Walt Disney World Wait Times for Splash Mountain’s Final Week
This past week, guests knew that a monumental event was coming. So, they reacted accordingly.
Yes, Splash Mountain closed forever at Magic Kingdom. And yes, it did factor into the Walt Disney World wait times for the week. Here’s what happened.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
As a reminder, this time during January has historically proven itself as a slow season for Disney.
However, management invented the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts as a new way to entice guests to visit during the mid-winter.
Obviously, this relatively new behavior impacts EPCOT the most, but it ripples to the other parks. People don’t visit just one Disney park, after all.
At Animal Kingdom, the usual behavior occurred. Guests waited for an average of 96 minutes at Avatar Flight of Passage.
That’s a significant drop of 26 minutes from last time. It’s not a surprise, though. Last week included holiday crowds and was the start of the festival.
Here are the other average waits at Animal Kingdom:
- Na’vi River Journey – 70 minutes, down 7
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – 45 minutes, down 5
- Adventurers Outpost – 40 minutes, down 2
- Expedition Everest – 30 minutes, down 15
- DINOSAUR – 18 minutes, down 9
- TriceraTop Spin – 12 minutes, down 3
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – 10 minutes, down 2
Overall, guests waited for an average of 40 minutes for Animal Kingdom attractions. That’s a two-minute drop from last time.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance did NOT feature the longest crowds.
That ride averaged a 93-minute wait, which is a substantial 32-minute drop from last time.
Meanwhile, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror continues to operate with a section closed. Whenever that happens, the ride’s wait times soar.
This past week, people waited for 100 minutes, which is down 20 minutes…but still on the high end for this attraction.
Here are the other Hollywood Studios attractions:
- Slinky Dog Dash – 90 minutes, down 10
- Toy Story Mania! – 65 minutes, down 8
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – 63 minutes, down 12
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 60 minutes, down 18
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – 50 minutes, down 20
- Red Carpet Dreams – 42 minutes, no change
- Alien Swirling Saucers – 35 minutes, down 2
- Meet Sulley at Walt Disney Presents – 30 minutes, up 1
- Celebrity Spotlight – 27 minutes, no change
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue! – 22 minutes, down 8
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy – 15 minutes, no change
- Muppet*Vision 3D – 10 minutes, no change
The average attraction at Hollywood Studios required a wait in line of 46 minutes, down six minutes from last week.
Also, I’ll point out that 18 out of 19 attractions thus far either held steady from last week or dropped.
So, we’re beginning to track the impact of the first few days of the Festival of the Arts. It definitely draws a crowd that otherwise would skip January visits.
You’d think that EPCOT would bear the brunt of the festival crowds. That’s not always the case, though.
This park’s attractions behave steadily throughout the year. Was that the case this past week?
Well, here are the average wait times:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – 78 minutes, down 2
- Frozen Ever After – 70 minutes, down 5
- Test Track – 57 minutes, down 11
- Soarin’ Around the World – 41 minutes, down 9
- Royal Sommerhus – 35 minutes, up 1
- Mission: SPACE – 20 minutes, down 15
- Turtle Talk with Crush – 16 minutes, down 1
- Spaceship Earth – 14 minutes, down 5
- Journey into Imagination with Figment – 11 minutes, down 1
- Living with the Land – 10 minutes, up 3
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends – 9 minutes, up 1
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – 8 minutes, up 2
Overall, EPCOT attractions averaged a wait of 30 minutes, which is seven minutes less than last time.
Okay, we’re going to do everything else at Magic Kingdom first. Then, we’ll discuss the closing of Splash Mountain.
Here are the average waits:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 85 minutes, down 9
- Peter Pan’s Flight – 70 minutes, down 8
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 58 minutes, up 1
- Jungle Cruise – 56 minutes, down 4
- Space Mountain – 50 minutes, down 15
- Haunted Mansion – 49 minutes, down 1
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – 38 minutes, down 6
- Town Square Theater – 36 minutes, up 1
- Meet Ariel at Her Grotto – 35 minutes, n/a
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow – 34 minutes, up 1
- Astro Orbiter – 33 minutes, down 1
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – 32 minutes, down 8
- Pirates of the Caribbean – 32 minutes, down 6
- Princess Fairytale Hall – 31 minutes, down 1
- It’s a Small World – 26 minutes, down 4
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – 24 minutes, down 5
- The Barnstormer – 23 minutes, down 9
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid – 22 minutes, down 3
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 20 minutes, down 9
- Tomorrowland Speedway – 20 minutes, down 4
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – 16 minutes, up 1
- Mad Tea Party – 15 minutes, down 1
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – 15 minutes, down 3
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – 14 minutes, up 6
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – 12 minutes, up 4
- Country Bear Jamboree – 5 minutes, no change
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – 5 minutes, no change
Overall, guests waited an average of 32 minutes for Magic Kingdom attractions, which is the same as last week.
Still, we had one attraction that skewed the data. To no one’s surprise, that ride was…
About Splash Mountain
First, if you haven’t read MickeyBlog’s coverage of the ride’s closure, I strongly encourage you to do so.
— MickeyBlog.com (@MickeyBlog_) January 23, 2023
Folks, it was mayhem. Splash Mountain averaged a wait of 105 minutes last week, which was the most at Magic Kingdom.
That’s only part of the picture, though. On Sunday, the posted wait times were frequently between three and four hours long!
On average, guests waited two hours and twenty to ride Splash Mountain on its last day in operation!
Guests desperately wanted one last chance to say goodbye. Disney graciously allowed it by keeping the lines open until closing time.
What I mean by that is as long as you entered the line before 11 p.m., Disney let you stay and ride it.
You can imagine the sheer size of the mob of devoted fans who relished their final chance at Disney’s most joyful ride.
We all understand the reason for the re-theming, and Imagineers sound euphoric about the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Still, the Splash Mountain closure feels like the end of an era that started when Disney hired a college kid named Tony Baxter in the 1960s.
In many ways, Baxter invented the core of Frontierland, as he created Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain.
For more than 30 years, guests hopped off one ride and immediately boarded the other.
The Disney Legend gave us such euphoria with these two attractions, and it breaks my heart that one of them is gone forever.
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Feature Photo: Disney