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Ways to Avoid Long Lines in Walt Disney World

We all enjoy visiting Walt Disney World, but we don’t like waiting in long lines.  Some Guests think that standing and waiting is just part of a vacation to Walt Disney World, but we have some tips and suggestions on how you can avoid those long lines, or at least some of them.

Rope Drop

One way to avoid long lines at a Theme Park is to rope drop.  What exactly is rope dropping?  In the past, this was when Disney Cast Members would use an actual rope to walk Guests to rides in the morning.

Although now there isn’t always a physical rope, this refers to the official opening of a Theme Park.

If you want to be ahead of the crowds, we highly recommend that you arrive anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes prior to the scheduled opening time.

By arriving early for rope drop, you will be ahead of those that sleep in or show up right at opening.

Use Early Entry

Disney used to offer Extra Magic Hours to Resort Guests giving them an extra hour in one specific Theme Park.

Disney is now offering Early Theme Park entry to all Disney Resort Guests.  This allows Guests to enter any of the four Theme Parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) a half hour early.

We recommend that you use this option, as it will get you in front of those Guests that are staying off property and aren’t able to take advantage of this extra time in the Park.

This is a great time to try to get on those rides that are part of the Individual Lightning Lane feature.

Use Disney Genie

Disney Genie is a free planning feature found within the My Disney Experience app.  This system provides Guests with suggested touring plans and up to the minute Wait Times and suggested ride times.

If you want to avoid long lines, we suggest using Disney Genie to help plan your day.  Disney uses current data to provide Guests with the best suggestions, so why not use it to your advantage?

By selecting your top experiences, Disney Genie will then give you a suggested order for when to visit them, giving you the least amount of time in line.

Purchase Disney Genie+

Another way to avoid waiting in long lines is to purchase the new Disney Genie+.  This is a paid add-on that is $15/person/day and gives Guests access to over 40 Lightning Lanes.

Lightning Lanes are the queue that Guests who purchased Disney Genie+ are able to use and therefore bypass the Standby Lines.

Purchasing this feature can save Guests hours in line and might be a great purchase if visiting during busy times of year such as holidays, spring break, or summer.

Credit: Disney

Individual Lightning Lane Choices

Another option that Guests can choose to use for avoiding long waits is to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane.

At each of the four Theme Parks, there are two popular rides that aren’t included with Disney Genie+.  These are:

Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain

EPCOT: Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest

In order to use the Lightning Lanes for these specific rides, Guests can choose to purchase them individually.  Cost ranges from $7 to $15 per ride/person.

If these rides are important to you, consider investing in the Individual Lightning Lane to skip the long lines that typically accompany these popular rides.

Skip the Afternoons

Heading out in the afternoon is another way you can avoid long lines in the Theme Parks.

Crowds are typically at their highest from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  If you want to avoid those longer waits, think about heading out of the Parks during this time.

This is a good time to enjoy your Resort pool, have a meal, or visit other Disney Resorts.  There is so much to experience outside the four Theme Parks that these busy afternoons are a great time to take advantage of those other experiences.

Credit: Disney

Stay Late

Just like getting to the Parks early can help limit your time waiting, staying late can have the same advantage.

If Magic Kingdom or EPCOT are opened following their nighttime shows, this becomes a great time to hang out in the Theme Park with lower Wait Times.  Many Guests leave the Parks after fireworks, making crowds lessen.

Those evening hours are typically less busy as families with little ones head back to bedtime.  If your family can handle later evenings, consider taking advantage of them during your trip.

Evening Hours

If Guests are staying at a Deluxe Resort or a Deluxe Villa Resort, they can take advantage of Extended Evening Theme Park hours.

This feature is only available for EPCOT or Magic Kingdom and only on specific days, but it can be a huge advantage.

During this time, Guests are allowed to visit the specific Park for additional time after the Theme Park closes to other Guests.

If this applies to you, we highly recommend staying late and using that time to hit up some rides with short Wait Times.

Find Filler Attractions

Finally, another way to avoid long Wait Times is to look into what we call filler attractions.  These are attractions that typically don’t have Wait Times and Guests can enjoy them easily at any time.

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, consider ‘Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage’ or ‘For the First Time in Forever:  A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’.

In Magic Kingdom, there is the Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, or the beloved Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

EPCOT has a variety of films that provide a good escape from the heat and crowds, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom has KiteTails and all the different trails.

These experiences don’t usually have long waits no matter what time of year it is, and they are a great way to still have the Disney magic without having to wait around.

These are just a few suggestions on how you can avoid long Wait Times when visiting Walt Disney World.  We hope that they help you have a fantastic time in the Parks without spending a lot of time standing in lines.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.