As crowds thin out, Disney World has record-low wait times.

Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Hollywood Tower Hotel and Mickey Mouse Pop! TownThis spring, the glitzy new rollercoaster Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind debuted at Epcot. Cosmic Rewind features a number of surprises, but one that many fans may have faced was the hardship of finding a boarding group in order to even be able to enjoy the ride. Although it seems expected that fewer people would attempt the coaster’s reverse launch given Walt Disney World’s lower-than-average wait times, the empty line still surprises me.

empty queue line gardian of the galaxy
(Image credit: Jessica Rawden, CinemaBlend)

If you have already experienced the new GOTG coaster, you are probably aware of how solid the line is in comparison to most rides. It takes passengers around the “Wonders of Xandar” and features plenty of exciting locations where you may try to understand Cosmic Rewind’s strange language or simply lose yourself in the world that Peter Quill and company discovered. However, it doesn’t seem like there has been much time lately to wait in line.

According to recent reports, Disney World is seeing decreased attendance and shorter wait times right now. Though kids are returning to school around this time of year, the theme parks have shown no indications of slowing down during what had previously been slack periods after reopening during the outbreak.

Haunted Mansion with Butler Pop! Town - Entertainment EarthWhen I checked wait times a few days ago, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was considerably under an hour at what would normally be a busy time of day. (Given our knowledge of lengthy Disney World wait times, this is a low for that ride.) This is just one example, but wait times have been low across the board, and several websites are indicating that it is the “off-season” on crowd calendars.

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Meanwhile, parkgoers may still only join up for the Cosmic Rewind virtual line once each day. (There is also the option to pay and ride the Epcot coaster in Lightning Lane.) As a result, if the parks are less crowded right now, there are likely fewer individuals in each boarding group and fewer people moving through the line at any one moment.

Even if that’s the reasoning for Drew Disney World’s minimal queue, it’s still unsettling to watch in actuality. You wouldn’t expect to see so little activity on a ride that should be the most popular at Epcot right now, if not the most popular attraction in all four theme parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom). It really astounds me that a spanking new ride isn’t being exploited to its maximum potential.

Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Hollywood Tower Hotel and Mickey Mouse Pop! TownIt is worth noting that, due to the Labor Day holiday, wait times have increased in recent days. Even popular rides, such as Tower of Terror, had over an hour waits at the time of writing. (That ride is presently 85 minutes long.) Other popular attractions, such as Slinky Dog Dash, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, are already over an hour long, indicating that wait times may increase somewhat during the holiday weekend.

We’ll have to wait and see whether this past week was a fluke, but I’m ready to bet the crowds will thin out again after Monday. It remains to be seen if this is simply a fluky time of year, but it will be fascinating to watch whether audiences return to a semi-consistent pattern of busy periods and less crowded times after things have been all wacky for the previous couple of years.

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Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Space Mountain with Mickey Mouse Super Deluxe Pop RideWe’ll keep you updated on park wait times. Meanwhile, if the lines remain this long, let’s hope Guardians of the Galaxy’s next attraction finds a method to get more people on the ride – preferably more than once each day. After all, there are six legendary tunes to listen to on Cosmic Rewind.

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