PlanningThe ParksTips

Tips to Avoid Crowds at Walt Disney World

It seems like crowds are back in Walt Disney World as wait times have increased throughout the four Theme Parks and Resorts are filling up quickly.

Don’t let the crowds scare you away from a Walt Disney World vacation, instead use these tips for avoiding the crowds so you can still have a fantastic time.

Weekdays vs Weekends

If you have a lot of flexibility with your travel days, consider trying to avoid weekends in the Theme Park.  Crowds tend to build on the weekends throughout the Parks as locals and those within driving distance pop down for a quick get-away.

Use the weekends as an option for staying at the Resort for a pool day and for enjoying the activities that the Resorts offer.

If you are able to figure out how to avoid the Theme Parks on the weekend you will be able to avoid some of the larger crowds.

Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Be Early or Late

Another tip for avoiding the crowds at the Disney Parks is to be an early bird or a night owl.

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can take advantage of early entry at any of the four Theme Parks.  This gets them into the Parks 30 minutes prior to the listed opening time.

By getting to the Parks early you can really get a lot done in a short amount of time.  Most Guests don’t arrive at the Parks until 10 or even 11 so being there early can really be a huge advantage.

At the same time if you aren’t an early bird, consider staying late.  Guests that are staying at a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort can experience extended time at either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom on select days.

This gives Guests around 2 extra hours in the Park after the official closing.  Those that are able to stay up late can really do a lot during this extra time.

Think about what will work the best for your travel party and take advantage of these times that are less busy in the Theme Parks.

Caribbean Beach
Credit: Disney

Take Breaks

The Disney Parks get the busiest during the middle of the day.  In order to avoid these long lines and high crowds, consider taking a break back at your Resort or outside of the Theme Park.

Afternoons are a great time to experience the amazing pool at your Disney Resort hotel or even take a nap.

If you aren’t wanting to go all the way back to your Disney Resort, take some time to visit some of the other Resorts nearby.  When in the Magic Kingdom, walk over the Grand Floridian or Disney’s Contemporary Resort to get a snack or enjoy a drink.

Knowing that crowds will get to everyone and having some break time planned into the vacation will help your group have a better overall experience.

Woody's Lunch Box
Credit: Disney

Eat At Off Times and Locations

Crowds gather during main meal times such as between 11 and 1 for lunch and around 5 to 7 for supper.  Because of this, you will want to plan accordingly to avoid long lines during meal times.

Consider eating at off times or making plans to leave the Parks to visit dining locations outside of the Theme Parks.  If you are in Magic Kingdom, think about Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Over near EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can have a great meal at Cape May Cafe or Ale & Compass.

By getting out of the Theme Parks to eat, you can take a break from the crowds and have a nice, relaxing meal.

If you are wanting to stay in the Parks to eat, make sure you have those dining reservations made early on or get your mobile order in early.  Doing this will help you be a step ahead of the crowds during mealtime.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney


A new option for fighting crowds is to look into purchasing Genie+ for your vacation.  Genie+ is $15/person/day and will give Guests access to the Lightning Lanes for a variety of rides throughout the Theme Parks.

Guests can add this to their package or add it on a day-by-day basis once they are in Walt Disney World.

Even though this is an additional cost to your vacation, if you are traveling during busier times such as spring break or the holidays it might be a great option for avoiding crowds.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Non-Theme Park Experiences

The great thing about Walt Disney World is that there is so much to do and experience even outside the four Theme Parks.

Consider visiting one of the Disney water parks, Disney Springs, or enjoy mini-golf.  Each of these experiences is fun you can have on your vacation while staying away from the crowds.

We also enjoy visiting Disney Resorts as a way to experience the magic while being away from the crowds.  Doing a Skyliner or monorail snack or drink crawl can be a lot of fun and a fantastic way to see other Resorts on property.

If you are wanting to enjoy the magic but be outside of the Theme Parks you can find a variety of activities to choose from throughout the Walt Disney World Resort property.

It seems like crowds are back at Walt Disney World, but don’t let that prevent you from planning a magical vacation.  Use these tips to avoid the crowds and then take a look at some of our other tips and tricks.

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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