Monday, May 30, 2011


I hate lines. Who doesn't? But if you're a frequent traveler to Disneyland Resort, you know all about lines. They're everywhere especially certain times of the year. With the new Star Tours scheduled to officially open this Friday (6/3), the prediction is the wait times can run as high as 2 or 3 hours and if you want a fastpass, plan on getting one early before they run out.  I try not to play the "waiting in line" game for a ride or attraction as much as possible. Not as young as I used to be. My general rule of thumb is that if the wait in the stand-by line is over 30 minutes or so to get on, I'll do the fastpass option if that option is available. Now fastpasses are not available for all attractions so sometimes you just have to wait it out or try back again at a later time and hope for the best. Here are some rides that do not have fastpass options but often attract long lines.

  • Toy Story Mania:  I have waited as long as an hour to get on this one. It's the one ride without a fastpass that's worth the wait but not more than an hour.
  • Peter Pan's Flight: Unless you get there when the park first opens, the wait is always over 30 minutes. And it loads incredibly slow (about 600 guests an hour).  It's probably the quintessential Disney dark ride with the charm of being suspended in the air in the ride vehicle as opposed to scooting along the ground on a track but with an actual running time of about two and a half minutes, I'll pass on the wait. Do what my wife and I did - wait for a driving rain storm to drive all the people away then walk right on (of course the wind blew an emergency door open which immediately shut down the ride, turned on the lights, and left us literally hanging in the air for about 20 minutes while everything was checked out and reset).
  • Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage: Maybe the most photogenic ride in the park. The subs are cool looking especially passing through the waterfall. The ride? Not so much. Sitting in that cramped submarine bent over with your head press against the glass is not my idea of a good time. If the wait is less than 30 minutes, maybe, just maybe I'll want to get on. Better yet, wait for the driving rain storm that drives all the people away and wait time drops to about 7 minutes and the 40 person sub is only about three quarters full.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Because the ride can load an incredible 3300 guests per hour, the wait is seldom over 30 minutes but it certainly can be during certain times of the year. I think my longest wait was about 50 minutes in mid June. It's worth the wait. It's the best ride in the park. 
  • Haunted Mansion: While POTC is worth a wait of over 30 minutes, the Haunted Mansion just isn't. Fortunately, it rarely gets above the 30 minute mark and that's usually when the Holiday overlay is installed (mid September through early January). Again, the omni-loading ride system can push through almost 3000guests  per hour.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: 30 minutes is about right for the bobsleds - the first steel tubed coaster ever built. It's a nostalgic ride down the mountain but not much of a memorable one anymore. A long wait just isn't worth it especially if its hot.
  • Gadget Go-Coaster: It's a kids ride. I've never been on it but for the life of me, I can't see why people wait 30 minutes or sometimes more for what essentially is a 30 second ride

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