By Sep 30, 2022

The Top 10 Worth the Wait Rides in Disney Parks

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After all of the planning, packing and travel you’ve arrived at the most magical place on Earth, finally ready to step over the threshold into another world and begin your adventure by…waiting in line? Most visitors at Disney parks can plan to spend more time waiting in line than on the rides themselves. 

How much more time, exactly? Well, that depends on when you go and which attractions you ride. For those who want to make the most out of their time at Disney, we’ve compiled data about average wait times and attraction ratings to determine which rides at each park are most Worth the Wait.

How Long Is The Average Wait For Disney Rides Overall?

Whether you’re looking to make a splash or get a little space, the wait for some rides can feel like climbing a mountain. You may want to fortify yourself with a churro and a Dole whip to get you through the time in line, because the average wait at a Disney park in the United States is 32 minutes. 

How Long Is The Average Wait For Rides At Different Disney Parks?

The average wait is a little bit shorter over on the west coast. Lines for attractions at Disneyland clock in at 26 minutes, while across the plaza at California Adventure the average time in line is 28 minutes. 

The waits tend to escalate over at Disney World parks. Magic Kingdom is the shortest of the bunch at 30 minutes, while EPCOT ups the ante to 38 minutes in line per ride on average. Animal Kingdom adds an extra three minutes for a total of 41.

And with a 56-minute average wait, Hollywood Studios has the longest lines of any Disney park in the United States.

When Is The Best Time To Go To Disney?

There are many factors that go into picking the best time for your Disney vacation. If crowds and long lines are your biggest concern, some months may be a better fit for your adventure. 

It may be no surprise, but the month after many US students return to school has the shortest wait times of the year. You can expect to wait an average of 23.5 minutes in line at Disney parks in the US during September. August is the next best month, with an average wait of 28.5 minutes. 

But what about the day of the week? Average wait times can vary quite a bit depending on the day. Thursdays average the shortest wait times at Disney parks in the US, clocking in at 34.2 minutes. Sunday is the second best day for shorter waits at 32.7 minutes.

 Average Disney Wait Times By Month

The longest waits of the year tend to land near major US holidays or in the spring. March has the longest average wait at 38.5 minutes. And as the song goes, you may want to be home for Christmas: December is the second worst time to go at 36.8 minutes. February and April are close behind at about 35.5 minutes each, and November rounds out the bottom 5. 

Chart Showing Average Wait Time at Disney Parks by Month - KURU Footwear
Check out the table below for the complete breakdown of average wait times by month. 

Average Disney Wait Times By Weekday

If you guessed that weekends have the longest lines at Disney parks, you’re in for a surprise. The data indicates Tuesdays have the longest average wait times at 38.5 minutes. Monday and Wednesday are close behind with 35.6 and 35.5 minutes. See the table below for the full breakdown of average wait times by day. 

What Day Of The Week Is Best To Visit Each Of The Disney Parks?

If you have your eyes on a particular park for your next vacation, you’ll want to take a look at the days with the shortest wait times for each park. Wednesdays are good if you like Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, for example, while Fridays are ideal for California Adventure and Epcot. Check out the data for more details. 


Which Disney Rides Are Worth The Wait?

Maybe the memories last a lifetime, but the average attraction at Disney parks only lasts for six minutes! With an average wait time in Disney parks of 32 minutes, that means you can expect to spend five times as much time in line as on the rides. 

You may not have time to ride every single ride during your visit, so which rides are Worth the Wait?

KURU Footwear collected the average ride time and compared it with the average wait time. We’ve also taken the average satisfaction rating of each ride from users and factored that in. In other words, we’re trying to measure how much people like each ride vs how much longer the line takes than the ride itself to create our Worth The Wait score.  

Top 10 Worth The Wait Rides At Disneyland

Disneyland Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Yo ho ho and a pile of fun. If you like pirates, you may find yourself in the same boat with a lot of Disney fans. With a wait time of 20 minutes and a ride time of 15, the line for Pirates of the Caribbean is just 33% longer than the ride. Park-goers also give Pirates a 97% satisfaction rating, so it’s smooth sailing for this ride to raise the skull and crossbones all the way to the top spot.  

Wait times can really blast off when a ride is popular, which these two space rides demonstrate. The line for Space Mountain is 880% longer than the 5-minute ride, and it still peaks at No. 8. And she may be the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, but you’ll have to navigate a line 700% longer than the attraction itself to ride Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run. See the chart for the other Top 10 Worth the Wait rides at Disneyland. 

Top 10 Worth The Wait Rides At California Adventure

California Adventure Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Break out the big band and clap your hands because the No. 1 Worth the Wait ride at California Adventure is Silly Symphony Swings. The ride swings by quickly at just 2 minutes, but the line is also a breezy 11-minute wait with a 90% rider satisfaction score. 

The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake, which is probably why The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ends up in second place. You can expect to wait just 10 minutes for this 7-minute ride.

Radiator Springs Racers is the longest line in the California Adventure Top 10. The 71-minute average wait time is almost 12 times the length of the 6-minute ride. Check out the table for the rest of our Worth the Wait picks! 


Top 7 Worth The Wait Rides At Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Waiting in line can feel like a zoo sometimes, but it’s a zoo for real when you visit Animal Kingdom. With fewer rides and more animal encounters, we have a smaller list, and we want to remind you this list only considers rides: not experiences like the popular It’s Tough To Be a Bug show.  

The top spot goes to a drive through a park within the park. Kilimanjaro Safaris is a 43-minute wait for a 20 minute trip through a wildlife park that earns a 98% satisfaction rating from riders. 

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain has an appropriately vast climb of time between the line and the ride itself. The No. 2 Worth the Wait ride is just 4 minutes long, with an average wait of 31 minutes. See the list below for the complete breakdown of Worth the Wait rides at Animal Kingdom.

  

Top 10 Worth The Wait Rides At Epcot

EPCOT Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Very few folks cry fowl after the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Riders score the music of these feathered friends a 95% after waiting an average of 11 minutes for the 7-minute adventure through an homage to Mexico. 

Spaceship Earth has one of the shortest lines compared to the ride time in all of the Disney parks—with just one minute in difference. But that’s nothing on Living with the Land, which has an average wait that’s actually shorter than the ride itself! Check out the chart for those numbers and the rest of the Top 10 Worth the Wait rides at Epcot! 

Top 9 Worth The Wait Rides At Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Hollywood Studios has the longest average wait times in all US Disney parks, so you may need to be even choosier with your time in the face of these lines. 

The No. 1 Worth the Wait ride is Star Tours, The Adventures Continue. And that’s great because we love an opportunity to force a Star Wars joke into any space we can. The 7 minutes of simulated spaceflight gone wrong has an average wait of 21 minutes and a user satisfaction score of 92%.

If you like to feel a sense of suspension as you enter another dimension, you should make The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror a priority. This ride never fails to floor all comers, earning a 92% satisfaction ranking even after they wait an hour on average for the 15 minute trip. Check out the chart below to see how all nine rides rank.


Top 10 Worth The Wait Rides At Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Wait Time vs. Ride Time - KURU Footwear

Sometimes these ratings shock even us! The No. 1 Worth the Wait ride at Magic Kingdom is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Despite the humble name, this 10 minute ride delivers a 100% rating from riders after a 15-minute wait. 

The No. 2 spot involves a wait that might start to feel like infinity…and beyond! Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a 31-minute wait for a 4.5-minute ride that earns a strong 98% satisfaction rating from aspiring astronauts.

And while Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the shorter waits at Disneyland, here in the Magic Kingdom the wait goes from 33% longer than the ride to 327% longer. This is mostly because the Disneyland version of the ride is nearly twice as long as the voyage at Magic Kingdom!

Reaching The End Of The Line

With an average wait of 32 minutes and some lines stretching beyond an hour or more, you can expect to do a lot of standing when you visit a Disney park! Standing can be even harder on your body and feet than walking, and you’re also likely to do plenty of walking at Disney. One estimate suggests the average Disney guest walks between 7 and 10 miles per day during their vacation! 

Even with the best preparations, you’re probably going to spend hours walking and standing. Fortify yourself for the time in line with comfortable, supportive shoes. Every pair of KURU shoes is designed with our patented technology and engineered to deliver Pain Relief Beyond Belief, so you can keep doing what you love without worrying about foot pain.  


 


Methodology and Sources

We analyzed average historical wait times from Thrill-Data for each of the Disney Parks in the U.S. including 

  • California Adventure
  • Disneyland
  • Animal Kingdom
  • EPCOT
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Magic Kingdom

We analyzed the all-time average wait time for each attraction, in addition to the average wait time for all attractions in each park and average attraction rating.

The average wait time for each attraction was compared against ride duration data from touringplans.com to determine how much longer, on average, a person will wait in line versus riding the attraction and how many minutes a Disney-goer can expect to spend in line for every minute the attraction lasts. 

These variables were weighted as follows to achieve our “Worth the Wait” scores and subsequent rankings: 

  • Average Attraction Rating (60%) 
  • Wait Time vs. Ride Time (40%) 

We then ranked the attractions in each park based on the highest to lowest “Worth the Wait” score. Shows, parades, and transportation such as the monorail were excluded from our analysis. 

Sources

  1. Thrill Data - Wait Times, Average Attraction Rating
  2. Touring Plans - Attraction Durations
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