Ride Length\Duration

August 17, 2023, 7:13 AM

We all wait in the Queue’s patiently and then, finally you are called to board the attraction.

Some rides are way too short leaving you wondering why you waited so long.

Take Splash mountain (Insert new name here) for example – That is a nice long attraction.

Then I look at The Mummy at Universal – Way too short and needs at least another 45 seconds. I enjoy that ride very much but still needs more track time.

So I ask you, what is the ideal Ride Time?

Replies (8)

August 19, 2023, 3:56 PM

I think you’d have to break this down in terms of what type of attraction you are experiencing. I’d say off hand that a coaster generally would need to be at least 90 seconds and a dark ride at least 5 minutes

August 19, 2023, 6:23 PM

Coaster: two minutes
Dark ride: Four to five minimum.

August 21, 2023, 3:32 AM

It's absolutely not a one size fits all answer and very much depends on the type of attraction, but in general here's what I'd say I'm satisfied with (assuming a wait time of an hour)...

Roller Coasters: For a standard coaster, a minute lift to brakes is what I'd consider a pretty good ride duration. However, that's not a hard and fast rule, and it really depends more on what the coaster does than simply how long it is. For coasters that are more about theming than thrill, I'd say 2-3 minutes is satisfactory.

Flat Rides: 1-2 minutes, not including wind up and wind down time, is good for these sorts of rides. When a motion is repeated it can get dull fairly rapidly.

Dynamic Dark Rides: For this, I'm referring to dark rides that have a thrill element, such as a motion base, or that are all about action. For these, a 3-4 minute duration (excluding hold time, of course) is honestly fine in my opinion. Length isn't everything, and I'd rather have a ride that's shorter but keeps up the excitement than one that has dull bits inside.

Interactive Dark Rides: These are in the middle in terms of my dark ride preferences, with 5-7 minutes being a good length here. Shorter, and you don't get enough time to rack up a good score. Longer, and they can start to become a bit monotonous.

Scenic Dark Rides: This category refers to slow moving third person attractions, where riders are merely an observer rather than participants in the action. These are the rides I usually prefer to be the longest. 8-9 minutes is a pretty solid length for one of these.

Flume Rides: Log flumes, river rapids, etc. 4-5 minutes is usually about right for these, as it's plenty of time to get wet yet not enough time to for the ride to become repetitive. Highly themed versions of these can go a bit longer.

Narrated Rides: Sometimes dark rides and sometimes outdoor themed attractions, 7-8 minutes is a pretty good length for this category. If they run on much longer, the schtick tends to wear thin.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of ultra long rides as I usually find them to have too much filler and/or they start to feel repetitive. Very few rides are worthy of a double digit runtime, and while it may seem counterintuitive, my wait time tolerance actually decreases at a point simply because the total time investment becomes too large of a chunk of my day.

August 31, 2023, 12:22 PM

Bring back the 45 minute Universe of Energy!

Now THAT....is a nice attraction length!

September 1, 2023, 8:33 AM

We used to clock all the attractions, and when Spiderman first opened we attempted to time it twice, but the finale blew us away so much that we could never remember to stop the clock at the end. It is still great.

September 6, 2023, 2:37 PM

Perhaps I'm going a little off-topic here, but I really do miss those long "scenic" dark rides that have a minimum of 15-minute duration (Universe of Energy of course, Pirates at DLR, Living with the Land, etc.).

So many newer dark rides seem to be under 5 minutes long, and although I love Radiator Springs Racers and ROTR, I still think my brain just automatically "buys in" to strong theming a lot more when I have more time to sink into this world.

Y'all think Disney will ever make a ride as long as Pirates at DLR again?

September 6, 2023, 2:46 PM

@Juan - Technically ROTR is somewhere close to 15-20 minutes if you start the clock at the preshow (Rey and BB8). Yes, the experience is broken up over 2 different ride systems with a queue and another pre-show/holding room (Hux and Kylo Ren) in the middle, but when people are flowing smoothly through the attraction without too much waiting on the Star Destroyer, it's a solid length for an attraction.

September 6, 2023, 3:22 PM

How much waiting would you say defines "flowing smoothly" though? I love the whole ROTR experience, but to me everything before getting on the actual ride vehicle feels more like a pre-show than real ride time (in the same way I wouldn't count the Haunted Mansion pre-show as the start of the actual ride).

It's cool being on the star destroyer and stuff, but if more of my time is spent looking at my phone, talking to my friends, and waiting to do something else, to me it feels more like "wait time" than "ride time".

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