Peter Pan's Flight) and 10 minute lines for boring, high capacity attractions like It's a Small World and Living With the Land.

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