Disney World has its fair share of popular rides with long waits, but two rides in particular can have wait times that verge into something theme park experts refer to as “damn ridiculous.” Seeing 120+ minute waits for Toy Story Midway Mania and Soarin’ can be a shock at first, but that has become an all too common sight over the past few years. What’s remarkable about this is that Soarin’ opened at Epcot in 2005 and Toy Story Midway Mania opened in 2008, and the wait times haven’t subsided since then. Both Toy Story Midway Mania and Soarin’ are what I consider “Fastpass required rides,” since waiting in a 2-3 hour wait does not sound like a great way to spend at day at Disney World. Not coincidentally, Fastpass+ reservations are in high demand for both rides, although not impossible to get.

Disney is obviously aware of the problem. Both Toy Story and Soarin’ are in Tier 1 of their park’s Fastpass+ system. (Note: Epcot and Hollywood Studios have implemented a tiered Fastpass+ system, where guests can get one Fastpass+ reservation from Tier 1 and two reservations from Tier 2 when they pre-book. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom do not have Fastpass+ tiers). Last year, Disney experimented with making Toy Story Midway Mania Fastpass+ only for a few days and implemented a return-time system for the standby line for a week with Soarin’. While both of those tests were temporary, it’s clear that Disney was trying to figure out what to do to alleviate the long wait problem.

It turns out that their solution is pretty straightforward: They will be adding one more theater to Soarin’ and one more track to Toy Story. Soarin’ currently has two theaters, and Toy Story currently has two tracks, so each attraction will get a capacity bump of 50%. There are other factors in play that affect wait times, like how long it takes to load the ride, but I’m hopeful that this significant increase in capacity will result in a significant reduction in wait time.


Soarin Line - Epcot Attraction
Hopefully, the expansion for Soarin’ will make the epic lines a bit shorter.

Disney also announced that Soarin’ will be receiving some upgrades. Soarin’ will get new screens and a new projection system (rumored to be 4K digital projection). Say goodbye to the flickers of dust flying over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Both expansions will be completed by late 2016.

Are you excited about the expansions to Toy Story and Soarin’? What other rides should Disney expand at Disney World or other Disney Parks? Let me know in the comments below.