PlanningThe ParksTips

How To Wait Less In Line at Walt Disney World

As we get closer to spring break and the summer months (yes they are coming, I promise), the crowds will also start to increase in Walt Disney World.  So many of us look forward to getting away from the cold and snow and head to the magic during these times of year.

To help you have a wonderful time, we wanted to provide some suggestions on how you can wait less in line while visiting Walt Disney World.

We have taken time to break down how to experience the top rides in each of the four Theme Parks in Walt Disney World:  Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and EPCOT; however, we wanted to also provide some overall suggestions as well.


Get to the Parks Early

Our first tip isn’t one a lot of people like to hear when on vacation, but it can make a huge difference during busy times and that is getting to the Parks early.

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or a Disney Good Neighbor hotel, you will want to take advantage of the Early Entry option that you have.  Guests at these hotels are able to get into each of the four Theme Parks and the water park a half hour before they open to regular Guests.

Even though this doesn’t seem like a huge amount of time, thirty minutes gives you the opportunity to get at least one if not two big rides done before the Parks is even opened and therefore puts you ahead the whole rest of the day.

Let’s take a minute to talk about what getting there early means though.  Understand that if you are staying at a Disney hotel and want to take advantage of early entry at say Magic Kingdom which offers it starting at 8:30 am this doesn’t mean show up at the bus stop at 8:20 am.

Getting to the Parks early means being at your mode of transportation anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes prior to when you want to be in the Park itself.  If you wait until a few minutes before opening to head to the buses you aren’t going to be saving any time.  It takes a while to get to the Theme Parks, walk to security, get through security and then to the touch points and finally into the Park.

If you really want to take advantage of that early entry time and early mornings at the Parks, you are going to have to set some alarms.  We know this isn’t super fun; however, it is a great way to wait less in line.

mk fireworks
Credit JR Photos

Stay Late at the Parks

If you are thinking absolutely no way I am setting that alarm during my vacation, then consider taking advantage of the evenings in the Parks.  Most Parks during spring break and the summer months stay open later so think about staying after the fireworks and evenings shows to hop on some rides with lower wait times.

Many families with little ones will call it a night following the nighttime shows, if they are able to make it to them in the first place, and this clears out the Parks. If you have older kids or adults that can hang for the later hours consider that as a way to wait less in line.

Another way to enjoy the Parks in evenings is by taking advantage of the extended evening hours that Guests at Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts are able to participate in.  These hours are available at either Magic Kingdom, EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios (starting in April) on specific evenings.  On their select night, the Theme Park will stay open an extra two hours following closing for those specific Resort Guests.

This is a great way to experience low wait times and have a wonderful, special experience within a Disney Park.  Consider looking into a split stay for your family if evening hours would work best for them.  A few nights at a deluxe resort could really help save time in line.

credit: Disney

Purchase Genie+

A new way that Guests can wait less in line is to look into purchasing Genie+.  This is a new feature that was added in October to the My Disney Experience app along with Disney Genie and Individual Lightning Lanes.

For $15/day/person, Guests can add Genie+ to their Disney Park day (check out more on how to purchase it HERE).  This gives Guests access to the Lightning Lanes (think path to the ride) instead of using the standby line.

This is a new feature that is constantly changing and adjusting so if you think you might want to use it, make sure to take some time to read posts about what rides you should prioritize (see HERE) and what frustrations people are having with it HERE.

Credit: Disney

Purchase Individual Lightning Lanes/Individual Attractions Selections

If Genie+ isn’t for you, maybe purchasing some Individual Attraction Selections would be better.  At each of the four Theme Parks, there are some rides that aren’t included in Genie+.  This is fluid so make sure you are checking before your trip.  Mostly it is the top rides such as Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and Avatar Flight of Passage.

If Guests want to use the Lightning Lanes for these rides, they will need to purchase them al-a-carte.  We have more information on how to do this and how much they typically cost HERE if you want to know more about this option.

Caribbean Beach

Skip the Afternoons

It isn’t a secret or a surprise that the Walt Disney World Theme Parks get the busiest in the middle of the day.  If you want to avoid waiting in long lines, skip out on this part of the day.  Consider booking a nice meal or heading back to the Resort to relax.  If you know that your family will just be frustrated having to wait in the crowds, avoid that by skipping out and finding other things to do.

The Walt Disney World Resorts offer great activities throughout the day that are fun for the whole family.  Look at Resort hopping or trying out mini golf.  Disney is more than just the four Theme Parks and you can have fun without waiting in line at some of the other options.

We hope that this helps you as you are planning your trip to Walt Disney World think about how you will wait less in line.  Look for more tips and trips on our site HERE where we work to help you have a magical 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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