Home Disney News Warning: Disney is Changing its Protocol for Ride Breakdowns

Warning: Disney is Changing its Protocol for Ride Breakdowns

Warning: Disney is Changing its Protocol for Ride Breakdowns
Credit: Disney

Do you have a Disney trip planned? This new protocol could affect your day if you experience a ride breakdown.

When Rides Break Down

Credit: KtP

A Disney vacation has the potential to be one of the most magical experiences on Earth. But, every now and then things go wrong.

One of the most unmagical experiences is waiting and waiting for an attraction only to get near the front and find something undesirable has happened. The attraction has gone down. Be sure you follow these tips for what to do when a ride stops or goes down.

Apparently, guests aren’t the only ones who can have melt downs in Disney World. The rides have melt downs of their own from time to time.

Credit: Monica

This can be especially true for older coasters like Space Mountain. On the flip side, it also seems to strike newer trackless rides such as Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure with relative frequency.

So, what are you to do when this occurs? Sources say Disney is changing your options.

The Old Way

fast passes returning disney world
Credit: Kenny the Pirate

Typically when a ride goes down for an undetermined time at Disney, guests are notified that the ride has temporarily stopped. They are then given the option of waiting in their places or exiting the queue.

If you selected the “exit” option, typically a Cast Member would direct you to another Cast Member near the attraction’s entrance or exit. This Cast Member would typically greet you with an iPad.

The magical Cast Member would then scan your Magic Band and provide you with an Anytime Experience pass for the attraction that you could redeem upon the reopening of the ride. This was known as a Recovery Pass.

Photo: D23.com

You could go enjoy the park elsewhere, and when the attraction reopened, you could use the FastPass line, now called the Lightning Lane, to renter the attraction. It was a pretty easy process.

However, inside sources report that this practice is no more!

The New Protocol

Credit: Jamie F

Now, when a ride breaks down, guests will still be given the option to stay in the queue for the attraction or exit the line. However, exiting will be a different experience.

Disney is reportedly no longer offering guest recovery passes unless they are evacuated from the attraction or the queue. This means that once you exit, if the ride comes back, you will have to wait in line all over again.

Again, if guests are evacuated, those guests will be offered a recovery pass. But if Cast members provide the option of remaining in the queue or exiting, guests exiting will not receive a pass.

Credit: Jamie F

Inside sources say Disney is no longer offering guest recovery passes unless they are evacuated from the attraction or the queue

Time will tell how long this protocol lasts. But, be prepared for it if you have a trip in the new future.

What do you think about this jarring new development? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.


  1. Erin, it’s time for all DVC members to band together and protect Disney’s original values (basically what all of us DVC members bought into).

    We, as a group, likely own more of Disney’s assets than does the top stockholder, yet we have no say in the protection of our assets/investment.

    This needs to change. We need voting rights to protect our assets from being destroyed by poor management.

    Hopefully one of our DVC members understands the SEC rules on this…..

  2. They were doing this the beginning of September already… was disappointed in several changes. Kind of sealed the deal we won’t be expanding our dvc points and possibly selling our existing points. Genie sounds like a money grab on top of an incredibly expensive vacation already. Ready to move onto different vacations instead.

  3. You know Melissa, neither have I. I’ve only been offered a now defunct fast pass for any other ride in that particular park.

  4. Land or World?
    At Land this is how it has always been. You didn’t get a pass unless you were already in a row waiting to board. We had 1 time that Peter Pan went down where they were announcing they stay or exit options but we were at a place in the queue that we literally couldn’t move from without a lot of others moving as well. No one that left got a pass no one that left expected a pass. Only once they decided it wasn’t coming back online and they removed everyone from the line did the passes come out, but that was the only time I remember getting a pass in the line itself.

  5. This happened to us twice at MK during our trip to WDW in September. Both times we were just escorted out of the queue. We spoke to a cast member the second time because it was getting ridiculous at that point…we’d spent an hour in lines with a 3 yr old for nothing. And I know WDW made accommodations for guests in these situations in the past. The cast member was unable to do anything, according to her. So there goes another part of the great customer service Disney used to be known for. Thanks for nothing, Chapek. More $ for less.

    And from what I’ve read about Genie+ so far, it sounds like a nightmare. I can purchase it at midnight the day before my trip and then I’m supposed to make arrangements starting at 7 am? Sounds super relaxing. Give me back the 3 fast passes each day…I am perfectly capable of planning my OWN day at the parks and don’t really want to be tied to a cellphone all day.

  6. We were in line for the Frozen ride at EPCOT two weeks ago when it went down. Everyone in that line got a fast pass to come back later. So maybe still a bit inconsistent…

  7. What a shame it has come to this.All about the money, and. have no desire to have my head in my phone, its suppose to be. day of fun and running from one ride to another at random.Get rid of this new guy hes ruining the magic.

  8. All these negative comments! We were there the end of September and had a wonderful time. Yes a couple of rides went down but it didn’t ruin our vacation. Stayed at two new resorts and did some different things we had never tried before. Looking forward to our next trip!

    • I am so glad to read that you had a great trip despite the malfunctions. My hope is that news like this will serve to help people manage their expectations to alleviate disappointment. I am looking forward to my next trip, too.

  9. This is a horrible slap in the face to those who have spent thousands of $$ to visit Disney. It is most definitely a way for them to “force” guests to purchase the Genie+ and Lightning Line Extras. The sad truth is that people will do so, gladly. We visited the Parks last week, and the crowds were insane! As long as tens of thousands of people are willing to spend their money, Disney will continue to find a way to squeeze just a little bit more out of their “guests”.

  10. You should learn the difference between discrimination and not accommodating your specific needs. You are allowed to do/have the same experience, your lack of being able to is self imposed.

  11. Gee there’s a shocker! His forbid Disney offer you anything for free unless they have too!! I’m sure this has something to do with their new genie plus program! Make a few rides break down here and there so people run out and buy their genie plus lightening lane pass while they’re irritated that they’re wasting their time in lines just to break down and now needing a quick pass to get on another ride because they’re mad they waited all that time! This I’m sure has everything to do with money thank to geedy Bob and that new lightening lane fast pass system which is nothing more than a fast pass for rich people! I hope that system fails big time and greedy Bob gets fired!

  12. I’ve been an annual pass holder for years, as I understand trying to upgrade with the times & make things easier, I feel that some of the real Disney qualities are going away. Disney & the customer care has always been incredible. Way above any other park. At this point it feels like some of the magic is being stripped away .. if your not treated like “ the prince or princess” it’s just another park. (I use prince & princess in Disney language not modern day “ Entitled people”) Disney has always been the fairy tale wonderland. That’s how we want to feel & be treated … like magic , because in everyday real life it isn’t that. It’s part of the experience to be so well looked after. Change is inevitable although I truly hope Disney doesn’t continue to loose the “DISNEY” qualities they have always had …. They are the MAGIC.

  13. think this whole new setup is utterly disgraceful. It appears that you will have your head in your phone all day lone just trying to secure a specific ride that you have had to pay for above the price you have already paid for. Now, Disney is going to be taking even more money from us, ticket prices will depend on what time of the year you visit the park. God knows how much they are going to hike up the prices. GREEDY DISNEY, GREEDY BOB ‘PAYCHECK’.

  14. We experienced this on our trip in September. Two different times we waited in lines at MK only for the attraction to malfunction. And we were just exited out of the queue line. Cast members didn’t care…said they didn’t have the power to do anything anymore. Gone is the terrific customer service Disney WAS known for. Thanks for nothing, Chapek…sad.

  15. I can confirm this as it happened to me, but this article would have you believe this started recently when in fact it has been in place for many months already. If you voluntarily leave the queue after being informed the ride is temporarily down, you get nothing. I found this out the hard way after we were told we could wait or exit. The way it was offered made it seem we would be compensated for the time we had already spent in the queue – but nope, when we exited and told the CM we opted to exit, we were informed there was nothing they could do about it. This happened in April of 2021. If you’re evaluated, as I was from the People Mover, my Magic Band was scanned and I was able to use the fastpass lane for any ride other than Peter Pan and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – this was September 2020. So this is old news.

  16. My family also had this experience last week in august on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. We waited in line for 45 min and the ride broke down right before we were about to board. The CM offered for us to wait, however they cut the air conditioning so it became very uncomfortable! My Mother is elderly with a cane and she lasted 20 min. We waited for 45 min before we left and were offered nothing.

  17. I’m a SR and have no problem with the tech. Don’t lump all of us together and start talking about discrimination. Make som effort

  18. Although Disney is trying to streamline the rides, park attendance, dinner reservations etc
    It is very difficult for Sr’s to use all the diff websites and devices to enjoy the park
    We cannot attempt to enjoy or avoid missing out on several attractions unless u have a cell phone and the knowledge on how to do so.
    Disney did not consider Sr’s ability to know how to use their new technology ways.
    It’s a discrimination to the Sr Citizen that’s are wanting to enjoy Disney like others but are finding really hard to do..
    Disney.. u needs to figure out what u can offer the Sr’s to get thru all this change.
    We may have to fall in the disability catagory..

  19. Walt Disney must be spinning around in his grave. This is not the park he wanted to be. After 35 years of visits I won’t waste my money. Not much better than 6 flags anymore

  20. Well what do expect…go woke go broke and that’s what is going to happen. CM used to be onstage and in character, now itslike hurrying so I can get on with the rest of my day.

  21. Jolene I believe the CM have changed due to Disney’s new ruling about dress, tatoos, haircuts etc. Before it was the job of a CM to serve the guests, now its more about the CM expressing themselves in their appearance. No longer are they actors in a make-believe land. Now they are workers going to their place of business and if they are not in the mood to work – the customer has to put up with it. So sad but it is the way of the world. Disney just joined the world of today instead of keeping it “the happiest place on earth”. At least my children enjoyed the REAL DISNEY parks. Unfortunately, my grandchildren will never know that world.

  22. Linda — the correct spelling is Cheapek pronounced Cheap ‘ek which we all know that ‘ek means derived from; so Cheapek means derived from cheapness.

    He can’t help himself, it’s part of his namesake.

    The Disney Board of Directors on the other hand….

  23. Wow. What a disgrace. Disney used to be a place where, when you went, you knew your day/trip was going to be something special, because that’s how Disney took care of their guests. People were willing to pay the premium prices, because they knew how wonderful their trip would be, full of magic and nostalgia. Now, it’s you can’t have this, and you’ll have to pay for that, for everything. You don’t feel important to the company. When we were there this past September, the feeling of the cast members had changed. They used to make you feel like they were truly glad you were there, now you’re just another Shmoe that they don’t really want to deal with.

    You can do better Disney. Sad.

  24. Really not liking this new post Covid Disney. The customer service and guest experience is in the toilet. Rising prices, dirty parks, poorly trained CM, class division for extra magic hours, the list goes on and on. Chapek needs to be fired and someone that actually loves and cares for these parks should replace Mr Cheapskate. Ugh!!

  25. We had this experience on 9/30. We were in line for Rise of the Resistance. The ride went down after we had waited about an hour. The park was closed and they made us leave the line. There was a CM at the exit offering apologies only. We even asked for a fast pass, and she said no. It was NOT magical. This is not the Disney of years ago!

  26. Disgrace! This new corporation deserves to go bankrupt but the only ones that will suffer are the children of today and tomorrow. Where is the Disney family? Don’t they care what Walt and Roy built? The word “guest” should be taken out of this companies vocabulary. It just seems everyday there is another price increase and another guest service decrease.

  27. Disney’s current way of taking care of guest experience. Going down, down and down.
    Waiting in line with small children and then just say, leave.

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