When I talk to my friends and family about Disney, the one topic that is always brought up about someone’s dislike for the parks are the lines. The lines are definitely dreadful and can make for a horrible trip. I constantly hear people talk about their horror stories from Disney and how crowded things were and how they had to wait in lines for more than an hour.
The truth is, yes. Disney is crowded. Sometimes you will be waiting in lines. But if you’re smart about it, you will never wait for more than 30 minutes. Follow these tips and you will save yourself a big headache and if you have children, you will save a few temper tantrums.
#1 Get up early
Vacations are for sleeping in, right? Normally, yes. But if you choose to vacation at Disney, you need to be up bright and early. If you open the parks, you can take advantage of all the big rides such as Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin, Flight of Passage, etc. I went this past May and showed up to the parks an hour early. They usually open the doors 15-20 minutes before the listed opening. You can head straight to your favorite ride and literally walk right on. If you show up later, you will be dealing with a lot of crowds as a lot of people like to sleep in.
#2 Utilize the fastpass system
If you stay in one of Disney’s resorts, you can choose your fastpasses 60 days before your arrival date. You can choose three fastpasses per day in advance. After you use all three of your fastpasses, you can get on the mydisneyexperience app and choose one more. After you use that one, you can do the same thing again. My advice is to choose all of your advanced fastpasses between the times of 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. as that tends to be the busiest time of the day. After you use your third fastpass, I would sign on and look through and see what others are available. This ensures that you never have to wait more than 30 minutes in a line and also helps you try a ride that you never thought you’d go on otherwise.
#3 Take a break
If you have little ones, take a midday break. As I said before, the middle of the day is the busiest. Go back to your resort and take a nap. The crowds are lowest at the very beginning of the day and at the very end of the day.
#4 Do rides during parades and fireworks
People love to watch parades and fireworks. This is your opportunity to go to your favorite rides with little to no wait. Parades captivate crowds, but the fireworks are what really clear out the lines. If you’re not super into the firework shows, I suggest skipping them and getting your thrills on your favorite rides.
#5 Take advantage of extra magic hours
If you stay in a Disney resort, every day a park has extra magic hours. You can get in either an hour earlier or stay an hour later. Only those who stay on Disney property can utilize this perk. This hour without large crowds can easily get you on four or five of your favorite rides. I went to Animal Kingdoms extra magic hours and rode Flight of Passage twice in a row!
These are my tips to ensuring a crowd-free Disney experience. Do you do any of these when you go? What seems to be most effective for you? Let me know in the comments!