The waiting is the hardest part, sang Tom Petty. Visitors to the Walt Disney Co.’s theme parks would likely agree, as unplanned ride stoppages and wait times are increasing, even as ticket prices rise.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of statistics from three amusement park data providers claims problems are worsening at the parks.
Citing WDW stats, a website that tracks ride status at Disney parks, the average monthly ride stoppages rose 58% at Disneyland from 2018 to 2022 as of late September, and rose 42% at Walt Disney World over the same period. Total ride stoppages fell at the parks in 2020 largely because of the pandemic.
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Disruptions are more common on some popular and technology-laden attractions, including” Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure” and the “Indiana Jones” ride. “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” at Disneyland has had 540 unplanned stoppages this year through mid-September, up from 490 for the whole of 2021, according to WDW Stats.
The popular “Rise of the Resistance” ride was down 118 minutes per day here at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., the WSJ reported, citing data compiled by Thrill Data and Touring Plans, two services that help visitors plan trips to theme parks. That is up from 104 minutes a day on average from 2020, the year the ride opened.
The average wait time across all rides at Hollywood Studio at Walt Disney World, home to some of the resort’s most popular rides, rose from 39 minutes in 2019 to 49 minutes in 2022. The average wait time for the park’s eight most popular attractions, including “Rise of the Resistance” and “Tower of Terror,” rose from 61 minutes to 71 minutes over the same period, according to statistics compiled by Thrill Data and reported by the WSJ.
Disney, responding to the WSJ, said the data used is incomplete and doesn’t match Disney’s internal metrics. “Our source data shows that Disney’s ride reliability remains strong and is consistent with prior years,” said a spokeswoman, who declined to share internal data.
Disney’s theme parks have raised prices over the past year. The strategy is paying off, with the price increases helping the company boost its financial results, resulting in record revenue and profits, balancing the money sunk into streaming.
Earlier this week, Disney said it would raise the minimum price for one-day, single park admission tickets at three of its four theme parks within Walt Disney World.
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