Expected wait time vs. posted wait time

We were there the week after Thanksgiving this year. We were using the Lines app to decide which attractions to visit next. We felt like the posted wait times were actually closer to reality than the expected wait times listed by Lines. I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced this too.

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We were there the same week. I found that sometimes TP expected wait times were correct and sometimes they weren’t. I also thought Disney’s wait times were off as well. We rode 7dmt in 5-10 minutes when the wait time on Disney was listed at 60. I thought that was shady when thinking about ILL purchases.

I think things are a bit of a mess across the board because of G+ and higher than expected crowds.


I assume this was right after rope drop?

They take “headstarts” with the posted times for the most popular rides, I assume to disperse people to other rides

By definition, Touring Plans will be closer to the actual wait on average because it is based on average submitted / posted wait times. But it can be off for individual instances.

An individual guest’s observations are “anecdotes” which can be off for various reasons; plus, you’re more likely to remember the times TP was off than the times they were spot on. Wait times across all users over a long period of time will be right on average. That’s the “data” TP bases their forecast on.

We were there at the beginning of November and I agree that often the TP wait times were optimistic. I found in general as I was timing things that my actual wait time fell pretty much in the middle of the TP and posted wait times.

Nope. It was during the fireworks, at around 8:10/15pm, with the park closing at 9pm. I don’t rope drop 7dmt, as it’s a madhouse. After the fireworks were over, you could see people streaming to 7dmt.

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I’ve been comparing charts from the summer and late fall and have a theory. Pre-Genie, WDW was inflating wait times to a higher degree than ever before. They were doing this for many many months, so TP had all this new data after re-opening to predict more accurate waits.

I believe after Genie was announced that WDW was not inflating posted waits as much. We all know that TP wants to see many weeks of confirmed data before adjusting their default baseline. I know Lines makes intra-day adjustments, but maybe not enough to cover a change by WDW if indeed they are posting more accurate wait times. I’m curious to know what @rgandillon has to say since she had previously did a blog on posted vs. actuals


Thanks for the tag :slight_smile:
There were several things going on, especially if we were talking about the late November/early December timeframe.
This fall brought us two new offerings from Disney that hadn’t been seen before, and were therefore hard to predict. The first was Genie, like you mentioned. We initially didn’t know what capacity was being dedicated to Genie+ vs standby and had to make some guesses, etc. The second, which was actually much more impactful (at least in the mornings) was Early Theme Park Entry.
A lot of our “old” models for attractions looked totally wonky in the mornings because ETPE has radically changed what those first-hour crowds look like. In the days of the magic morning (or whatever it was called), at the park that opened early there was an initial crush of people at the big headliners, and then waits actually died down again before the park opened to “regular” guests. With ETPE, there is no “die down”. Instead, since it’s just half an hour, and since the group that can take advantage of it is spread through all 4 parks, the beginning of ETPE on most days looks like a regular rope drop, with crowds steadily increasing all of the way through ETPE and then through the first hour of operations (generally speaking). So the “shape” of our predictions was off at a lot of attractions in the mornings, and then that screwed things up later in the day.
So that’s a lot of honest transparency. But we’ve got new models in place now that are hopefully addressing these issues. I’m not the one generating or implementing those models, but I am looking at the accuracy after-the-fact, and the second half of December has been much better than the fall.


Huge lightbulb moment for me right here!!


Great info, thanks for the comparison of EMH vs. ETPE.

Having experienced the extra half hour, I can see this happening. If I were off site and going to MK, I would head to Adventureland, Frontierland, or Liberty Square, as they don’t have the half hour head start. In HS, I would go to MFSR, as that opens early, right after ROTR, and the wait time didn’t increase as badly until after regular park opening.

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