PlanningThe ParksTips

Key Tips For Beating the Holiday Crowds at Disney

We are thrilled that the holidays are just around the corner at Walt Disney World.  The holidays will start at the beginning of November following the wrap-up of the fall celebrations.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World.  The magic seems extra special during this time of year.  We want you to enjoy this magic as much as possible.  To help you do this, we have some tips to beat the crowds and experience all the Disney magic during the holiday season this year.

Credit: Disney

Consider Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

We know that Disney trips are expensive and the idea of having to pay more to avoid lines is a tough one.  During these busier times, we do think that investing in Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes can make a huge difference.

These are great ways to access some of the top rides at Walt Disney World while avoiding long-hour waits.  You are already investing so much in your trip, it might be worth budgeting for these to ensure some lower waits.

We have a lot of information on How to Disney about these features.  Take a look to help you better understand what is offered with each and then determine if it is worth the cost for your family.


Be There Early

We know that setting that alarm can be tough during a Walt Disney World vacation.  If you want to beat the crowds, this is exactly what needs to happen.

Get to a Disney Park BEFORE the official Park opening.  We highly recommend getting there between 45 and 60 minutes early, so you are the first through the tap points and in line for your first ride before the Park even officially opens.

Early Entry

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, we also recommend using the Early Entry option.  Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel are allowed into the four Theme Parks 30 minutes before the listed Park opening time.

Early entry is a huge advantage for Guests staying at these Disney Resorts, as it gives them a way to access the Parks with lower crowds and therefore the chance to complete more rides.

Art of Animation Big Blue Pool
Credit: Disney Tips

Leave For Breaks

The busiest parts of the day are typically between 11 and 3 each day.  If you follow the plan to arrive early, then consider leaving during these busy times to take a break.  There are many ways to take breaks at Disney.

Think about having time at the pool, scheduling a meal, or evening visiting other Disney Resorts.  We also highly recommend looking at the lounges throughout Walt Disney World.  These are fun ways to stay in the Park but take a break at the same time.

Doing this is a way to get out of the busy afternoon crowds.  It might seem like a lot of work to get out of the Parks, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

steakhouse71 Disney

Have A Food Plan

Mealtime can get extremely busy during the holidays, so make sure you go in with a plan.

If you want to do sit-down meals, we hope you made your reservations made at the 60-day mark so you are ready to go.

Weren’t able to get a reservation? Check the walk-up list on the My Disney Experience App as soon as the restaurant opens.  This will let you know if they are going to have openings throughout the day.

Quick-service locations will also get busy, so plan ahead when it comes to Mobile Ordering.  Select your location and pick-up window early in the day to ensure you have time.

Other tips for beating the crowds during mealtime are to eat at off times such as before 11 and after 2 for lunch and before 5 and after 7 for supper.

You can also consider eating at nearby Disney Resorts as their quick-service locations typically don’t get as busy.

Stay Late

Our final suggestion for beating the crowds is to stay late.  If you have older kids or traveling with adults only, this is a great way to avoid crowds.  Most families with little ones will head out following the fireworks, and therefore lower Wait Times will be seen on a lot of the rides.

Not only do the crowds go down, but you will also have cooler temperatures.  The Disney Parks are a different level of magical during the evening hours as well.  We love seeing them under the lights.

Extended Evening Hours

Along with staying late are extended evening hours.  These are offered to Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts.  On select evenings, Guests of these Resorts are able to visit either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom.

Typically this is around two additional hours after Park closing, which is a huge advantage.  Guests will be able to take advantage of select attractions with low Wait Times.

When traveling with older kids or on an adults-only vacation, think about staying at the Parks following the evening shows to experience lower Wait Times and smaller crowds throughout the Parks.

It is so exciting to be able to experience the holidays at Walt Disney World.  The amazing Disney World Christmas decorations, special treats, and so much more add to the holiday spirit.  We hope that this will help you have a magical time and avoid some of the crowds as well during your trip to Walt Disney World this holiday season.





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.

Related Articles


Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker