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How To Avoid the Crowds in Disney With 10 Easy Tips

If this week has shown us anything at Walt Disney World, it is that the Parks are going to be busy. Crowds have come back in force at the Disney Resorts and Parks. Although we are thrilled to see so many enjoying magical vacations again, longer wait times and a busier Walt Disney World aren’t always our favorite.

For those planning a trip to Walt Disney World this summer, you should head into the Parks with a plan. This will help you navigate the crowds successfully. To help you do this, we have ten tips for avoiding crowds at Walt Disney World. Use these to avoid long waits, many people, and frustration during your trip.

EPCOT Mornings
Credit: V Mills

10. Get to the Parks Early

Setting the alarm during a vacation isn’t ideal; however, beating the crowds at Disney is essential. If you want to beat the crowds, plan to be at the Parks early in the morning.

Take advantage of early entry at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. This allows you to enter any of the four Disney Parks thirty minutes before the posted opening. Being in the Parks early lets you get ahead of the crowd and take advantage of low crowds to start your day.

Plan on getting to the Disney transportation at least sixty minutes before early entry. This will get you through security and the touchpoint and ready to head to your first ride before the Park opens to Guests. This will give you the most significant advantage.

Alarms aren’t fun during a vacation, but they can help you get to the Parks when it is less crowded.

Magic Kingdom at Night
Magic Kingdom at Night

9. Stay Late

On the other hand, think about staying at the Parks late. Park hours will start to extend as the summer hours arrive. If traveling with a group, consider sticking it out past dark. Not only is this a fun time to be in the Parks, but the crowds will also be lower.

Guests staying at a Deluxe Disney Resort can enjoy extended evening hours. These are planned at EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select evenings. During this time, Guests of these Resorts can stay at the Parks after closing. Again this is a great way to experience lower crowds.

8. Avoid the Weekends

It isn’t always to do this, but if you plan a more extended vacation, consider taking weekend rest days. Disney Parks see larger crowds on the weekends; if you can avoid that time, you will also prevent some of those larger crowds.

If you must head to Disney Park on the weekend, consider visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This Park tends to see lower crowds overall on the weekends.

Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf
Credit: Disney

7. Enjoy Non-Park Time

Think about enjoying some Disney fun outside of the Parks. Take time to enjoy your Disney Resort. Have some meals, enjoy the pool activities, or do a scavenger hunt. These are all full of fun but will be less busy.

Disney has mini-golf and regular golf courses for fun family bonding. There are also water activities such as finish and boat rentals that can be a lot of fun.

Over at For Wilderness, Guests can visit the horses at Tri Circle-D Ranch and participate in various activities as more and more experiences come back.

Taking time outside the Theme Parks is a great way to see more of what Walt Disney World offers.

Satu'li Canteen, Pandora
Credit: D23

6. Have a Plan For Food

Eating is an essential part of a Disney vacation, but with large crowds, it can also be an extremely stressful part of the Disney experience.

If you plan on eating the quick service locations throughout the Parks and Resorts, make sure you know about mobile ordering. Use the My Disney Experience app to place your order early in the day to ensure you have a location and time that works for you.

When thinking about when you want to eat, if you prefer lower crowds, schedule your meals outside the main times. Avoiding supper between five and seven can be extremely helpful.

As the crowds grow, it is even more important to take time to have a plan for eating. This will prevent stress and meltdowns when people are hungry and have long waits.

Steakhouse 71- Paula Kennedy
credit: Paula Kennedy

5. Eat Outside of the Parks

Another major dining tip is to eat outside of the Parks. Some of the best dining options at Walt Disney World are at Disney Resorts. When at a Park, consider taking a quick monorail, boat, or skyliner ride to a nearby Resort for a great meal.

When in Magic Kingdom, you can have fantastic meals at all of the Magic Kingdom Resorts (Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge). Whether you hope to have a sit-down or a quick meal, these Resorts offer some outstanding options.

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, consider heading to Disney’s Boardwalk or Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Again, they have some of the best dining locations on the property.

Knowing where you can eat that will keep you out of the crowds will be extremely helpful during those busy days.

People Mover
Credit: Disney

4. Find the Quiet Spots in the Parks

Even when the Theme Parks are super busy, there are still quiet and hidden areas.  Take some time before you head down to find where these places are throughout the Parks you plan to visit.

On How to Disney, we have places where you can escape the crowds in the four Theme Parks. Use this as a starting point for finding those hidden areas. Escaping from the public on rides such as the People Mover in Magic Kingdom or walking the trails in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be highly refreshing.

My Disney Experience App

3. Follow the Wait Times

Use the My Disney Experience app to stay updated on wait times throughout your day in the Park. Don’t waste time walking back and forth around the Park only to discover long wait times. Use the app to see what waits will look like before you make your plan.

Use that to help save you steps and frustration throughout the day. You can also consider using the Tips feature in the app to help look at predicted wait times.

Ol' Man Island Pool & Doubloon Lagoon
Credit: Disney/TripAdvisor

2. Take All the Breaks

Taking breaks during any Disney vacation is vital, but when the Parks are crowded, it becomes essential to a happy trip. These breaks can be at your Walt Disney World Resort, a nearby Resort, or even within the Parks. Taking time to step away for a little while will help you reset, rest, and refresh so you are ready for more magic in the evening.

Guests outside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

1. Be Flexible With Your Plans

Plans are so important when it comes to Disney during those busy months. With these plans, make sure you are willing to be flexible with them. Once you get a feel for the crowd levels, be willing to adjust your plans accordingly.

Being flexible with your plans allows you to maneuver through crowds much easier.

Crowds are back at Walt Disney World and will continue returning this summer. Ensure you are prepared to have a wonderful time during your trip. Use these tips to manage the crowds while still having a magical 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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