PlanningThe ParksTips

Avoid Long Lines at Disney With These Secrets

No one wants to head to Walt Disney World to spend time in long lines. Nothing fun or magical about waiting in extremely long lines during your vacation. We all want to ride, see our favorite characters, and enjoy the magic.

So with growing crowds and more people traveling once again, how do we avoid long lines at Walt Disney World? We have top-secret tips that will help you avoid long lines and enjoy more of Disney’s magic.

Grand Floridian

Go Early

We understand that setting the alarm during your Walt Disney World vacation doesn’t sound fun. Most of us would rather sleep in than be up before the sun; however, doing so can make a huge difference during your Walt Disney World vacation.

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can enter any of the four Disney Parks thirty minutes before posted opening. You might not think thirty minutes is a lot of time, but it can get you ahead of the crowds, which is huge for the rest of the day.

By getting to the Park early, you can typically get on to one or two popular rides, such as Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom or Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with low waits. By doing this early, you don’t have to wait in long lines throughout the rest day, giving you time to enjoy other magical experiences.

Stay Late

Another great secret to avoiding crowds is to stay late. As you can imagine, families traveling with little ones aren’t typically staying at the Parks too much past bedtimes. This can lower wait times and allow you to experience some of the more popular rides without long waits.

Guests staying at a Deluxe Disney Resort can take advantage of extending evening hours. These are select days at either ECPOT or Magic Kingdom where the Park remains open after the listed closing time to these specific Guests. This is often a few hours after the Park opening and brings extremely low wait times to the Parks.

Credit: Disney

Use Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

Even though you might not like having to pay for Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes, they are great ways to avoid crowds throughout the day.

Genie+ is $15 per person daily and allows you to skip the daily standby lines.  Guests choose which ride they want to experience and are given a specific return window. This can be a great way to experience more significant attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Peter Pan’s Flight with lower wait times.

Genie+ can be tricky to figure out, so check out all our tips at How to Disney for the best way to navigate this feature on your My Disney Experience app.

Individual Lightning Lanes are another way to skip the long lines at the Parks. There is currently one ride in each Disney Park that isn’t included with the purchase of Genie+.  To bypass the standby for these rides, Guests can choose to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane.

These rides are Avatar Flight of Passage, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Prices for these rides vary depending on when you are visiting. As these are some of the more popular rides in Walt Disney World, lines build quickly and remain long throughout the day. Getting an individual lightning lane is a way to go if you want to avoid those long waits.

People Mover
Credit: Disney

Know About the Less Popular Attractions

As soon as the Parks officially open, the crowds will begin to appear. When this happens, know what rides will continue to have lower wait times. As guests head to those popular rides you have already done, you can enjoy lower waits in other parts of the Park.

Some of our favorite rides to hit during this time are Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Star Tours, Living with the Land, and the beloved Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. These rides typically have waited at the 30-minute mark throughout the day.

Frozen Singalong

Visit the Shows

There are some fantastic shows in all four Disney Parks that you won’t want to miss. These are great to hit up during the middle of the day when the crowds are at their peak, and so are the wait times.

Shows can hold many Guests, so you can usually still get a seat even when the Parks are busy. We enjoy visiting For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along,  Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Enchanted Tiki Room, Festival of the Lion King, and the films at EPCOT. The shows are just as magical as the rides and a great way to escape crowds.

Beach Club Pool

Take A Break

Our final secret to avoiding long lines at Walt Disney World is to take a break during those busy times. If you know that everyone in your group will be miserable standing in line, take time away from the Park.

Enjoy visiting some of the Walt Disney World Resorts nearby, have a meal, swim at the pool, or take a nap. These are great ways to spend the busy afternoons instead of waiting in line.

When you travel to Walt Disney World, you will come across crowds. Know these secrets for avoiding long lines so you can get the most out of your magical time in the Disney Parks.


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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