Almost every family talks about a trip to Walt Disney World at least once. The kids hear their friends talking about Disney and then they cannot wait to go. Once the trip planning starts, one of the biggest questions is when is the best time to go. No one wants to wait in those lines. Unfortunately, there will always be lines so learning how to beat some of the longer lines will always be helpful. So, what is the best way to beat the lines at Walt Disney World?
Early Bird Gets the Ride: If you are at the park as soon as it opens, you are going to be able to get on rides with less of a line. If the family has their heart set on riding a certain ride, as soon as you enter the gates, head straight to that ride. The faster you get to the ride, the shorter the line. Once off the ride, head to the next ride. The faster you travel in the first few moments Walt Disney World is open, the better chance of having less lines.
FastPass+: FastPass+ is the express pass for rides and attractions at Walt Disney World. If you aren’t a fan of waiting in line for your favorite attraction, FastPasses are a must! If you are staying in a Walt Disney World resort, you can book FastPasses 60 days prior to arrival (30 days if staying at an off-site location). You may book 3 FastPasses per day through your My Disney Experience APP and once those are used, you may book additional (one at a time) in the park. To understand the complete FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World – you can read all about using it properly in this post – Disney Planning – Understanding the WDW FastPass+ System
In order to get the most out of the FastPass+ system, it helps to know where things are located in the park so that you aren’t jumping from spot to spot on opposite sides of the park to meet your FastPass+ reservation time. Be sure to look at a park map before booking.
Rider Swap: If you are 2 adults and have a small child with you who is too small or just doesn’t want to ride the ride, use the rider swap. This lets everyone stand in line together, adult 1 rides first and the other parent waits in the line until the next ride. Then, adult 2 passes the little one(s) off and adult 1 stays with them. This saves time from having to wait in the line 2 times. This can be used in the FastPass+ line as well. Every ride might not offer this, so be sure to check at every ride. This might also work very well in the Single Rider Lines as well.
Single Rider Lines: Many of the thrill rides have single rider lines. These are lines where you can get to the front of the line faster if you are willing to ride solo. Think about how many times you had to wait to ride the next ride because you had 2 or 4 people in your group rather than just taking the available seats. If you can ride by yourself, then you can get through a ride line a little faster.
Time Your Rides: Just like riding early in the morning when the park first opens is a great time to beat the lines, there are other times when the lines are shorter. As the day goes on, many families leave because it is getting late. In addition to those times, when others are taking lunch breaks, around 12 and 1, the lines are shorter. Plan your lunch time either earlier, around 10:30-11 or later, around 2.
Ride During the Parade and Fireworks: While others are busy enjoying the show, this is an optimal time to get on some of the most popular rides. The lines are shorter because less people are riding while the show is going on.
Take a Break: For families with children, or just families who are not used to running all day long, taking a break during the main rush times can be a great way to get the most of the day. Head back to the hotel and take a nap or just a break during the busiest part of the day. This can help everyone have the stamina to stay in the park late, when other families have left because of tired kids.
Beat the Lines Leaving: No one ever wants to leave Disney, but when you have had enough, or the park is closing, beat the lines leaving. If you want to stay for the fireworks, find a spot up front in the Magic Kingdom near the train station. Most people stay for the fireworks and then all try to exit the park as soon as they are over. If you are positioned near the train station, you are much closer to the exit. Rather than monorail back to the Transportation and Ticket Center to the parking lot or to a monorail resort, take the ferry. The lines are usually much shorter.
Once you plan your next (or first) Walt Disney World vacation, be sure to sign up for some Mickey Mail for the kids to let them know Mickey is excited about their plans! Imagine their excitement when they receive some mail right from Walt Disney World.