PHOTOS: Lightning Lane vs. Stand-By Use at EPCOT
On Tuesday we saw the launch of Disney Genie and Lightning Lane services, and I was on the ground at Animal Kingdom checking out the usage of the paid Lightning Lanes vs. the traditional stand-by lines.
I’m continuing that same research in Walt Disney World’s other 3 Theme Parks, and today I headed to Epcot to see how many guests chose to use Lightning Lane over the stand-by lines.
About an hour after Park opening, I headed to my first attraction: Spaceship Earth. With a posted 20-minute wait, the stand-by line was the clear choice for seemingly every guest.
Spaceship Earth usually garners what I like to call a ‘walking line’, and the line was in constant motion today. Judging from the photos of the empty Lightning Lane queues, it’s easy to say that Lightning Lane was not too popular at Spaceship Earth.
Next I headed to Soarin’ to get a lay of The Land (yes, pun intended). With just a 25 minute wait time on a Friday afternoon, I would hop into the stand-by line for Soarin’ in a heartbeat!
In the 10 or so minutes I observed the dual entrances to Soarin’, I can say that this was by far the most heavily used Lightning Lane that I visited today…not HEAVILY used by any means, but there were the most amount of guests scanning in to the Lightning Lane here. In general, Soarin’ was not seeing a lot of foot traffic mid-day today.
I headed back outside and got myself geared up for a spin on Test Track. Before I jumped in line, I stood outside the queue to gauge Lightning Lane usage.
The Test Track Lightning Lane would not win any popularity contests today. Seemingly everyone chose to wait in the stand-by line…and this photo comparison really says it all.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Finally, I made my way over to Epcot’s brand-new attraction in France: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. I anticipated that this would be the heaviest used Lightning Lane being that the attraction is brand-new and that you have to secure a virtual return time in order to ride.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Even though paying the individual Lightning Lane price at Ratatouille would allow you to bypass the virtual queue recommendation altogether, the vast majority of guests opted to NOT pay an up-charge for Ratatouille today.
As you can see, the (completely free) virtual queue return line was full of excited guests with full wallets, while the Lightning Lane queue remained lightly used.
Those were my observations at Epcot today, but I want to know what YOU think of the introduction of Lightning Lane and Disney Genie. Leave me a comment and let me know!
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