Clever Ways to ‘Sneak’ Into Disney Parks

Sneaking into Disney World Feature Image

The primary entranceways leading into the various theme parks that make up the Walt Disney World Resort scene are all straightforward and easy to locate. Any time of day during a Park’s regular hours of operation, you’re more than likely to find these entrances bustling with crowds and activity. Between those overpacked, lagging Guests who are forever successful in holding up the already-lengthy lines forming behind them during the baggage check process to the general slow-going “people traffic” in general, there’s no denying that the initial entry into Disney Parks is perhaps the least magical endeavor to your overall visit.

The frustration of trying to get into Disney Park locations through a congested entrance may send the wheels in your head into overdrive, just trying to come up with a better way, an alternative to having to contend with so much crowding around. But you know the importance of Park Security Checkpoints and can’t begrudge Disney from carrying out the process. If only it weren’t so tedious, though! If only there were a way to enter quickly without all the folks around you making the process that much slower and unbearable! Well, what if I told you there are several alternative entry points by which you may enter some of your favorite Disney Parks? Because they are far less utilized than the primary entrances, these other options are often significantly less crowded and much quicker moving as far as the whole Park check-in process goes. They’re also among some of Disney’s best-kept secrets, given their often-overlooked nature.

In addition to utilizing alternate secret entrances, there are also several tricks of the trade you need to learn about to get into Disney Parks during more restrictive times when the Parks are not fully open to the public. Take note of these clever tactics, and you will come to master the art of “sneaking” into Disney Parks.

RELATED: Do You Know These 8 Secrets for Navigating the Magic Kingdom?

Disney’s Magic Kingdom Via the Contemporary Resort’s Walkway

While it’s true that a walking trail from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to Magic Kingdom Park has since been established more recently, for many years, Disney’s Contemporary Resort featured the only direct walking path leading up to the Magic Kingdom. And for convenience and accessibility, it is still the preferred option for walking to the Park, when compared to the newer, lengthier installment. Although, there is arguably much more to be said about the scenic views the Grand Floridian route provides along the way. All the same, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with its ideal location literally next door, unquestionably has the closest onsite walkway leading to Magic Kingdom Park. Therefore, Guests making the journey via this route actually have their very own entrance awaiting them. And, as you’d expect, given the exclusivity of this passage to Contemporary Resort Guests, it is a much less crowded option.

Now here’s the hack; even if you aren’t a Guest staying onsite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can still utilize this method for Park entry. First, devise a plan to get on over to the Contemporary Resort. Then continue on your way as though you were a Guest traveling by way of the walking path.


Credit: Disney Tips

RELATED: Guide: Walking to Walt Disney World Parks from the Resorts

EPCOT Via the International Gateway

Anyone who has ever visited EPCOT knows firsthand just how ridiculously crowded things can get at the front entrance leading into the Park. But another less-crowded option can be found at the back of the Park. I am, of course, referring to that lesser-utilized International Gateway entry point. While this alternate entrance can hardly be called a “secret,” there is considerably less foot traffic when venturing into EPCOT via this method.

This is the more convenient option for Guests staying at an accommodation based in the EPCOT Resort Area, such as Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, or even the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. And because of its proximity to the Disney Skyliner, it also suits the needs of Resort Guests arriving in such a way from such places as Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

EPCOT International Gateway

Credit: Disney-Military-Tips

RELATED: Tips for Doing EPCOT Like a Pro

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Via Rainforest Café

Disney’s Animal Kingdom also has a “secret” entrance to take note of. To find it, head over to the Rainforest Café right when you arrive, which you may enter into without even going to the Park’s primary entrance. Even if you do not intend to dine here, you may still come in through the gift shop, where you will notice another turnstile taking you straight into the Park. What a way to avoid the more popular, highly congested route!


Credit: Disney Tips

RELATED: The Secret Entrance Into Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Cast Member Turnstiles

In getting back to the idea of avoiding crowded turnstiles in general, here’s a helpful hint to keep in mind. You may also see some turnstiles marked with various overhead labels. While most Guests stick to the general turnstiles without any significant markings or callouts, you should watch for any labeled as “Cast Members” overhead. If you find that the lines for unassigned turnstiles are particularly lengthy, but the Cast Member-noted turnstiles are clear or contain significantly lighter traffic, there’s nothing stopping you from entering via this method. The Cast Member designation only states that these are the turnstiles that Disney Cast Members can use to enter the Parks. But notice there is nothing that denotes this entry is exclusive to only Cast Members. In truth, unless otherwise stated in plain language, anyone may use these turnstiles to shave off a little travel time and avoid a bit of congestion.

Cast Member Turnstile

Book a Pre-Park Opening Breakfast

If you’re hungry for a delicious way to get into your favorite Disney Park before opening time, then booking a Pre-Park Breakfast may be just the thing. While each Park has designated public opening times, various restaurants within said Park limits may open earlier to the advantage of those who reserve an early breakfast time slot. Of course, you’ll need to make an Advance Dining Reservation to be admitted through an early entry turnstile. And just because you’re in the Park earlier doesn’t mean all the attractions will be up and running yet. Just enjoy your early breakfast, and then by the time your meal is over, the Park should be opening to all others, and you will have lucked out on skipping all the pomp and circumstance of a crowded entry.

Pre-Park Opening Breakfast

RELATED: Unique Breakfast Novelties You Need to Try at Disney World

Stay at a Disney Resort

It’s no secret that staying at a Walt Disney Resort has many specialized perks and benefits. It can even offer you exclusive Park entry at certain times when the Parks are not open to the general public. All Guests staying on Disney property and those staying at participating Good Neighbor Resorts are permitted the benefits of Early Theme Park Entry. This basically means that you get to enter whichever Park you have a reservation for bright and early—30 minutes ahead of the official opening time.

It’s also worth mentioning that for Guests staying at Deluxe Resort accommodations, specifically, Disney offers Extended Evening Hours on select nights. This allows Deluxe Resort Guests to have two additional hours in whichever Park is offering Extended Evening Hours on a given night.

Early and Late Resort Guest Benefits

RELATED: Only 30 Minutes? Is Disney’s ‘Early Park Entry’ Perk Really Worth It?

The available entryways and access routes are forever changing at Walt Disney World. This is especially true regarding those times when sudden construction updates prompt closures and mitigated rerouting is needed. So, staying up-to-date on the latest developments is always best as you keep this cheat sheet on hand.

In addition to “sneaking” into Disney Parks, there are many other excellent tactics for navigating different lands within a Park via under-utilized passageways or even accessing connecting restaurants while out and about Disney Springs.

Oh, magical connectedness of getting around in Walt Disney World!

About Laura

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several pets. She visits Walt Disney World whenever she can. Additionally, she is a published author of three novels, a children’s book, and has a passion for gardening.