Walt Disney World Wait Times for Its 50th Anniversary
Walt Disney World just turned 50, and it felt like everyone in the world collapsed on Orlando to enjoy the festivities.
How were the lines, though? Well, I think the best way to describe the situation is eerily similar to when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened.
Let’s talk about Walt Disney World’s wait times during its 50th anniversary. They’re…surprising.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
You may have heard reports that Walt Disney World wasn’t as crowded as expected last week.
I can quickly demonstrate that this wasn’t entirely accurate. Avatar Flight of Passage required a 50-minute wait this week, up 19 minutes from September.
The average attraction wait time at Animal Kingdom increased from 13 minutes to 20 minutes. So, the parks were undeniably more crowded.
The debate stems from whether they increased significantly. Yes, wait times went up by more than 50 percent, but…we’ve seen worse.
Ergo, the truth lies somewhere in the middle about anniversary crowds. There’s another factor we’ll discuss as we go through the list, too.
For now, here are the other average waits at Animal Kingdom:
- Na’vi River Journey – 35 minutes, up 6
- Expedition Everest – 20 minutes, up 10
- Kali River Rapids – 16 minutes, up 7
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – 16 minutes, up 7
- DINOSAUR – 11 minutes, up 4
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – 8 minutes, down 2
- TriceraTop Spin – 6 minutes, up 1
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Here’s where the conversation takes a bit of a turn. Unfortunately, we didn’t have complete data regarding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance last week.
We were comparing that first week against its Boarding Groups behavior. As such, even this week’s comparison seems a bit shaky.
Rise of the Resistance averaged a 90-minute wait, up 16 minutes from its first week as a standby queue attraction. So, I’m not reading much into that yet.
Honestly, I’d expected worse, which is also what I said last week. So, for a better barometer, we’ll use Slinky Dog Dash.
The Toy Story roller coaster required a 71-minute wait, up 17 minutes from last time.
So yes, Hollywood Studios experienced larger crowds during the anniversary events.
In fact, the average attraction included a 40-minute wait, up significantly from 27 minutes last time.
Here’s what the waits looked like at Hollywood Studios attractions:
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 55 minutes, up 31 minutes
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – 50 minutes, up 12
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – 47 minutes, up 10
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 45 minutes, up 15
- Toy Story Mania! – 40 minutes, up 12
- Alien Swirling Saucers – 33 minutes, up 13
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy – 15 minutes, up 1
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue! – 14 minutes, no change
- Muppet*Vision 3D – 10 minutes, no change
We will skew the data here as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure makes its first appearance.
The newest Walt Disney World attraction requires a Boarding Group, but it still involves a wait of 193 minutes.
On the plus side, recent reports indicate that you’ll have a relatively easy time getting a Boarding Group.
Since EPCOT doesn’t open until later than the other parks, fewer guests book Park Passes here. So instead, they simply Rope Drop at 2 p.m.
However, you must have a Park Pass to schedule a Boarding Group. So, you’ll face less competition for Remy than you did for Rise of the Resistance.
As for the rest of the attractions, here’s information:
- Frozen Ever After – 40 minutes, up 10
- Test Track – 37 minutes, up 8
- Soarin’ – 16 minutes, down 4
- Mission: SPACE – 9 minutes, no change
- Turtle Talk with Crush – 9 minutes, down 1
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends – 8 minutes, down 1
- Spaceship Earth – 8 minutes, up 2
- Living with the Land – 7 minutes, up 1
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – 6 minutes, no change
- Journey into Imagination with Figment – 6 minutes, up 1
The average EPCOT attraction required a wait of 16 minutes, which was up three minutes from last time.
Obviously, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure doesn’t factor into that calculation since it’s Boarding Groups only for now.
Otherwise, the number would be significantly higher.
Here’s the park that comes with the most intrigue. After all, guests wanted to walk down Main Street, U.S.A. for the 50th-anniversary celebration.
As such, the average wait time did increase substantially. Last time, the average had been 18 minutes.
During the anniversary week, the average wait time went up to 26 minutes. So, crowds swelled, but we tracked larger ones during July.
Here’s the average wait time per attraction:
- Jungle Cruise – 60 minutes, up 16
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 58 minutes, up 13
- Splash Mountain – 46 minutes, up 20
- Peter Pan’s Flight – 45 minutes, up 8
- Haunted Mansion – 44 minutes, up 14
- Space Mountain – 36 minutes, up 18
- Astro Orbiter – 33 minutes, up 10
- Pirates of the Caribbean – 31 minutes, up 14
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 29 minutes, up 4
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 28 minutes, up 12
- It’s a Small World – 26 minutes, up 11
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 25 minutes, up 7
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid – 22 minutes, up 10
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 17 minutes, up 9
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – 16 minutes, up 10
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 15 minutes, up 8
- Tomorrowland Speedway – 14 minutes, up 8
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 13 minutes, up 4
- The Barnstormer – 12 minutes, up 5
- Mad Tea Party – 12 minutes, up 6
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – 12 minutes, up 5
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 11 minutes, up 2
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 4 minutes, down 1
- Country Bear Jamboree – 3 minutes, down 1
Overall, I believe it’s fair to say that crowds went up quite a bit for the 50th-anniversary proceedings.
However, I suspect some guests wanted to wait a few weeks until the crowds died down, which is fine with Disney officials.