Crowds; an unfortunate inescapable aspect of any Disney vacation. While it’s wonderful to visit some of the best theme parks in the world, thousands of strangers are also joining you in the parks. If you’re lucky, your vacation lands during some of the slower parts of the year, or the theme park gods shine down on you with low turn out. For most visitors of Walt Disney World or Disneyland, the crowds simply exist.
These crowds of people are dispersed into the different parks of whatever resort you’re at, and then into lands and attractions. Due to the popularity of some attractions, their wait times can fluctuate throughout the day. I’ve found in my experience inside the parks that there are some rides that will always have a large line, no matter the time of day. These rides I either hit first thing in the morning, or right before park closing. Then, there are some rides with long lines that I simply skip entirely. Every single trip I take.
I’m going to detail 5 attractions with constantly long waits that I generally skip, as opposed to waiting in said lines or nabbing a FastPass. Let’s get to it.
1: Peter Pan’s Flight
Something about the ride vehicle floating in the air makes this ride addictive to guests. The line for this dark ride both in Disneyland and Walt Disney World is always over the 30 minute mark, often being 45 minutes to an hour. This is a long line. I don’t think I’d wait for any dark ride for 45 minutes, and Peter Pan is constantly at that length. To make it worse, FastPasses aren’t even available for this ride at Disneyland (when FastPasses are available). I worked at Disneyland for two months and only went on Peter Pan once my entire trip, and the one time I did I waited 30 minutes and regretted it.
It is a delightful dark ride, no doubt. The scenes are beautiful with bright, animated characters. The problem is the entire thing is over right after you sit down. The entire ride through is just about two minutes, and it feels like large parts of the movie are skipped over. I would much rather wait in a short line for a 3 minute Pinocchio ride through than wait 45 minutes for a shorter attraction.
2: Frozen Ever After
This is another dark ride, housed in the Norway pavilion of EPCOT at Walt Disney World. Themed to Disney’s Frozen, it takes place after the events of the first movie although some of those events are similar. I enjoy Frozen as much as the next guy, but this attraction has too many faults to be worth the hour wait it often has. EPCOT’s sheer lack of rides may partially be to blame for this large wait, but it’s truly an unnecessary line to wait in.
The animatronics have strangely animated faces, and since the ride overlaid Maelstrom, many of the scenes don’t seem to fit well into the show space allotted. There is only one scene that I remember being truly impressed by, when the boat changes directions during Elsa’s Let it Go scene. You’re not missing much if you don’t make it on this attraction, and you’re also gaining an hour of time to spend in the nooks and cranny’s of World Showcase during your EPCOT visit.
3. Kali River Rapids
The only reason this raft ride in Animal Kingdom has the long lines it has is because it’s the only water ride in the park. We recently discussed the cons this ride has in our land exit survey of Asia. There’s a lack of theming in the attraction itself, made even more apparent with the detailing in its queue. The attraction is also lackluster compared to some of the other E-ticket attractions in the park.
Kali River Rapids is generally around a 30 minute wait, but on hot days it can cost you an hour and a half or more of wait time. Guests are generally not waiting for an awe inspiring experience, or generally much thrill when they’re waiting for this attraction. What they’re looking for is to get wet. To get some relief from the hot Florida heat. My advice is to buy a $4.00 bottle of water and dump that on yourself instead. You save a ton of time and get the same payoff!
4. Na’vi River Journey
Animal Kingdom’s next closest water attraction, Na’vi River Journey, is the next to make the list. As one of the newer attractions in the park, it makes sense that the line for this dark ride are on the longer side. Unfortunately what’s inside is not worth the time. The ride is incredibly slow without much plot, save for the incredible animatronic at the end. All of the most intriguing components in the ride, in my eyes the animals native to Pandora, are showcased on screens as opposed to having moving animatronics. With the wait time often reaching an hour or more, this attraction doesn’t seem worth it to me. I certainly prefer animatronics and set pieces to screens, which River Journey relies heavily on.
5. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
This roller coaster dark ride hybrid located in Magic Kingdom often boasts the longest line in the park. It’s the newest attraction in the park, a large reason why guests often have to wait an hour and a half or longer to take a trip to visit Snow White’s seven dwarfs. I saw where Imagineers were going with the attraction, taking two popular types of attractions and putting them together. Unfortunately, I think they missed the mark.
The attraction is technically a roller coaster, with Imagineered swinging ride cars to boot. This is the perfect set up for a new unique thrill ride. The issue is the roller coaster never truly gets up to a speed that can be deemed ‘thrilling’. To keep it friendlier for smaller riders, there are no large drops or curves in the coaster, and the swinging of the cars are generally mild. Then, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there is only one indoor scene, and doesn’t give the ride enough time to tell a conducive story. Trying to put two different types of rides together made for a lackluster thrill ride and a lackluster dark ride. I definitely wouldn’t ride this attraction without a FastPass.
What do you think of our list? Are there other rides whose wait times are just too long? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Interested in a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Planning Guide to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Vacation Tips