Avoiding Crowds at Walt Disney World is a difficult task. The resort is getting increasingly popular and there now appears to be no off-season. However, you can have a great time no matter when you visit. Our Guide to Avoiding Crowds at Walt Disney World contains tips & tricks so you can have a perfect vacation no matter how crowded it is.
Want to avoid crowds on your Walt Disney World Vacation?
Disney World is always busy!
Usually you will find it is very busy!!
On occasions it is very, very busy!!!
No matter when you visit Walt Disney World you will encounter some crowds. Sometimes the crowds will be light but on occasion, they might feel unmanageable.
Although Walt Disney World will be busy during most periods of the year it is busiest in Summer Months, Spring Break, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year, Independence Day & Christmas.
The least busy period at Walt Disney World is from Labor Day to the beginning of October and the middle of January.
There are lots of websites telling you the best days to visit parks, but our experience is they often tell you different answers and overall Disney World seems to be getting busier. We do not recommend paying for any service which claims it can predict crowd levels. We have paid previously and been overall very disappointed.
Events such as the Food & Wine Festival & free dining offers now drag people to the parks during traditionally quiet periods.
Bigger crowds do mean longer opening hours but also longer waits. This does not mean you shouldn’t go during peak periods, especially if annual leave means you can’t go in quieter times.
In our opinion, you will have a great time no matter when you visit Walt Disney World! Plus you will always find an occasional quiet spot.
Disney World Crowds Tips & Tricks
Our Top Tips & Tricks to avoid the crowds at Walt Disney World are:-
- Don’t arrive late! The first few hours in the park are always the quietest. By midmorning, crowds will be at their heaviest.
- Consider taking a mid-afternoon break and return in the evening. Not only will it be cooler but crowds often will be lighter. It is amazing how often an attraction which had over an hour wait earlier in the day will be a walk-on in the last hour.
- Plan to stay in the park until closing to maximize those last couple of hours. Shops at Walt Disney World stay open for around 1 hour after advertised park closing. Do your souvenir shopping in this last hour, and when you are finished transport will also be quieter.
- Look at the crowd calendar on various websites to see if you can pick a pattern of the best days to visit specific parks. Our experience is these websites often offer conflicting opinions but by reviewing several you should start to get an idea of the best time to visit parks.
- Make sure you maximise the use of Fastpass+. Try and get a reservation for all your must-do attractions. Make sure your reservations are used by early in the afternoon so you can start making more Fastpass selections. We have created a Hints & Tips Guide to Fastpass which also includes a strategy for each park
- Book your dining reservations in advance. Don’t leave dining to chance and attempt to find an available standby line especially during free dining. Also, eat outside of peak periods when attraction lines will long but restaurants quieter.
- Use the Single Rider line to save a Fastpass and get on a ride with a much shorter wait.
- Avoid parks with Early Extra Magic Hours even if you are staying in a Disney Resort. Early Extra Magic Hours brings much larger crowds to a park the majority arriving early.
- Late Extra Magic Hours can be an opportunity to do more attractions with reduced waits, but crowds can vary. Usually, Late Extra Magic Hours are quieter the later they are, after midnight is usually fairly quiet.
- Avoid the parades! OK, you might want to see these but if you don’t the rides will be quieter.
- Schedule plenty of breaks and make sure you drink plenty of water. Crowds always seem worse when you are tired and dehydrated.
- Create a good plan which can be easily altered if unexpected events occur. If events do occur, e.g. bad weather or sickness have some spare capacity so you can catch up.
- Make sure you have the My Disney Experience App. Filled with handy features the app lets you view and update your plans, make dining reservations, book more Fastpass reservations, search maps of all four theme parks, get real-time attraction wait times and more.
- You can now even order and pay for your Quick Service Meals in advance through the My Disney Experience App. This facility can be a massive time saver when parks are at capacity.
- Consider using Uber or Lyft instead of Walt Disney World Transport. We are big fans of Walt Disney World Transport but when parks are busy alternatives might save you time. Consider getting an Uber or Lyft to get yourself ahead of the morning crowds. When visiting the Magic Kingdom get the driver to drop you off at the Contemporary Resort to avoid the Ticket and Transportation Center.
- Don’t get stressed or panic! You will have a great time in Walt Disney World, but crowds can appear overwhelming at first. Relax and take your time; you will have a great time!
Do you have any more tips on how to beat the Disney world crowds? Leave a comment below
Read More Disney World Tips
See how our crowd beating strategy worked when visited the Magic Kingdom.
Visit our guide Walt Disney World for Beginners for more essential tips.
If you want more Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks we have lots of them here on Modern Life is Good. Here are 201 Tips & Tricks to have a great vacation at Walt Disney World.
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