Everyone dreams of the magical Walt Disney World® vacation, but don’t get caught in the throngs of eager visitors and let lines ruin your experience. There are some easy, simple ways to avoid the lines at the Disney® parks and make the most of your vacation time.
1. Choose the time to visit wisely
If you hate the crowds, you can definitely bank on January, May, late August and September being a fantastic way to enjoy Walt Disney World® without hordes of people. Avoiding holiday times and weekends will also increase your chances of having a Disney® experience with fewer people. If you do decide to go at a heavy-traffic time of year, the following tips can give you an advantage over other Walt Disney World® visitors.
2. Arrive at the parks early
Arriving at the Walt Disney World® parks 20 minutes prior to opening time can really increase your chances of having shorter wait times for rides. Disney® theme parks will be already crowded by midday, so do your best to wake up early and get moving. This is especially helpful for Disney® water parks, and the Animal Kingdom® park, that closes around 5 or 6 p.m.
3. Utilize your technology to save time in line
Downloading an app for your smartphone can give you the Walt Disney World® wait times for rides in real time. Download the official My Disney Experience mobile app or check out apps like Ride Hopper (or search for “Disney World wait times” in your apps store), which will give you wait times for tons of rides, and will let you update the wait times for standby and single rider lines as well.
Apps can also provide height requirements, opening and closing times for parks and schedules for shows, parades or fireworks. Since most of them are GPS aware, only people inside Walt Disney World® are reporting times, so you can be sure they are as accurate as possible.
4. Fastpass your way to line-free fun
A great way to avoid lines at Walt Disney World® is to use line-skipping experiences. Disney’s Fastpass® offers guests a way to skip lines by reserving a time to return to the ride, then printing a paper ticket that will allow them to bypass the line. And do you want to know the best thing? It’s completely free!
Fastpass+ represents a change to this system, by eliminating paper tickets. To avoid the line, simply “reserve” your return time at the kiosk, then tap your Walt Disney World® admission ticket. When you return to the ride, you’ll tap your ticket again to bypass everyone else in line.
5. Get from park to park efficiently
If you’ve planned your day well, you can maximize your time in the Walt Disney World® parks and minimize your time traveling to and from each. Use the monorail or take a short ride on one of the Disney® Buses that will allow you to take a quick, air-conditioned break while headed to the next adventure.
6. Enter the single rider lines.
Certain attractions at Walt Disney World® will fill empty seats with individuals (single riders). You and your friends or family members will be split up during the experience, but you can save a lot of time and move through the lines much quicker.
7. Plan your fun, and have fun with your plan
Having a plan can greatly increase the number of rides you can enjoy and ensure the shortest wait times possible. Try to ride the most popular (read: longest wait times) rides first. If you can get the popular rides done first thing in the morning, then you can enjoy a more relaxed pace for the rest of the day.
8. Eat at odd times
One of the most time consuming activities you’ll have is eating in the parks. During busy times of the day, you can encounter lines that take up to 30 minutes or more. A good tip for dealing with mealtime crowds is to eat at odd times. Try eating a late lunch/early dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon or bring your own food.
9. Keep going through the rain
Many guests will stay away or stream out of the parks when it starts raining. What most people don’t know is that Florida rain usually doesn’t stick around long so throw on some rain gear or an extra layer and enjoy the attractions with lighter crowds or see an inside show. Most of the rides at Walt Disney World® are covered and stay open during rainstorms.
10. Take advantage of the parades
During the daily parades, thousands of people quit riding the rides and line up for the parade. It’s a good time to see the attractions with the longer lines.
Did these tips help you? Do you have another tip to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!