Hey Disney! It’s Time to Trade Technology for Dependable Ride Systems

Hey Disney! It's Time to Trade Technology for Dependable Ride Systems
Credit: Disney/ Disney Dining/ Canva

We’ve all been there. You’ve dropped a serious amount of cash on your Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance, and you’re headed over after dinner when out of nowhere, you see it. There stands the dreaded gaggle of Cast Members holding off a swarm of upset Guests as the ride has gone down. Maybe your story is different, maybe it’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind or Tron, but we’ve all experienced ride delays and malfunctions. It seems they are becoming more of an issue as new technologies lead to the complicated evolution of ride systems. As more and more Guests complain about their favorite ride going down, or getting stuck, maybe it’s time for Disney to step back and place more emphasis on dependability over attractiveness. We’re paying good money for a chance at a ride. Would you pay for a car that might not start? If you did, you’d most certainly wouldn’t be too happy about it. It’s a legitimate gripe. One of Disney’s most expensive rides doesn’t even work properly and they can’t fix it. With that in mind, maybe it’s time we got back to the basics at Disney Parks and here’s why!

More Rides Means Less Wait at Disney

Tower of Terror entrance wait sign

Credit: Disney Dining

Standing in line has become a less-than-desirable experience at Disney. Some attractions can see standby queues hit three hours on busy days. Lightning Lane queues even have substantial wait times considering they’re called “Lightning” Lanes. The long waits can be attributed to the desire to ride Disney’s newest and best attractions. No one wants to be left out, and many feel they have wasted their money if they don’t get to ride a “sexy” attraction like Rise of the Resistance. These attractive options cost a ton of money to create and operate. Rise of the Resistance costs Disneyland around $78 million to build. In contrast, the average cost of a roller coaster is around $8 million. I’m not a mathematical genius, but we could expand the number of experiences by sacrificing these robust and complicated ideas that are seemingly not as dependable. More rides, mean more people in line in different places, which means shorter waits. Shorter waits could also mean more fun!

Dependable Rides Equal More Fun and Less Genie+ at Disney

Slinky Dog Dash Rollercoaster

Credit: Disney

For the sake of this article, we’ll continue with our example of Rise of the Resistance, as its dependability has become a bit of a joke within the Disney community. An Individual Lightning Lane for this attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is priced between $20 and $22. That’s on top of your Annual Pass or Park ticket, assuming you don’t want to wait in line. If the money from this popular attraction was equally distributed into lesser, more dependable experiences, we could safely assume that Guests would find themselves with more options. More options could mean less need to pay extra to ride E-ticket attractions and more time having a blast on coasters! may break down any moment ensures customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers will spend more money and return for future trips.

It Doesn’t Matter How Advanced It Is, Disney Fans Will Ride It Over and Over

Peter Pan's Flight

Credit: Disney

Two rides at Walt Disney World that boast some of the most extended wait times are Peter Pan’s Flight at Magic Kingdom and Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Both rides are fan favorites and are adored by Disney fans. You won’t find a Park-going try-hard who has yet to ride both multiple times. Both of these attractions are proof that Disney doesn’t have to create lavish, screen-filled, multi-ride system amusement to keep Guests happy. Sometimes simple is all we need. More often than not, simple is even better. These complicated attractions are great but don’t have to be the typical approach to additions at Disney Parks. We’re a relatively easy group to please. Put Mickey in a ride, and we’ll be happy. If the ride doesn’t do it for us, we’ll go and get a Mickey ice cream sandwich and cheer ourselves up with a new Park shirt.

Happy Guests Equal Happy Employees and More Spending atDisney

V.I.Passholder annual Passholder discount

Credit: Disney

We already touched on this a bit, but we’ve seen Guests absolutely lose their minds on Cast Members when a ride goes down, and as systems become more intricate, we can safely expect more ride failures in the future. Although Cast Members do everything they can to maintain composure when dealing with rabid Guests, they can only hold their tongues so long. We’ve recently noticed an uptick in complaints against Cast Members for their attitudes and behaviors in the Parks, and we believe that a lot of this can be correlated with what they have to deal with daily. Irrate Guests will wear on you and create a desire not to be your best. They also don’t spend money as well. Forbes recently published an article linking Guest experience to higher cash flow. This makes perfect sense. Increasing attraction numbers, decreasing wait times, and ride malfunctions will increase Cast Member attitudes by default, ensuring a more positive experience for Guests who will spend more money. I should’ve gone into marketing!

There you have it. It isn’t rocket science, but by dialing it back on the complex systems notorious for malfunction, Disney could ensure a more enjoyable experience for Park Guests. In turn, this ensures their own sustainability as it costs less to build and operate attractions that are lower maintenance, and it keeps Guest satisfaction high, which is suitable for everyone. Another consideration would be that having more ride options instead of a single expensive one means more ride shops and more opportunities to use popular intellectual properties that currently need to be better represented in the Parks. In short, it is time for Disney to stop trying to keep up with the proverbial Joneses and get back to making dependable rides that we’re confident we will get the chance to experience during our next visit.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!