PlanningThe ParksTips

7 Tips to Shorten Your Wait Times in Disney

When heading to Walt Disney World, you know that lines and waiting will be a part of the Disney vacation.  We also all have the same goal which is to have short wait times.  No one arrives at Walt Disney World hoping to spend hours in line each day.

We are here to let you know that there are some tips that can help you experience lower wait times at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks.  Take a look at our seven tips and make sure you use them while you are enjoying a great Disney vacation.

credit: Disney

Use Genie+

We know not everyone wants to purchase Genie+, but it is a fantastic way to skip the long lines in the Disney Parks.  There are a lot of posts on How to Disney about Genie+, so if you need more detailed information on this feature head there.  Here is a quick summary of how Genie+ can save you time in line.

Genie+ is purchased by Guests for $15 per day per person.  They then have the ability to book return windows for select attractions at the Disney Park they are visiting.  By doing this, Guests then bypass the long standby line.

During busy days at the Parks, this additional feature can save Guests a lot of time in lines throughout the day.

Credit :Disney

Buy Individual Lightning Lanes

The most popular rides in each of the four Disney Parks aren’t included with Genie+.  In order to save and shorten your wait time for these rides, Guests need to purchase individual lightning lanes.

The cost for these rides varies from $7 to $17 per person per day.  Although this night seems like a lot of money for one ride, when the standby option is three plus hours, it might be worth it.  Take some time to look into the rides available with this feature to determine if it is something that would help shorten your wait time.

test-track-768x432 (disney)
credit: Disney

Single Rider Lines

Using single-rider lines is another way to shorten your wait time for some Disney attractions. Although these are not offered for all the rides in Disney World, they can be extremely helpful when they are an option.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can do a single rider to Expedition Everest, and over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will find it Rock n’ Roller Coaster as well as Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Over in EPCOT, Test Track offers a single rider option as well. Although there aren’t a lot of rides that offer this option, if you can take advantage of it where it is offered, it can cut down on your wait times.

This won’t work for every family, but it is a great option for those that can use it as a way to shorten wait times.

Grand Floridian

Arrive Early

A big tip that all Guests can use is arriving early at the theme Park of choice. If a theme Park is scheduled for a 9 am Park opening, make sure you arrive before this time. We highly recommend arriving typically an hour before Park opening to get a true head start on the crowds.

In Magic Kingdom, Guests are typically allowed onto Main Street, U.S.A. early, allowing them to get a Starbucks, shop, and enjoy the new welcome show. A Disney vacation can start off successfully when you get a head start in the morning. It can make for a magical Disney experience.

Early Entry is Key

For those Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, they can enter any of the four Disney Parks a full half hour before the scheduled opening.

This is a fantastic way to get a head start on the crowds, hit up a couple of the main rides, and get a long wait throughout the day. This can be a fantastic way to hit some of those Individual Lightning Lane rides without having to pay for a shorter way.

As it is available to ALL Resort Guests, we would refer you to point number one- arrive early. Make sure that you are still arriving before the 30 mins. You will have to go through security, the main touch points as well as another spot to confirm you are a Disney Resort Guest.

If an early entry starts at 8:30, we highly recommend being through the entrance by 8:00.  This will put you ahead of even the Disney Resort Guests which is a fantastic way to shorten wait times throughout the day.

Pluto and Grand Floridian
Credit: Disney

Think About A Deluxe Resort

Guests staying at one of Disney Deluxe Resorts are given access to extended evening hours.  These are at EPCOT and Disney’s Magic Kingdom on select evenings.  Guests at these Resorts are allowed to stay at the Park up to two hours after closing.

This is a great way to shorten those wait times at both EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.  It might be worth it to consider a deluxe Resort in order to take advantage of this feature.

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Credit JR Photos

Go Late

Just like arriving early at the Disney Parks can shorten your wait times, being in the Parks late at night as they close can also shorten your wait times.

A little secret is that Guests are allowed to get into line up until the official Park closing time. This means that if Disney’s Hollywood Studios is closing at 9 pm, Guests can jump into line for Slinky Dog Dash right at 9 pm and be allowed to ride.

The last hour a Park is opened can see reduced wait times. In the Magic Kingdom, following fireworks, a lot of the crowd leaves, allowing those that stay to take advantage of very short wait times for some of the big headliners.

If your traveling party can hang in there, really consider sticking it out until the Park closes to hit some rides. A bonus is some of the rides are fantastic at night under the lights. Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash, and Test Track, to name a few, are so fun at night.

Those are some of the ways you can cut down on your wait times while visiting Walt Disney World.  We hope these tips will help you have a wonderful time.

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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