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The Haunted Mansion

Attraction downtimes are more common than you might think, but this setback doesn't have to ruin your day. As a former Cast Member, I have a few tips to share on how to deal with the situation.

When a ride is non-operational, it’s referred to as 101 (pronounced “one-oh-one” like the numbers, not “one hundred and one” like the Dalmatians). If you haven’t spent much time in theme parks, or if you’ve simply received an extra dose of super lucky pixie dust on your visits, you might believe that this kind of thing is a rare occurrence. It’s not. Theme park attractions are incredibly large and exceedingly complex pieces of machinery. They run all day, every day 365 days a year. Walt Disney World isn’t like a Six Flags or Kings Island. This isn’t a seasonal theme park that’s closed half the year for rehab. With so much on-time, it’s simply a statistical certainty that the attractions will go down with regularity.

So when you reach the part of your day where your agenda reads “Splash Mountain” and you find a cluster of Cast Members out front telling you the attraction is experiencing technical difficulties, don’t let it ruin your day. Here are a few suggestions thay may help alleviate the frustration.

1. Keep your cool

Here are a few other things you don’t want to do:

  • Insist on getting an estimated time for when the ride will be working again. They really don’t know. Truly. Stop asking.
  • Pout and park yourself out front waiting for the attraction to reopen.
  • Attempt to use the empty queue as a shaded area to hang out and lounge on the dirty, dirty ground in the shade with your tired kids.

2. Understand the potential causes
Star Tours exterior

If you’re still feeling a little irked that Disney’s worldfamous attractions go down so often, stop and take a moment to be thankful for the vigilance that keeps these rides so safe. Most of the problems that cause a ride to go 101 are minute. It may simply be that one feature of the ride isn’t working properly and the show quality is too compromised.

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue almost never goes 101 because the ride system is composed of six identical simulators that operate independent of one another. If one simulator goes down, guests are simply ushered over to the next one with profuse apologies and given the exact same experience they would have had next door. However, Star Tours can go 101 if one of the characters in the queue experiences a problem. C3PO has always been something of a worrier and has been known to go to pieces unexpectedly, shutting the ride down.

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Comments

As a former CM, I can tell you that even if the CM knows the approximate downtime they will not divulge the information. They stay silent for two reasons.It creates an expectation that could fail, so saying come back in twenty and the ride isn't up yet, you have a failed experience for a guest.It would spark a queue to queue, again if you say it'll be up in twenty, they'll immediately queue outside the queue until you reach the point where the end of the queue's queue thinks they are waiting in line for a ride that is up.
The upside to this though is it's an equal opportunity to walk onto the ride when it comes back up.

We were on the Mt. Everest in Animal Kingdom when it unexpectedly stopped. We were lucky enough that we were at the top of the ride and it had A/C as we were to be the last group to evacuate the ride. The CM were amazing. They were engaging and making jokes with all the passengers as we waited for the ok to leave the ride and head down some numerous flights of stairs. It was a amazing experience to see the ride inside and they even explained how some areas worked.

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