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Crowded Disney Park Strategies for the Best Experience

You know what is magic to a Disney Park lovers ears? A not crowded Disney park, or non peak season in Disney World. We’ve definitely done our share of visiting the Disney Parks on those ultra crowded days. When you show up in the park on a slow day (slow for Disney at least)… it feels amazing! 

Something to note about the future of travel, is it’s getting harder to tell what non peak season is anymore. Disney is becoming an expert at packing in the guests year round. 

In case you get caught off guard, learn how to make the most of Disney World theme parks crowds.

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Always Expect A Crowded Disney Park

This is so simple, but it really works. Always plan your day expecting that all Disney Parks will be crowded, especially during special events and holiday parties, like Mickeys Not So Scary. This can help temper your expectations and get you to plan your day creatively. 

Pick up a park map beforehand or a free printable Disney World rides list, which has all of the rides and attractions within each Disney Park. You will definitely want to look it over before your trip. 

In the past you would be selecting FastPasses but this fall Disney will introduce their new Disney Genie app service.

If you easily sign up for my newsletter (at the bottom of this post), you will be instantly directed to a free “travel cheat sheet” that you can download before your next Disney vacation. 

Show Up Early

If there are long lines at security, that’s actually a good sign. If you show up and waltz past the gate, that means the crowd has already beat you inside. 

Take advantage of Extra Extra Magic Hours or even learn how to miss the crowds at Toy Story Land. If they are in the morning, many people may not be up for it, so you can get a head start. 

You can also get a jump on the crowds by booking a breakfast reservation at one of the Disney World restaurants before the park opens to gain access before other guests. My family and I have had good luck with this over the years.

Some of the best restaurants in Disney World are Crystal Palace and also Be Our Guest restaurant Disney World.

After we finished an early morning breakfast, we have been able to hop right onto rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with only about a 15 minute wait!

Park Entry

When it comes to getting inside a crowded Disney World park, you definitely want to get past security and through the gates so you can tap your magic band and enter with as little hassle as possible. It helps to take a moment to see what lines are moving before you step into the fray. 

Some of this is dependent on the guests, but there are definitely lines that are faster and better than others. 

When you get stuck in a slow line, it can potentially set a negative tone for your day, and it’s important to get Disney days started with lots of positive momentum. 

Be aware of side gates and seldom used entrances. Animal Kingdom has one through the Rainforest Cafe gift shop, and Epcot has a side gate to the World Showcase. 

Magic Kingdom has a gate for Cast Members, that most regular guests don’t use, even though it is actually open to everyone (never enter a place that is marked Cast Members Only).

Who knows, you may enter a Disney Park and get a surprise kiss from Pluto, like my daughter did when we celebrated her birthday in Disney World a few years ago.

Disney Park crowd and Pluto at Magic Kingdom

Plan A Late Lunch

Early afternoon can be the hottest and most crowded time of day at the Disney Parks. It’s the perfect time to have reservations at a cool indoor restaurant where you can recharge and gear up for round two in the park. 

Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated during these busy days, especially so you can stay healthy while traveling

After about 4pm guests start to leave. Instead, you will be refreshed, energized and ready to keep enjoying the magic.

One of our family’s favorite places to eat is Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. The delicious food there is served family style and they keep it coming.

When it comes to Disney dining, it is one of the best values for your money, especially if you are looking for budget friendly ideas

crowded Disney Park Magic Kingdom

What is Genie Service at Disney?

With the recent changes that have been announced, a lot of people are now wondering what is a Genie pass at Disney World.

The Disney pass Genie service has cool technology to help guide you through the parks and tips to help you reduce time waiting in lines. It’s built right into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland free apps.

Your Genie Disney service will help maximize your park time so you can focus on having more fun! It has a personalized itinerary feature to help you map our your day so you don’t find yourself on a scavenger hunt throughout the parks.

When all else fails and you truly can’t escape a crowded Disney park, there are some really surprising Disney World activities to explore. 

Another option would be to plan for a Disney Cruise, especially when you feel like its healthy and safe to travel on a cruise ship again. 

Epcot at night for Disney World fall vacation


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