DVC Members Have Ridden Ratatouille
Lightning Lane signage has appeared at the parks. Also, an old high touch play area has finally reopened, and Boarding Groups are suddenly attainable.
I’ll explain everything and also discuss the grand opening of EPCOT’s most anticipated new attraction of 2021.
Lightning Lane Is Almost Here
All four Walt Disney World theme parks have started the transition to Lightning Lane in anticipation of Disney’s 50th anniversary.
Yes, the lines that we once knew as FastPass locations are on their way out. Cast members are currently in the process of replacing them with Lightning Lanes.
Guests at The Land pavilion noticed the new Lightning Lane signs at Soarin’ and Living with The Land.
At Magic Kingdom, It’s a Small World and Tomorrowland Speedway have added them as well.
The Toy Story attractions and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror have entirely switched, while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith has removed its old FastPass signs.
Obviously, switching out the signage at dozens of attractions won’t happen overnight. However, the process has proven interesting.
So far, the old FastPass attractions appear likely to remain as digital queuing options, only with the new name of Lightning Lane line queues.
Also, while we’re on the subject of Living with the Land, the underrated attraction just experienced a bit of a mystery.
The boat ride closed for nearly two weeks before reopening for part of Labor Day weekend.
Disney hasn’t commented on the situation, but George Clooney and I suspect a Return of the Killer Tomatoes scenario.
Anyway, Living with the Land is back now if you were like me and missing it. And all Lightning Lanes should be in operation at some point in October to help manage the crowds.
Speaking of the 50th Anniversary
Some other stuff is ready or nearly so for October 1st. The most significant one is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
This ride was nearly ready to open when the pandemic shut down Walt Disney World for several months.
Park officials understandably chose not to open it until the vaccine was readily available. Now, it’ll have its grand opening on October 1st.
However, many people have already ridden it thanks to a D23 event on Labor Day weekend. So, ride videos are readily available. Here’s one if you want to watch it:
Some DVC members also got to ride Ratatouille on September 5th, and Disney will host two more events on September 17th and September 20th.
Speaking of which, Disney also confirmed that Space 220 will hold its grand opening on September 20th.
So, you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting EPCOT on that day.
While we’re on the subject of EPCOT, you’ll notice some socially distant Disney Princess appearances now. Disney dropped the Princess Cavalcade for this.
Also, Disney recently re-themed the park’s play area to have a Princess Tiana theme! That’s not the only high-touch playground that’s open now, either.
The Boneyard at DinoLand U.S.A. has also returned. As a result, parents with small children finally have several interactive distractions available again.
About Disney Crowds
I previously mentioned that crowds had shrunk at various Disney theme parks. That proved especially true at the end of August.
On one day, Avatar Flight of Passage averaged a wait time of less than 15 minutes! Meanwhile, Soarin’ hovered at 10 minutes, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run averaged 21 minutes.
Folks, that’s not even the stunning part. Guests could schedule Boarding Groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for most of the day!
Yes, we’re all used to Boarding Groups selling out by 7:05 a.m., if not 7:01 a.m. But, lately, they’ve lasted MUCH longer.
In fact, for the first time ever, guests could walk into the line queue without a Boarding Group on at least one date in August.
I fully expect this trend to change as October 1st approaches, and it certainly wasn’t true over Labor Day weekend.
However, if you’re visiting Disney over the next two or three weeks, you may be in business! Keep an eye on My Disney Experience to know the crowd situation.