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Disneyland Article
Which Attraction Has The Most Riders Since Star Wars Galaxys Edge Opened You Will Be Surprised

Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple Of The Forbidden Eye
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
July 24, 2019
August 1, 2019
You’d be forgiven for assuming the new Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction has had the most riders of any Disneyland attraction since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened — but you’d be off by a long shot.

Disneyland announced last week that 1 million riders have ridden the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debuted. That statistical peek behind the curtain tells us a lot about the ride capacity of the E-Ticket attraction and the number of people visiting the new themed land.

The Ridgeway family of Ocean Springs, Miss. were recognized as the 1 millionth riders of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run on July 16, according to Disneyland.

Touring Plans, which uses big data and statistical analysis to calculate daily crowd sizes and ride wait times at theme parks, says that based on the available information Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has averaged about 27,000 riders per day since May 31, approximately 76% of the attraction’s ride capacity.

That pales in comparison to It’s a Small World (57,000 riders per day) and Pirates of the Carribbean (55,000) during the same period and is just short of Big Thunder Mountain (35,000), Hyperspace Mountain (31,000) and Indiana Jones Adventure (31,000), according to Touring Plans estimates.

You read that right: The half century-old Small World has had way more riders than the 2-month-old Smugglers Run.

But of course, Small World and Pirates are high-capacity people-eater rides that vacuum up visitors and often still manage to maintain relatively short wait times.

Disneyland officials said Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run has performed extremely well with very little downtime during the million-rider run thanks to the hard work and dedication of cast members and Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of the company.

“Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is among our highest rated attractions and we are thrilled by the guest reviews we have received since opening,” Disneyland officials said in a statement.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge officially debuted on May 31 after a series of employee and media previews. Disneyland instituted a reservation-only period for Galaxy’s Edge that ran through June 23. Beginning June 24, the new Star Wars land was opened to all visitors. A virtual queue boarding pass system put in place to manage crowds has been rarely used.

While the million-rider mark sounds impressive, other Disneyland attractions likely outpaced Smugglers Run during the same period.

During Smugglers million-rider run, Small World and Pirates could have hit the same mark operating at approximately 45% of their hourly capacity while Big Thunder could have done it at 70% capacity and Hyperspace Mountain at 80%, according to Touring Plans.

Smuggler’s Run can accommodate up to 1,800 riders per hour, according to the New York Times.

The average wait time for Smugglers Run dropped from 47 minutes on opening day to 22 minutes on June 23, according to Touring Plans data. The average Smugglers Run wait time spiked to 59 minutes on June 24 — the first day guests could enter the land without a reservation — and reached a high of 89 minutes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Using Smugglers Run ridership as a guide, Touring Plans estimates that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has attracted between 2.7 million and 5 million visitors since opening day.

“My strong suspicion is that the number is toward the bottom end of that range based on the low wait times we saw throughout June,” said Len Testa, president of Touring Plans, an online subscription service that lets users create custom theme park itineraries.

Disneyland rarely if ever talks about attendance numbers or ridership figures.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is the lone anchor attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge until the Rise of the Resistance dark ride debuts on Jan. 17, six months behind schedule.

To the surprise of many theme park observers, Disneyland has experienced lighter than usual summertime traffic since Galaxy’s Edge opened May 31.
Attractions Referenced

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Hyperspace Mountain

Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple Of The Forbidden Eye

It's A Small World

Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Lands Referenced

Star Wars Galaxys Edge

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