Walt Disney World Wait Times for Third Week of September, 2021
Okay, history tells us that Walt Disney World crowds are the smallest during two months: January and September.
In fact, those two months share another similarity. Both of them start with a national holiday. After that, the crowds vanish for the rest of the month(s).
Has that trend continued this time? Let’s examine Walt Disney World’s wait times for the third week of September.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
I did something I rarely do while writing these articles. I cheated and looked at the data ahead of time.
For this reason, I know that something of a surprise is about to unfold.
Every one of Walt Disney World’s theme parks experienced similar or larger crowds this week.
The average attraction at Animal Kingdom required a wait of only 16 minutes. That’s the same as last week.
Not coincidentally, most attractions hovered in the same range as last time. The lone exception was Avatar Flight of Passage, which increased a bit.
Two weeks ago, the ride averaged a 33-minute wait. It’s back up to 38 minutes for the past seven days.
Everything else fell within a minute or two of the previous average. Here, take a look:
- Na’vi River Journey – 33 minutes, up 2
- Kali River Rapids – 14 minutes, up 2
- Expedition Everest – 13 minutes, no change
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – 10 minutes, no change
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – 8 minutes, down 1
- DINOSAUR – 7 minutes, down 2
- TriceraTop Spin – 5 minutes, no change
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Okay, here’s where things get a bit interesting. I’ve mentioned how Hollywood Studios goes off on its own from the other parks.
The crowd behavior here depends on internal factors more than external ones. Therefore, people will still visit here even when the other parks take a downturn.
For the past week, Hollywood Studios attractions almost all went up with their various line queue waits.
Slinky Dog Dash hovered in the same range as last time, requiring a 60-minute wait now as opposed to 58 minutes then.
Two attractions increased more substantially, both in terms of minutes and percentage of wait time. Three of the next five waits fall into this category:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – 46 minutes, up 4
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – 46 minutes, up 3
- Toy Story Mania! – 38 minutes, up 7
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 37 minutes, up 2
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 36 minutes, up 6
- Alien Swirling Saucers – 26 minutes, up 5
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – 16 minutes, up 5
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy – 12 minutes, down 3
- Muppet*Vision 3D – 10 minutes, no change
Overall, Hollywood Studios attractions came with an average wait of 32 minutes, in line with the previous 29-minute average. It’s undeniably an increase, though.
By the way, we’ll watch these numbers go up soon. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will switch to a standby line soon.
When that happens, Rise of the Resistance will top this list and spike the overall wait time average at the park.
That’s to be expected and perfectly normal behavior for an E-ticket attraction.
Here’s the thing about EPCOT. Last week’s average wait of 14 minutes represents the basement for this park. So it can theoretically only go a minute or two lower.
As such, a slight bounce back this week shouldn’t surprise anyone. And yes, the average attraction wait increased to 16 minutes.
Test Track returned to the top this time, requiring 38 minutes of line time. That’s up six minutes from the last report.
The only ride that increased significantly was Mission: SPACE, which went up five minutes from 17 to 22. That’s still perfectly fine.
- Frozen Ever After – 37 minutes, up 3
- Soarin’ – 16 minutes, up 3
- Turtle Talk with Crush – 10 minutes, no change
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends – 8 minutes, no change
- Living with the Land – 7 minutes, up 1
- Spaceship Earth – 8 minutes, up 2
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – 7 minutes, down 1
- Journey into Imagination with Figment – 5 minutes, no change
EPCOT also may witness an increase in average wait time soon. It all depends on whether Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure offers standby line queues.
I’m not expecting that, as Disney has indicated a virtual queue is coming. Still, anything’s possible here.
If Ratatouille does have regular line queues, EPCOT’s overall average wait will increase mightily.
Okay, now that we’re at the end, I’ll introduce a bit of speculation. The average Magic Kingdom attraction came with a 20-minute wait this past week.
That’s an increase of just a minute from last time. Still, the overall trend at the parks was that most attractions increased their line size.
Here are the ride wait times at Magic Kingdom:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 50 minutes, up 5
- Jungle Cruise – 48 minutes, up 5
- Peter Pan’s Flight – 41 minutes, up 4
- Haunted Mansion – 32 minutes, up 2
- Astro Orbiter – 28 minutes, up 2
- Splash Mountain – 27 minutes, down 1
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 26 minutes, down 1
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 20 minutes, up 2
- Pirates of the Caribbean – 18 minutes, no change
- It’s a Small World – 17 minutes, up 3
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 14 minutes, down 1
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid – 12 minutes, no change
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – 11 minutes, no change
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – 10 minutes, up 4
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 10 minutes, up 3
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 10 minutes, up 1
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 8 minutes, up 2
- Tomorrowland Speedway – 8 minutes, down 2
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 8 minutes, no change
- Barnstormer – 7 minutes, no change
- Mad Tea Party – 7 minutes, up 1
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 6 minutes, up 2
- Country Bear Jamboree – 4 minutes, no change
My theory here is that COVID-19 concerns dropped over the past few days. Florida’s outbreak crested, which may have given tourists more confidence.
Presuming that’s true, the rest of September may come with longer waits than the ones we’ve tracked thus far.
If so, the end of August would have been emptier than September this year, which is rare and maybe even a first at Walt Disney World.
We’ll know by this time next week whether I was right. After that, early arrivals for the 50th-anniversary party will muddy the waters a bit.