5 Ways To Survive A Crowded Day At Walt Disney World

5. Get to the parks early, or stay out late

By getting to the parks early (and by early I mean right when they open) or staying out late (a.k.a. until the park closes) you’ll be experiencing the least crowded times of day. While it might still be super crowded depending on the day and time of year, this is going to be your best bet for getting around the crowds. In general, the middle part of the day tends to be the busiest. This means that you should wait in the stand by line for attractions earlier in the day or much later at night, and try to book Fastpasses for the times in the middle of the day when the lines should theoretically be longer anyway.

4. Eat at off times of day

During extremely crowded days at the parks, you might find yourself waiting a very long time for some quick service lunch. To offset the long waits for food that is supposed to come to you “quick,” eat at off times of day. I generally avoiding sitting in a restaurant for lunch on crowded days altogether. When the park is so crowded that the line for any kind of restaurant is almost as long as the line for an attraction, I opt for snacking all day instead of sitting down for a meal. I can easily find a spot with no wait to enjoy a churro, and if I get hungry in a little bit there’s a Mickey ice cream bar waiting for me somewhere. If you really want to sit down and have a meal though, either make reservations in advance or a table service restaurant, or eat at an off time to avoid the rush at a quick service restaurant. Plus – Don’t forget to take advantage of the Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering available via the My Disney Experience app at multiple quick service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World property!

3. Enjoy less popular attractions

A crowded day at the parks can be a great time to enjoy some of the less popular attractions that you usually skip over. If you’re in Tomorrowland, and the wait time for Space Mountain is just not something you’d want to be doing, head on over to the Peoplemover or the Carousel of Progress. The attractions that you would usually pass up will most likely be the ones with shorter waits if the parks are very crowded.

2. Prioritize Fastpass+

This point is especially true if you know in advance that the park is going to be very crowded on a certain day. For instance, if you’re traveling to Walt Disney World during Christmas week, you can expect every day to be extremely crowded. In a time like this, you’ll definitely want to make Fastpass selections in advance. Remember the earlier point of prioritizing the time of day that you make Fastpass selections. Ideally you want the selections to be in the middle of the day, or in the morning. (In the middle so that you can use Fastpass+ during the time of day that is the most busy, or the morning so that after you use your first three Fastpasses you can head to a kiosk to make some more selections.) Prioritizing the Fastpass+ service also means making sure you definitely use whatever Fastpasses you book. If it seems like you’re not going to make the time of your Fastpass for whatever reason, either try to change it on the app on your phone, or head to the nearest Fastpass kiosk so you don’t miss out on any of the experiences you’re trying to reserve.

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1. Just go with it

A crowded day at Walt Disney World is better than any day at home, right? Regardless of how large the crowds are, you came to Disney to have fun, and that’s exactly what you’re going to do. Much like the rain, I’d recommend just going with it. If you really want to do something that has a really long wait, just hop in line. Wait times are often overestimated anyway, and even if it means waiting a very long time, you’ll be happier in the long run if you were able to experience something that had been on your “must do” list for a while. This point can also go along with walking down crowded streets or through busy shops—simply understand that Disney can get very crowded, and just make the most of your visit.

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.