Top 3 Ways to Avoid Long Lines at Walt Disney World

Park opening crowd at Epcot, Walt Disney World

Getting to the Disney Parks for opening is one of the best ways that you can beat long lines at the most popular attractions. Even if the crowd looks big at the gate, it will spread out quickly once the park opens.

Lines are a way of life when visiting Walt Disney World Resort, but seasoned Disney travelers know that there are a few great ways that you can increase your odds and lessen the amount of time you spend waiting in lines for the most popular attractions in any Disney park. These three methods are virtually surefire ways to avoid long lines at Walt Disney World, except for the most crowded times of the year (such as the extreme crowds week between Christmas and New Year’s, when all bets are off).

Here are my top three recommendations for how to avoid long lines at Walt Disney World:

1. Get to the parks for opening

If you get to any Walt Disney World park for opening (or the start of Extra Magic Hours if that applies) and you go straight to the ride or attraction of your choice, you will not wait in a long line. Period.

This is the single most important piece of advice that I can offer when it comes to avoiding lines and getting to your top attractions with the least amount of wait time. As an added bonus, you usually have a window of 60-minutes to 90-minutes when you can have the run of a park with very short wait times before the bulk of the crowds show up. As a second added bonus, if the Magic Kingdom Park is your destination, you will also get to see the Rope Drop Welcome Show, which happens at the front gates 15-minutes before park opening.

So get your family up and out of bed and start your Disney day on a positive note by avoiding lines with an early arrival. Remember that the opening times for the parks can change at different times of the year, so be sure to check ahead for the correct times.

FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, Princess Fairytale Hall

Using the FastPass+ system is an excellent way to avoid long lines at the busiest attractions, so be sure to book ahead and make the most of this great option.

2. Book your FastPass+ as early as you can

The introduction of the FastPass+ has caused a lot of heated conversation among longtime Walt Disney World travelers. One thing is for sure though, regardless of whether you love it or hate it, make sure that you use it!

The real key for this one is to book your FastPass+ reservations as soon as you are allowed to do so (in advance of your trip) in order to align your bookings with the rest of your plans for the day. When you use FastPass+ bookings and you get to the parks for opening, then you easily double your chances of getting on up to approximately six popular Walt Disney World attractions with little or no wait times (with slight variations among parks and attractions). So plan ahead and make smart use of what Disney has made available to you.

3. Skip the parades and fireworks and head to the attractions

Whenever there are major events happening in a park (typically at night and especially in the Magic Kingdom Park), guess where most of the guests are going to be? That’s right, this is a great time to swim against the flow and head to the rides and attractions of your choice. This tactic is not as guaranteed as the first two, but it is the best time to hit the rides when you have no other magic options up your sleeve.

This tip works particularly well during events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you skip the first parade on those nights, you’ll likely find that the lineups are virtually non-existent for rides and attractions. So wait for the second parade (when those crowds will be smaller as well) and head to the rides for the shortest wait times you’ll likely encounter on those nights.

What are your favorite recommendations for avoiding long lines at Walt Disney World?

~ Mike Belobradic