A Look At How Much Disneyland’s Ride Wait Times Have Changed Since Reopening

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After over a year of being locked down, the Disneyland Resort reopened three weeks ago. The first round of news reports from that first week highlighted how empty the parks felt with the capacity limitations. Officially the park was at 25% capacity, but, according to Cast Members we talked to, the true capacity limit was actually set at 10% for that opening week. The park capacity has steadily increased since then and it is starting to show in the wait times.

While California plans to fully reopen on June 15th, there are still a number of restrictions in place until then. These include social distancing requirements, indoor attraction limitations, restrictions on indoor shows, etc. This has caused Disneyland to only load one party per ride vehicle and snake the lines around the outside of the attractions. This causes bloated wait times that will resolve quickly once Disney begins loading every row, reopens shows that attract a lot of guests, and increase indoor dining which helps alleviate pressure on the rides.

So how much have the wait times increased over the parks first three weeks? How do these wait times compare to the same time period two years ago? 

Let’s take a look:

Disneyland’s average wait time has increased 108% over the last three weeks while Disney California Adventure’s average wait time has increased 158% during that same time period.

Disneyland Average Daily Wait Time:

  • 4/30/21 13 mins
  • 5/07/21 16 mins
  • 5/14/21 23 mins
  • 5/21/21 27 mins
  • Increase of 14 minutes, or +108%

Disney California Adventure Average Daily Wait Time:

  • 4/30/21 12 mins
  • 5/07/21 14 mins
  • 5/14/21 22 mins
  • 5/21/21 41 mins
  • Increase of 29 minutes, or +158%

While these numbers continue to grow, they are still lower than they were two years ago, but not by much. This is where you can really see the impact of two huge factors: first, Disney partially loading the attractions due to covid restrictions causing the wait times to swell, second, Disney not issuing fast passes at this time. So the 2019 to 2021 comparison is not apples to apples. The crowd levels were likely twice as high in 2019, but the wait times were only a few minutes longer. Take a look.

Disneyland Average Daily Wait Time May 2019 to May 2021:

  • 5/19/19 30 mins
  • 5/21/21 27 mins
  • Decrease of 3 mins, or 10% shorter wait time

Disney California Adventure Average Daily Wait Time May 2019 to May 2021:

  • 5/19/19 36 mins
  • 5/21/21 31 mins
  • Decrease of 5 mins, or 14% shorter wait time

Focusing back on the first three weeks of the Disneyland Resort’s reopening, let’s look at the change in wait times for each parks’ most popular attractions.

Disneyland Average Daily Wait Time Per Attraction:

Haunted Mansion

  • 4/30/21 31 mins
  • 5/07/21 37 mins
  • 5/14/21 40 mins
  • 5/21/21 46 mins
  • 3 week increase of 14 mins, or +48% 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • 4/30/21 11 mins
  • 5/07/21 16 mins
  • 5/14/21 28 mins
  • 5/21/21 36 mins
  • 3 week increase of 25 mins, or +227%

Space Mountain

  • 4/30/21 19 mins
  • 5/07/21 23 mins
  • 5/14/21 46 mins
  • 5/21/21 43 mins
  • 3 week increase of 24 mins, or +126% 

Splash Mountain

  • 4/30/21 26 mins
  • 5/07/21 19 mins
  • 5/14/21 39 mins
  • 5/21/21 39 mins
  • 3 week increase of 13 mins, or +50%

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

  • 4/30/21 12 mins
  • 5/07/21 20 mins
  • 5/14/21 34 mins
  • 5/21/21 51 mins
  • 3 week increase of 14 mins, or +325%

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

  • 4/30/21 31 mins
  • 5/07/21 27 mins
  • 5/14/21 31 mins
  • 5/21/21 30 mins
  • 3 week decrease of 1 min, or 3% shorter wait time

“it’s a small world”

  • 4/30/21 13 mins
  • 5/07/21 19 mins
  • 5/14/21 25 mins
  • 5/21/21 30 mins
  • 3 week increase of 17 mins, or +131%

Disney California Adventure Average Daily Wait Time Per Attraction:

Radiator Springs Racers (Cars Ride)

  • 4/30/21 27 mins
  • 5/07/21 39 mins
  • 5/14/21 48 mins
  • 5/21/21 81 mins
  • 3 week increase of 54 mins, or +200%

Soarin Around the World

  • 4/30/21 25 mins
  • 5/07/21 36 mins
  • 5/14/21 37 mins
  • 5/21/21 49 mins
  • 3 week increase of 24 mins, or +96%

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout

  • 4/30/21 19 mins
  • 5/07/21 19 mins
  • 5/14/21 30 mins
  • 5/21/21 51 mins
  • 3 week increase of 32 mins, or +168%

Incredicoaster

  • 4/30/21 8 mins
  • 5/07/21 12 mins
  • 5/14/21 18 mins
  • 5/21/21 20 mins
  • 3 week increase of 12 mins, or +150%
Grizzly River Run in Disney California Adventure

Grizzly River Run

  • 4/30/21 Closed for Refurbishment
  • 5/07/21 16 mins
  • 5/14/21 37 mins
  • 5/21/21 45 mins
  • 2 week increase of 29 mins, or +181%

Toy Story Midway Mania

  • 4/30/21 24 mins
  • 5/07/21 15 mins
  • 5/14/21 30 mins
  • 5/21/21 36 mins
  • 3 week increase of 12 mins, or +50%

Clearly the Disneyland Resort is steadily increasing guest capacity since they officially reopened three weeks ago. Disneyland claims they are capping capacity at 25%, sources that we talk to say they are truly capping capacity at 20%, and the state of California has just eased restrictions allowing the park to increase capacity to 35%. Starting June 15th all government mandated limitations will expire.

There are a number of big questions that will have huge impacts on ride wait times:

  • Will Disney increase capacity to meet the state’s allowance, or keep them low for the summer? Will Disneyland bring back Fast Pass?
  • Will any other ride adopt the virtual boarding group system that Rise of the Resistance and Indiana Jones Adventure currently use?
  • When will Disney restart their shows and parades?
  • When will character meet and greets come back?
  • When will they reopen all of the indoor dining locations?

All of these questions, and many more, will have huge impacts on wait times moving forward. We will be tracking these important changes, along with the wait times and attendance figures, so keep checking back with The DisInsider to get all of the information.

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1 thought on “A Look At How Much Disneyland’s Ride Wait Times Have Changed Since Reopening”

  1. Pingback: Disneyland is now a 'mega event.' Here's what that means. – Investor Newsletter

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