RideMax Assumptions for Animal Kingdom Plans After May 27th

Rivers of Light Entrance - Disney's Animal Kingdom

In the “thanks for your patience” department, I have some good news for Walt Disney World RideMax subscribers: As of today, our Animal Kingdom park hours now reflect the 11:00pm closing time for RideMax plans created for May 27th and later (or at least through July 2nd, which is the last date for which Disney has officially committed to staying open late).

It’s always a bit tricky putting together the behind-the-scenes wait time estimates RideMax will be using when we haven’t yet seen the scenario we’re trying to model, so I thought it might be helpful to go over some of the assumptions RideMax will be using. Note that I expect we’ll adjust the estimates and the assumptions once I’ve had the chance to experience the late evenings myself, beginning with an in-park visit on May 27th.

Highlights of our current assumptions include:

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris and the DinoLand attractions will remain open until park closing, regardless of the time the park closes. Same goes for It’s Tough To Be A Bug.
  • Several attractions will continue to close around dusk. RideMax is specifically assuming that Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, and Maharajah Jungle Trek will fall into this category.
  • Expedition Everest will close sometime *before* the park closes, and RideMax plans will avoid having you get in line for this attraction after 8:30pm. The theory here is that Disney won’t want all of the noise from Everest to carry over into the new show area on Discovery River (in the same way in which California Screamin’ is closed during World of Color at DCA).

Regarding this last assumption (no Everest after 8:30pm), we’ll have to see how this plays out in practice, but I’ve noticed that for all of the dates after May 27th for which I can see FP+ availability, the latest Everest time slot begins at 7:25pm, which means the FP+ window closes at 8:25pm. My guess (and I know it’s just a guess), is that Disney wants to have everyone off the ride by about 9:00pm, so that they can “get on with the show” playing on the river.

As I said, these seem like reasonable assumptions for now, and I expect we’ll be modifying them once we’ve seen everything in practice the evening of May 27th.

Disney hasn’t yet released actual show times for the new Jungle Book show, but you can expect to see this listed in RideMax soon after the announcement is made.

Stay tuned!

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Changes Reflected in RideMax… Soon!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest

As something of a personal note for Walt Disney World subscribers to RideMax, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’re still listing the “old” park hours for Disney’s Animal Kingdom for dates beginning on May 27th, which marks the start of Disney’s new nighttime experiences available there, including the after-dark rides on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

I wanted to personally give some very focused attention to the behind-the-scenes-data that RideMax will be relying on for the new schedule, but came back to Orlando from a recent vacation more sick than I’ve been in a long time. Knowing that I’d want to be fully-coherent when putting the new wait time estimates together (or at least as coherent as I normally am), I decided to wait until I’m off the meds before I focus on these changes in earnest.

The good news (well, for me at least) is that I’m starting to feel better as we head into the weekend, and I do hope to get on the changes next week.

So, my apologies for the delay, and please stay tuned!

Note that I also plan to be in the park the evening of May 27th, both to look at the wait times up-close, as well as to personally experience Kilimanjaro Safaris (and hopefully the new Jungle Book show) after dark, so keep an eye on the blog here for pictures and updates on the new changes once everything has opened.

Even without Rivers of Light, these are still some exciting changes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and I, for one, am glad to see them coming!

 

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MyMagic+ App Enhancements in Action, Rivers of Light Construction Progress

My Disney Experience Enhancements - Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World

One big hassle with FastPass+ at Walt Disney World is that until this month, guests were only allowed to make three FP+ reservations on their own — you had to visit an in-park kiosk once you used those first three if you wanted to schedule additional FP+ experiences.

Well, Disney has just enhanced their iPhone and Android apps to allow guests to make their own fourth (and more) FastPass+ selections using a mobile device, rather than visiting an in-park kiosk. You have to make the additional reservations one at a time — and only after using your first three — but for those who end up using this feature, it holds some hope of cutting down on the hassle we saw in my previous post with insane lines at the FastPass+ kiosks during spring break.

I downloaded the new version of the app to my iPhone and gave the feature a whirl last Monday, April 11th. Before I begin, I will note that the week of April 11th saw much lower crowds than the week before, as the “Easter rush” had sort of died down a bit by then.

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Fan Mail from Australia, February Crowds, Rivers of Light Construction Update, Flame Tree Barbeque Dinner and Dessert Review

World of Color - Disney California Adventure

First up today, I hope you’ll indulge me as I share some RideMax “fan mail” sent in by Leon from Australia, who visited Disneyland this past holiday season. He writes the following:

I spent 5 days at Disneyland (2 days) and California Adventure (3 days) with my wife and 2 children (ages 6 and 9) which included New Year’s Eve which I understand is the busiest day of the year.

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Animal Kingdom – Rivers of Light Construction Close-ups, Lunch at Harambe, Zootopia Exhibit

As promised in my last post, Liesle and I stopped in for an afternoon visit to Animal Kingdom last Friday, January 29th. We followed the RideMax plan outlined there, so feel free to refer to that post if you want more background.

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Tree of Life

After all of the rain we’ve seen the last couple of days, these beautiful clear skies were a welcome relief.

Our goal with this visit was sort of a personal one, and our RideMax plan reflected that. I seems that our lives have been increasingly busy lately, so we decided it was time for an afternoon/evening date in the park. As a result of this more laid-back goal, we just did the few attractions we were interested in, and which would comfortably fit into our afternoon. We skipped Dinoland completely, for example — neither of us felt like losing our lunch on Primeval Whirl.

Before I give the details of our day, I wanted to post an update on the Rivers of Light construction progress.

Continue reading “Animal Kingdom – Rivers of Light Construction Close-ups, Lunch at Harambe, Zootopia Exhibit”

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