It’s finally time for Walt Disney World to reopen!. After two days of cast member and annual pass holder previews, the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom opened yesterday. Epcot and Hollywood Studios won’t open until Wednesday. The lines over the last couple of days have been incredibly short, due to the limited reservations that Disney is requiring.
We expected lines to be shorter than normal with so few people allowed in the park at a time. FastPasses are known for increasing the standby line, but without a FastPass line, you can get through the standby a lot faster. That is also contributing to the shorter lines.
For those of you who don’t have time to check the Disney World app all day to see what the lines look like, we’ve made a few graphs. These graphs show what lines have been for the last two days, compared to what they’ve been in the past. The blue streak is the range of wait times we’d expect on a day that’s rated between a 1 and 3. This should give you a good idea about what to a normal slow day has been. To help with the comparison, there’s also a line that shows what the wait is on an incredibly busy day, a 10.
Magic Kingdom Attractions
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was close to a 30 minute wait the first day, and only 20 minutes the second day. The blue streak tells us that 50-60 minutes is about normal for a slow day at the Magic Kingdom, and the green line says that on busy days it will have a 100 minute wait. Reservations were available the night before, so this may not represent a “full” park with the current restrictions, but the capacity limitation definitely changes how long the lines are and how many attractions you can ride in one day. Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain had lines that were closer to a normal slow day, so not every ride is quite so empty.
It’s interesting that Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain are relatively busy. There are fewer people in the park, so we know the lines will be shorter. Especially with repeat visitors, the number of people walking around has a bigger impact on what the wait time will be. If there are a lot of people near a ride with a short line, the people will get in line. They’ll keep getting in line until the wait time is what the crowd “thinks” a line should be. Splash Mountain is likely longer because of the recent announcement about its upcoming Princess and the Frog retheme. Then, because Thunder Mountain is right there, lots of people are going on Thunder Mountain, too. That explains why Splash Mountain is above what we’d expect, while Thunder Mountain is close to predicted.
Animal Kingdom Attractions
Animal Kingdom has even shorter waits than the Magic Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage is sitting at about 15 minutes. This is unheard of on normal days, when you should expect an hour and a half to two hours. Animal Kingdom is definitely less busy than Magic Kingdom. It also had reservations open the night before so it seems there is room for more people and longer lines.
We can expect that lines will stay this short for a while, especially with Florida’s current spikes in COVID-19 testing. As Disney figures out how to work well with the lower crowds, they may be able to let more people make reservations and increase capacity. We’ll have to wait to see how many people they let in, and how they adjust the hourly ride capacities to compensate. In the short term, you can continue to expect short lines and great photo opportunities.