This weekend sees many of the Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando hit capacity. Ahead of Presidents’ Day on Monday, February 21, 2022, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were all completely sold out.
Sell-out crowds mean high wait times and six of Disney World’s most popular attractions just hit 800+ minutes total.
At the most recent Disney Earnings Call for Q1 it was reported that during the first quarter of fiscal 2022, Disney Parks brought in a staggering $7 billion in revenue. Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Disney Parks like the Walt Disney World Resort have seen skyrocketing profit thanks to price increases across merchandise, food, and Park tickets. In fact, Florida as a whole has seen pre-pandemic levels of tourism which suggests theme park Resorts like Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld are still big draws for visitors even amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Another factor that has certainly bolstered Disney’s bottom line is the launch of the controversial Disney Genie system which includes the FastPass+ replacement service, Disney Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lane Selections. For an additional fee — and a fee that changes, too — Guests can pay for quicker access to their favorite attractions like Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain.
However, even with this new paid service, it hasn’t noticeably altered crowd levels and in some cases, Guests actually left the Lightning Lane entrance after noticing the traditional standby line was shorter. Not only that, but some Guests have expressed opinions that Disney World is purposefully inflating wait times in order to cash in on Genie+ purchases.
Today (February 18), it can be seen that even as Genie+ is in operation, when the Parks hit capacity — and please note that capacity is still lower than pre-pandemic levels — wait times are still topping 100+ minutes, with six rides currently over six figures at the Disney Park, at the time of publication.
From the image below captured from My Disney Experience, the official Walt Disney World Resort app, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (110 minutes), Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (105 minutes), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (130 minutes), Slinky Dog Dash (140 minutes), Avatar Flight of Passage (175 minutes), and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (155 minutes) have all breached a 100+ minute wait time.
The total wait time for these six rides combined is 815 minutes or 13.5 hours. And interestingly, all four Parks — Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — have rides featured on this list. Walt Disney World is busy. Well, Guests can always visit Disney Springs or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park instead (Disney’s Blizzard Beach is closed at this time for refurbishment).
Many Guests have noted recently that the usual slow season of Walt Disney World Resort is non-existent as more and more visitors flock to the iconic Disney Park destination. The high number of Guests will also be volumized by the opening of the US border, meaning travelers from places like the United Kingdom — who make up a large portion of international Disney World Guests — are able to finally visit after multiple months away.
Unlike other years, crowds and wait times at Walt Disney World have only increased due to the Resort’s 50th anniversary celebrations AKA The World’s Most Magical Celebration. The Central Florida Resort has seen Disney Enchantment at Cinderella Castle, World Showcase’s Harmonious fireworks, and Disney KiteTails, among other experiences, all debut.
Would you wait 100+ minutes for one Disney attraction? Let us know in the comments down below!