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Longest and Shortest Waits at Disneyland

When you’re at the Happiest Place on Earth, you want to feel, you know, happy. Waiting too long in line is the ideal way to feel decidedly displeased. My goal here is to arm you with the best information so that you’ll know which FastPasses to target and which lines aren’t that long. Here are the longest and shortest Disneyland wait-times.

6. Haunted Mansion

Image: DisneyWhen Disneyland introduced the MaxPass, locals questioned the need to pay for a FastPass. The data supports this notion. Sure, MaxPass is phenomenal, but the wait-times at the park are generally reasonable. Plus, many of the frequent visitors are Anaheim locals who understand the daily, weekly, and monthly traffic patterns almost as well as Disney does.

I would describe the reasonable wait-times at Disneyland as a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. When the perception is that the park will have large crowds, people stay away. For this reason, wait-times can vary a great deal depending on the season. Whether this proves that surge pricing is a great or moronic idea is up for debate.

What the data shows is that Disneyland’s longest waits are nowhere near those at Magic Kingdom. Only two attractions at Disneyland surpass a 50-minute wait on average; Magic Kingdom has five.

Similarly, Haunted Mansion at Disneyland’s 38-minute average wait wouldn’t hold a spot in the top eight at Magic Kingdom. So, wait-time is one way that Disneyland is clearly superior to Walt Disney World.

5. Indiana Jones Adventure

Image: DisneyThe first four entries on this list all claim what I would consider reasonable average wait-times. That’s especially true for truly iconic/E-ticket attractions. Indiana Jones Adventure is a favorite of the Theme Park Tourist staff, and I cannot believe that something this good averages a 40-minute wait.

4. Splash Mountain

Image: DisneyWe can make direct comparisons for some of the attractions listed here. For example, Splash Mountain at Disneyland's average wait-time of 45 minutes is 15 minutes less than the one at Magic Kingdom. Now, I will add that the Florida park’s ride is longer and thereby better, in my opinion. I wouldn’t describe it as an extra 15-minute wait better, though.

3. Space Mountain

Image: DisneyThis ride has another direct comparison at Magic Kingdom. While Disneyland’s Tomorrowland ride comes with an average wait of 49 minutes, the one in Florida is again roughly 15 minutes longer. The recurring theme here is that Disneyland’s lines are shorter. In the case of Space/Hyperspace Mountain, the ride is arguably better, too.

2. Matterhorn Bobsleds

Image: DisneyDid this one surprise you? I know that I checked the data multiple times since I didn’t expect it. However, upon reflection, it does make a lot of sense. As the first true steel roller coaster on the planet, Matterhorn Bobsleds dates back to the late-1950s.

Attraction loading and unloading areas were much less sophisticated back then. Frustratingly, Disney has never managed to cut down on the problems caused by the age of the coaster. When you want to slide down the Matterhorn, you must wait 52 minutes on average. It’s undeniably a classic attraction, but I question the bang for the buck here. Matterhorn Bobsleds is definitely a ride you should try to FastPass/MaxPass.

1. Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

Image: DisneyThe other rides on this list have extensive data and traffic behavior available. With Smugglers Run, we’re still guessing to an extent. While the lack of crowds at Disneyland’s version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge draws headlines, the crowds remain extensive for the themed land’s first ride.

At the time of publication, you’ll wait an average of 55 minutes to pilot the Millennium Falcon. Contrast that to Magic Kingdom, where several attractions require a wait of an hour or more. Clearly, when you want to avoid the longest lines, you should head to the Happiest Place on Earth.

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