The new restraints will help prevent riders from standing up or exiting the ride while it is moving. The only concern is that the new lap bars will extend the wait time in line as it will take riders longer to get situated in the ride and have their lap bars checked by a Disney cast member, however Disney has assured everyone that the wait time will not be any longer than before.
We’re guessing they changed the ride this way now because they know that the Fantasyland expansion will be done in the next couple of years, and that will help eliminate wait times on a number of rides anyway. So, even if the wait time is a bit longer for the next year, it will go down when more rides in Fantasyland open up.
What do you think about Splash Mountain now having lap bars?