Walt Disney World Wait Times Are Increasing!

Just a quick note here to summarize what’s probably obvious to anyone keeping an eye on the crowds at Walt Disney World lately, and that is that the waits are increasing as Disney allows more guests into the park. (For those of you who are RideMax members, we’ve updated our RideMax planning estimates accordingly.)

We’ve been keeping a pretty close watch on wait times since the parks reopened, and I think this graph of the Avatar Flight of Passage wait times represents what we’ve seen lately:

As you can see, average waits here were pretty low for the last half of August (with a predictable bump on the weekends) averaging around just ten minutes on weekdays and between 30 and 40 minutes on weekends.

Fast-forward to this past week, and you can see that on weekdays the average now hovers around the 40 minute-mark, with the highs on weekends up closer to the hour range (with something of a blip on September 13th, when the average wait was 80 minutes).

I know I already covered this in my Five Tips for a Fall Disney World Visit post, but hope this serves to emphasize the point: come prepared for longer waits!

 

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Riding Avatar Flight of Passage Without the Huge Line – 2019 Edition

Avatar Flight of Passage - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Next month brings us the second anniversary of the opening of Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it still sees the highest wait times of any Walt Disney World attraction — even higher than the newer attractions in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios.

I thought it might be worth doing a short YouTube video describing my current best thoughts on how to visit Flight of Passage without a huge line if you aren’t able to get a FastPass — which is still likely to be the case in 2019. I also share a few “bonus tips” to help you navigate your way to the attraction if you’re visiting at rope drop, as well as on how to enjoy the ride a bit better once you’re actually there.

Enjoy!

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Animal Kingdom RideMax Plans? It’s Time to Recalculate!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Tree of Life at Night

Disney has updated the Animal Kingdom’s park hours to include early morning Extra Magic Hours (EMH) for most dates from April 28th through June 30th, and we’ve just updated RideMax (and our park recommendations calendar) to reflect this change.

Unfortunately, this also calls for a re-run of any Animal Kingdom RideMax plans for the affected dates, so if this includes you, hopefully this gives you ample notice to get that done before your visit.

Just attempting some brief armchair analysis here, this is an interesting move on Disney’s part. With the huge crowds in Pandora since its opening, I can see how Disney might think this will help to reduce the overall wait there, and they’re probably right. Think about it: There will now be one hour almost every day of the week where guests can get in the standby line and not be slowed down by FastPass+ guests — provided they’re staying at a Disney hotel, of course.

If a lot of Disney hotel guests take advantage of this, it should also help reduce pressure on the ride during normal operating hours as well, so hopefully non-hotel guests will benefit too, even if not to the same degree as will those who are eligible for EMH.

We may also make some tweaks to the RideMax standby estimates for the Pandora attractions once we see the daily EMH in operation, so stay tuned for that as well.

Happy planning!

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Why Your Favorite Disney Theme Park Touring Plan is Now Broken

Flight of Passage queue at Disney's Animal Kingdom

In case you haven’t noticed, even with the upcoming Star Wars attractions still many months away, there are a LOT of changes happening at Disney’s theme parks lately. And as a result, that “fool-proof” game plan you used to visit the parks several months ago is probably now broken.

Consider the changes that have occurred over just the past few months:

Continue reading “Why Your Favorite Disney Theme Park Touring Plan is Now Broken”

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RideMax Roulette Plan in Action at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life - Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

In my previous post I reviewed the RideMax plan I had made for my daughter and I to get through several attractions at the Animal Kingdom this past Thursday, December 9th. This is a report on our vist.

akridemaxroulette-12-8-2016

If you want to know more about the plan details, be sure to see the previous post here on the RideMax blog, where I outlined some of the decisions that went into this one. For those who don’t want to take the time to do that, I’ve copied the plan above.

As you can see, we were set to start the day with two rides on Expedition Everest. The plan was to ride in the standby line first, then use our FastPass+ reservation for the second ride.

Low crowds at rope drop - Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

We arrived inside the park fifteen minutes before opening time. The picture above shows the “crowd” lined up heading in the direction of Expedition Everest. Not too bad, really.

Continue reading “RideMax Roulette Plan in Action at Disney’s Animal Kingdom”

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