Comparing Posted Times To Your Actual Wait In Line - Disneyland Editionby Fred Hazelton, contributing writer
Last time, we looked at how posted wait times compare to your actual wait in line at Walt Disney World attractions. Today, let's look at Disneyland Resort.
Many of the comments in the previous article mentioned that Disneyland's comparison may prove to be different, that your actual wait in line at the Disneyland Resort parks (both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure) is more likely to be close to what is posted. This, it turns out, is true.
Granted, the sample size we have to make the comparison at Disneyland is smaller (we have 14,000 pairs of posted times and actual waits, whereas for Walt Disney World we had more than 2 million) but we still have enough to make a reasonable comparison.
At the Disneyland parks, the actual time you will wait in line is about 80 percent of the wait time posted outside of the attraction; 15 percentage points higher than the ratio at Walt Disney World. Plus, at Disneyland, your wait times are much more likely to be greater than the posted time. At Walt Disney World, we almost never see a wait time exceed the posted time by more than 10 minutes, whereas at Disneyland, we have hundreds of examples of actual wait times that far exceed the posted time—sometimes even double!
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have more attractions than their counterparts in Orlando. This spreads guests out a little thinner at each attraction. Also, Disneyland in particular has many more minor attractions that attract guests and keep wait times lower. It is also worth noting that posted signs are a little different at Disneyland. Many attractions have markers along the queue that indicate the estimated wait "from this point." These types of markers are more accurate because they represent the real average wait time according to the processing speed and capacity of the attraction. They do not, however, account for any delays that the attraction may experince while you are in line, in which case you are at a higher risk to wait longer than the sign suggests.
Attractions with high average wait times like Radiator Springs Racers, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Tower of Terror, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad tend to have wait times that are lower than what the posted time reads. Cycle rides and attractions that appeal to younger guests, like Gadget's Go Coaster, Astro Orbitor, Autopia, and Flik's Flyers seem to have wait times that can be much longer—even as much as double the posted time. This is an important fact to know for parents of little impatient ones; prepare them and yourself to wait a little longer than what the sign says.