FEA down time - lots of it

New attractions don’t open all that often, so I don’t really have any history of following the opening of any of them. But I’ve been keeping an eye on FEA since it opened on Tuesday and it seems to have LOTS of down time! Is this normal for a new attraction? My understanding is that they did NOT have a soft-open at all. Shouldn’t they have? Why didn’t they? Could all this down time have been avoided if the DID do a soft-open?

I worked at an amusement park for 5 years, and if there is anything that characterizes a new ride, it’s downtime. The more new tech or innovation there is, the more bugs there are to work out. Unfortunately not all of them can be predicted, because they can’t possibly test the system under every imaginable circumstance.

It was the same with 7DMT. Lots of hiccups.

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Usually there will be a “soft opening” to work out these issues. I cannot remember what podcast I was listening to (maybe the E Ticket Report) but they were saying that after RoL, Disney had to open on time- even if they were not ready.

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Exactly. For 7DMT there was a week or so of “sporadic” soft openings (a couple of hours at a time at random times and days), followed by a couple of weeks of “full time” soft openings before the “Official Grand Opening”. And even after the grand opening, the ride had a lot of downtime for the first month or so. FEA has a lot more that could go wrong on it than 7DMT, so I would expect frequent closures for a number of weeks.

The week of the 14th had originally been built into the schedule for FEA soft openings to work out some of these bugs before the official grand opening, but there were still so many technical issues, they were barely able to get it ready for the public by the 21st.