Disney Wins in Court and One Ride Drops Its Virtual Queue
Disney just won in court, changed the rules for a new ride, and brought back some character meetings at the parks.
Here’s what’s going on.
One Less Boarding Group
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure only opened a few months ago.
On June 4th, social media was awash with images of mobs trying to enter Avengers Campus for the first time.
Even the restaurants there required waits of four hours or more. As for WEB SLINGERS, nobody was riding it without a Boarding Group.
Even then, guests waited at least two hours to experience what is basically a modified version of Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.
Almost immediately after the ride opened, guests complained about the interactive merchandise.
Guests who use the Web Power Bands are all but certain to score higher during the ride, which hasn’t sat well with some.
Critics believed that demand for WEB SLINGERS would tail off quickly due to this decision.
Well, they got some validation this past week. WEB SLINGERS just dropped its digital queue process.
As of now, guests enter a standby line queue just as they would for any other ride at Disney California Adventure.
The ride that Thrill-Data suggests averages a 210-minute wait had dropped to 45 minutes by November 4th.
With the standby line queue in operation, waits had returned to 180 minutes on November 8th. Still, the demand for this one seems to have crested.
At this juncture, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance remains the only ride to employ Boarding Groups at Disneyland Resort.
Walt Disney World has switched its Rise of the Resistance attraction to standby lines, leaving Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure as the only ride with digital queuing.
Are we trending away from Boarding Groups at the parks? I’d say yes, but the answer somewhat depends on how quickly Ratatouille changes to a standby line.
Do you want to catch your favorite Disney characters at EPCOT? There’s a new way to do it!
Walt Disney World has returned to the previous practice of set schedules for some character appearances, particularly at EPCOT.
Better yet, you can check them in the My Disney Experience app. The transparency allows you to plan your day around meeting princesses.
By the way, after several days of data, I can tell you that crowds are moving fast at Magic Kingdom’s character greetings.
The Mickey Mouse meeting at Town Square Theater has averaged a sub-15-minute wait since it reopened.
The two (really four) Disney Princess interactions at Princess Fairytale Hall have required slightly longer waits, usually in the range of 20-25 minutes.
Overall, that’s MUCH better than the times before the pandemic. So, if you’re visiting soon, please use this information to your advantage.
Speaking of the holidays, Disney Springs has solved a longstanding issue. Those of you who have waited in line for kids to meet Santa Claus know the deal.
The lines often get crazy as a mob forms. Well, as of tomorrow, November 12th, Disney will introduce a virtual queue for Santa Claus!
At 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., guests will use My Disney Experience to sign up for a character greeting with Kris Kringle at Disney Springs!
By taking this approach, Disney empowers guests to shop as much as they want, knowing the general time when they can enter the short line queue to meet Santa.
This strategy should reduce tension during the holiday season.
Speaking of character meetings, that weird thing stilt thing is back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So, if you like the “Divine Stilt,” that’s good news.
I make the sign of the cross when I see it, but that’s just me.
You may have heard that Disney won a court case in Anaheim, California. That’s technically true, although a bit misleading.
The city had previously ruled Disney exempt from something known as the Anaheim living-wage law.
This legislation only applies to a small fraction of the tourism industry, specifically hospitality businesses with tax rebate subsidy agreements.
Disney doesn’t qualify under these terms. However, the company entered into an agreement with the city for $510 million worth of bonds.
Some cast members believed this agreement tantamount to qualifying for the living-wage law, which would require Disney to pay $18 an hour.
So, they sued in court. This lawsuit was neither frivolous nor likely to win. It fell somewhere in that gray area of a fair interpretation but not a legally binding one.
As expected, a Superior Court judge ruled in Disney’s favor. That means the status quo remains.
Many cast members believe that the previous negotiations with Disney that led to pay raises aren’t enough in the wake of The Great Resignation.
For this reason, more conflicts over Disney pay appear inevitable.
For One Day Only…
Finally, there’s one final update for tomorrow only. To celebrate Disney+ Day, all Disney+ subscribers may enter Walt Disney World theme parks 30 minutes early.
To account for that, guests staying at official Disney resorts may enter 60 minutes early. So, it’s like double the Early Theme Park Entry hours!
I honestly have no idea how Disney will verify the Disney+ Day subscribers at the gates, though. Maybe you show them the app on your phone?
Anyway, if you plan as a DVC guest plan this right, you could have an incredible park day tomorrow.
Or, you could stay home and watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in IMAX Enhanced on Disney+. It’s your call!