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Do This To Avoid Long Lines at Walt Disney World

We all love going to Walt Disney World, but we don’t enjoy waiting in long lines. As we get into the busiest time of the year, we thought we would share some tips for avoiding those long lines at Walt Disney World.

Waiting in long lines doesn’t have to be part of your Walt Disney World vacation. Use these tips to help you navigate and avoid long lines and have a magical time.

International Gateway
Photo Credit: Easy WDW

Rope Drop

One of our top tips for avoiding long lines is to rope drop. This refers to getting to the Disney Parks of your choice, so you are there when it officially opens to Guests. We recommend getting there at least 30 minutes, if not 60 minutes, before the posted opening.

This might seem extreme; however, it can make a huge difference in your day. You will get ahead of the majority of the crowd that shows up right at Park opening or sleeps in.

Early Entry

For those Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, use early entry. This allows you to enter any of the four Disney Parks 30 minutes before posted opening time.

We recommend that you use this option, as it will get you in front of those Guests that are staying off-property and unable to take advantage of this extra time in the Park.

This is a great time to try on rides that are part of the Individual Lightning Lane feature.

Setting that alarm during a vacation isn’t always fun, but when it comes to avoiding long lines, it can make a huge difference.

Art of Animation Big Blue Pool
Credit: Disney Tips

Take Afternoon Breaks

Disney Parks see the most extended lines throughout the middle of the day. To avoid spending your afternoon waiting in line, consider heading out of the Park and taking a break. Between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, we see the longest wait times. This is a great time to head out for a little while.

Take time to enjoy the pool at your Walt Disney World Resort. Take a nap (especially if you rope dropped and used early entry). Enjoy some of the amenities at your Resort. Schedule a meal outside of the Parks at a nearby Disney Resort. This can allow you to visit other Disney Resorts.

We enjoy taking time to enjoy the monorail Resorts or Skyliner Resorts. Not only do we get to experience the fun Disney transportation, but we can see new Resorts, enjoy some drinks and snacks, and walk around.

Don’t spend the afternoons waiting in hot, crowded queues. Instead, take time to step away from the Parks.

batuu at night DT
batuu at night DT

Stay Late

Just like getting to the Parks early can help limit your time waiting, staying late can have the same advantage. If Magic Kingdom or EPCOT are opened following their nighttime shows, this becomes a great time to hang out in the Theme Park with lower Wait Times. Many Guests leave the Parks after the fireworks, creating lower crowds.

Those evening hours are typically less busy as families with little ones return to bedtime. If your family can handle later evenings, consider taking advantage of them during your trip.

Extended Evening Hours

Walt Disney World also offers extended evening hours for Guests staying at their deluxe Disney Resorts. This feature is typically only available for EPCOT or Magic Kingdom and only on specific days, but it can be a huge advantage.

During this time, Guests are allowed to visit the specific Park for additional time after the Theme Park closes to other Guests. If this applies to you, we highly recommend staying late and using that time to hit up some rides with short Wait Times.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Consider Purchasing Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

If you are visiting during an extremely busy time such as the holiday season, consider investing in Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. These both give you access to the Lightning Lane queues and allow you to skip the standby lines.

Purchasing these features can save your hours in line and can be a significant investment during busier times of the year. We have a lot of tips and tricks on these features on How to Disney. Take time to learn about Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes, so you know what they offer and how to use them successfully during your trip.

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

Visit Filler Shows and Attractions

The great thing about the Walt Disney World Parks is that there is much to see and do. Even when the main attractions have long waits, some experiences will have a lower wait time. Take time to figure out what these experiences are so you can visit them when wait times start to build.

In Magic Kingdom, the Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s PhilharMagic or the beloved Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress are great options when crowds build.

EPCOT has a variety of films that provide a good escape from the heat and crowds. Take time to visit the aquarium as well. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has many trails you can walk around and explore.

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, consider ‘Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage or ‘For the First Time in Forever:  A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. These hold many people, and you can typically always find a seat.

Walt Disney World has crowds, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait in long lines all day long. We hope these suggestions will help you figure out how to navigate the crowds 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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