Survival Tips: Make The Most Out Of A Crowded Day At Walt Disney World

6. Understand that crowds are inevitable

Realizing how crowded Walt Disney World can sometimes be might leave you with some sense of disappointment. Before booking your next vacation do some research into which times of the year will be the most crowded. If you must travel during a peak tourism season in Orlando, come to terms with the fact that the parks will be crowded. A crowded day at Disney is still better than a non-crowded day at home. Knowing that the crowds are out of your control will have you better equipped to deal with them as you won’t be surprised when you find yourself waiting in longer than usual lines or are being corralled as part of a cattle herd.

5. Use Fastpass

During those extra crowded times at Disney World, it is more important than ever to make sure you’re taking full advantage of Fastpass. Knowing that you’re visiting during one of the more crowded times of the year, make sure you make your Fastpass selections a week or two in advance at the minimum. Fastpasses tend to go quickly on crowded days, and they can really help in making navigating the parks a lot easier with the extra crowds.

4. And use it wisely

Everything will have some form of a wait time during crowded times of the year, but there are still certain attractions that don’t warrant a Fastpass. Regardless of the crowds, using a Fastpass for a show is almost never worth it. In addition, avoid using this service for parades and fireworks, or during times when you believe the parks will be at least somewhat quieter anyway. (These times are typically in the morning immediately after the park opens, after about 9:00 PM, or during Extra Magic Hours, either in the morning or in the evening.)

3. Do everything early

Whenever you think you want to be somewhere, plan to get there earlier. More people in the parks means more people in cars causing traffic, and more people in buses making lines to get on longer. While crowds don’t generally add too much to the average travel time, if you have specific reservations or are on a time crunch you’ll want to leave a little bit earlier just to be on the safe side.

2. Splurge on table service dining

Whether or not you usually prefer to eat at table service or quick service locations, crowded days in the park are the best times to take advantage of table service dining. Large crowds means long lines at quick service locations, and you may be required to turn into a vulture in order to snag a table. To avoid this, I’d recommend either going with table service dining instead (assuming you’ve made advanced dining reservations) or eating at quick service locations during the off times of day. If you really do prefer to eat at quick service restaurants, eat earlier or later than you expect the rush to take place, and you should free yourself from many of these potential issues. You could also use the Mobile Food and Beverage option on the My Disney Experience App available at numerous Quick Service dining spots throughout Disney World.

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1. Be patient

This might not be exactly what you want to hear, but when dealing with big crowds in Walt Disney World, the most important thing you can do is have a whole lot of patience. The extra crowds mean that you’ll be doing everything a little slower than you’re used to. Lines will be longer, and even walking through the parks will take longer simply because of the crowds taking up so much of the walkways. Instead of being aggravated that your vacation is moving at a slower place, which is completely out of your control, understand in advance that certain times (like Christmas and Fourth of July for instance) are much more crowded than others in the parks, and the best thing you can do is really just to make the most of it. Like I said before, a crowded day at Disney World is really better than any day at home. Just be aware that the crowds may exist more during certain times, and be prepared for your days to move along just a little bit slower.

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.