There are so many great rides and attractions to enjoy at Walt Disney World, that in an ideal world you’d get to experience every single one of them during a Disney vacation. Of course, you’ll have your non-negotiable attractions, but otherwise, it’s fun to make your Disney day your own.
Lines for Disney attractions can vary from one day to the next when visiting Walt Disney World. Holidays bring larger crowds, as well as the opening of new attractions, and periods where Disney discounts are offered. These are all things to consider when planning a Disney vacation.
The addition of Disney Genie and Lightning Lane are options that you can take when you’re visiting Lake Buena Vista during peak times. However, the paid Disney experience has received mixed reviews. Some Guests report that it has helped them to enjoy more attractions than usual. Others say that they’d rather have spent the money on something else. We’ll leave you to make your own judgment on that.
Tracking wait times ahead of your vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort can be a good way to plan your days in the Parks. This can be especially true for the more popular attractions such as Space Mountain, Avatar: Flight of Passage, and the newest addition to EPCOT, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
But there’s another way to judge crowds within each Disney Park, ahead of your visit and whilst you are right inside the theme park. That’s right, consider the attractions that don’t generally have a long line. And by a long line, we mean more than around 20 minutes!
The OG Park of Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom is known to have plenty of top-rated attractions. Expect a line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight even before the Disney theme park has opened. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Tomorrowland Speedway, Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain are also attractions that have a long line throughout the day in Magic Kingdom.
But the real test is if the following rides and attractions have a long line. If they do, then you can be sure that you are visiting Magic Kingdom on a really busy day!
- Country Bear Jamboree – time it right and arrive just as the previous show is about to end, and you’ll get to enjoy this original attraction within 10 minutes.
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic – another attraction to arrive at just as the previous show is ending. Generally, you shouldn’t expect to see a line outdoors here.
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – located behind Cinderella Castle, this Disney ride lets on a fair few Guests at any one time. The line generally moves quickly when there’s one, but you shouldn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for this attraction on most days.
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – this is a great place to take a break from the sun as well as sing along to a Sherman Brothers classic! With shows running every 16 minutes, this is another attraction to arrive at just as a previous show is ending. If this has a long line, then you know you’re visiting on a really busy day!
- Tom Sawyer Island – with rafts crossing the Rivers of America every few minutes, you should be able to get across to the island pretty quickly. But if there’s a line, then you may want to come back a little later on. You’ll get to enjoy the Island with fewer Guests on it then, too.
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – as a Disney ride that allows for Guests to continuously board, the line for the PeopleMover should move pretty quickly. It’s very rare though that you have to wait in line for more than 10 minutes for this attraction.
The second Park to have opened at Walt Disney World, EPCOT has quite the mix of attractions to offer Guests. Enjoy top-rated attractions such as Test Track, Soarin’ Around The World, and Frozen Ever After after at least 30 minutes in line. But the following attractions generally have a short wait time, unless visiting EPCOT during peak seasons (including weekends during an EPCOT Festival):
- Living with the Land – this gentle boat ride offers Guests a tour of the greenhouses that are used to grow produce for the restaurants around Walt Disney World. You know it’s busy in EPCOT, or Soarin’ has just broken down when this has a long line.
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros – located in the Mexico Pavilion, you can generally expect to board the ride in less than 15 minutes. A visit to EPCOT World Showcase isn’t complete without seeing the Three Caballeros in this boat adventure.
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment – this slow ride guides Guests through Dr. Nigel Channing’s whimsical labs. It’s a ride that some Guests may prefer to skip unless it’s a walk-on! Prepare to be singing the Sherman Brothers’ classic song for the rest of the day, after riding this!
- Turtle Talk With Crush – this interactive chat with Crush from Finding Nemo (2003) is 15 minutes in length. Time it right, and you will walk straight into this experience unless it’s super busy!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
With recent expansions at this Disney Park, including Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you should hold the expectation that there will be a line for most attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are however 2 attractions that you should generally be able to enjoy with 10 minutes unless visiting during peak season:
- MuppetVision 3D – it’s been at the Park for a while, so for most Guests, this isn’t a new experience. It’s a great place to sit down in the AC though when it has a minimal wait.
- Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie – another great place to escape the sun for a few minutes, unless it has a long line!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Similar to Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some top-rated attractions that you can expect to have a line before Park opening. Avatar: Flight of Passage is an attraction that most Guests head to at rope drop. The Na’vi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Expedition Everest are other top-rated attractions at the Disney Park. Lines for these rides are usually at least 45 minutes. This Park has so much to offer to Guests though, that you don’t need to wait in line for. If you’re wanting to judge how busy the theme park is though, then these attractions could act as a good guide:
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – located under the Tree of Life, this 9-minute 3D film can be a walk-on if you arrive just as the last show is ending. Otherwise, expect to wait at most 10 minutes. If the wait is more than that, then maybe save it for another time.
- Wildlife Express Train – with 2 trains running on the line, this gentle train ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch should be one that you can walk onto, during most days in the Disney Park.
- TriceraTop Spin – offering a similar experience to The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Magic Kingdom, this Disney ride is located in Dinoland U.S.A. Typically, this attraction has a short wait of around 10 minutes. If it’s longer than that then maybe you’re visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom on a busy day.
And there you have it – the Walt Disney World attractions that you should expect to have a relatively short line time. Of course, wait times are constantly changing. But these attractions can help you to predict those that you can enjoy after a relatively short wait.
Keep these attractions in mind too on days when the Disney Parks are busier than usual. They may be the attractions that save your Disney day!