Given the recent health and safety updates, some of the most well-known Walt Disney World planning tips have gone out the window.
For instance, arriving at least 45 minutes prior to park opening was highly recommended if you wanted to enjoy popular attractions without waiting too long. Now, given the shorter lines, we recommend coming in later because you can avoid the morning crowds and still enjoy many of the rides. On our recent trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we noticed another interesting post-reopening phenomenon.
Prior to closing, it was recommended to run to Pandora — World of Avatar and rope drop Flight of Passage. The wait for this ride would quickly climb as the morning wore on. In comparison, the other Pandora ride, Na’vi River Journey, would consistently have lower wait times. Guests usually chose to ride this attraction after Flight of Passage.
Given the recent changes, things have been switched around a bit. The lines for Flight of Passage are often shorter than Na’vi River Journey. Crazy, right? Well, here are some reasons why this might be happening.
This week, we encountered a 35-minute wait for Na’vi River Journey when Flight of Passage was only 10 minutes! This could be due to Na’vi River Journey’s slower loading process and lower ride capacity. Na’vi River Journey currently only takes one party per boat. That means solo riders will get an entire boat to themselves, leaving the rest empty. Loading one group per boat consistently slows down the boarding process.
Contrarily, Flight of Passage will seat more than one group within the ride vehicles. Each chamber fits 16 passengers and groups are separated with one bike in-between them. There are 3 levels of ride vehicles and four sections per level. So, the ride capacity is considerably larger than Na’vi River Journey. This allows for plenty of groups to be boarded at once.
Also, Flight of Passage is currently skipping one of the pre-shows to prevent large groups from congregating in a room for a long period of time. The preshow is now spread out between two rooms instead of one. The time it takes to view both pre-shows consists of loading groups in the rooms, viewing the shows, and ushering guests to the ride once both are complete. Skipping one show allows for the line to move much quicker than before.
We’ve seen these extended wait times pop up in other less popular rides as well. For example, Astro Orbiter in the Magic Kingdom often has a longer wait than it did prior to closing. The reason being, guests must take an elevator to board the attraction and Disney is only allowing one group per elevator ride. Things are a little different now and will continue to adapt as Disney updates its health and safety protocols. We’ll continue to keep a keen eye on any new developments at Disney World!
Are you heading to Disney World any time soon? Let us know in the comments!