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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fastest Loading Rides at Walt Disney World

As they say, time is money and you will spend much of that time at Walt Disney World or any theme park or amusement park for that matter, waiting in queues for shows and attractions. Disney Imagineers typically do their research to make sure all things run with the utmost Disney efficiency (which is one of the things we love about the place--click here to read more), but even Disney efficiency has a continuum rather than a standard mark. The following list of Fastest Loading Rides is based on observation only, no official facts:

Magic Kingdom:
  • It's a Small World--those boats get loaded and off in seconds and can typically hold 18-20 guests per boat. Unloading is another matter. You can spend double the amount of time waiting to unload as you do going through the attraction. Maybe that is why the last room is all white--soothing! Don't get me wrong, we love It's a Small World and usually ride several times during a visit. I just need Disney to get the unloading done as quickly as the loading.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean--again, those boats can be loaded and off in seconds. If both queues are operating--go to the left. There's nothing like a dark, cool, indoor attraction on a hot summer day in Florida! The unloading goes just as quickly and who doesn't like a small stairless escalator ride?
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA)--this ride is located on the level between the Astro Orbiter and the ground level. Speaking of stairless escalators, take the long one up to this attraction, hop on the moving loading zone and you are off. This attraction is often overlooked and is a bit less exciting since the renovation last fall, but we still enjoy it.
  • Carousel of Progress--OK, this is really more of a show than a ride, but every 10 minutes or so, a whole audience can be loaded into an original Walt Disney designed attraction. Again, who wouldn't enjoy a cool, indoor attraction on a hot summer day in Florida? And, the song Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow--just makes you smile!


  • Spaceship Earth--the continuous movement of the attraction allows for quick loading and unloading.
  • Living with the Land--more fast loading boats! Quick unloading, too.
  • Finding Nemo ride--another continuous moving loading and unloading zone. Seems to go faster than its counterpart--Peter Pan's Flight in Magic Kingdom. I think it is due to the theming of the queue. You almost wish for a bit of a line so that you can take in all the details in the queue, which is almost an attraction itself.
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment--continually moving "cars."

Hollywood Studios:

  • Lights, Motors, Action--OK, this is a show, but that theater can pack in a few thousand people at a time and do it quite efficiently. Check your Times Guide for show times. Getting out of the stadium goes faster here than at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. I think it has to do with the large space available to the exiting audience.
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular--also a show, but can pack them in quickly.
  • Fantasmic!--another show that gets thousands of people in and out quickly.
  • Great Movie Ride--the large moving vehicles can load lots of guests quickly. The queue is pretty cool, too, if you want to see lots of movie clips.

Animal Kingdom:

  • Kilamanjaro Safaris--loading the safari vehicles with 18-24 guests at a time goes quickly. Just know that the cue eventually separates into a left and right lane. Either is OK--we usually go left. It is as if the guests don't know it is OK to use the left lane. Unloading can go slowly!

Those are our opinions on the Fastest Loading Rides at Walt Disney World. What are yours?

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