Are Disney Parks Facing a Major Problem With Their Newest Attractions?

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

galaxy's edge

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company is constantly trying to improve Guests’ experiences through developing new and innovative technologies for the different attractions and experiences at Disney Parks worldwide.

With new expansions and attractions coming to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, the experience while visiting a Disney Park has improved and made Guests feel surrounded by the magic of Disney World and Disneyland’s unmatchable storytelling.

mickey mouse meet and greet
Credit: Disney

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While many Guests praise these latest innovations, some consider that The Walt Disney Company is facing a significant problem with the new areas and attractions opening, as well as with the upkeeping of the Parks’ current attractions. Another issue many Guests have pointed out with the latest attractions opening at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is that crowds have increased significantly, implying longer wait times for these rides.

It would appear that the Walt Disney Company thinks that every new ride has to be “the next big thing.” While we all appreciate all the new and exciting attractions coming to Disney Parks, it is necessary to have different ride categories to provide a well-rounded experience for Guests while also helping diffuse the massive crowds that Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort see every day.

animal kingdom crowds
Credit: ITM

The current state of Disney Parks

Let’s start by discussing the current state of Disney Parks. Since Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World were reopened, Guests have pointed out that cleanliness at the parks is not quite the same as it used to be. Guests have recently shared reports of overflowing trash cans, queues full of litter, and more at both parks.

trash cans at tomorrowland in disneyland
Credit: Disneyland Cast and Community

Related: Cast Members Rush to Remove Vandalism From Disneyland Attraction

And when it comes to attractions, it would appear that rides breaking down are becoming more and more common at Disney Parks, or at least Guests seem to be sharing their experiences more frequently than before. Sometimes rides and attractions break down, making Guests wait, either in the queue or aboard the attractions, and in some cases, even having to evacuate them from the ride they are on.

Disneyland Resort Attractions

Inside the Magic has reported on different attractions at Disneyland Resort breaking down, including Incredicoaster, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” The Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones Adventure, and even Pirates of the Caribbean, despite the lengthy refurbishment this last attraction recently went under. Guests have commented that they feel like the Park is not giving attractions the proper maintenance and that this problem has increased since the Park’s reopening on April 30, 2021, after the closure caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Indiana Jones Adventure
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Attractions

Inside the Magic has also reported on several issues at different attractions at Disney World, including Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which was recently running on an alternative, simpler version of the ride, “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom, having to evacuate Guests, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios stopping on several occasions.

Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

What is the current capacity at Disney Parks?

Since Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort were reopened, both Resorts have operated with reduced capacity. While currently, more Guests are admitted into the Parks than when they first reopened after closures caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Parks are not yet back to full capacity, and many have speculated that full capacity will never return to Disney Parks.

Despite the reduced capacity at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, thousands of Guests cross the gates to the Happiest Place on Earth and the Most Magical Place on Earth, causing massive crowds and jaw-dropping wait times on the most popular attractions at the Parks. This has resulted in the implementation of a couple of new systems to help Guests save time during their visit and provide the chance to experience more attractions on their day.

disneyland crowds
Credit: Inside the Magic

Individual Lightning Lane and Virtual Queue

Both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort have implemented the use of Disney’s Genie+, a new system that replaced the FastPass Program. The system is described by Walt Disney World’s website as follows:

You’ve Never Had a Friend Like This!

Introducing Disney Genie service and Disney Genie+ service, conveniently built into the My Disney Experience mobile app. Once you log into your Disney account, these services magically make your theme park visit easier and more fun. It’s like having your own personal genie in the palm of your hand.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, Disney Genie service can help you get the most of your visit to Walt Disney World Resort.

disney genie
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Related: Guest Claims This Hack Works Better Than Disney Genie+

With this paid service, Guests can make Lightning Lane reservations for their favorite attractions, although some attractions require the purchase of an Individual Lightning Lane. These a la carte selections include some of the newest and most popular attractions at the different Disney Parks, including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Walt Disney World Resort. At Disneyland Resort, the attractions that require an Individual Lightning Lane are Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Radiator Spring Racers, and WEB Slinges: A Spider-Man Adventure.

rise of the resistance stormtrooper room
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

Guests also have the chance to join a virtual queue to experience some attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT or the different entertainment offerings the Parks have. The Virtual Queue system is described by Walt Disney World’s website as follows:

From time to time, a virtual queue—accessible via the My Disney Experience app—may be used for select attractions or experiences. When a virtual queue is in place, you can request to enjoy that attraction or experience later in the day, so you can enjoy other experiences while you wait. When the virtual queue is in place, a standby queue will not be available, and Guests must use the My Disney Experience app to enter the attraction or experience.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night
Credit: Disney

While Lightning Lane and Virtual Queue are intended to improve Guests’ experiences while visiting the Parks, both systems have received significant backlash, as Guests often complain about the complexity or availability of these alternatives.

What have been the latest Disney Parks Expansions?

As previously stated, The Walt Disney Company is constantly improving and modifying Disney World, Disneyland, and all the Disney Parks worldwide to provide a magical experience for every Guest. Part of these improvements have been the different themed expansions that have been built at the different Parks, inspired of course by Disney characters and stories, but also including the latest acquisitions of The Walt Disney Company, including the Star Wars franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar films, and even some intellectual properties of 20th Century Studios — formerly owned by FOX — like James Cameron’s Avatar franchise.

family at avengers campus disneyland
Credit: Disney

Related: Ant-Man, Thor, and Loki In Hilarious Team Up at Avengers Campus

Car Land at Disney California Adventure

Cars Land opened on June 15, 2012, at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort. The picturesque land spans a whopping 12 acres. It offers Guests the chance to visit some of their favorite locations from Disney and Pixar’s Cars franchise, including Flo’s V8 Cafe, Fillmore’s Taste-in, and the Cozy Cone Motel, with delicious food offerings, Sarge’s Surplus Hut, and Ramone’s House of Body Art for a fun shopping experience, and even meet their favorite residents of Radiator Springs!

lightning mcqueen and mater disneyland
Credit: Disney

The highlight of this Cars-inspired land is the attraction Radiator Springs Racers, a perfect combination of a dark ride and roller coaster that takes Guests on a road trip through the desert landscape and a few locations of the original Cars (2006) film. This attraction often sees wait times between 90 and 120 minutes, reaching 180 minutes on the Park’s busiest days.

Cars Land
Credit: Disney

In Disney California Adventure, Radiator Springs is also home to two other fun attractions, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. Both are simple attractions comparable with the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park.

Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Pandora – The World of Avatar opened on May 27, 2017, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort. This beautiful land that celebrates the magic of nature takes Guests on an exciting expedition through the Valley of Mo’ara, where they can hike amid floating mountains, glowing fauna, and flora, encounter the rangers of Pandora, find a native drum circle, and many other wonders of Pandora. Guests can also enjoy a delicious meal at Satu’li Canteen, a refreshing drink at Pongu Pongu, and even shop for exotic souvenirs at Windtraders and Colors of Mo’ara. With so much to see and do, this land will surely provide an out-of-this-world experience.

Avatar: Flight of Passage
Credit: Disney

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The highlight attraction at Pandora – The World of Avatar is Flight of Passage, where Guests can bond with a banshee and become Na’vi hunters on Pandora as they soar the skies and get an up-close look at this moon’s breathtaking landscape. This attraction often sees wait times of over 90 minutes, reaching 180 minutes on the Park’s busiest days. When this attraction first opened, wait times soared with a wait time of 270 minutes during one of our visits to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 and reached a jaw-dropping wait time of 300 minutes at times.

Pandora – The World of Avatar also offers Guests a chance to take a mystical journey by boat deep into Pandora’s glowing bioluminescent rainforest in Na’vi River Journey. This boat attraction is comparable with Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort.

family staring at tree in pandora world of avatar
Credit: Disney

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land opened on June 30, 2018, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World. This fun land inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story franchise lets Guests live a toy-sized adventure, exploring Andy’s backyard, meeting some of their favorite characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie, and joining the Green Army Men on patrol and a fun show. Guests can grab a bite at Woody’s Lunchbox and explore everything the land has to offer.

toy story land slinky dog dash jessie statue
Credit: Disney

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The highlight attraction at Toy Story Land is Slinky Dog Dash, a family-friendly coaster that twists and turns past giant toys and springs across Andy’s oversized backyard! This attraction’s average wait times range between 50 and 120 minutes.

Toy Story Land is also home to the popular interactive game Toy Story Mania! and Alien Swirling Saucers, a ride that spins Guests around, comparable to the Mad Tea Party.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened on May 31, 2019, at Disneyland Resort, and on August 29, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort. This out-of-this-world, highly immersive land offers Guests the chance to explore the Black Spire Outpost on the distant planet of Batuu. This land is home to Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, Savi’s Workshop, and Oga’s Cantina. Guests can also interact with Rey, Chewbacca, Vi Moradi, an exclusive character of Galaxy’s Edge, Kylo Ren, and even First Order Stormtroopers. It was recently announced that legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) would also be roaming Batuu at Disneyland Resort, with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), known as the Mandalorian and Grogu coming to the Park at a later date.

Boba Fett and Fennec at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Related: Disney Announces New Characters to Debut at Galaxy’s Edge

The highlight attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, one of the most advanced attractions at Disney Parks worldwide. This massive attraction takes Guests on a highly immersive mission with multiple ride systems, providing an experience unlike anything they’ve experienced at Disney World, Disneyland, or anywhere else in the Galaxy! This attraction’s average wait times range between 100 and 180 minutes, reaching wait times of 240 and even 300 minutes on the Park’s busiest days.

rise of the resistance stormtrooper room with r5 unit in foreground
Credit: Disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is also home to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. An attraction in which Guests can fly the Millenium Falcon on a thrilling interactive smuggling mission. The ride uses a flight simulator system similar to the one used on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, making this attraction comparable to the 1987 classic.

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure

Avengers Campus opened on June 4, 2021, at Disney California Adventure. In this exciting new land, recruits can join forces with some of Earth’s mightiest heroes and live their own Marvel adventure. With delicious meals and drinks provided by Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab, shopping alternatives at WEB Suppliers, The Collector’s Warehouse, and Campus Supply Pod, and heroic encounters with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, The Wasp, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and so many more, this land is an instant fan-favorite.

Avengers Campus
Credit: Disney

The highlight attraction of Avengers Campus is WEB Slinges: A Spider-Man Adventure, in which Guests team up with their friendly neighbor Spider-Man to stop the swarm of rouge Spider-Bots before they wreak total techno-havoc across Avengers Campus. This attraction sees wait times of between 60 and 100 minutes.

At Avengers Campus, Guests can also take a thrilling tour of the private collection of Taneleer Tivan — better known as The Collector — in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! This attraction replaced The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The second location of Avengers Campus recently opened at Disneyland Paris, offering a new bunch of heroic adventures for Guests visiting the Parisian Park.

avengers-campus-paris
Credit: Disney

Other popular attractions

Other of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World Resort are:

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Frozen Ever After at EPCOT
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT
seven dwarfs mine train
Credit: Disney

These last two attractions are part of Disney World’s Individual Lightning Lane attractions, along with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Flight of Passage.

At Disneyland Resort, the attractions that are part of the Parks Individual Lightning Lane attractions are Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Radiator Spring Racers, and WEB Slinges: A Spider-Man Adventure, which we discussed above.

Upcoming expansions

Disneyland Paris is currently developing a multi-year expansion project that began with the second location of Avengers Campus in the world, which opened its gates to welcome recruits on July 20, 2022. The next part of this project will be a land inspired by Disney’s hit films Frozen (2010) and Frozen II (2019). 

Frozen Land at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Disneyland is also building its own Frozen-themed land, World of Frozen, which is significantly advanced. However, Hong Kong Disneyland has not yet released an official opening date for this magical expansion.

hong kong disneyland frozen land
Credit: Disney

And at Shanghai Disneyland, a massive expansion inspired by Disney’s Zootopia (2016) is currently in construction, with the skyline of this mammalian metropolis continuing to take shape.

Disney Parks’ original ticketing system

Long before the Annual Pass Program, the infamous Magic Key Program, Virtual Queues, Lightning Lane, virtual tickets, and Park reservations, Disney Parks had a completely different ticketing system.

Original Disneyland Ticket
Credit: D23

What was Disney’s original ticketing system?

Admission at Disneyland when the Park first opened consisted of a single admission ticket, with tickets for each individual attraction sold at different ticket booths throughout the Park, some of which can be seen to this day.

Per the official D23 website:

Originally, a single admission ticket was sold at the park’s main entry gate—for a price of $1.00, including tax!—while tickets for each individual attraction could be purchased at nearby ticket booths. This constant exchange paved the way for a Disney park innovation, and on October 11, the first coupon books were introduced. Conceived by Disneyland Public Relations director Ed Ettinger, the books offered admission to the park and coupons to experience eight attractions—for a total price of $2.50 for adults, $2.00 for juniors, and $1.50 for children!

Disneyland attraction ticket book
Credit: D23

Disney ticket books

Disney ticket books consisted of tickets for individual attractions at Disneyland. As stated above, they were introduced on October 11, 1955, and provided access to attractions categorized from A-ticket attractions to E-ticket attractions.

Disneyland tickets A, B, and C
Credit: D23

A-ticket attractions included:

  • Street Car at Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Surrey at Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Fire Wagon at Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Cinema at Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Space Station at Tomorrowland
  • 20,000 Leagues Exhibit at Tomorrowland
  • King Arthur Carousel at Fantasyland

B-ticket attractions included:

  • Conestoga Wagon at Frontierland
  • Freight Train at Frontierland
  • Phantom Boat at Tomorrowland
  • Mad Tea Party at Fantasyland
  • Casey Jr. Train at Fantasyland
  • Dumbo Elephant at Fantasyland
  • Mickey Mouse Theater at Fantasyland
mad tea party disneyland
Credit: Disney

C-ticket attractions included:

  • Mule Pack at Frontierland
  • Stage Coach at Frontierland
  • Mark Twain Riverboat at Frontierland
  • Autopia Car at Tomorrowland
  • T.W.A Moon Rocket at Tomorrowland
  • Passenger Train at Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Jungle River Boat at Adventureland
  • Peter Pan at Fantasyland
  • Mr. Toad at Fantasyland
  • Snow White at Fantasyland

D-ticket attractions included:

  • Storybook Land Canal Boats at Fantasyland
  • Tom Sawyer Island Rafts at Frontierland
  • Indian War Canoes at Frontierland
  • Rainbow Caverns Mine Train at Frontierland
Disneyland E ticket attractions
Credit: D23

E-ticket attractions included:

  • SF & D Railroad Trains throughout the Park
  • T.W.A Rocket to the Moon at Tomorrowland
  • Submarine Voyage
  • Monorail
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds at Fantasyland
  • Jungle Cruise at Adventureland
  • Pirates of the Caribbean at New Orleans Square
  • The Haunted Mansion at New Orleans Square

If we were to categorize Disney Parks’ new attractions under Disney’s original ticketing system, most of them would fall under the category of E-ticket or D-ticket attractions, meaning they would be among the most popular attractions in the whole Park and would, therefore, draw larger crowds, causing longer lines and larger wait times. And while attractions like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Cars Land and Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land could be considered B ticket attractions, they are not enough to diffuse the crowds the other attractions draw to the new expansions.

Do you think Disney Parks are facing a problem while developing new expansions and attractions? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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