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.
OK, so this is a little self-serving, but we received the following email from Jason, a RideMax customer from Texas, who had used RideMax to help navigate several days at Disneyland over the busy Thanksgiving break. It was their very first Disney trip as a family.
I’m sharing Jason’s email below in its entirety:
Dear RideMax Team,
My family of five (Dad, Mom, 6-year-old girl, 3-year-old girl and 7-month-old boy) recently went to Disneyland and DCA during the busy Thanksgiving break. We also had another family of six with us that included two teenagers. We attended the parks on the Saturday, Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We expected huge crowds and long waits. While we did see huge crowds, we were so happy that the RideMax software virtually eliminated long waits. Your product is amazing and works as-advertised!
Leading up to our trip, I was somewhat dubious of how the software would perform during such a busy time, but our entire group was so thrilled with our experience! With one or two exceptions, we hardly even noticed the crowds around us. We had to do some juggling of rides due to our smaller children, but it all worked out much better than I expected. We rode every ride we wanted to, in many cases twice and a few rides three times. We also saw all the shows we wanted, met the characters we wanted and watched the parade.
This was our first Disney trip of any kind as a family. The trip far exceeded our expectations, and a huge part of that was due to your software. We will remember the trip for years as a memorable, joyous and positive experience. We will definitely use RideMax again when we go to Disney World for the first time in the coming years.
And thanks to YOU Jason for taking the time to report! I’m glad you had such a nice trip, and that RideMax could help!
Just a quick note here to let everyone know that today we’ve made some major adjustments to the RideMax estimates for the two new Toy Story Land attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.
I mostly mention this to let any RideMax customers know that if you’ve created RideMax plans which include these attractions, I’d strongly encourage you to create new plans instead.
I know this is a bit of a hassle, but we’ve had the chance to look at the wait times for these attractions for a couple of weeks now, and the good news is that, on average, the actual waits are coming in well below our initial estimates.
So, re-run those Hollywood Studios RideMax plans — and have a great trip!
You may remember in a previous post that we examined Disneyland’s MaxPass system, using the plans created by RideMax customers to help us estimate how popular MaxPass might be among Disneyland guests. It’s been a month since that last post, so I thought it might be time to look at this again, to see if anything has changed recently.
As you’ll recall from my last post on this topic, up through April 7th, 48% of RideMax plans (which were still in the database and hadn’t been deleted) had been created with the MaxPass setting turned ON. There also seemed to be some seasonality to the data, with the low coming in October at 40% MaxPass use, and the high during the Christmas holiday period, at 60%.
It’s interesting to me that for plans created from April 8th until May 8th (again, of those which are still in the RideMax database), 57% were created with the MaxPass setting turned ON.
I’m a bit surprised by this number, since it’s a snapshot taken after the busy spring break period, when MaxPass use in RidMax plans was running at 55%. Even if you allow for some margin of error in the numbers, that the number has gone UP during a relatively quieter period at the park says something about the staying power of MaxPass.
One question for me is whether this upward move is a real trend. There may be an explanation for the numbers which I haven’t captured by taking such a high-level snapshot of the RideMax data. If you have any theories to explain the upward tick in usage, please share in the comments below.
In the meantime, at the very least it looks like MaxPass is a popular addition to Disneyland — and it may be getting even more popular as time goes on.
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.