Walt Disney World is a fantastic place for guests to enjoy a vacation whether it is their first visit or their hundredth. With so many attractions and experiences to enjoy it can be a little overwhelming for first time guests trying to do and see it all. Veteran guests know that it is simply impossible to experience everything that Walt Disney World has to offer on one vacation alone, but that there are definitely tips and tricks to make time in the parks more enjoyable. These insider secrets can cover everything from saving time and stress to avoiding crowds and long waits. While the tips and tricks are simple, they have proven true for Disney insiders! Here are five tips that Walt Disney World insiders don’t want you to know!
5. Rope Drop
One of the most important insider tips for getting the most out of a Walt Disney World vacation is getting to one of the four parks for rope drop. If a park opens at eight, guests should be there at seven thirty. Getting there early allows guests to ensure that they are some of the first people inside of the park and they are rewarded with minimal crowds and low wait times on popular attractions that generally are very crowded. Guests who arrive for rope drop are also treated to shows or speeches that ceremoniously open the park for the day. The Magic Kingdom’s opening show features song, dance, Disney characters, and a grand countdown. Being at the park before rope drop is a key insider secret!
4. Go Left
This small insider tip can save some time waiting on line for various attractions. On many attraction queues throughout Walt Disney World, the line subtly splits into two sides along the way. Guests often times unconsciously move to the right side of the queue, making the left side generally a little shorter. While it might not save a ton of time, every minute counts on a Disney vacation so it can’t hurt! Next time guests are on a Disney vacation, they should always go left.
3. Second Entrances
On crowded days, the entrances to the parks can become packed with long lines of guests waiting to tap their Magic Bands and enter for the day. While the lines tend to move quickly, an insider tip to save a few minutes is to use one of the hidden entrances located in two of the parks. In Epcot, guests who are entering the park from the area of Walt Disney World near the Boardwalk Resort can utilize an entrance in World Showcase. Nestled between the France Pavilion and the United Kingdom Pavilion is a gateway that generally has few lines and crowds. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also features a somewhat hidden entrance inside of the Rainforest Café located at the front of the park. When there is a long line of guests waiting to enter either Epcot or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, consider using one of these hidden entrances to save some time.
2. Go Against the Crowd
This Disney insider tip can be learned simply by being aware and observing crowd patterns. Many times when a park opens, the majority of guests head directly for a specific attraction or area of the park. For example, when the Magic Kingdom opens most guests tend to head towards Fantasyland or Tomorrowland and in Disney’s Hollywood Studios most guests head straight for Toy Story Land (and soon to be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge). A great way to save time and the frustration of crowds is to consciously go against them. If guests look like they are all headed right towards Tomrorrowland, head left towards Adventureland! The result is low crowds and the ability to experience several attractions in the time it would have taken to enjoy one when crowded.
1. Extra Magic Hours
Guests who are staying on property at a Walt Disney World Resort can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours which allow them to enter into one park up to an hour early and stay in another park up to three hours later than the general public. These Extra Magic Hours are some of the best times to experience the four theme parks and their most popular attractions as there tend to be low crowds, low wait times, and cooler temperatures. Disney insiders will head to Epcot for Extra Magic Hours and head straight to Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, or Test Track Presented by Chevrolet to experience these popular attractions with little wait times. Other attractions that are perfect for experiencing during Extra Magic Hours are Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours is a Disney insider trick that is well worth it!