When Walt Disney World reopened to Guests back in July, they had to implement several health protocols in order to keep Guests and Cast Members safe within the parks. From increased hand sanitizing stations to contactless payment methods to social distancing markers, Disney is ensuring everyone remains safe during this unprecedented time.
One protocol Disney also implemented was the installation of plexiglass on several different attractions and in queue areas, including on the Jungle Cruise boats and on the Kilimanjaro Safari vehicles as well as in the Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight queue areas, and more. By doing so, this allows Disney to load multiple parties per attraction vehicle, cutting down wait times.
More recently Disney has installed plexiglass onto other attraction vehicles including Tower of Terror, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Rise of the Resistance — All extremely popular. attractions located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Tower of Terror
Initially, Tower of Terror did not have any plexiglass installed within its elevators but come October, the park slowly implemented dividers allowing Disney to load Guests on both the left and right sides as well as in both the very back row and the front row, allowing for social distancing to still be in place.
According to Walt Disney World Wait Times on Twitter, on October 17th and October 19th, the average wait time for Tower of Terror sat at approximately 51 and 75 minutes.
— Walt Disney World Wait Times (@WDWWait) October 17, 2020
— Walt Disney World Wait Times (@WDWWait) October 19, 2020
Now, after the plexiglass was installed on all elevators at Tower of Terror, the average wait times have been cut down. You can see in the Tweets below, the average wait times for November 4th was 46 minutes and on November 8 it sat at about 44 minutes.
— Walt Disney World Wait Times (@WDWWait) November 5, 2020
— Walt Disney World Wait Times (@WDWWait) November 9, 2020
Of course, you have to take into consideration the day of the week as well — Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays at the parks so that could be why some days have higher wait times than other days, despite having plexiglass installed. However, when we even compare a weekend to a weekend, you can see that Tower of Terror is still at a lower average wait time after the plexiglass was installed compared to prior.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
When Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened to the public, they did not have plexiglass on several attractions, including the ever-popular, recently debuted, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. However, just last week, our senior editor was able to ride the front row of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway last week, with the plexiglass divider, which you can see in the video below.
During this visit, Inside the Magic can confirm that Disney was still only loading one party per car, despite having plexiglass dividers in place.
Now, Disney is loading multiple parties per vehicle with the plexiglass, allowing the park to bring more people on the ride at a time while still practicing safe and social distances between Guests not traveling together. Inside the Magic is inside the park to confirm this, which you can see in the photo below.
As you can imagine, this also cuts down the wait times tremendously as Disney is now loading way more people at a time. According to Walt Disney World Wait Times on Twitter, the doubled capacity for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway allows for the wait time to be cut down nearly in half.
The doubled capacity of Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railroad really evident here – wait times nearly halved compared to yesterday! ?
— Walt Disney World Wait Times (@WDWWait) November 18, 2020
Rise of the Resistance
Boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance are even more in-demand now ever since the theme parks reopened with limited capacity. With the parks being at limited capacity, so are the attractions. For example, the ride vehicles for Rise of the Resistance typically seat eight Guests — two rows of four people across. However, with the new restrictions including limited capacity and social distancing, Disney was sending the vehicles off with one party aboard, even if that meant a visitor rode alone.
However, in order to try and give out more boarding groups to Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and to quickly increase the daily capacity of the ride, Disney announced they have added Plexiglass to the ride vehicles to allow for more than one party to ride at once. Inside the Magic was visiting the theme park last week and we can confirm that this is now true.
Our senior editor was able to get boarding group 2 on one day and boarding group 104 on another day. The fact that she snagged a boarding group in the 100s means Disney is clearly handing out more boarding groups than they were previously. On top of this, with boarding group 104, she rode Rise of the Resistance around 4 pm, meaning several more boarding groups would still be called before the park closed at 7 pm.
According to Thrill Data, you can clearly see how the max number of boarding groups called per day has steadily increased, thanks to the newly installed plexiglass on ride vehicles. For example, back in August, the max group called didn’t even hit 100, however, in November you can see the max group called is steadily over 100 every day.
What do you think of the newly installed plexiglass? Should Disney install more on different attractions (where applicable) in order to help with wait times? Let us know in the comments below.
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