By guest blogger Carl Trent of Dad’s Guide to Walt Disney World
This is going to be fun.
If you’re like me, you hate Disney World Crowds. In fact, you’ll do just about anything to miss the throngs that show up at the Walt Disney World Resort all year round. Have I got something just for you.
A couple of months ago, I talked about the best time to visit Walt Disney World. Choosing a slow time of the year using the Frog Family crowd calendar is probably the best way to avoid Disney World crowds. I’m sure there are some of you out there who are screaming, “Dad, we can only go during (insert busy time here). What are we supposed to do?” (Yes, I can hear you. I have amazing hearing.)
“Hang on, help is on its way …” (I like singing, too.)
Yep, help is on its way. In fact, I’m going to reveal the “Big Secret” about avoiding crowds at WDW. This secret could save you hours and hours when it comes to standing in lines. It could even make sure you complete the Nine By Noon Challenge even in the busiest times. Yep, I only reveal this Big Secret to my closest friends. Are you ready?
First, let’s talk about a few of my 10 tips to beat the crowds at Disney World. Trust me, these work …
- Learn how to use FASTPASS – What is FASTPASS? Glad you asked. Disney’s FASTPASS® Service is the primary program Disney uses to help you avoid the long lines at the busiest rides. It basically takes you right to the front of the line. (What is FASTPASS and how do you use it? Check this post.)
- Extra Magic Hours – If you are staying in a Disney Resort, Disney has a really nice special for you. Are you ready for this? You get the park all to yourself just for staying in a Disney Hotel. Yep, just you and the thousands of other Disney Hotel guests. On select days, you can enter one of the parks up an hour before and up to two hours after the park opens/closes to the public. This really can be a great perk and will definitely help you avoid Disney World crowds. (When should you not use Extra Magic Hours? Check this post.)
- Have a plan – Yes, it’s important to have a plan or at least an idea of what you want to do in what order. If you don’t, you might end up on Main Street, U.S.A.® in the Magic Kingdom® Park looking for that new Everest ride (which is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park). I’ve seen it happen. Don’t be that group that has to spend 20 minutes looking over the map to see what you’re going to ride next.
- Download the Frog Family wait-time apps -- The wait-time apps can tell you what the wait is for any of the park's attractions. It also lists parade times and restaurant locations to help you better plan your day.
I can tell you from long experience that these tips really work when you want to avoid Disney World Crowds. But there is that one Big Secret left. You have to promise me you won’t tell anyone because the more people that use this secret the less effective it will be. Promise? This really is amazing stuff. OK, here we go …
The super, amazing, Big Secret to avoiding Disney World Crowds is … (drum roll please)
Get to the parks early. Yep, that’s it. Get to the parks early. In fact be at the parks before they open. Yes, it works. The smallest crowds of the day are between the time the park opens and about noon. You can actually ride rides like Toy Story Mania!® Attraction, Space Mountain® Attraction, Soarin’™ Attraction, and Expedition Everest® Attraction without a wait during the first 30 minutes of the day. These rides typically have two-hour lines by mid-afternoon.
So, get out of bed you sleepyheads. Get up, get ready and get to the parks. You won’t be sorry.
Frog Family’s Strategy: Skip the lines with Tips, Apps and Real tickets
Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation is a big task. There are hundreds of things to think about. That’s where I come in. Hi, my name is Carl Trent, but I’m better known as Dad. The Disney Dad. I run a little website called DadsGuidetoWDW.com. At Dad’s Guide we want to help you plan a “Perfect” Vacation. Dad is a self-proclaimed (rarely challenged) Disney World “expert” who focuses on how to develop a plan that will allow you to have the best vacation possible.