UPDATED 22 JULY 2017
If you're like me, you look at the size of the line for an attraction or show before you decide if it's worth waiting for. Posted attraction wait times are, after all, never guaranteed to be right so we want to trust what we see. Sometimes that isn't the best way to go about it, though, since there are many lines that may seem long but are actually short and many the other way around. If you know which lines always move fast or slow, regardless of its length, you can save yourself time and grief wandering around doing nothing.
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN - This is one of the fastest moving lines in any Disney park. In fact, the ride system for Pirates was groundbreaking in its day since it can put thousands through the attraction per hour. The line will often wrap around outside the door and even onto the bridge between New Orleans Square and Adventureland, but even then it may only be around 20-25 minutes at the most.
- "IT'S A SMALL WORLD" - That story about Pirates? Same exact story and ride system here. I've been on "it's a small world" Holiday when the line stretched down towards the Matterhorn and still only waited less than 30 minutes.
- JUNGLE CRUISE - There is almost constantly a boat loading at the dock so the line keeps moving regularly. The longest I've ever had to wait was 25 minutes and that was when the entire queue building was being utilized. Typically they only use one small portion of the building.
- MATTERHORN BOBSLEDS - I almost hesitate adding this to the list, but for how long the lines get it moves people through fairly fast. It helps that there are two tracks and the CMs are constantly looking for small parties to fill vacant spots in the bobsleds. Don't get concerned if it feels it's not moving very quickly at first - things speed up once the line splits and you'll be on in no time.
- THE LITTLE MERMAID - ARIEL'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE - Not only is the line often short anyways, they use an "Omni-mover" system which is in constant motion. As long as nothing goes wrong or people don't require more time to board, the line never really stops moving.
- CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN' - It's very difficult for a line to develop on California Screamin' because they are constantly loading another coaster and each coaster seats a couple dozen people. I think I once waited 15 minutes for a ride. That was a terribly long wait, let me tell you.
- PETER PAN'S FLIGHT - Not only is this one of the most popular attractions in the resort, each ship only carries 2-3 people. Prepare for a minimum wait of 30 minutes.
- MICKEY'S HOUSE - Want to meet the Mouse? He's always at home when Toontown's open! How long of a wait? That's right. This meet-and-greet will take you a minimum of 20 minutes but often more likely 45 minutes.
- TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA - The system works as fast and efficiently as it can, but they are still only able to load 8 people at a time. I've rarely waited less than 20 minutes but often it's been closer to 30 minutes or more. It is worth it, though.
- MICKEY'S FUN WHEEL - In case you didn't already know, ferris wheels take a ridiculously long time to load and unload. That's why you will see a sign that says "30 minute wait" with only a handful of people waiting. It will certainly take that long.
- ANY RIDE WITH A FASTPASS "MERGE POINT" - "Merge points" are the points at which the FastPass Return line and the Stand-by line meet. CMs are instructed to let in a particular ratio from each queue favouring the FastPass Return line which, every time, backs up the Stand-by line. There are several attractions whose lines are actually fast-paced, but the wait is drawn out by the merge point. I've mentioned a few that still have quick lines while still others are not that effected by the FastPass system and they're the exceptions to the rule. Here are the worst offenders:
- Space Mountain
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Soarin' Around the World
- Grizzly River Run
- Radiator Springs Racers
Those attractions I haven't brought up are average and neither move fast nor slow - what you see is what you get with them. Of course you can get around a lot of these long waits (and make short waits even shorter) using FastPasses (learn more about using them here or here). Now don't get caught in slow lines again!