PlanningThe ParksTips

Making the Most of Early Entry at Disney

Early entry is a perk that those staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can take advantage of during their Walt Disney World vacation.  Early entry allows Guests of these specific participating Resorts to enter the four Disney Theme Parks a half-hour early.

Although 30 minutes might not seem like a lot of time, these 30 minutes can really make a huge difference in Guests’ overall experience throughout the day.

When we look at the early entry, there are a few keys tips Guests will want to keep in mind to get the most out of this perk.

Take a look at our early entry tips and see if the early entry will be something that will work for your travel party while in Walt Disney World.

alarm clock
Credit: DisneyTips

Set That Alarm

In order to truly take advantage of early entry, you are going to need to set that alarm.  Even though you likely will want to sleep in at some point during your Disney vacation, it won’t be on a morning you want to attend early entry.

We highly recommend getting on the first wave of transportation meaning heading out of your Resort a good hour before early entry.  By heading out an hour before early entry is scheduled to open, you will easily be through security, the touchpoints, and checked into early entry before the projected opening time.

Having this strategy you will truly be able to use the 30 extra minutes for rides, therefore, getting ahead of the crowds.

Setting that alarm isn’t always fun but it will definitely pay off when it comes to being ahead of the crowds.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Know Your Transportation Options

In order to take advantage of early entry, you will want to make sure you know what transportation options will be available the night before you plan to attend early entry.

Depending on what Walt Disney World Resort you are staying at will determine what transportation options you will have available to you.  Buses are the most common options; however, from some Resorts, you can ride the monorail, boat, skyliner, or even walk to early entry at one or more of the Walt Disney World Parks.

Take some time to make sure you are aware of what mode of transportation you will need to use the night before so you know where to head in the morning.

Magic Kingdom Castle
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Have a Park Pass

In order to attend early entry Guests need to not only be staying at a participating Walt Disney World Resort but also have a valid Theme Park ticket and a Park Pass Reservation.

Guests visiting Walt Disney World need to make a Park Pass Reservation indicating which of the four Theme Parks they plan on starting on each day of their vacation.

This is key for being able to attend early entry as park passes are needed to have access to the Theme Park.

We highly recommend making your Park Pass Reservations early on in your planning process as they do fill up during peak times.

Don’t forget this important step before heading to early entry.

Navi River Journey

Have a Plan

If you have determined that early entry will work for your travel party, you will want to go in with a plan.

We already mentioned making sure you set that alarm to get to the transportation around an hour prior to early entry time.

After you have discussed this, the next step will be knowing what rides are going to be opened.  Not all rides and experiences are opened during early entry so being aware of what you can ride is key before showing up.

Magic Kingdom Park

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress


  • Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ™
  • Toy Story Mania!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • TriceraTop Spin

Having a plan of which ride or two you want to prioritize will allow you to get the most of this time in the Parks.

Credit: Disney

Know Your Best Strategy

As you make your plan for early entry, know that not all rides are created equal during this time.  If you are up and there early, use this time to try to get on some of the most popular rides with lower wait times.

In Magic Kingdom, you will want to hit up Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight as one of your top stops.  For Disney’s Hollywood Studios, if you are wanting to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, early entry is a great time to do so.  Slinky Dog Dash and Millenium Falcon Smuggler’s Run are also top choices to knock out early.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is where you will want to head to Pandora for Avatar: Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey.  Expedition Everest is also a great choice for this Park.  Finally, in EPCOT you will want to hit up Remy’s Ratolouie Adventure, Frozen Ever After, or Test Track.

Knowing what rides to prioritize when you arrive at the early entry it can really make a huge difference when it comes to your wait times throughout the day.

Early entry is a great perk for those who stay at Walt Disney World Resort hotels.  By having a plan, getting there early, and knowing which rides are the most important to get to, you can make the most out of these 30-minutes.

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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