Hidden Magic in Disney World

Home » Theme Parks » Theoretical/Operational Hourly Ride Capacity at WDW – FP+ analysis

Theoretical/Operational Hourly Ride Capacity at WDW – FP+ analysis

Link to the DISboards.

Updated 7/31/2019

Comments welcome.  This is a project I started to see if I could find a connection between FP+ tiers at some WDW parks and the number of FP+ available.  Most attractions have a solid connection found in a wide variety of sources (including me spending a lot of time in lines counting riders per hour).  Some of these attractions I haven’t been able to begin to guess. All of these numbers are based on peak park times with long open hours and no special parties or events.  It also assumes all the ride vehicles are running (this rarely happens – especially September – February).  For example, often in October – Hollywood Studios is only open 10 hours.

*** Attendance numbers for Hollywood Studios will jump to what when Galaxy’s Edge opens?  50,000? higher?  That will change the number of FP+/guest.

THRC – Theoretical Hourly Ride Capacity
OHRC – Operational Hourly Ride Capacity (during a peak time)
FP+ allocation – is a pure guess at 70% based on observations.
% attendance – shows what percent of a daily population could actually book a FP+.  So, with the Mine Train, only 24% of the people in a 60,000 population day could actually schedule a FP+ for this ride.
* Major Attraction  # Not Yet Open capacity not included.
 MK – 14 hour day
THRC
OHRC
Daily Capacity
 FP+  allocation
% attendance
140.760000
*Big Thunder N.R.1500135018900132300.22
*Space Mountain2000180025200176400.29
*Splash Mountain1200108015120105840.18
*Peter Pan’s Flight8007201008070560.11
Buzz Lightyear Ranger Spin8007201008070560.11
*Haunted Mansion3200288040320282240.47
*Jungle Cruise1800162022680158760.26
*Pirates of Caribbean2600234032760229320.47
Barnstormer350315441030870.05
Winnie the Pooh8507651071074970.12
Tomorrowland Speedway500450630044100.07
Under the Sea2200198027720194040.32
Dumbo  the Flying Elepahnt10009001260088200.15
It’s a Small World3000270037800264600.44
Mad Tea Party8507651071074970.12
Mickey’s Philhar Magic1500135018900132300.22
Magic Carpets of Aladdin550495693048510.08
*7 Dwarf Mine Train1650148520790145530.24
Monsters Inc10009001260088200.15
Enchanted Tales w Belle300270378026460.04
*Wishes30003000
Meet and Greets????
#Tron
* Maj Attraction FP+/Guest133,0952.2
MK Totals FP+ / Guest243,8734.1
Epcot
12 hr day
THRC
OHRC
Daily Capacity
 FP+ allocation
% attendance
120.737800
*Soarin (3 theaters)2088187922550157850.41
*Test Track120010801296090720.24
*Frozen Ever After10009001080075600.20
*Mission: Space1600144017280120960.32
Spaceship Earth2400216025920181440.48
Journey into Imagination2200198023760166320.44
The Seas with Nemo2200198023760166320.44
Living with the Land1600144017280120960.32
#Ratatouille
#Guardians of the Galaxy
Illuminations
* Maj Attraction FP+/Guest44,5131.18
Epcot Totals FP+ / Guest1080172.85
Hollywood Studios – 13 Hr Day
THRC
OHRC
Daily Capacity
FP+ allocation
% attendance
130.735000
*Rock n Roller Coaster1800162021060147420.42
*Tower of Terror2000180023400163800.47
*Toy Story Midway Mania (+3rd track)240021602592018,1440.52
*Star Tours180016202106014,7420.42
*Smuggler’s Run180016202106014,7420.42
#Mickey Minnie Runaway Railway (in production)240021602808019,6560.56
*Slinky Dog Ride1440129616,84811,7930.34
#Rise of the Resistance
Disney Junior150010500.03
Fantasmic!1000070000.20
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular1000070000.20
Muppet 3D1692 9001170081900.39
Beauty & Beast Stage 7500 5250
* Maj Attraction FP+/Guest90,5432.6/guest
DHS Totals FP+ / Guest119,0333.4/guest
Animal Kingdom  – 12 Hour Day
THRC
OHRC
Daily Capacity
FP+ allocation
Attendance
120.735,000
*Expedition Everest1800162019440136080.39
Kali River Rapids1800162019440136080.39
*Kilimanjaro Safaris1400126015120105840.30
*Dinosaur2400216025920181440.53
Primeaval Whirl10009001080075600.22
It’s Tough to Be a Bug2000180021600151200.43
*Avatar: Flight of Passage 1600 1440 17280120960.34
*Na’vi River Journey120010801296090720.26
Festival of Lion King1375825057750.16
Finding Nemo 1500600042000.12
*Maj Attraction FP+/Guest 63,5041.8/guest
Animal Kingdom Totals111,1673.2/guest
Advertisements

30 Comments

  1. Matthew says:

    Could you reveal the source of your THRC data?

    Thank you!

  2. crookba says:

    If you search for THRC data for specific rides, you will find a wide range of Theme park sites posting the estimates. I have also been counting the number of people loading on the rides at full capacity for years. There are no official numbers, and this spreadsheet is a pretty good place to start. It is a nice estimate.

    • Lee Courtney says:

      A *quick* look at numbers gives me the following legend:
      THRC = Theoretical Hourly Ride Capacity
      OHRC = Observed Hourly Ride Capacity
      Daily Capacity = (14 hours open/day) x OHRC
      FP + Allocation = ??? I have no idea…
      % Attendance = Assuming a daily attendance of 60,000 what % of guests visit this attraction. I’m guessing here, but given Haunted Mansion and PotC are tied for first at 47.04% seems reasonable, and accurate.

      This is a cool dataset. I stumbled across this page after visiting Disneyland last week for the first time in 20 years. Nice to have theoretical and observed counts. More queuing theory fodder… 🙂 I wonder how Disney compares to other amusement parks (e.g. Six Flags)?

  3. GrumpyFan says:

    Can you provide a breakdown of the columns and give a short definition of them?

  4. steamdude says:

    Just out of curiosity, where did you come up with these numbers? For example, Big Thunder’s hourly capacity changes based on how many trains are running. The same can be said for Jungle and Pirate boats as well.

    • crookba says:

      The estimates are not designed to be an actual daily account. Of course these numbers will change based on time of day and season. Most numbers are based on full capacity optimal conditions. I put these numbers together to show how many ride slots were available a day in order to better understand the FP+ situation. For example, if you look EPCOT, the number of ride slots explains why they have tiers there. It shows why Disney came up with the magic number of Three FP+ a day. That is ALL they have to give out. At DHS and Epcot they don’t really have that many to give out. Amazingly, if you follow any of this… The Animal Kingdom has the greatest shortage of FP+ to give out, but they don’t have tiers. I don’t quite understand that one. Kilimanjaro Safaris has a relatively low capacity for a headliner, and those FP+ slots are not being booked up at an overly quick manner. I would have predicted that the Safari would be among the most difficult to score. Maybe this is because Animal Kingdom is a half day park. Even though 30000 people walk through the turnstiles a day, if they only stay half the day it might be more like 15,000 really. This may all change when Pandora opens.

  5. I am curious how you calculated your capacity figure for Tomorrowland Speedway, i.e., number of ride vehicles multiplied by total ride length (ride +load+unload). I only ask for this ride in particular because I am working on something where this attraction is replaced by two or three new dark rides with much greater capacity per hour.

    • crookba says:

      Hi. I calculated those numbers by actually counting on several different occasions. I also had people at different times of the year on location email their counts. That number provides a pretty good idea of how many people ride the Speedway during busy times. These numbers are based on maximum rides a day.

      I like your idea of replacing it with two highly themed dark rides with high capacity. Or put in a more sophisticated car racing experience. The current ride is simply out of date.

  6. crookba says:

    That is a lot space. That is a lot of ride capacity with those three. And I do enjoy playing imagineer.

  7. Wes says:

    Muppets 3D with an hourly ride capacity of 550? The theater holds 564. Shows every 15 minutes. That’s 2,255 THRC. The OHRC is probably more like 550 if 25% full.

  8. Kyle says:

    Love the info, it helps a lot when playing Imagineer.

    Carousel of Progress capacity is ~4200 an hour.
    240 seats a theater 6 theaters 21 run time.

    Stitch’s Great Escape capacity is ~1100
    162 seats a theater
    2 theaters
    17:30 run time

    I’ve heard People Mover is 2400 an hour but no data to support it with.

    Sorry I was going to ask a question then ended up looking around after I stumbled upon this site, so I guess this info is more for someone else who happens to have the same questions I did.

    • crookba says:

      Hi Kyle. Thanks for the information, I keep this information for fun. It’s been collected over the years from research, actual experience, and tips from other people.

    • crookba says:

      I guess that Stitch Great Escape is going to be eliminated. Not that it helped much with the FP+ allocation. I don’t think people were logging in advance to grab that.

  9. CM Anon says:

    Hello! Just letting you know that your numbers for Kilimanjaro Safaris are not correct. Not sure of Fastpass distribution or daily capacity, but the THRC is actually around 3,000. There are 38 trucks that each can hold around 40 guests making 30-minute cycles.

    • crookba says:

      Hi, thanks for the comment. The last time I was there in July. The trucks were not getting in and out anywhere near 30 seconds. It was closer to 60 seconds. But I do appreciate your input, and I will adjust accordingly. A lot of these numbers feedback like yours, and then adjustments based on my own verification. It sure isn’t exact. Really, I appreciate your feedback.

    • Eric Stanton says:

      I wonder about some of these numbers. For Kilimanjaro Safaris, each of the trucks holds 36 guests. If the guess for OHRC is 1,260, and the ride is a half-hour, that means you’re assuming Safaris has about 17.5 trucks. We do not. We have 44 trucks (not 38 like the other person said), and we can easily get 3,000/hour.

      But I’m still curious where these guesses are coming from in the first place. 1,260? We could do better than that even if every safari took an hour instead of the usual 25-30 minutes–though many Safaris drivers will swear the ride is only 18 minutes, forgetting the time it takes to get to the dispatch light and then wait for an unload dock to clear up.

      But 1,260 for Safaris?

      Also, the guess for Haunted Mansion is 3,200, but the guess for Buzz Lightyear is 800? So Buzz Lightyear vehicles are FOUR TIMES further apart than the Doombuggies?

      This is really interesting! It sounds like the type of thing I would do! Despite the errors, I’m loving your inquisitive mind on stuff like this!

      • crookba says:

        Hi Eric. Thanks for your feedback.
        This is a project I did just for me. I put it on my site so I can access it. I do a lot of counting in line and see how many people board rides every ten minutes or so. In June and October, I consistently counted 1 ride vehicle each 90 seconds. So in an hour that’s roughly 40 vehicles an hour with about 24-28 people per vehicle. Plus more loading on the other dock. I could be way off on the “other dock” – I am not sure about that. I will definitely update my numbers though. Thanks.
        In October, I had the greatest ride ever. We were gone for over 25 minutes, and there wasn’t another jeep to be seen most of the ride. Not in front or behind. There was an extended wait time between vehicles and it was awesome. I think the number of jeeps out during that visit couldn’t have been more than 25 with longer ride times. I do start my timers on the rides. So I do think there is a lot of variability.
        As for the Haunted Mansion – I have counted that lots of times. Those numbers seem to be close. The Buzz Lightyear ride also seems very slow to me and doesn’t load as fast. But, I would be happy to update that too.
        I appreciate your comment.

  10. Jeff says:

    The % attendance number has nothing to do with popularity — it is just a theoretical calculation based on capacity of a given ride assuming that every ride goes out with the OHRC for the entire day. It is most definitely not reflective of the % of people who visit a park who make sure to ride that ride.

    • crookba says:

      I use that % attendance # to show what percentage the population could book a FP+ if they so desired. For example, only 24% of the daily attendance at Epcot can book a FP+ (if they were actually giving out 70%). This is why they have tiers. Epcot doesn’t have enough FP+ capacity to give everyone coming in the park at leas 1 of Soarin or Test Track or Frozen. Only 80% can ride 1 of them with a FP. Based on this, Epcot needs about 6 more high quality / high capacity rides to give 80% three good choices. 🙂

  11. Jeff Iowa says:

    Those 1960’s juggernauts Pirates and Haunted Mansion with Daily Ride Capacity of 40K+ proves, they don’t build them like they used to. Whole teams of analysts at Disney work these numbers constantly to maximize the time you are not in line (preferably spending money in gift shops or eating food). So much like Roller Coaster Tycoon! Thanks for this!

  12. Giwreh says:

    This is a great page full of number hunt which cannot be retrieved “officially” (although of course, there will exist very scrupulous precise official statistics for use within the operation, only)
    I like to give remarks regarding your categories in the table :
    (from professional background)

    OHRC was called by one reader “Observed Hourly Ride Capacity” , which it could be quite often, but in fact in the industry it means “Operational Hourly Ride Capacity”. That is the best number acheived at the most crowded moments, through the actual operation.
    So, in many cases; this number will be higher then what someone will “observe” at a random moment. The exact difference between THRC and OHRC is due to human/tech failures/problems from the side of operation ! (NOT from the side of guests influx)
    These consist mainly of the following :
    a- not loading all available places per dispatch (staff = ‘provoking’ this)
    b- delay in dispatch interval due to loading difficulty (eg disabled loading)
    c- delay in dispatch due to short technical problems
    Case a, gets a 99% solution through single rider queue provision (hence the ONLY real operational reason, to add ‘single riders’ boarding = filling gaps. This is a 99% solution, only if the staff is strictly following the rules)
    Cases b and c need structural/technical upgrades.

    The observed capacity will be lower many hours or most of the day, because there, it’s the guest influx which is a determinant.
    THRC & OHRC are “pull” factors, queue-in is a “push” factor.

    The lenght of the queue is not telling accurately whether or not the capacity of the attraction sucks. Because, there is a fragile turnover point that affects the wait rows ! If OHRC is reached (= within the operational constraints) , the waitline starts growing, and this can happen fast, while the OHRC could be excellent ! Then, there exists a max. waitline as well, which gets determined by the wait time as posted in front, and the greed to visit. Around a certain wait time, people will skip the line. THIS, is about customer psychology, not about operation. One thing done about is, is to deliberately post a longer wait-time outside, then it is in reality. It will bring on a better experience for the visitors at the moment of boarding. “Sorry to fake, but it helps” … 🙂 What would help even more, is to post AT the spot, suggestions for other attractions with a short wait time. By smarthone ? Possible, but it does not have the same psy-strenght as when posting at the spot. Most parks, don’t do this.

    There is a lot more to tell about these things,
    but I will not write down a 40-50 page document 🙂
    Cheers

  13. CM RW says:

    I can honestly say, as a cast member, that these are quite possibly the most inaccurate and obnoxious “article” I’ve ever seen in relation to the WDW resort. Without a direct knowledge of a ride from working it, or specifically knowing a cast member willing to divulge privileged company information to a non-CM, you serve no purpose in posting this, and this disinformation is how guests try to gain knowledge to “beat the system” or otherwise try to 1-up CMs, using this atrociously false information, for doing their jobs. I cannot fathom a reason why you would venture any type of guess as to the actual capacity of any ride at Disney. The reason Disney doesn’t ever publically release this is information is because NONODY outside of the attraction needs to know. If your sources are anything other than a direct quote from someone who works that attraction, your “sources” are assumed wrong on every level. Playing imagineer may be fun, but it’s both something to opensource nor attempt to elicit information from the internet. Shameful.

    • crookba says:

      Hi CM RW. I am not sure why you care what I post on my site. 1. I don’t make any money or advertise on it. It is strictly a personal endeavor. I post it so I can access my research easily.
      2. Anybody can stand in line and count how many people board a ride every time minutes and extrapolate that out. I have done this countless times for most of the rides. There is much variability based on time of day and time of year. But when I am standing in line for Peter Pan for 25 minutes, I can count how many people board in 25 minutes. It is pretty consistent. My numbers don’t count all the down time that the rides experience and all the times that Peter Pan has to stop to let people with special needs on and off.
      3. My numbers are only estimates for a thought exercise on why some fastpasses are harder to get than others. I think its cool to see how many people can a certain fastpass on a certain day. It is fun conversation while waiting in line with my friends.
      4. I started this to show my friends why tiers are necessary at Epcot. There are only so many rides to go around. Then the next question is how many more rides would it take to remove the tiers.
      5. I help people all the time book their fastpasses, when they see this list it helps them understand supply and demand. It doesn’t really matter if the numbers are completely accurate it just gives a starting point of comparison. And since I have counted all the rides and their loading rates for years and years – I feel comfortable enough with my numbers to share them with my friends publicly. And I can’t possibly imagine how this 1-ups a CM? I get four -five thousand views a year and rarely get a comment. I don’t think anybody takes it all that seriously. It is what it is, the musings of a Disney fan.

    • RS says:

      Nobody cares what you have to say “CM RW”, don’t you have some popcorn that a guest spilled to clean up? Better yet, maybe you have a bus to crash, or a monorail door that’s stuck closed to stare at.

  14. Eric says:

    Was at magic kingdom today and talked to a ride coordinator while waiting at pirates. He said they just hit 2,600 riders in an hour and that was a really good number…very high for them. And he said haunted has more capacity/hour than pirates since it’s a people mover.

    His big thing was that the actual numbers are lower because there are more and more wheel chair people riding. It takes longer to get on and off so the capacity is a little lower.

    • crookba says:

      I’ve noticed that too especially at Peter Pan. It really cuts back on the number of people boarding. Thanks for the comment.

    • crookba says:

      You think I should knock the estimate down. I was there last October and the capacity was much much less in the evening. It fluctuates a lot by the season. But if the ride operator said that 2600 is high, I’m comfortable lowering it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: