Query of the Query Time of Disney Attractions

I am curious as to how often the server-side portion of the Lines App (I realize it’s probably separate software) queries Disney’s posted wait times? Obviously, when I refresh, I’m pulling values out of the database Lines is maintaining on its server(s). But how often are those database values updated by querying Disney’s posted wait times? In other words what’s the stalest my data can get? 60 seconds, 300 seconds, …?

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This sounds like another question for @Len.

Around 7 minutes, assuming no users update it in the meantime.

I’m not sure ‘refresh time’ is the biggest concern we have there. I’m more concerned that the posted waits aren’t consistent in their representation of actual waits.


Thanks Len. I agree, the bigger concern is the posted waits aren’t consistent.

However, (and I think this is especially true in the early morning right around park opening/pre-park opening), I’d love values that were refreshed a lot faster than 7 minutes. If I’m off Slinky Dog at 0830 when HS opens at 0900, I want to know whether I should go to ToT before another attraction. It’s an 8 minute walk down to ToT from SD. Then it’s 10 minutes back to MFSR should I get to ToT and see an exorbitant wait time. That’s 18 minutes I allowed MFSR to build a queue. If I knew Disney was already claiming ToT was at 60 minutes, I would just go directly to MFSR saving myself a considerable amount of time in line by waiting in a shorter queue at 0834 as opposed to 0850.

I’m curious (just because it’s interesting to me) - are you running a cron job that queries Disney posted times with the hour column divided by 7?

I don’t think Disney’s posted wait times reflect reality enough that us going from every 7 minutes to, say, every 2 minutes, would much in regards to our recommendations.

For example, Space Mountain opened today with a posted wait of 25 minutes at 8:42 AM. The actual wait if you got in line then was 5 minutes.

Space Mountain’s posted waits didn’t change for almost 40 minutes - it showed 25 minutes until 9:20 AM, when it switched to 35 minutes. We know the actuals went to 6 minutes 8:48 AM, to 19 minutes at 9:15 AM. Even at 9:52 AM, when the posted wait was 45, we knew the actual wait was 24.

We don’t query Disney’s wait times ourselves, but yeah it’s something like a cron that does the loading.

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Gotcha. So the takeaway is to trust the TP. That’s pretty frustrating that Disney is so far off. Thanks @len.

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I’m not sure it’s relevant here, but I can contribute something as to the other end of it.

Given, I was a CM back when DCA at DLR opened. 20 Years ago. But from what I’ve seen, the data gathering of wait times hasn’t changed much.

I would take the red marker, whenever my Lead asked me to, and give it to a guest entering the queue. They would hold/slober/play/swing on this marker until the front of the queue, when they would hand it over to whoever was dividing groups/loading.

We would take that data and mark it down on a piece of paper, that would sit until the Lead would come and collect them, put them on a master sheet and either call them in to Guest Services who then called the wait time guides in the park to update their boards, or the Leads would walk the Master sheet over to the in park guides themselves. Back then, it was sometimes once an hour or longer. At the start it was mostly only when guests filled the queue almost to spillage into the park.

Now, though the world has raced head first into the data collection age (It’s how I now afford my Disney trips), Disney seems stuck back in 2001, data collection wise. Though I see wait times being checked more consistently, I have looked for some sort of digital data entry ipad or such and haven’t noticed any. And as of my last visit, it seemed collection was pretty much every hour. And what I’m hearing is reduced staffing reprioritizes from accurate wait times to cleanliness and mask checking. (Not saying replacing outright, just shifting priorities)

That doesn’t allow for up to the minute data collection that wonderful programs like Lines needs. I would also think that, with the 50th coming up and this clean slate Covid presented for sunsetting outdated programs like AP and EMH, hopefully they are working on updating their data collection software.

I’m not saying they haven’t updated their collection policies in 20 years, I can just tell you how I used to do it and that I haven’t seen a significant change in policy. Turing a ship like Disney on a dime for policy changes is incredibly difficult. I think that’s why we’re seeing a lot of the changes we are, and hopefully data collection is part of that. But you still can’t get away from the red card either way.

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I mean, as an extreme example, if I told you the actual number of people in line right now at Buzz Lightyear, and I told you what Buzz Lightyear’s hourly capacity was right now, you couldn’t predict the posted wait time to closer than +/- 40% on average.


Exactly: I don’t think it’s a priority. And they have incentives not to be accurate, like every theme park.