It seems that the Disney crowds have officially returned to Walt Disney World along with the holiday season. We are thrilled to see so many families enjoy the magic once again, but that means longer waits and just more people overall in the Parks.
We have some tips for how you can avoid crowds during the busy times of the year at Walt Disney World. These suggestions are for the holiday season, as well as spring break, summer 2022, and other busy times.
These tips can help you to navigate the Parks and crowds with more success, making your Disney vacation even more magical.
Consider Weekdays Over Weekends
Most of us travel over the weekends as it gives us more vacation time; however, if you are able to schedule around the weekends, that will help you to avoid some of the big crowds.
Weekends have a pattern of being busier as locals and Annual Passholders use that time to enjoy the Theme Parks as well.
As you think about your vacation plans, consider using weekends as your non-park days to avoid some of the larger crowds.
Weekends are a good time to enjoy the Resort pool, sleep in, or even visit other Walt Disney World Resorts.
If you can figure out how to stay out of the Theme Parks on the weekend, you can avoid some of the larger crowds.
Get There Early
We have all heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm,” and that is extremely accurate when it comes to Walt Disney World.
If you want to beat the majority of the crowds, get to the Theme Parks early in the mornings.
Those Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. This is when those Guests staying at Disney Resorts can get into the Theme Parks a half hour prior to the listed opening time.
This is a huge advantage and one that can really put you ahead of the crowd for the whole day.
When we talk about getting to the Parks early, this doesn’t mean to show up at the listed opening time. To get ahead of the crowd, you will want to be at your Theme Park of choice anywhere from 45 to 30 minutes before opening.
By getting to the Theme Parks early, you can often hit those highly popular rides such as Avatar Flight of Passage, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Slinky Dog Dash, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with a limited wait.
Getting these rides done early on can set the rest of the day up for success!
Know When and Where to Eat
Everyone in the Theme Parks will need to eat at some time so in order to avoid a large wait and lots of people, consider being strategic with when and where you eat your meals.
When it comes to when to eat, think about eating at off times. Most Guests want their meals during what we would consider “normal” mealtime hours; lunch from 11:00 to 1:00 and supper from 5:00 to 7:00.
To avoid these crowded times, think about eating earlier or later on in the day. By doing so you will have fewer people and more options when it comes to dining.
Another way to avoid crowds during mealtime is to think about eating at out of the way locations.
If you are in the Magic Kingdom, consider taking the monorail or boat to one of the nearby Resorts for an outstanding meal at Geyser Point, Grand Floridian Cafe, or the new Steakhouse 71.
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.
Enjoy Non-Theme Park Experiences
Walt Disney World is more than the four Theme Parks. With two Water Parks, mini golf, Disney Springs, and all the Disney Resorts there is so much else to see and do.
A great way to avoid the big crowds is to schedule activities outside of the Theme Parks.
Think about doing a Resort tour and visit all the monorail or Disney Skyliner Resorts for something fun.
Go and see the amazing horses at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Fort Wilderness or take in some shopping at Disney Springs during the day.
There are so many experiences outside of the Theme Parks that are just as magical, and that can get you away from the larger crowds.
Crowds can be overwhelming for everyone, so allow yourself some time to have breaks where you take a moment to breathe away from the crowds.
This might be heading back to your Resort for a swim and a nap, or it might be finding a quiet place in the Theme Parks to take a moment and enjoy some snacks.
This is another good time to visit some of the nearby Resorts. The lobbies and lounges of many of the Deluxe Resorts are fantastic and fun to see. They allow you to have some downtime during a vacation.
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.
Plan Your Path
Another way to avoid crowds is to have an overall touring plan for the day.
By knowing where you want to go and what you want to experience, it will prevent you from having to walk back and forth in the crowd.
It can be frustrating trying to navigate an extremely busy Theme Park. If you have a general plan of attack, you will hopefully not find yourself walking back and forth from Tomorrowland to Adventureland throughout the day.
We are happy that families are starting to head back to Walt Disney World for magical vacations once again, but that also means that crowds are coming back. We hope that these tips on how to avoid crowds will help you as you plan a wonderful Walt Disney World vacation.