What to Do When Your Favorite Ride Goes DOWN

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway with a "Closed" sign superimposed over it

Credit: Disney

It’s happened to all of us. You’ve been waiting all day for your Lightning Lane for your favorite ride, or your boarding group was finally called. You drop whatever you’re doing and rush to your favorite attraction with excitement and anticipation, and you just can’t wait to do your favorite experience or that brand new ride everyone is raving over.

rise standby queue sign
Credit: Inside the Magic, Rebekah B.

You approach the ride and see… a line of Cast Members standing outside. The “Standby” sign displays no wait time. You check the My Disney Experience app and see a little star next to the attration.

Oh, no. The ride is down. What are you going to do?

Don’t panic! Chances are, at some point during your Walt Disney World vacation, maybe even more than once, a ride is going to go down or break. It may happen before you make it to the attraction, while you’re waiting on line, or even while you’re on it. While it can be very disappointing, there are some steps you can take to ensure you can either return to the attraction later or make the most out of the experience.

Credit Disney

If you’re on line, stick it out for a little bit.

If an attraction goes down while you’re on line, or if the line stops moving for a while, try to stick it out for a little bit if you have the time. While Cast Members will generally announce when the attraction is experiencing a technical delay, they will only “dump the queue” (ask Guests to leave) if the delay is expected to be significant. Delays could be as brief as just a few minutes, so if you’re not rushing to a dining reservation or something similar, stick it out for a little bit! (Pro tip: If you’re ever late for a dining reservation because a ride went down while you are on it, let the host know and they will happily accommodate you.)

If they dump the queue, talk to a Cast Member on the way out.

Sometimes, Cast Members will have an idea of when the attraction could go back up and can recommend a time for you to check out. For some ride breakdowns, Disney will even provide a Multiple Experience Pass, which is a pass for the Lightning Lane of any attraction that takes Genie+ (except the Individual Lightning Lane attractions). Just remember, Cast Members will not always have that answer and not every ride breakdown will result in a Multiple Experience Pass! Remember that it’s out of Cast Members’ control and to be kind.

Guests riding on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

If you have time, hang around the area.

If you’re desperate to get on an attraction that has gone down, and you’re not on a time crunch, hang around in the attraction’s area. You don’t have to wait right outside the gates, but stay in the land so you can keep an eye on the ride and be one of the first ones on line when it does reopen.

Keep checking the My Disney Experience app and social media.

Attractions that are down will have a star displayed on the mobile app instead of a wait time. Keep periodically checking the app so you don’t miss when the ride goes back up. Social media is also a helpful tool – the Twitter account @WDWStats tweets when rides go down alongside the average downtime for those attractions, so you can know if you should hang around the area or if you likely have some time.

But I had a Lightning Lane!

If you have a Lightning Lane reservation for an attraction and it goes down, you will receive a Multiple Experience Pass on your My Disney Experience app. You’ll have the option of redeeming it on another attraction or using it on the ride if and when it goes back up. This writer’s tip is to wait for the original attraction to go back up; if the Park closes in fifteen minutes and it still hasn’t gone back up, sure, use it on something else, but you never want to use the pass on something else only to have your original pick go back up and you miss it. Those Multiple Experience passes will not rollover into the next day.

Disney World Cast Member talking to children
Credit: Disney

What if it doesn’t go back up all day? This ruined my vacation!

This could happen! It’s rare, but a ride could remain close for the rest of the day, or go down right before Park closing. Remember to be kind to Cast Members. Ride outages are out of their control and they’re trying to make your experience as good as possible, even if the situation may be stressful. Your safety is their top priority.

If you really have an issue with a ride going down, speak to Guest Services about it, but remember that it’s a very common occurrence that’s out of their control. Thankfully, most ride outages are solved within a few hours.

What’s your experience with ride breakdowns? Let us know!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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