When going to Walt Disney World, timing is very important. We always choose to go during the slowest times, the times with the lightest crowds. This means wait times for the various rides and attractions usually aren’t more than 10 minutes. The most popular rides, during the busiest time of the day can get up to 20 minutes, sometimes even 30 minutes.
Occasionally, during some confluence of events and timing, some wait time might go over 30 minutes. These rides and times, we just get a fastpass, or we just skip it now and come back later when the natural wait time drops back to 10-20 minutes. Personally, there are no rides or attractions at WDW that I’d wait in a line 30 minutes or more. Maybe I’m just spoiled.
On Wednesday, Disney’s Hollywood Studios had the biggest crowd of any park we visited, and we ended up waiting 25 minutes to get on Toy Story Midway Mania. That was the longest wait time we experienced. Otherwise we stuck to our 10-20 minute preference. In Magic Kingdom, Tuesday morning, we walked onto all three mountains, (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain), with literally no waits. I mean, literally, no wait: we walked into the building, along the pathway, and got in the next car. A couple of times we were the only riders in our car. When the ride was over, and we were supposed to get out of the car, we were allowed to just stay seated and ride again immediately. (There was no one waiting to take our places.)
After riding twice in a row, we got off and moved on to the next attraction, but we sometimes went back later for another ride. During our week, we rode our favorite rides 2, 3, 4, even 5 times. At one point, right before we had lunch reservations, we rode Space Mountain with about a 5 minute wait. After we got off, we got fastpasses for later. The Disney cast member standing by the fastpass machines pointed out that there was only a 5 minute wait. “Yeah, we just rode it,” we said. “We’re getting these fastpasses for after lunch.” He said the wait probably won’t ever get above 10 minutes that day. And he was right.
After lunch we rode Space Mountain again without going through the fastpass lane. After that third Space Mountain ride of the day, we didn’t go back. An hour or so later, we decided to leave the park altogether, and I ended up giving our fastpasses to some random visitor who was coming into the park as we were going out.
I know there are lots of people who have never been to WDW during a slow time of year. I’ve talked with people for whom waiting in line for 60+ minutes is normal and perfectly acceptable. They’ve never seen a WDW park look like this:
Magic Kingdom, Sunday 4:00 p.m.
Frontierland, Tuesday 10:00 a.m.
Epcot, Monday 12:30 p.m.
Epcot Aquarium, Monday 11:00 a.m.
Chef Mickey’s Restaurant, Wednesday noon
Coral Reef Restaurant, Monday noon
I honestly just can’t imagine trying to navigate through the crowds of a busy time of year. Last year, when we visited during December, the crowds were heavier than this time this year, but they were still light compared to the really busy times.
I’ve been warned that posting this might sound like bragging, but really, it’s not. I’m posting all this as a public service announcement.