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Fluctuation in Lightning Lane Return Times – TouringPlans.com Blog


It’s been three weeks since the Disney Genie came out of its bottle. We have been collecting data since October 20th. We will use the data to give recommendations to the Lines app and incorporate Lightning Lanes into the optimized route plans. With enough data, we can evaluate the plans and quantify the benefit or failure to use Genie + and Lightning Lanes.

From the Walt Disney World Lightning Lane page:

[With the] Disney Genie + service, you can select the following arrival window available for some Lightning Lane attractions and entertainment throughout the day.

With our experience with Disney’s FastPass paper and verbiage, we were a little surprised to see return times fluctuate for Slinky Dog Dash. The first week, we didn’t know if it was a mistake, but the fluctuation continues to this day. On the morning of November 4, I opened the My Disney Experience app and went to the Tip Board and updated the Hollywood Studios page 124 times between 7:00 and 8:20. Below is a graph and table of each Lightning Time return. Slinky Dog Dash time.

Return times for Slinky Dog Dash Lightning Lane

We expected to see a smooth line of Lightning Lane schedules increasing at 7:00 am until all return schedules were claimed. The distribution is anything but a smooth line. At first glance, it seems that the available return times are presented at random. It may also look like Disney is withholding return schedules and adding them as the morning progresses. I think none of these cases are true. My guess is that Disney is showing the next available arrival window, but putting all the return times that are displayed on hold. With FastPass paper, a machine spits out return times in sequential order. With Lightning Lane, all available attractions and their Lightning Lane return schedules are shown in the Disney app. With a limited number of seats in each arrival window, a specific number of guests will see a specific return time. Because thousands of people access the Disney app, any return time shown is booked, so if the user selects the attraction, the return time is available. We also believe that if an arrival window is canceled, it is put back in the available arrival windows. My guess is that the hold for Slinky Dog Dash is about 10 minutes. At 7:11, 7:20 and 7:29 we see more arrival windows appear.

After seeing the fluctuation at Slinky Dog Dash, and believing it was mainly due to “retentions,” we expected to see fluctuations in return times to other attractions. Below are tables with return times for all Hollywood Studios attractions on November 4th.

Poor Muppets. MuppetVision 3D is not a popular Lightning Lane attraction in the morning. For the rest of the attractions, you can see the fluctuation of return times; the only difference is the magnitude of the fluctuation.

Once the parks are open, we still see fluctuations in return times, but the linear distribution is more frequent. Below are some examples of return schedules for all of Walt Disney World.

How to use this information?

Most importantly, if you don’t see a “good” return time for the attraction you want, refresh the screen. After the opening of the park there are still fluctuations but it is less frequent.

More to come

Lightning Lanes has only been available for a few weeks and only for a few people. Once we get past Thanksgiving week, we’ll have a better idea of ​​the impact of Lightning Lanes during the most popular times. I will write more blog posts looking at Lightning Lane data. If you have any questions that the data will answer, please post them in the comments section.

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