10 Ways To Survive A Crowded Day At Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

1. Stay at a Disney resort

Staying at a Disney resort can help you when it comes to dealing with crowds for a couple of reasons. For one, getting to the Magic Kingdom will be easier, as you’ll be able to bypass the parking lot to the monorail or ferry at the Transportation and Ticket Center by taking a bus, skyliner, monorail, or boat right to the park. You’ll also be able to quickly head back to your resort while staying nearby if you want to take a midday break, and you’ll be entitled to additional benefits like package pickup at your resort and…

2. Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours allow Disney resort guests to enjoy the theme parks either an hour before opening or a couple of hours after they close on select days. If you visit the Magic Kingdom on a crowded day that offers Extra Magic Hours, you’ll have a much easier time navigating the parks and getting on certain attractions as day-guests will no longer be in the park.

3. Arrive early

Even on some of the most crowded days of the year, the Magic Kingdom can still take some time to fill up. If you arrive when the park opens, you’ll be able to experience some of your favorite attractions with little or no wait times. The longer you sleep in, the more crowded the park will get, so getting to the park in the morning can be a must-do for a crowded day at the park.

4. Stay in the park

On those most crowded days of the year, like Christmas week, New Years, and sometimes Fourth of July, you may need to get in the park and stay there for the entire day. When the park reaches capacity, guests will stop being let in based on the kind of ticket they have, and you don’t want to find yourself left out of a full park.

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5. Use FastPass+

Using Disney’s FastPass service is a must when the crowds are heavy. No matter how you plan your day touring the park, you are going to find yourself waiting at length for at least a couple of attractions, and using FastPasses for others can help relieve that pain. Be sure to book FastPasses early though. FastPasses for the busiest times of year can often run out long in advance, and you don’t want to arrive at the park only to be forced into standby lines for the entire day.

6. Come to terms with the fact that you’re going to have to wait

No matter how you plan your day, a crowded day at the Magic Kingdom means that you are going to have to wait. Whether it be a long line at a quick service restaurant or the long wait times you will definitely encounter for your favorite attractions, try not to be frustrated by the crowds. Unfortunately since no amount of preparation can help you completely avoid crowds, you may want to spring for a longer trip if you know the parks will be crowded so you can still experience everything you want to do.

7. Eat at off times

Quick service restaurants will be busy, especially during the prime lunch and dinner rushes. You can avoid this by either bringing your own food (which would also save you money) or by eating at off times. Having an early dinner or a late lunch can make the world of difference when so many other guests choose to dine at the more standard times. Plus, don’t forget to take advantage of Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering with the My Disney Experience App.

8. Make advanced dining reservations

If you do not mind spending some time eating, make dining reservations in advance to ensure that you’ll have a table available for you at a table service restaurant. While you can sometimes find a table somewhere last-minute, depending on the crowd levels this may not be the case. If you’d like a table service meal in the park, better to be safe than sorry and grab a reservation before your trip.

9. Arrive early for parades and fireworks

Have a certain spot that you like to see the fireworks from? Hundreds of other guests probably have the same idea, so if your Disney vacation is not going to be complete without you seeing the fireworks from the spot of your choosing, you’ll want to start camping out for a spot early.

10. Do less-popular attractions

Dealing with crowds is never fun, but these times of year at Walt Disney World are sometimes nice because they give you an opportunity to do attractions you usually skip. For instance, if you’ve never felt up for Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, but the wait time is significantly shorter than everywhere else, give it a try—you’ll probably enjoy the attraction, and you will definitely enjoy getting inside and out of the crowds.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.