Arriving early is essential at Walt Disney World in 2021. Leaving at closing time is almost equally as important. Plus, unless you are made of steel, you will want to have a midday break. The reason for early starts and later finishes is in the period of FastPass+ suspension; attractions have the shortest wait. Plus, arriving early also has an additional perk, but you have to arrive very early!
Walt Disney World is currently operating at a limited capacity, but with closed attractions and social distancing, lines often are incredibly long. Waits as Walt Disney World attractions are getting very long during the middle of the day. Even the less popular attractions can attract very long waits.
Crowds are at their quietest shortly after opening and in the last couple of hours. Guests who take a midday break at their hotel are usually rewarded with quicker waits when returning later in the day. Also, a break in your hotel allows you to return more refreshed.
Crowds build up quickly shortly after park opening, but even guests who arrive at park opening will find extensive waits at the most popular attractions. Arriving early is essential at Walt Disney World in 2021, but you should aim to arrive 1 hour before the park’s scheduled opening time!
Although, not advertised guests are usually allowed into the parks 30-45 minutes ahead of scheduled opening times. A traditional rope drop no longer happens. Those guests arriving early head straight to the big E-ticket attractions and get the first ride. By the time guests arrive for the scheduled opening, waits are long at the big attractions, and the early guests are already moving on to their B-list attractions.
Walt Disney World will shortly be starting Early Theme Park Entry for Disney Resort Guests. Presumably, once Early Theme Park Entry starts, non-resort guests will no longer be able to take advantage of early access, but in the meantime, if you want to get ahead of the crowd at Disney World, arrive 1 hour before the scheduled park opening.
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To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.