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Why this is the best time to visit Disneyland

Hugo Martin and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Travel News

LOS ANGELES -- Now may be the perfect time to visit Disneyland -- as long as you have no interest in checking out the park's Star Wars expansion.

The opening of the much-anticipated 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge drew so many visitors since it opened May 31 that it substantially reduced wait times at all the other attractions in the Anaheim theme park.

In the first week after the Star Wars land opened, the wait at all the other park attractions declined to an average of about 14 minutes, down 28% compared with an average of just under 20 minutes in the week before it opened, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times based on wait times compiled by the travel site Touring Plans.

When compared with the first full week of June a year earlier, the drop in wait times was even more dramatic, declining 46% from an average of more than 26 minutes, according to the data.

Depending on the ride, Disneyland fans could have saved more than half an hour of wait time by visiting the park when most of the crowds were taking in the new Star Wars land.

For example, the average wait time for Splash Mountain was 53 minutes during the first week of June 2018, according to the Times analysis. After Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened, the average wait time for the flume ride dropped to just under 21 minutes.


At Buzz Lightyear, an interactive ride based on the 1995 animated film "Toy Story," the average wait time was slightly more than 29 minutes during the first week of June 2018 but dropped to just under 10 minutes after the opening of the Star Wars land.

At Space Mountain, the average wait time in the first week of June 2018 was about 64 minutes but dropped to slightly under 45 minutes in the week after the Star Wars land opened.

Park visitors noticed the decline in wait times and began touting it on social media in the days after the new expansion opened.

The Times analysis was based on nearly 85,000 wait times posted on the Disneyland website for each ride and collected by Touring Plans. Disney representatives noted that such data do not take into account the wait times for visitors who use the virtual queueing system called FastPass, as well as the wait times for guests who board the rides through the "single rider" lines.


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