Walt Disney World Wait-Times for the Third Week of May, 2021
Some Walt Disney World attractions watched their lines increase dramatically. Was that a blip or a sign of the summer to come?
Let’s discuss Walt Disney World wait-times for the third week of May and draw our own conclusions.
Walt Disney World changed its mask requirements starting on May 15th.
As of that date, some Disney attractions no longer required face coverings for guests waiting in line.
Since then, Disney has witnessed an attendance surge, but the wait times don’t necessarily have to grow longer.
Part of Disney’s strategy involved seating guests on every row of theme park attractions again, which hadn’t happened during the pandemic.
With more people riding each time, throughput should go up significantly. Is that enough to counterbalance more guests at the parks? Let’s see…
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Lately, three Animal Kingdom attractions have possessed longer wait times than the rest.
This fact may change as Disney seats more guests on each one, and that’s something we’re tracking.
This past week, everything remained reasonably static, though. Avatar Flight of Passage actually dropped from 76 to 70 minutes.
Meanwhile, Kilimanjaro Safaris held relatively steady at 45 minutes.
That’s up a couple of minutes from last week, which means it could be statistical noise.
If it were election season, I’d call that as within the margin of error…but it’s not, and we’re all thankful for that.
Interestingly, DINOSAUR dropped out of the top three. That’s the first sign that increased throughput matters.
The dino ride dropped from 38 minutes last week to 30 this week. Conversely, Na’Vi River Journey increased from 35 to 40 minutes.
I’ve never understood why one attraction at Pandora – The World of Avatar will increase while the other drops.
More people in the area should mean relatively even distribution, but it happens regularly. I need to ask some cast members what the deal is.
The best and worst bang for the buck come from the next two attractions. It’s Tough to Be a Bug! required a 30-minute wait.
However, Kali River Rapids dropped to 20 minutes. Not coincidentally, Disney decided to open it an hour earlier.
People aren’t visiting at the start of the park day. This could lead to ripple effects on wait-time later.
Finally, Expedition Everest held at 21 minutes, while TriceraTop Spin remained largely walk-on at seven minutes.
The average Animal Kingdom attraction required a 33-minute wait, which is down a minute from last week.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Please don’t shoot the messenger here, but the top attractions at Hollywood Studios spiked.
Both Slinky Dog Dash and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror required 75-minute waits.
The next two rides also came with longer lines.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run averaged 55 minutes, while Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway reached 45 minutes.
On the plus side, several other rides maintained their previous averages. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith held steady at 40 minutes.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and Toy Story Mania! averaged half-hour waits, as did Muppet*Vision 3D.
Those are all in line with last week, as is the 27-minute wait for Alien Swirling Saucers. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy dropped to 21 minutes, though.
Overall, the big picture at Disney’s Hollywood Studios included a decrease of one minute in overall wait-time. The average attraction took 40 minutes.
The only park whose wait-times increased much is EPCOT, where the average attraction required 30 minutes.
The culprits come from the top of the park’s pecking order. Test Track and Soarin’ both averaged 55-minute waits for the week.
The Orange side of Mission: SPACE has also gotten out of hand at 50 minutes.
I cannot stress enough that you should ride the Green side! It averaged 11 minutes one day last week! For the full seven days, it was at 14 minutes.
Friends, 14 minutes is shorter than 50 minutes. You could ride two or three more things at the park in the same timeframe by choosing Green over Orange.
But I digress. Elsewhere, Frozen Ever After went up another five minutes to 45 minutes, which still seems reasonable to me.
Two other attractions, Spaceship Earth and Journey into Imagination with Figment, hovered around 20 minutes for the week.
That’s a good deal for Spaceship Earth. It’s on the high end for Figment, though. That’s not an attraction you should target when the wait’s 20+ minutes.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends went up a tick to 16 minutes, while Living with the Land crept up to 12 minutes.
That leaves only Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, which remained a five-minute wait.
Notably, that may change next time, as the Gran Fiesta Tour just restored its missing Audio-Animatronics.
I noticed several vloggers posting videos of the updates, which could lead to a temporary increase in lines.
Even if it doubled, the wait would still be just 10 minutes, though. Gran Fiesta Tour provides tremendous bang for the buck.
I’m paying the most attention to Magic Kingdom right now as the throughput issue matters here more than anywhere else.
Overall, attraction wait-times held at 25 minutes, which remains quite reasonable for the most popular theme park on Earth.
Surprisingly, Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train dropped a bit at 52 and 46 minutes. That’s ten minutes you’d have saved on those two rides.
We have a different ride in third this week, as Jungle Cruise holds at 45 minutes. Meanwhile, Space Mountain drops to 40 minutes.
So, that’s three of the top four attractions whose wait-times went down even though attendance increased.
You can appreciate the importance of seating every row now, right?
Here are the other average wait-times at Magic Kingdom for the past week:
- Pirates of the Caribbean – 40 minutes (no change)
- Astro Orbiter – 34 minutes (up 8 minutes)
- Peter Pan’s Flight – 33 minutes (down 1 minute)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 30 minutes (up 4 minutes)
- It’s a Small World – 28 minutes (no change)
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 27 minutes (no change)
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 25 min (no change)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 24 minutes (down 1 minute)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 24 minutes (up 2 minutes)
- Haunted Mansion – 21 minutes (down 2 minutes)
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel — 20 minutes (no change)
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid — 18 minutes
- Tomorrowland Speedway – 15 minutes
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 15 minutes
- Mad Tea Party – 14 minutes
- Country Bear Jamboree – 12 minutes
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 12 minutes
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 11 minutes
- The Barnstormer – 8 minutes
As you can see, the parks mostly maintained average wait times despite the hefty increase in attendance. That’s encouraging!