Ways to Escape From Crowds in Walt Disney World

As we have entered the holiday season, we are seeing larger crowds in Walt Disney World and we assume this trend will continue moving forward. The time period between Christmas and the New Year is historically one of the busiest times of year in Walt Disney World and we anticipate this year to be the same.

If you are heading down to Walt Disney World during this time, or really any busy times, we have a few suggestions on how you can escape the crowds during your vacation.

Arrive Early


One great way to get ahead of the crowds is to hit the Theme Parks early.  If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, take advantage of the early theme Park entry. By getting to the Theme Parks early, you are able to get in front of the crowds that will build during the afternoon hours of the day.

Take Breaks

Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation

Another great way to avoid the crowds is by taking a break when the crowds are the busiest in the afternoons. Head back to your Resort for a nice nap, swim, or to participate in some of the fun Resort activities. These breaks can be an excellent way to escape long lines and overcrowded Parks during a Walt Disney World vacation.

Stay Late

Photo Credit: Disney

If your family is able to stay up later, consider hanging out at the Parks later at night. Crowds tend to be less during this time as families head back early to put little ones in bed. Those Guests staying at a Deluxe Resort or a Deluxe Villa Resort can take advantage of the extending evening Theme Park hours.

On select nights at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, Guests of these Resorts get extended times to enjoy most rides and attractions. This is a fantastic way to avoid crowds and get some great rides accomplished.

Eat At Off Times

Credit: Joffrey’s

Quick service locations throughout Walt Disney World get extremely busy during peak mealtime. To avoid these large crowds, consider choosing off times to eat your meals. Eating lunch before 11 and after 1 pm as well as supper outside the hours of 5 and 7 pm are great ways to avoid peak meal time crowds.

Plan ahead by booking your mobile orders early on in the day so you can select ideal arrival times for your family.

Avoid Weekends – Especially EPCOT

Credit: Disney

We know that not all vacation plans can skip weekends as many of us use those to extend our vacation time at work and make sure kids miss less school; however, if you can avoid weekends that do so. Weekends, especially when it comes to EPCOT, bring in the locals as they have time off to visit the magic.

If you are visiting Walt Disney World for a week, consider using the weekends as a non-park day. By staying out of the Parks during the weekends, you can really avoid the big crowds that we see.

Enjoy Non-Park Days

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Another way to escape from the crowds in Walt Disney World is to enjoy some of the magic offered outside of the Theme Parks and Disney Springs. The Walt Disney World Resorts are a fantastic vacation escape all on their own.  Take some time to enjoy the pool and activities that they have to offer.

You can enjoy visiting other Resorts on the property by using Disney transportation. Take a ride on the Skyliner or monorail so you can see what there is to offer at all the different Resorts.

Disney also offers golfing and mini-golfing, bowling, and a movie theater if you are looking for something unique and different to do at Walt Disney World. Think about trying out some of these non-park options as ways to avoid the crowds.

Find the Quiet Spots

Carousel of Progress

As the Parks get busy, know where you can find quiet spots to hang out and get out of the crowd. Each of the four Parks has options that can keep Guests in the magic but out of the crowds.

In Magic Kingdom, Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Enchanted Tiki Room, and PhilharMagic are all ways to get out of the crowds and the heat. Also in Magic Kingdom, heading to the back of the Park at places like Tom Sawyer Island and Storybook Circus are also ways to get away from the crowds.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has become hard lately to escape the crowd, but consider checking out a show such as For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along and the newly returning Indiana Jones:  Epic Stunt Spectacular. These are ways to find a seat and watch a good show.

EPCOT has a lot of hidden places where you can get away from the crowds, especially back in the World Showcase. All the country pavilions have amazing hidden paths that Guests can explore and enjoy some quiet time.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, enjoy some of the trails throughout the Parks or find a hidden spot in Asia or Africa to relax.

Credit: Matthew Cooper –

If you look, each Theme Park offers hidden quiet places where you can escape from the crowd as well as some larger locations where you can sit and relax while being entertained. If you aren’t a fan of crowds, we hope that these tips will give you ways to escape from them when you are visiting the Theme Parks.

Walt Disney World is a magical vacation spot, but crowds can be difficult to navigate.  Use these tips as ways to escape the crowds during your next vacation.

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.