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10 Tips For Avoiding Crowds at Disney

No one wants to spend their Disney vacation in lines. As the Parks get busier, we see longer wait times for rides throughout the four Disney Parks. So how do you avoid them and spend more time enjoying the Parks?

We have ten ways that you can avoid lines at Walt Disney World. Some of these you already know, while others might be brand-new ideas. We hope you find ways to manage the crowds at Walt Disney World.

Heart hands in front of Cinderella castle
Credit: Disney

10. Travel at Off Times

Our first tip for avoiding crowds is to travel during off times. If your school district has a break, chances are a lot of other schools do as well. Consider traveling during times when schools are in session. January, August, and September are often great months to travel that see lower crowds.

Avoid all holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, as they often seem the busiest times of the year. Also, make sure to pay attention to those three-day weekends. Holidays such as Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day also bring in larger crowds.

9. Skip the Weekends

When looking at travel plans, think about avoiding the weekends. Most people’s travel plans include the weekends, so if you can skip them, you will avoid larger Park crowds.

In Magic Kingdom, you will see an increase in Park crowds Saturday, Sunday, and Monday s. Guests arriving at the Walt Disney World Resort want to head to this iconic Park.

EPCOT sees an increase in weekend crowds as the locals head over to experience the festivals and entertainment options.

Try to schedule your time in the Parks for the middle of the week. Doing this will help avoid some of the crowds.

Grand Floridian

8. Go Early

No one likes setting the alarm during their vacations, but at Walt Disney World, it is a game changer. If you can be at the Parks when they open, this can make a massive difference in your day. Arriving at the Park ahead of the crowds sets you up for lower crowds throughout the day.

Take advantage of early entry for those staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. This allows Guests of the Disney Resorts to enter the Disney Parks thirty minutes before posted opening time. Get ahead of the crowds so you can have lower wait times throughout the morning hours.

7. Stay Late

On the other hand, if you are a family full of night owls, consider staying late at the Parks. You will notice a crowd decrease as the evening wraps up at the Parks. Many people head out after the nighttime shows leaving few crowds in the Parks. This makes it a great time to catch one more ride on your favorite ride.

Disney's Polynesian Resort View
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

6. Stay Deluxe

Another great way to avoid crowds is to take advantage of the Resort perk at Disney Deluxe Resorts. Guests of these Resorts can enjoy extended evening hours at select Disney Parks on specific days.

On these evenings, Guests can enjoy the Park after the regular Park hours. Typically the Parks stay open for 2-3 hours on specific nights giving Guests a great window to experience the Parks with low wait times.

Check the schedule, as you want to ensure your deluxe stays connected when extended evening hours are posted.

fantasmic Disney
fantasmic Disney

5. Second show

When wanting to see evening shows, a great way to avoid those large crowds that build is to head to the last showing. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will want to experience the last showing of Fantasmic to avoid the huge crowds.

This also works well if two evening shows are at any other Disney Parks as people head out after the first show. This can leave the second show more open.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

4Purchase Genie+ / Individual Lightning Lane

We know this won’t be a popular one, but it does help when it comes to avoiding crowds. If you are traveling during a busy time, consider purchasing Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes. These are two ways that allow you to skip the regular standby lines.

Genie+ costs between $15 to $30 per person per day. By purchasing this feature, Guests can access over 40 Lightning Lanes throughout the four Disney Parks. Individual Lightning Lanes are rides that aren’t included with the purchase of Genie+. Instead, these rides are purchased al-a-carte each day. These are typically the top rides in each of the Parks.

Although we don’t like adding additional costs to our Disney trip, purchasing these features is extremely helpful in avoiding large crowds and spending more time enjoying the magic.

Mickey and Minnie in Christmas sweaters
credit: Disney

3. Attend Events

We are thrilled that Walt Disney World is bringing back After Hours Events in 2023. These special ticketed events happen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Magic Kingdom. With these tickets, Guests can enjoy three extra hours with low wait times and fun treats.

In Magic Kingdom, Guests can also attend either Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. These happen during the holiday season. Guests can celebrate the holiday with this special ticketed event at Magic Kingdom. This is an excellent option as you can still enter Magic Kingdom at 4:00 pm before the party. This gives you a lot of time to enjoy the Magic Kingdom before experiencing the magic of the holiday party.

Dig Site Pool Coronado Springs Resort
Credit: Disney

2. Take Breaks

Taking breaks throughout the day is a great way to avoid the large crowds that build throughout the days at Parks. These breaks can be done back at your Resort. Enjoy the pool, take a nap, and have a snack.

You can also take breaks at nearby Resorts. Consider taking a monorail ride to enjoy drinks or snacks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, or Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort & Spa. We also love taking a Skyliner ride to get out of the Parks. Taking a nice ride around on the Skyliner is refreshing. Stopping to enjoy a quick snack at Disney’s Riviera Resort or any of the EPCOT area Resorts.

Breaks are a fantastic way to escape crowds while still enjoying the magic.

Magic Kingdom Secret Mickey

1. Hidden Magic

When looking for ways to escape from the Crowds, find the hidden experiences in each Disney Parks—finding these experiences, such as Enchanted Tiki Room in Magic Kingdom or the trails throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


These hidden gems, which you can find more about HERE, are great magical experiences that don’t typically have long waits. Know where these are so you can sneak away from them when crowd levels build.


These are ten go-to tips for avoiding crowds at Walt Disney World. We hope you can use some of these during your next Walt Disney World vacation.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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