Over the weekend, some of the wonderful TMSM members passed along information in regards to the Magic Kingdom on May 10, 2014. What they stated was shortly after rope drop, most of the crowd headed back to the meet and greet for Frozen’s Anna and Elsa. It’s been no secret that the wait times for this meet have been long. Very long. On this particular day, probably 10-15 minutes after the park opened, the wait time was already at 300 minutes to meet Anna and Elsa. I was in shock to hear that 5 hours of waiting was required to see these characters, unless you had a coveted FastPass for the meet up.
I need to make a statement about this before I go much further. I’m not questioning anyone’s judgement if you choose to wait 5 hours to meet these characters. That is your choice and your time. I also rarely ever voice my opinion that differs from something Disney chooses to do. Bottom line is that Disney is a business. Business is built on supply and demand. If people demand to meet Anna and Elsa or any character, Disney will supply a way for this to happen. Still, I have no problem with that. My problem lies with the fact that Disney allows people with FastPass+ to reserve a spot to meet the characters 60 days prior to arriving at the park. From a customer service angle, that’s awesome that Disney allows you to do that. This allows someone who makes a reservation ahead of time to only have to wait roughly 5-10 minutes on average from what we have heard. The person this doesn’t benefit is the one that doesn’t realize they would need a reservation to meet a character, and is left disappointed at the stand by wait time. That’s a LONG time to wait!
I completely and totally understand the FastPass+ system for rides and attractions. It can really allow you to do more during a day of enjoying the park to the fullest if you plan correctly. I don’t think that you should be able to make a reservation though for a character meet. I’m sure people will disagree with me, that’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinion. I understand why some parents would wait in a line that long, I really do. No parent wants to tell their kids no to meeting someone they are entranced by.
My big reason I would never wait 5 hours to meet any of the characters is that I want to enjoy more of the park. I’m going to break this down with a particular scenario. A family of 4 (2 Adults and 2 Children (10 or under) go to Disney World once a year and they are only able to go for 5 days with 4 day park tickets. Some people coming from another country may only get there once every 3 years. So my scenario is one park a day for 4 days. Ticket prices for the 2 adults would be $199 each and for 2 children $187 each for a total of $772 plus tax. That comes down to $49.75 a day for the adults and $46.75 a day for each child. Now that doesn’t seem bad at all when you buy multiple days. I’m going to break it down a little further. The Magic Kingdom is open from 9 am – 11pm most days this week, so 14 hours is all this family is going to get in the Magic Kingdom for this year. For adults that is $3.55 an hour for entertainment and $3.34 an hour for children. This family of four didn’t make a reservation for the day at Magic Kingdom for a character meet and greet, but arrives there and the kids want to meet the characters they have been watching over and over in the movie Frozen. So the parents make the decision and wait the 5 hours. That breaks down to $13.78 an hour for the family and $68.90 to wait the five hours to meet Anna and Elsa. They will only get mere minutes to meet them, take a picture, get an autograph and go on. What did this family miss while waiting? Did they miss a parade? Did they miss other character meets? Did they even miss a dining reservation because the kids wanted to meet Anna and Elsa more than say, Cinderella?
FastPass+ was created to save guests time. To be able to get more out of their short time in the park and enjoy all Disney has to offer. Before you could make a reservation to meet a character, had you ever heard of a 5 hour wait time? Granted the wait is not usually that long, but even a 3 or 4 hour wait, which is the normal, seems like a lot of time to wait. Would you have waited that long to meet Mickey? I thought about it, if Johnny Depp was at the Magic Kingdom dressed as Captain Jack and doing meets, then I would probably wait. But I can’t see any character that I would do that for. Like I said before, what someone else does is their choice and their time. I just look at it this way, a lot of the guests who come to Disney aren’t able to go but maybe once a year or maybe even once every 2 years. Their time is very limited. Most people can probably relate to what I’m saying. When you take that trip to Disney and you live far enough away and aren’t able to get back that often, you cram as much as you can into a day. How often do you get back from Disney and you need a few days to recoup because you are so tired?
Now common sense says the reason you don’t wait as long for Mickey or any others really is they are in multiple places to meet them. If you don’t get to see Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, you will have a chance at Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Anna and Elsa currently are only in the Magic Kingdom. I believe they should have kept them in Norway in Epcot in addition to the Magic Kingdom. This would have lessened the wait times some.
FastPass+ has many benefits that will make the day at Disney better, my opinion, you should not be able to reserve a character meet and greet. If you eliminated all the people who have a reservation and everyone equally had to wait in line, the wait time could possibly go down. I know there are people thinking, well if not all the parents waited in the line at 2-3 hours it wouldn’t get to 5 and to a point it’s true. You would be able to push through more people waiting since all are coming from 1 line rather than 2. With one line, I believe more would not just get in line when they pass by, they would check back throughout the day hoping for the time to be shorter. This would spread the crowd out over the day and more should be able to get in to see Anna and Elsa.
As stated above, this is my opinion. Again, if people want to wait 5 hours, it’s their choice and honestly that means less crowds on other attractions and rides. My one question is, at the end of your 1 day you get to spend in the Magic Kingdom for the year… Will you have a whole list of things you got to see and do, or will the list be much smaller because you spent 5 hours waiting to meet characters? Something to think about! Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments as well, we always enjoy hearing feedback from our readers!
- WandaVision Debuted and Has Commercials? - January 17, 2021
- Tom Hiddleston ‘Accuses’ Paul Bettany of Stealing Loki’s Gimmick - January 16, 2021
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Is Coming To Disney+ on March 19, 2021 - January 15, 2021